The Supreme Court Tuesday allowed Reliance Power to return 956 acre of land, which was acquired for the company’s gas-fired power plant, in Dadri to Uttar Pradesh government.
A bench headed by Justice TS Thakur disposed ADAG Reliance Power’s appeal against the Allahabad High Court December 2009 order setting aside the acquisition after accepting the company’s request to permit it to give back the land.
It took the application on record and said the appeal was left infructuous in the wake of Reliance Power’s fresh plea. In effect, the HC order stands and the government has to hand-over the land’s possession to the farmers, who had challenged the acquisition.
The court said the parties were at liberty to approach the appropriate authorities to claim damages.
HC had on December 5, 2009 quashed the notification to acquire the land through an emergency clause, which allows an authority to waive the provision of seeking objections from the farmers before acquiring their land. It held the government was obliged to get a no-objection certificate (NOC) from each seller.
Reliance Power and the state government had both contested the high court ruling. However, after the court reserved its verdict on the appeals, the company submitted an affidavit communicating its desire to return the land. The project had been shelved, it said, adding it had now become difficult to get a regular supply of natural gas.