In a fresh jolt to the Mayawati Government in Uttar Pradesh, the Supreme Court on Wednesday quashed the State’s move to acquire private land by invoking the “emergency clause” in Jyotiba Phule Nagar for construction of a district jail.
A Bench of Justice G. S. Singhvi and Justice H. L. Dattu said the State had seriously erred in acquiring the land by denying the land owners their valuable right to raise objections and being heard to express their grievances.
The Court had recently quashed the State Government’s acquisition of vast tracts of land in Noida, a decision which had hit hard major real estate developers and thousands of house owners who had invested in these projects.
In the present case, the Court said the emergency clause under Section 17 of the Land Acquisition Act was invoked by the government in a lackadaisical manner even though the State had sufficient time to go through the normal procedure of inviting objections and addressing the grievances of the land losers.
Section 17 grants the government unbridled power to acquire any private land for a public purpose without inviting objections from the aggrieved land owners.
“The series of events shows lethargy and lackadaisical attitude of the State Government. In the light of the above circumstances, the respondents are not justified in invoking the urgency provisions under Section 17 of the Act, thereby depriving the appellants of their valuable right to raise objections and opportunity of hearing before the authorities in order to persuade them that their property may not be acquired,” said Justice Dattu writing the judgment. Hindu