High Court stays acquisition for Pharma City

High Court stays acquisition for Pharma City
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Highlights

Even as the Telangana government is heaving a sigh of relief over the partial relief it got over GO MS 123, the High Court at Hyderabad on Wednesday gave it a shock by staying all proceedings under another GO MS 45 for acquiring land in Meerkhanpet village under Kandukur mandal in Ranga Reddy district for Pharma City project. 

Hyderabad: Even as the Telangana government is heaving a sigh of relief over the partial relief it got over GO MS 123, the High Court at Hyderabad on Wednesday gave it a shock by staying all proceedings under another GO MS 45 for acquiring land in Meerkhanpet village under Kandukur mandal in Ranga Reddy district for Pharma City project.

The court granted stay for a period of eight weeks. It ordered the government to file a counter affidavit in two weeks. Maddi Bharatamma and 16 other persons approached the High Court, complaining that the Revenue authorities were resorting to illegal methods to snatch their assigned lands in Meerhanpet.

They submitted to the court that the Kandukur mandal Tahsildar had issued “A 1 notice” on January 6 this year, announcing that the government intended to alienate 493 acres in Survey No. 112 in Meerkhanpet village to the Telangana State Industrial and Infrastructure Corporation. The land was meant for building “Green Pharma City.”

They further told the court that the government also took recourse to GO MS No. 45 issued by the Industries and Commerce Department on July 22 to enable it to acquire lands through “private negotiations” for specified projects which included the Green Pharma City at Muccharla in Ranga Reddy district and NIMZ project in Medak.

Justice M S Ramachandra Rao, who heard the petitions, while granting interim stay, observed that in view of the larger bench judgment of this court in Mekala Pandu case, prima facie the proposal to deprive persons like the petitioners of land assigned to them without paying market value as compensation under the guise of private negotiations cannot be sustained.

Counsel for petitioner N S Arjun for the petitioners argued that the GO MS No. 45 was unconstitutional because it blatantly bypassed the 2013 Land Acquisition Act to speedily acquire land through private negotiations and sought quashing of the GO.

He also informed the court that the impugned A1 Notice issued by Tahsildar was also illegal because it did not trace its authority to any law or rules. He also brought to the notice of the court the attempt made by Revenue authorities to manipulate the extent land assigned to them.

Justice Ramachandra Rao asked the Government Pleader as to why this sort of “private negotiations” was being resorted to. The Government Pleader informed the court that there was no pressure whatsoever on the assignees or landowners and the government was taking lands only from willing persons.

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