Hours after the Punjab cabinet’s decision to return the land acquired for construction of the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal to its original owners, the Haryana government decided to approach the Supreme Court against the move.
Disclosing this, Haryana advocate general BR Mahajan told Hindustan Times that Punjab’s move had “strengthened” Haryana’s case.
“We will be taking appropriate legal action in the apex court,” Mahajan said, though he did not elaborate on the matter.
“As the Punjab government did not get the governor’s assent for the Punjab SYL Canal Land (Transfer of Propriety Rights) Bill passed in March this year, now the cabinet has decided to return the land. They cannot do so,” he said, adding that Punjab’s action was in defiance of the apex court order.
Another senior functionary handling the SYL issue in Haryana said the state would wait for formal notification on the Punjab cabinet decision and thereafter move the Supreme Court.
The Haryana government was already in the process of filing a petition for execution of the apex court orders passed in 2002 and 2004 for the completion of the SYL canal.
In March this year, the Punjab assembly had unanimously approved a bill, seeking transfer the entire SYL land measuring 5,376-acre free of cost to its original owners. The land was acquired for the canal over three decades ago for Rs 35 crore.