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HC orders status quo on land acquisition for Uppur thermal plant

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Acquisition of land for the Uppur Thermal plant could be delayed with the Madras High Court ordering a status quo, pending a petition challenging acquisition of land under Tamil Nadu Land Acquisition for Industrial Purposes Act, 1997.

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A division bench of the Court’s Madurai bench, comprising Justice V.Ramasubramanian and Justice N.Kirubakaran, ordered status quo on land acquisition on a petition filed by one of the land owners R.Kathiresan of Valvamur village in Ramanathapuram district where the plant is to be set up.

The petitioner submitted that the 1997 Act was unconstitutional and arbitrary and sought a direction to government to acquire the land invoking rights to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013.

The petitioner submitted the people in his village are purely dependent on farming and that was the only source of income. The district Collector’s Additional Personal Assistant (land) issued proceedings to show cause as to why the lands mentioned in the village should not be acquired for industrial purpose. The show cause notice also asked him to be present for an inquiry along with necessary documents.

He had already challenged the show cause notice on the ground that the authorities had no power to acquire the lands under the 1997 Act after the present Act came into force from September 29, 2013.

He had also challenged the acquisition proceedings.

But without challenging the 1997 Act, he could not challenge the acquisition proceedings. He alleged that the 1997 Act was bad in law and he was challenging it.

He sought a stay on all further proceedings under the 1997 Act and restrain officials from taking possession of his lands. PTI

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