New Delhi: In a fresh jolt to Mayawati
government in Uttar Pradesh, the Supreme Court on Wednesday quashed
the state`s move to acquire private land by invoking the
"emergency clause" in Jyotibha Phule Nagar for construction of
the district jail.
A bench of justices GS Singhvi and HL Dattu said the
state had seriously erred in acquiring the land by denying the
land owners their valuable right to raise objections and being
heard to express their grievances.
The apex court had recently quashed the state
government`s acquisition of vast tracts of land in Noida, a
decision which had hit hard major real estate developers and
thousands of house owners who had invested in these projects.
In the present case, the apex court said the emergency
clause under Section 17 of the Land Acquisition Act was
invoked by the government in a lackadaisical manner even
though the state had sufficient time to go through the normal
procedure of inviting objections and addressing the grievances
of the land losers.
Section 17 grants the government unbridled power to
acquire any private land for a public purpose without inviting
objections from the aggrieved land owners.
"The series of events shows lethargy and lackadaisical
attitude of the state government. In the light of the above
circumstances, the respondents are not justified in invoking
the urgency provisions under Section 17 of the Act, thereby
depriving the appellants of their valuable right to raise
objections and opportunity of hearing before the authorities
in order to persuade them that their property may not be
acquired," Justice Dattu said writing the judgement.