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K-Rail Project: Kerala High Court Seeks State Response On Orders Issued For Land Acquisition Before Completion Of Survey

Hannah M Varghese
7 Jan 2022 6:13 AM GMT
K-Rail Project: Kerala High Court Seeks State Response On Orders Issued For Land Acquisition Before Completion Of Survey
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The Kerala High Court on Thursday sought an explanation from the State government for issuing orders for the acquisition of 1,221 hectares of land in various villages for the SilverLine project even when a survey as per the Survey and Boundaries Act was only underway.Justice Devan Ramachandran in his order observed: "One aspect of some concern, which this Court notice herein, is...

The Kerala High Court on Thursday sought an explanation from the State government for issuing orders for the acquisition of 1,221 hectares of land in various villages for the SilverLine project even when a survey as per the Survey and Boundaries Act was only underway.

Justice Devan Ramachandran in his order observed: 

"One aspect of some concern, which this Court notice herein, is that the extents which require to be acquired has already been mentioned, along with the details of the Block Number, Survey Number and Villages. Obviously, therefore, the learned Senior Government Pleader must explain to this Court how this has been done even when the survey as per the Survey and Boundaries Act is stated to be only underway."

The Court was adjudicating upon a petition filed by four individuals seeking a directive to the State to not proceed with any survey for demarcating boundaries and fixation of alignments for any railway project in their properties.

The primary grievance of the petitioners was that officials under the Special Tahsildar for land acquisition had entered their properties and made steps to demarcate the boundaries arbitrarily and illegally.

They contended that as per Section 11 of the Railways Act, only the Central government and its instrumentalities were qualified to issue the notification for land acquisition, survey, measurement and valuation for any railway project. However, the State had issued them by disregarding the provisions of law.

On this ground, the petitioners sought the government orders to be quashed along with all further proceedings for the survey and land acquisition.

They also prayed for a directive to the State government and the Kerala Rail Development Corporation to not proceed with any survey until appropriate notifications were issued as contemplated in the Railways Act.

When the petition came up for hearing, Senior Government Pleader T. B. Hood and  Central Government Counsel Dinesh Rao affirmed that the survey as per the gazette notification was still going on. 

Recording the same, the Court directed the State to explain why government orders were issued for land acquisition before the survey was complete. 

Noting that a similar matter had reached the Bench before, the Court tagged the case with the former petition and listed it to be heard on 12th January. 

Case Title: Binu Sebastion v. Union of India

Click Here To Read/Download The Interim Order

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