Holding that a government cannot uproot a person and deprive him of his human rights in the garb of industrial development, the Supreme Court said failure to give sufficient and timely compensation for land acquisition is leading to lawlessness in the country.
The court slammed the Maharashtra government for acquiring land in Thane district in violation of law and warned that such acts would force the uprooted persons to indulge in anti-national activities.
"The non-fulfilment of their (state) obligations would amount to forcing the said uprooted persons to become vagabonds or indulge in anti-national activities. Therefore, it is not permissible for any welfare State to uproot a person and deprive him of his fundamental/constitutional/human rights, under the garb of industrial development," a bench of Justice BS Chauhan and Justice KS Khehar said.
"The authorities have treated the land owner as a 'subject' of medieval India, but not as a 'citizen' under our constitution," the bench said.
The court gave 5 months to the state to complete the acquisition proceedings and compensate the owners of 2.5 acre of land at the market rate.
The SC set aside the November 2011 verdict of the Bombay High Court that had dismissed the land-owners' plea.