Supreme Court to take up Gaggal Airport expansion issue in March : The Tribune India

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Supreme Court to take up Gaggal Airport expansion issue in March

The top court had on January 22 stayed a January 9 Himachal Pradesh High Court order that had stalled the project

Supreme Court to take up Gaggal Airport expansion issue in March

Photo for representation only.



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, February 26

The Supreme Court on Monday said it will hear a petition related to the Gaggal airport expansion project in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district in March.

“We will then list the matters either on Friday (March 1) or on Monday (March 4),” said a three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud which had on January 22 stayed a January 9 Himachal Pradesh High Court order that had stalled the project.

The CJI’s statement came after an advocate pointed out that the matter may not come up for hearing on Tuesday if a Constitution Bench assembled and took up other listed matters for February 27.

Acting on a petition filed by Gaggal Airport Expansion Affected Society Welfare Committee, the high court had on January 9 ordered a status quo till February 29 on all aspects of the airport expansion project, including the relief and rehabilitation process, taking possession of the land notified for acquisition and the demolition of structures on it.

The top court had stayed the high court’s order last month after senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi submitted on behalf of the Himachal Pradesh Government, Airports Authority of India and the National Highways Authority of India pointed out that the high court stalled the project despite the Advocate General making a statement that that no demolition will take place and no one will be dispossessed

Among the three airports in Himachal Pradesh, the one at Kangra was the only one where expansion was possible, Rohatgi had said.

“There is already an airport and this is the expansion plan,” the CJI said when a lawyer representing the respondents tried to impress upon the Bench by saying that the area fell under seismic zone-v.

While issuing notice on the state’s petition, the top court had stayed the high court’s order and said that the high court can proceed to decide the matter.

The high court had on January 9 ordered status quo in all respects with regard to the relief and rehabilitation process as well as taking possession of the land notified for acquisition or demolition of structures located on the land notified for acquisition and posted the matter for hearing on February 29.

The petitioners before the high court had contended that since the government was reconsidering the matter, it would not be proper at this stage to permit the state to proceed with taking possession of the land notified for acquisition or demolish structures there or proceed with the relief and rehabilitation process

The plea before the high court had said that since the government was reconsidering the matter, it would not be proper to permit the state to proceed with taking possession of the land notified for acquisition or demolish structures on it or proceed with the relief and rehabilitation process.

The high court had said “there is a possibility that the state government may revisit its own decision to proceed with the expansion of the Gaggal airport after examining all aspects of the matter. In such an event, there is every possibility of time and expenses spent on the hearing on relief and rehabilitation going waste”.

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