Plea to nullify highway land acquisition filed in MHC

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapadi K. Palaniswami. PTI Photo.

A petition seeking to declare as null and void the entire land acquisition proceedings initiated for the proposed greenfield Chennai-Salem highway project was today filed in the Madras High Court.

The plea also sought to declare as unconstitutional and null and void section 105 of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 and the Fourth Schedule to the Act.

Poovulagin Nanbargal, an organisation, contended that the authorities concerned have already started land acquisition proceedings under the National Highways Act, 1956 in respect of the project even before receiving objections from the people likely to be affected by it.

On June 11, the authorities had issued a notification inviting objections within 21 days of its issuance, the petitioner said.

According to the petitioner, the laudable object of the Act is to ensure, in consultation with institutions of local government and gram sabhas, a humane, participative, informed and transparent process for land acquisition for industrialisation, among other things, with least disturbance to the owners of the land and other affected families.

But contrary to the very object of the Act, section 105 provides that the provisions of the Act shall not apply to the land acquisition under the enactments specified in the Fourth Schedule to the Act, which includes the National Highways Act.

The organisation claimed that section 105 perpetuates discriminatory treatment on the owners of the land acquired under the National Highways Act.

The owners of the land acquired under the Act and the owners of the land acquired under the enactments mentioned in the Fourth Schedule are similarly placed, the petitioner said.

But they are treated in a discriminatory manner in the sense that the beneficiary mandatory provisions would be non-existent to those whose lands acquired under enactments mentioned in the Fourth Schedule to the Act, the petitioner added.

The plea is expected to come up on Friday.

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Plea to nullify highway land acquisition filed in MHC

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