Land Acquisition Act is a fraud: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Thursday observed that the Land Acquisition Act ought to be scrapped as it is a "fraud" devised by some "sick people".

New Delhi: Frowning at increasing incidents
of government forcibly acquiring land for industrialisation
and residential schemes, the Supreme Court on Thursday observed that
the Land Acquisition Act ought to be scrapped as it is a
"fraud" devised by some "sick people".

In a morale booster to the Narendra Modi government in
Gujarat, the apex court complimented it for its land
acquisition policy since there are "no complaints of any
forcible acquisition" whereas issues of farmers and poor being
uprooted a

re pouring in from all other states.
A bench of justices GS Singhvi and HL Dattu cautioned
that if remedial measures are not initiated then in another
five years muscle men would take over the private land and
utter chaos would prevails as the prices of land are shooting
up everywhere.

"The Act has become a fraud. It seems to have been
devised by people with a sick mind who have scant regard for
the welfare of the common man," Justice Singhvi heading the
bench observed.

The apex court made the scathing observations while
dealing with a bunch of petitions filed by aggrieved farmers
from Uttar Pradesh`s Hapur district on the forcible
acquisition of 82 acres of land by the state for developing a
leather industry.

"We are coming across several cases of land being
acquired in the name of emergency and public purpose. The poor
farmer is being uprooted from his place and deprived of his
only source of livelihood.

"But there is one state from where we do not receive any
such complaints. Look at Ahmedabad which is developing but
there are no complaints from that place. They have the same
officers of the same cadre as in the rest of the country.

"Mr Haren Rawal (ASG) comes from that state and he would
vouchsafe for it," the bench remarked, suggesting that "the
officers from other states perhaps should get training in

Rawal was present during the hearing.

The apex court told senior counsel Pallabh Sisodia
appearing for one of the litigants that it was unfair on the
part of the authorities to frequently invoke the emergency
clause provided under Section 17 of the Act.

"If you are uprooting people of their only sources of
livelihood you (government) should make alternative
arrangements for their livelihood and accommodation. It is
time the Act is scrapped," the bench remarked while reserving
its verdict.


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