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A Commended Ph.D., in Law on the Rights of SEZ –PAFs

Andhra University presented Doctorate on Mr. Mohan RaoBolla, Principal of Manair College of Law, for his outstanding research thesis on “THE SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES ACT, 2005 AND THE RIGHTS OF THE PROJECT AFFECTED FAMILIES -A SOCIO LEGAL STUDY (With Special Reference to Kakinada Special Economic Zone Private Limited, East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh, India)”.

The research study of Mohan Rao under the supervision of Prof. of Law, Dr. Annam Subrahmanyam, [Dean Student Affairs, Andhra University, and Former Associate Professor at LalBahadur Sastry National Academy of Administration, Mussorie,] has been commended by Foreign as well as Indian Professors. It has been appreciated as a right blend of doctrinal as well as empirical studies as the issue involved has pervasive effects on the social, cultural, economic aspects on the lives of the PAFs especially poor peasants of the Coastal area. The researcher has adopted ground zero approach i.e., the inductive method besides the following Research techniques viz., Stratified Random Sampling and cluster sampling, Survey of Total population in the cluster, Schedule/interview method of Verification for conducting the research study in a scientific way.

The researcher conducted Socio Economic Survey of the total number 13 villages/hamlets. The PAFs criticized the Kakinada SEZ that, it could not move a single step ahead towards creation of jobs. But it had sufficiently destroyed the employment opportunities of the PAFs and their dependants. The Kakinada SEZ could not launch even a small project in its Kakinada SEZ even after the lapse of over Half a decade from the year of the formal approval. Moreover, the SEZ developer had been enjoying several Tax exemptions.

The researcher’s findings are as hereunder: The land acquisition of fertile/other lands for the SEZs is prima facie found against to the policy of the government. But, Kakinada SEZ Private Limited and the government too acquired the land contrary to the policy adversely affecting the rights of the PAFs such as right to livelihoods, right to reside and settle at the native place and their sentimental attachments with their native land. ‘The SEZ Act, 2005 gives scope for discrimination and conferment of blanket power on the government and the SEZs. It is found true that the SEZ Act itself violates the spirit of the Constitution to a certain extent. The researcher expressed regrets about the Apex Court’s indifferent attitude towards the long pending bunch of 16 writ petitions in KuldeepBishnoi vs. Union of India on the Constitutional validity of SEZs Act, since 2006. It is found that the Kakinada SEZ has violated the concept of equality as it fixed the same price for the fertile lands and barren lands and or dry lands. The Land Acquisition process is manifestly far from the fair procedure test as it does not discriminate between the fertile lands wet or dry and non cultivable lands in payment of price for them.

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