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17 Jan 2021, 20:54 HRS IST
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  • HC bars T'gana govt from acquiring land under GO 123

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17:12 HRS IST

Hyderabad, Jan 5 (PTI) The Hyderabad High Court today upheld an order of a single judge that quashed the GO 123 by the Telangana government which was used in place of Land Acquisition Act, 2013 to buy large chunks of land for various projects.

A division bench of the court comprising acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice U Durga Prasad Rao rejected the contention of Telangana government that under the government order (GO 123, the land oustees were given more compensation than the compensation payable under the 2013 Act.

The bench, however, observed that it does not want to touch the purchase of land already made by the Telangana Government under GO as such a course of action would have very serious repercussions.

While upholding the single judge order, the bench directed that the state has no power to purchase or acquire land in large scale for construction of irrigation projects under GO 123.

In August last year, the High Court had quashed the GO 123, issued on July 30, 2015, which paves way for quick land acquisition through purchase of lands from the land owners for public purpose.

The order came on a writ petition filed by A Tukkamma and other agricultural labourers of Bardipur, Jarasnagham Mandal, Medak district.

The petitioners were affected by the land acquisition for the proposed National Investment and Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ).

Subsequently, the Telangana Government challenged the single judge judgment after which the bench stayed the operation of judgment of the single judge.

The bench clarifying the objectives of 2013 Act said that the central law would take care of not only land oustees, but also several other persons, such as agricultural labour and others dependents upon the land, whereas GO 123 is aimed at providing compensation to the land oustees in the name of voluntary sales by the affected parties.

The bench further observed that the state has no power to acquire the land for irrigation projects, affecting the rights of the dependants on the land in Schedules II and III of the Central Act.

The bench said that Article 298 of the Constitution of India enabled the Government to indulge in purchase of property, but such wide power cannot be made use of to scuttle the objectives of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013.

In a marathon judgement, the division bench made several observations with regard to the difficulties faced by the land oustees and also the allegation of forcible acquisition under GO 123.

The bench rejected the contention of the respondents to set aside the sale deeds already executed on the ground they were forcible acquisitions.

The Advocate General requested the Bench not to touch the sales already made under GO 123.

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