The Allahabad high court on Tuesday restrained the UP government from starting any development work on five hectares of land in a Greater Noida village, whose owners challenged the acquisition on the ground that they have not received any compensation for their houses built on the plot though two years have elapsed.
A division bench comprising justices Sunil Ambawani and Pankaj Mithal passed the order on a writ petition filed by Ram Singh and others and fixed September 27 as the next date of hearing while asking the state government to file a counter affidavit.
The petitioners, all of them residents of Barandi Chakrasenpur village of Gautam Buddh Nagar, had moved the court challenging acquisition of 4.9 hectares of land by the state government vide notifications dated November 19, 2008 and March 23, 2009.
The petitioners had contended that their land, where they had built their houses and were now living, was acquired "without application of mind".
Moreover, the petitioners had alleged that the state government had invoked the urgency clause for acquiring the land which had deprived them of an opportunity to file their objections and that till date, no compensation has been announced by the government.
Acquisition of land by invoking urgency clause, especially in the Gautam Buddh Nagar district, has been mired in controversies.
The high court had earlier this year quashed the acquisition of more than 150 hectares in Shahberi village and the state government's appeal challenging the acquisition was turned down by the Supreme Court.
Besides, petitions filed by scores of farmers from more than a dozen villages of the district, who have challenged acquisition of more than 3000 hectares of land, are pending before the high court.
The farmers have objected to the repeated invoking of urgency clause, which they say deprives the owners of an opportunity to raise objections and bargain for a better compensation.