Criticising the UP Government for acquiring prime agricultural land for building luxury flats in Greater Noida, the Supreme Court on Monday questioned the invoking of the urgency clause that bars farmers from raising objections and said it will step in to prevent "more Nandigrams".
"Whose residential use are these flats for? Who is building them? What are the prices?.. We want to go into details of the case. This urgency clause is not automatically invoked.... We do not want more Nandigrams in all states," a bench of justices P Sathasivam and A K Patnaik said.
The bench said it would not like a situation similar to Nandigaram in West Bengal, where such steps to acquire land by invoking urgency clause under which farmers cannot raise objections, led to large scale protests and violence.
"We will not keep our eyes closed. You take it (agricultural land) from one side and give it to the other. This has to go and if it does not go this court will step in to ensure that. It is development of one section of the society only," the bench said.
The hard hitting observations were made by the bench during the hearing on petitions filed by Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority and real estate developers and builders including Supertech and Amrapali, challenging the Allahabad High Court order which had quashed the notifications for land acquisition in Greater Noida, adjoining the national capital.
The apex court expressed its annoyance over the invocation of urgency clause under the land acquisition law for taking over the land on which high cost residential flats were being constructed.
The High Court had on May 31 quashed acquisition of 170 hectares of land at Gulistan village in Greater Noida for industrial development.