Land owner can't be deprived of property arbitarily: SC | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Land owner can't be deprived of property arbitarily: SC

The Supreme Court has held that an owner cannot be deprived of his or her land arbitrarily by the government under the so-called "extraordinary" powers as it would violate the citizen's fundamental right and chided the Haryana government for proposing a sewage treatment plant near a school and market place.

delhi Updated: Oct 08, 2009 22:35 IST

The Supreme Court has held that an owner cannot be deprived of his or her land arbitrarily by the government under the so-called "extraordinary" powers as it would violate the citizen's fundamental right and chided the Haryana government for proposing a sewage treatment plant near a school and market place.

Interpreting Section 17(4) of the Land Acquisition Act, which allowed authorities to take over private land without inviting mandatory objections from land owners, the apex court said the rule cannot be arbitarily invoked.

Under Section 5-A of the Act, it is mandatory for the government to invite objections from affected landowners but in the present case the authorities invoked 17(4), which allowed the government to dispense with the rule of inviting objections.

"Section 5-A is not merely statutory but also has the flavour of fundamental rights under Articles 14 (equality) and 19 (freedom of expression) of the Constitution," a bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and Cyriac Joseph said citing its earlier rulings.

Referring to proposed STPs, the apex court said, "unfortunately, the provisions of Section 17(4) were invoked in relation to a project which could have serious consequences to the health of the general public of the area.