HC Stays Land Acquisition for Green Pharma City Project

The Hyderabad High Court on Wednesday stayed a land acquisition notice issued by the Telangana government. - Sakshi Post

Hyderabad: The Hyderabad High Court on Wednesday stayed a land acquisition notice issued by the Telangana government to acquire 493 acres for the proposed Green Pharma City project in Ranga Reddy district.

The state has come out with a new method of acquiring land through private negotiations and issued GO Ms N0 45 for this purpose and the judge stayed the notice issued under this GO for eight weeks. The Court directed the government to file its counter affidavit within two weeks. Stating that the authorities are resuming their land in Meerkhanpet village of Kandukur mandal in Ranga Reddy district for setting up the Pharma City project, Maddi Bharatamma and 16 other poor assignees filed their pleas before the high court.

Stating that the authorities are resuming their land in Meerkhanpet village of Kandukur mandal in Ranga Reddy district for setting up the Pharma City project, the villagers filed their pleas before the High Court.

According to the plea, the tahsildar of Kandukur mandal issued the notice on January 6, 2016 that was addressed to none in particular but contained a general notice. It says that the government intends to alienate 493 acres in Survey No. 112 of Meerkhanpet village to Telangana State Industrial and Infrastructure Corporation (TSIIC) for setting up Green Pharma City project in the area. The government also took recourse to GO MS No 45 issued by the Industries and Commerce department on July 22, 2015 that enabled it to acquire land through ‘private negotiations’ for specified projects such as the Green Pharma City.

The counsel for the villagers also told the court that the authorities are trying to throw out the assignees without even compensating them.
The court said that in view of the larger bench judgement of this court in Mekala Pandu case, the proposal to deprive persons like the petitioners of land assigned to them without paying market value for the same under the guise of private negotiations cannot be sustained.

“The GO is unconstitutional because it blatantly advocated bypassing the 2013 Land Acquisition Act and held private negotiations as the solution for quick acquisitions,” the counsel said and sought the quashing of the GO. The tahsildar’s notice was also illegal because it did not trace its authority to any law or rules, he said.
Justice Ramachandra Rao, who was hearing the arguments in the case, sought to know from the state as to why this sort of ‘private negotiations’ were being undertaken.

The government pleader replied saying that there was no pressure whatsoever on the assignees or land owners and the state government was taking land only from willing persons.

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