The Supreme Court has paved the way for acquisition of over 50,000 bigha south Delhi land for planned development of the national capital by the Union government.
A bench of Justice V.S. Sirpurkar and Justice Deepak Verma removed the hurdle Monday in acquisition of the land spread over 13 south Delhi villages, dismissing a bunch of lawsuits by over hundred landowners who challenged the Delhi government’s two notifications of November 1980 for acquisition of the land.
Accepting the arguments by the Delhi and the Union governments, the bench held that there was no illegality in the two notifications dated Nov 5 and Nov 25, 1980, for acquisition of the land.
There was no illegality in the whole acquisition process, ruled the bench and added that the government had heard the objections to the acquisition process as per the statutory provisions.
The landowners had also challenged the acquisition process on the ground that there was gap of more than three years between the issuance of notification and the actual act of acquisition of the land by the government and this violated the Land Acquisition Act.
But the apex court ruled that it was owing to the fact that the Delhi High Court, acting on lawsuits by various landowners, had stayed the acquisition process for a significant duration, and accordingly the government cannot be held guilty for violating the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act.
The apex court also accepted the government’s argument that many of the petitioners were not original landowners and had come to the court after buying the land from the original owners.
The government had contended that after the issuance of the notification by the government for acquisition of the land in the pubic interest, the land was not liable to be sold without the permission of the requisite authorities.
The apex court ruling is likely to adversely affect several farm house owners in Chhatarpur and Mehrauli area in south Delhi.