New Delhi: The Supreme Court today
refused to stay the Jabalpur High Court order restraining the
Madhya Pradesh government from further acquisition of land and
carrying out of excavation and construction of canal work for
Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar projects.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan,
however, issued a notice to Medha Patkar on whose petition the
Jabalpur High Court had directed the MP government to stop
further acquisition of land and carrying out of construction
of canal and posted the matter for further hearing on January
The MP government and the Narmada Valley Development
Authority (NVDA) contended before the Bench, also comprising
Justices B Sudershan Reddy and P Sathasivam, that no approval
with regard to Command Area Development (CAD) Plan was
required from the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF).
Senior counsel Harsh Salve and Mukul Rohtagi,
appearing for the MP government and NVDA, argued that the
canal project affected displaced persons are not entitled to
benefit of resettlement and rehabilitation benefits.
The Jabalpur High Court had on November 11 passed the
order stopping government from acquiring further land and
carrying out construction of canal until the CAD plans were
scrutinised by a committee of experts and clearance was given
in respect of each particular work.
Patkar had moved the High Court challenging the
acquisition saying the government was not complying with Land
Acquisition Act and also that the benefit under the
rehabilitation policy for the Narmada Valley project was not
extended to the canal project affected persons.