Gurgaon SEZ land: HC directs Haryana to file comprehensive reply
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday directed the Haryana government to file a comprehensive affidavit, including the site plan depicting the acquired as well as released land in Gurgaon wherein finally 1,383 acre land was handed over to Reliance Ventures Ltd (RVL) in 2007 for developing a special economic zone (SEZ).chandigarh Updated: Aug 13, 2014 07:24 IST
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday directed the Haryana government to file a comprehensive affidavit, including the site plan depicting the acquired as well as released land in Gurgaon wherein finally 1,383 acre land was handed over to Reliance Ventures Ltd (RVL) in 2007 for developing a special economic zone (SEZ).
The directions came from the division bench headed by justice Surya Kant while hearing a bunch of petitions, challenging the acquisition of land and thereafter the alleged pick-and-choose policy adopted by the state government in release of land to some of the favourites.
The SEZ project proposed to be developed under public-private partnership between Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) and RVL had failed to take off and the RVL had returned the land to HSIIDC last year.
Speaking for the bench, justice Surya Kant ordered that the state government’s affidavit should also include “purpose for which the land was acquired and also for which the land was released at different point of time.” Adding further, he directed, “In the site plan, land of all the petitioners should be clearly marked.”
The court also directed the state government to ensure compliance of its earlier orders wherein it was directed to produce the “records showing deliberations in respect of the public purpose for which acquired land had been decided to be utilised.” Also, the state was directed to apprise the “terms and conditions on which RVL was being permitted to abandon the project conceptualised in 2003-04”.
It was in 2005 that the villagers whose land was acquired by the state government for “public purpose” started approaching the high court questioning government’s decision. Thereafter till date over 50 petitions have been filed in the high court.
It was in January 2003 and January 2004 that notifications under Sections 4 and 6 of the Land Acquisition Act was done by the state government to acquire land in various villages, including Garhi and Harsaroo.
The project had come under controversy when for taking back the government land, the HSIIDC on the basis of state advocate general’s opinion in June last year had decided to pay back to Reliance `343.51 crore.
This includes `299 crore as acquisition cost of 1,383 acre, `14 crore annuity paid to farmers among others. Reliance had sought a reimbursement of `1,172 crore from the state government.
Even the high court was surprised to know that the state had taken a decision not to impose any penalty on the company even though the company had failed to come up with the project after seven years of handing over possession of the land.