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New Delhi, The Supreme Court today sought the central government’s reply to a lawsuit by the Uttar Pradesh government challenging acquisition of 21 acres of land to widen the state’s link road connecting the Commonwealth Games village to Noida.

Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan also sought explanations from the Delhi government, while issuing notices to them.

Uttar Pradesh also challenged the Delhi High Court ruling of Tuesday that validated the Delhi government’s Sep 21 notification to acquire the land falling in the state’s boundary.

The bench, which also included Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice B.S. Chauhan, sought the central and the Delhi government’s reply by Oct 23, the next date of hearing.

The Mayawati government contended that a state cannot unilaterally acquire land not falling in its territory without its approval.

“How can one government acquire land belonging to another government without even giving an opportunity to the latter,” it asked, seeking a stay on the high court’s order.

The acquisition of the land would allow the public works department (PWD) to widen the existing six-lane road to eight-lane and make it signal-free by constructing two flyovers along the four-km stretch.

The Uttar Pradesh government contended that there was no public interest involved in the Delhi government’s act of acquiring its land forcibly and furtively.

It said the state had always given its requisite land whenever there was real public interest like for construction of metro railway tracks or commissioning of various Commonwealth Games projects.

Uttar Pradesh asserted that the Delhi government in this case had tried to divest it of its land in a “surreptitious manner.” It did not even provide copy of the government’s notification to acquire the land.

The state came to know of the Delhi government’s intention to acquire its land only days after the notification and that too through newspaper reports, the lawsuit said.

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