HC notice to Gujarat, Centre on Dholera SIR issue
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Thursday issued notices to the state and Central governments over a PIL challenging a notification which enacted the Special Investment Region in Dholera town of Ahmedabad.
The High Court division bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala directed the state, Central authorities and also the Dholera SIR authority to file reply within two weeks.
The High Court acted upon a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by state-based farmers` body `Gujarat Khedut Samaj` and residents of 22 villages of Dholera who have challenged the state government`s notification of 2009.
"The Government of Gujarat had enacted the Special Investment Region (SIR) Act in 2009. As per section 17 of the Act, the government can apply the `Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development Act` under which it has the right to take away 50 per cent of the farmers` land without any compensation," the PIL said.
The powers and jurisdiction of the panchayats have been restricted to village boundary only, the PIL further said.
"The provisions of the SIR Act are contrary to the provisions of the Constitution pertaining to panchayats, and is therefore unconstitutional," the petitioner alleged.
The PIL, while demanding interim relief, has sought stay over industrial and construction activities in Dholera SIR.
As per the petitioner, Dholera SIR was conceptualised in the `2007 Vibrant Gujarat Summit` which was held under the regime of the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
However, the final plan was made out in 2011, the petitioner said.
The Dholera SIR will also be a part of Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), hence the Central government is also made respondent in the case, a farmers` rights activist involved with the petition said.
The High Court has posted further hearing in the matter on August 7.
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