Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court on Thursday restrained the Uttar Pradesh government from taking possession of land undertaking any work on more than 20 acres of land acquired seven years ago in Bulandshahar district for "planned industrial development" after invoking the urgency clause.
Passing the order, a division bench comprising justices Ashok Bhusan and Ranvijai Singh directed the state government to file its counter-affidavit within four weeks after which the petitioners would have to file their rejoinder in another two weeks before the matter is taken up for further hearing.
The order came on the writ petition of Surendra Pal Singh and others, all of them residents of Lohukar village, falling under Sikandrabad tehsil of Bulandshahar, where land was acquired for "planned industrial development of Chhola industrial area".
The petitioners had moved the court alleging that the land was acquired by invoking Sections 4 and 6 of the Land Acquisition Act, whereby the owners were denied an opportunity to file their objections on the ground that the government needed the land "urgently".
Moreover, the petitioners questioned the state government`s urgency in acquiring the land and pointed out that till date neither has there been any effort to get physical possession of the land nor has any developmental activity commenced around the area.
The petitioners` counsel, Pankaj Dubey, said, "A total of 65 persons, who owned about 24.5 hectares, have moved the court challenging the aforesaid acquisition whereby more than 100 hectares of land was acquired.
"The order is applicable in case of only those who have moved the court though the relief may be extended to other affected persons after they move the court with similar petitions," he said.