Chennai: The Madras High Court on Monday restrained Tamil Nadu government from passing final orders on proceedings initated to acquire land for industrial purposes in Cheyyar Taluk in Thiruvannamalai district under a state law even after the Centre's new act for land acquisitions has come into force.
A bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M Sathyanarayanan, allowed the Industries Secretary to proceed with the acquisition proceedings but ordered him not to pass final orders and maintain status-quo as to the possession of lands.
Giving the interim direction on a petition, which challenged the relevant state laws under which the proceedings have been initiated, the bench directed the Special Tehsildar (Land Acquisition), SIPCOT Expansion Unit-III, Cheyyar, and other authorities to file the counter affidavit within a maximum period of three weeks.
Petitioner K.Venkataraman of Cheyyar taluk sought a direction to declare the Tamil Nadu Acquisition of Land for Industrial Purpose act 1997, and its Amending Acts 2000 and 2005 and also the rules made thereunder as illegal and unconstitutional as these were "inconsistent" and repugnant to the central Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.
Consequently, he also wanted declaration as null and void the July 14 last acquisition proceedings initiated by the authorities.
The state government vide its June 25, 2013 order, invoking the Tamil Nadu Acquisition of Land for Industrial Purpose Act 1997, sought to acquire lands owned by individuals including the petitioner in Cheyyar taluk.
The petitioner challenged the acquisition proceedings stating that it was repugnant to the central law which was passed in 2013 as the State Act needs to be tested in line with article 254 of Constitution.
He said Article 254 was very clear that the law made by Parliament -- that is the new Central Act 2013 -- will prevail over the state government's act of 1997.
Hence, the acquisition proceedings invoked by the state government by using a void, repugnant act 1997 were illegal and unconstitutional, he contended.