New Delhi: The Supreme Court has quashed the appointment of "competent authority" for deciding the claim of compensation to the farmers whose land was to be acquired for laying the pipeline by Reliance Industries for transporting natural gas in Gujarat.
"We direct that the Union of India will appoint another unbiased person in place of V I Gohil for determination of compensation payable to the appellants(farmers)," a bench headed by Justice R V Raveendran said.
The land was to be acquired for laying the pipeline at Jamnagar and Hazira in Gujarat for distribution to various consumers located in the state and in adjoining Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
The court passed the order on petitions filed by the farmers alleging Gohil can be biased in favour of the company as his allowances are being borne by the Reliance Gas pipeline Ltd.
"We allow these appeals, set aside the impugned orders of the High Court, as well as the proceedings for determination of compensation in the case of the appellants only," the bench said.
The farmers had approached the apex court challenging the Gujarat High Court's order which had held that appointment of the Competent Authority cannot be held to be as one vitiated by the bias.
First Published: Friday, October 14, 2011, 20:55