In what is likely to clear the shadow of uncertainty over more than 100 private housing projects in Greater Noida and Noida Extension, the Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that no land acquisition proceedings will be quashed any further.
Granting a virtual go-ahead to builders to carry out construction without worrying about the fate of the land acquired, a bench led by Chief Justice H L Dattu said the conditions set by the Allahabad High Court while upholding the acquisition holds good and there will be no further stipulations. The judgment relates to 65 villages – 42 in Greater Noida and 23 in Noida Extension. Most of these villages run parallel to the Yamuna Expressway.
The High Court, in its verdict in 2011, had ordered enhanced compensation for villages where acquisition proceedings passed the muster, while also quashing the notification for acquisition of land in various other villages in Noida, Greater Noida and Noida Extension in Uttar Pradesh.
It had said that “they (villagers) shall be entitled to payment of additional compensation,” which could be “up to 64.7 per cent of the compensation paid earlier” and that the payment shall be ensured by the Noida and Greater Noida Authority at an early date. Besides, the High Court had added, “All the petitioners shall be entitled to allotment of developed abadi plot to the extent of 10 per cent of their acquired land, subject to maximum of 2,500 square metres.”
Upholding this verdict, the bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri and Arun Mishra, dismissed a clutch of appeals filed by farmers against the validity of the land acquisition proceedings. It noted that the High Court verdict was based on correct logic and it had struck a balance between the interest of the farmers on one hand and the Authority on the others. The court took into account that land acquired by the Noida and Greater Noida Authority were later allotted to private builders.
Noting that many of these farmers had accepted the compensation and that they will also get up to 10 per cent of developed land, the bench said that it would meet the ends of justice if the Authority complied with the High Court order at the earliest.
The High Court judgement was challenged by authorities in both Noida and Greater Noida, with 850 petitions filed. All these petitions were disposed of by the bench on Thursday.