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SC: Quash land acquisition for Pinjore-Kalka project
R Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, April 29
Pointing out serious irregularities in the implementation of the Pinjore-Kalka Urban Complex project of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), the Supreme Court has ruled that it was “prima facie of the view that the entire (land) acquisition proceeding deserves to be quashed.”

“The list of the persons in whose favour land was released shows that most of them are builders or their collaborators. This gives an impression that in the guise of acquiring land for public purpose -- that is development of some of the sectors in Panchkula by HUDA, -- the state government misused the provisions of Land Acquisition Act, 1894 for the benefit of private companies and builders without complying with the procedure prescribed under the Act,” a Bench comprising Justices GS Singhvi and SJ Mukhopadhaya has noted.

The Bench made the castigating remarks while stopping “all the ongoing construction activities” relating to the project.

The apex court, however, clarified that before passing any order quashing the acquisition of land for the project, it wanted to hear the views of all those in whose favour land was released. For this purpose, it named them as parties to an appeal filed by some of the affected landowners, including Ravindra Singh.

“With a view to avoiding further complications in the matter, we direct the State of Haryana and its functionaries and also the impleaded respondents not to undertake further constructions on the land which was acquired vide notification dated 26.9.2007 read with the declaration dated 25.9.2008. This would mean that all the ongoing construction activities shall be stopped forthwith,” the apex court order said.

The state government had issued the 2007 notification for acquiring 809.74 acres of land.

The SC also noted that the state government had “deliberately omitted to place the facts and the records in correct perspective” before the Punjab and Haryana High Court and thereby “succeeded in misleading the HC” to dismiss the pleas of the affected land owners.

Under the HUDA project, as many as 31 new sectors were to be developed covering residential, commercial and industrial areas, on both sides of National Highway 22 between Pinjore and Kalka.





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