UP objects to Delhi govt acquiring land

UP asks Jamia to approach it for land

 The Uttar Pradesh government has urged the Supreme Court to recall its April 15 order allowing the Delhi government to go ahead with the process of acquiring 100 ‘bighas’ (20 acres) of land for Jamia Millia Islamia University.

The land in question is along the UP border near the south east region of the capital.UP sought the maintenance of status quo on the Delhi government’s September 2011 bid to acquire around 215 bighas of land near the village Okhla, until a decision on the original suit is made. It, however, said: “If the Jamia Millia Islamia University requires land for the purpose of its expansion, it can request the government of UP and the same can be considered.”

Claiming that the land came under the ownership of UP, it contended that the notification issued by the government of Delhi was illegal and without jurisdiction or authority.

“Any further proceedings under the Land Acquisition Act for the remaining land will be a futile exercise, as the same is claimed by the plaintiff state as owned and under possession and there is no other owner/interested person for it,” an interlocutory application by the UP government said.

It said that the disputed land was first acquired around 1882-1887 by the then Lt Governor of Punjab for the purpose of construction of ‘bunds’ (embankments), adding that it was then given to Agra canal estate, which was part of Uttar Pradesh, for maintenance and control of flooding in the river Yamuna.

The UP government claimed that the ‘khatonies’ (document of title/ownership) mentioned the UP’s irrigation department as the land’s owner.

It also said that the UP government had in the past provided land to the Delhi government, such as the 31.54 acres of land near Akshardham temple that it gave for the purpose of building construction during the Commonwealth Games in 2010, besides 12.12 hectare along the Yamuna bank for the Delhi Metro Rail project.

The UP government also claimed that it handed another portion of land for the purpose of building a flyover near Geeta Colony. In November 2011, the apex court ordered a status quo in the matter, but modified its interim order on April 15 and lifted the stay.

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