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Most Villages In Noida Extension To Challenge Land Acquisition

New Delhi, Jul 7 : The Supreme Court order upholding the quashing of acquisition of 156.9 hectares of land in Shah Beri village has virtually opened the floodgates of similar demands from all the remaining
most villages in noida extension to challenge...
PTI 07 Jul 2011, 9:24:36 AM IST

New Delhi, Jul 7 : The Supreme Court order upholding the quashing of acquisition of 156.9 hectares of land in Shah Beri village has virtually opened the floodgates of similar demands from all the remaining villages in what is being called Noida Extension, reports Indian Express.

Satpal Chowdhary, a farmers' leader and one of the petitioners in the Shahberi case, said: “The state government had filed the appeal only in the Shahberi case as they wanted to first try one village. But the observations of the Supreme Court have opened the way for farmers of remaining villages in Noida Extension where the land was acquired in a similar fashion.”

Chowdhary added, “The court order is a blessing. The builders will now have to directly acquire the land from the farmers before they wish to proceed with any project in the area.”

Not less than 750 hectares of land has been acquired and handed over to builders in the same manner — by using the urgency clause — which the apex court has held illegal in Shah Beri, official sources said. All of this land lies in Greater Noida, parts of which are loosely called ‘Noida Extension'.

There is Gulistanpur, Patwadi, Mishrikh, Kuleshra, Devla, Haibatpur and several other villages. Its acquisition has been challenged in several suits on the same grounds which were first advanced in the case of Shah Beri in the Allahabad High Court.

The high court had, on May 12, quashed the acquisition mainly on the grounds that the government had invoked the urgency clause to deny a hearing to land owners when, in fact, there was no urgency. Also, it noted that the land was acquired for industrial use, but was handed over to builders.

The bench comprising Justices Sunil Ambwani and KN Pandey had observed: “The entire action of acquiring the land was in colourable exercise of powers. The GNIDA was fully aware and was planning to use land in village Shahberi and neighbouring villages for multistorey housing complexes to be developed by the builders on relaxed conditions.”


But the Supreme Court has taken a much stronger view. While the high court had allowed the government to start the acquisition process afresh after removing legal flaws, the Supreme Court ordered restoration of land to the farmers. Wednesday's Supreme Court verdict now becomes the law for the high court in pending cases.

Besides Shah Beri, the Allahabad High Court had quashed the acquisition of 72 hectares of land in Surajpur on May 13.The high court was then following the law which the Supreme Court had laid while quashing the acquisition of 205 hectares of land in Makora village on April 15. That order was passed by the same bench of Justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly, which delivered the verdict on Wednesday.

The UP government had then justified the use of urgency clause, saying that “if land is not made available to the incoming leading and reputed industrial concerns of the country, then they will definitely establish their units in other states and if this happens, then it will adversely affect employment opportunities in the state and will also go against the investment policy of the government”.


Rejecting the argument, Justices Singhvi and Ganguly stated, “In our view, the above noted factors do not furnish legally acceptable justification for the exercise of power by the State Government under Section 17(1) because the acquisition is primarily meant to cater private interest in the name of industrial development of the district.”

Chowdhary added, “The court order is a blessing. The builders will now have to directly acquire the land from the farmers before they wish to proceed with any project in the area.”

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