Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has ordered that the release of 912 acres at Manesar in Gurgaon be referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for a probe.
The matter is in the Supreme Court and listed for hearing on August 21.
The apex court had earlier stayed further construction on the 912 acres.
During a hearing, the Haryana government had told the Supreme Court that it had no reservations on any kind of investigation, including a CBI probe, into the matter.
The apex court is hearing a special leave petition (SLP), challenging the December 15, 2014, order of the Punjab and Haryana high court. The petitioners, mainly farmers, challenged the high court orders on the ground that it had failed to consider the actions of the state government as the withdrawal of notifications for acquisition were an abuse and misuse of provisions of the land acquisition Act. They also contended that it was an act to give undue benefit to builders under the garb of release of land.
The land, which was once being acquired for creating residential and recreational utilities in Industrial Model Township (IMT), Manesar, was released from acquisition by the previous Congress government.
The matter was first reported by Hindustan Times in 2007 when the then Congress regime had dropped the acquisition proceedings in a rather dubious manner.
The petitioners said 912 acres were sought to be acquired by the state government and notifications under Sections 4 (preliminary notification) and 6 (declaration that land is required for public purpose) of the Land Acquisition Act were issued on August 27, 2004, and August 25, 2005, respectively. It was contended that the subsequent decision to drop proceedings after having issued notices under Section 9 (sending notices to persons that the government intends to take possession of the land and claims of compensation be made to collector) compelled petitioners to sell their land at throwaway prices under the threat of acquisition. Alleging that the entire action of the government was vitiated by fraud to facilitate the purchase of land by private parties from original land owners, the petitioners sought an investigation by an independent agency.
The present state government, in an affidavit before the apex court, said it has no reservation on any kind of investigation, including a CBI probe, if the apex court takes a decision in this regard.
Haryana industries and commerce minister Capt Abhimanyu had also told the state Assembly in March that the state government was examining the release of 912 acres of Manesar land.
The minister said 912 acres were proposed for the acquisition for setting up Chaudhary Devi Lal Industrial Model Township (IMT) at Manesar. After issuing a notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, the government dropped acquisition proceedings. The minister had informed the House that after considering objections under Sector 5-A of the Act, 224 acres were excluded and a notification under Section 6 of the Act for the remaining 688 acres was issued on August 25, 2005.