Thousands of home buyers in Greater Noida can heave a sigh of relief as the Supreme Court on Thursday settled the dispute over acquisition of farmers’ land on which the suburb has come up.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India HL Dattu upheld the October 21, 2011, verdict of the Allahabad High Court which said acquisition of the land by the Greater Noida Authority was right.
The high court had directed the state government to pay farmers whose land was acquired an additional compensation of 64.7% on top of 10% of the developed land.
The apex court stood by the settlement formula and rejected the farmers’ plea for enhanced compensation equivalent of the market rate.
“Today’s order is historic and we are more than happy. We hope realtors will start giving possession (of pending flats) soon,” said Abhishek Kumar, president of the Noida Extension Flat Owners Welfare Association.
Farmer leader and advocate Parminder Bhati said legal options would be looked at for a review petition.
The Uttar Pradesh government had acquired farmland, invoking an urgency clause, to set up industries in Greater Noida West between 2006 and 2009. The farmers moved the high court, contending that the Greater Noida Authority gave away their land to builders for residential, commercial and other projects.
In 2011, the apex as well as the high court cancelled land acquisition in three villages, triggering a rash of petitions from farmers. But the high court made an exception, saying the acquired land could stay if the farmers were paid additional compensation of 64.7% and 10% of the developed plots.
The Greater Noida Authority challenged the verdict as the enhanced compensation entailed payments to the tune of around Rs 1,400 a square yard to the farmers, along with 10% of the developed land.
Advocate Surat Singh, who represented several farmers, said the land was taken from farmers at Rs 850 a square yard and given to builders at Rs 10,000 a square yard.
Local authorities said the verdict would restore investor and buyer confidence in the realty market in Greater Noida after the uncertainty since 2011.
“The order will give relief to one lakh home buyers in Noida and nearly two lakh in Greater Noida, which was earlier called Noida Extension. It has resolved 95% of legal issues enabling financial institutions and investors to invest in Greater Noida,” said Rama Raman, CEO of Noida and Greater Noida authorities.