As homebuyers desperately wait for stuck housing projects in Noida Extension to resume work, the Allahabad high court on Friday dealt another blow to the state government and quashed the acquisition of about 5 hectares of land at Biraondi Chakrasenpur village in Greater Noida.
"We're waiting for a copy of the court order. We will challenge the quashing in the Supreme Court through a special leave (request) petition," Chief executive officer (CEO) of the Greater Noida authority Rama Raman said.
The land for which the acquisition has been set aside belongs to farmer Ram Singh. It falls in Sector Pi in Greater Noida. He alleged the acquired land had been allotted to about six builders, some institutions and a housing society for police officers and advocates.
But the authority differed.
"Only a small portion of this land (300-400 metres) had been allotted to a housing society. Construction had not started," said deputy CEO PC Gupta.
In 2009, the authority had acquired 9.7 hectares of land and Ram Singh and others had challenged the acquisition. The court had reserved its order in February.
"A bench of justices Sunil Ambvani and Manoj Mishra quashed about 4.5 hectares of the land acquired," said Atul Shukla, assistant law officer at the Greater Noida authority.
The high court in October last year heard a the petitions of 38 villages in Greater Noida, including those in Noida Extension, and did not quash land acquisition but ordered increased benefits for farmers. The latest order is a fresh setback to the state government.
Petitioners' advocate Pankaj Dubey said, "In this case, the court quashed the acquisition of about half of the land acquired under a notification issued in March 2009." The court has also imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 each on the state government and the authority.
Farmers alleged the authority acquired the land for industrial development under the urgency clause of the land acquisition Act but sold it to builders. They alleged the authority also acquired their 'abadi' land.