The Supreme Court on Friday asked Haryana government to ensure that no further construction takes place on 912 acres in Gurgaon’s Manesar till May 8. The land which was being acquired for creating residential and recreational utilities in Industrial Model Township (IMT) Manesar was released from the acquisition by the previous Congress government.
An apex court bench of Justice Anil R Dave and Justice Kurian Joseph which heard a special leave petition (SLP) filed by the farmers on Friday asked the state government and other parties to file their replies and fixed the matter for May 8.
Haryana additional advocate general, Anil Grover, who represented the state, said that Supreme Court was apprised with the factual position and the manner in which the land in question was dropped from acquisition. The matter was first reported by Hindustan Times when the then Congress regime had dropped the acquisition proceedings in a rather dubious manner.
The petitioners have contended that after issuance of notification under Sections 4 and 6 of the Land Acquisition Act by the state government, agents of builders started approaching them. The farmers sold their land to builders at a higher price than what was expected from the acquisition compensation from the state government. However, when the farmers sold off their land to the builders, the land notified under Section 6 was dropped from acquisition.
It was argued that the very same land which was sold by farmers to builders at the price of R 25 lakh or so was further sold at the rate of R 5 crore per acre and on certain areas license for development was given to private builders. While the builders have also filed a caveat in the matter, certain other subsequent buyers have also filed applications for impleadment.
“Govt also examining the release’
Haryana industries and commerce minister Capt Abhimanyu had told the state assembly this March that the state government was examining the release of 912 acre land in Manesar. The minister was answering to a question by Prithla MLA, Tek Chand Sharma who wanted to know whether the land released from acquisition process in favour of realtors and colonisers gave undue benefit to land developers.
Capt Abhimanyu had said 912 acres was proposed for acquisition for setting up Chaudhary Devi Lal Industrial Model Township (IMT) at Manesar. The state government issued notification on August 27, 2004 under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act for its acquisition. Subsequently the acquisition proceedings were dropped.
He had informed the House that after considering objections under sector 5-A of the Act, about 224 acres was excluded and notification under Section 6 of the Act for the remaining 688 acres land was issued on August 25, 2005.
“After issuing notification under Section 6 and before taking a decision to drop the acquisition proceedings, about 70 acres of land was released by the state government. About 14 acres was released by the government on recommendations of Minister’s Committee in favour of M/s Subros Limited for Group Housing (11 acres) and M/s Ashok Kumar Lakhotia (3 acres) for setting up of three star hotel,’’ the Minister said.
He said 45 acres of land was released as this land fell within the areas for which change of land use (CLU) had been granted. Another 10 acres of land released as the CLU had been granted and one acre land was released for setting up of petrol pump.