The Allahabad high court on Thursday set aside the acquisition of land by the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) in Sahberi village, where three leading builders have launched their schemes.
The high court has de-notified the land because the GNIDA did not organise farmer hearing, which is mandatory under the Land Acquisition Act.
A three-member bench comprising Justice SN Mehrotra, Justice Sunil Ambwani and Justice KN Pandey said: “The entire of acquiring the land was illegal. The farmers were not given an opportunity to file their objections.”
The project technically falls within Greater Noida and has emerged as a major hub for the real estate business. It is spread over 1,000 hectares (one hectare = 10,000 square metres) where roughly 100,000 units are proposed to come up.
The GNIDA had in 2009 notified more than 150 hectares and later took possession of the land. It deposited the compensation in the district treasury and the land was allotted to the developers.
Farmer leader Satya Pal Chaudhary and others affected moved court, saying their objections were not heard. The high court clubbed all the cases together and heard both the sides.
Chaudhary said, “Construction has begun at the site. We will stop every activity from tomorrow and vacate the land.
Even those who did not move court will benefit as the entire village land has been de-notified.”
Other farmers said the process of hearing objections could be suspended only in the case of projects of public good, which was not the case here. They said the state government was using the Land Acquisition Act's provisions to suspend their right to object.
The judgment has come on the heels of the Supreme Court last month quashing the acquisition of 205 hectares of agricultural land in Gautam Budha Nagar.