The Allahabad high court on Monday asked the UP government and Noida to file their counter-affidavits on hundreds of petitions filed by Gautam Buddh Nagar district farmers, who have challenged acquisition of more than 3,000 hectares of land for development of Greater Noida and Noida Extension areas.
A full bench of the court comprising justices Ashok Bhushan, SU Khan and VK Shukla, which is hearing a total of 491 petitions filed by farmers, fixed September 12 as the next date of hearing in the matter.
The petitioners have alleged that their land was acquired by the state government by invoking the "urgency clause" which deprived them of an opportunity to raise objections and bargain for adequate compensation.
Later, the land was sold to private builders for constructing housing complexes even though the acquisition was carried out in the name of "planned industrial development" of Greater Noida and Noida Extension areas, the petitioners submitted.
Besides, impleadment applications were moved by several builders and flat buyers, who had prayed for being made a party in the case as any order in the matter was likely to affect them.
Though the court passed no order on the applications, it observed "all the allottees of the acquired land are free to file their affidavits by the next date of hearing".
The court also said that from September 12 onwards, it would proceed with hearing on the 491 petitions that have already been filed and that "any new petitions relating to this matter shall be kept aside and heard separately so that decision on other petitions is not delayed".
Aggrieved farmers from Gautam Buddh Nagar district have been moving the high court in droves ever since it quashed the acquisition of more than 150 hectares of land in Shahberi village and, subsequently, an appeal filed by the state government challenging the order was set aside by the Supreme Court.