Land Acquisition| Public Interest Is Paramount, Lands Should Not Be Released In Favour Of Influential People- SC
A Supreme Court Bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice CT Ravikumar has dismissed an appeal preferred by the State of Haryana and observed, "The State Government is guardian of the public interest and the public and the public interest was required to be considered the paramount interest rather than releasing the lands at initial stage in favour of the influential persons. The State shall take care in future and must use the lands acquired for the purpose for which the same have been acquired otherwise the object and purpose of acquiring the land will be frustrated."
AAG Alok Sangwan appeared for the State, while Senior Advocate Neeraj Kumar Jain and Counsel Sachin Jain appeared for the Respondents.
In this case, the State of Haryana approached the Supreme Court as they were aggrieved by an order passed by the High Court, through which the State was directed to release certain acquired land(s) from acquisition.
The Court noted that "If the map produced on record is considered except the present small portion/plot in question, all other major chunk of the land, the particulars of which are given as above, have been released either by the State on its own and/or pursuant to the order(s) passed by the High Court which were never challenged by the State and it seems that the State was happy with the decision of the High Court directing to release the lands from acquisition."
Further, the Court observed that "we deprecate the manner in which the State has dealt with the acquisition proceedings and have released the land(s) and/or permitted the acquisition to be quashed in a most arbitrary manner. The lands as such were acquired for the residential and commercial development purposes which could not have been utilized and used for public purposes and development of the area/sector and the State Government by exercising the powers arbitrarily and/or in favoritism has failed to use the lands for public purposes for which the lands were acquired."
In this context, the State's appeal was dismissed by the Court.
Cause Title: State of Haryana & Ors. v. Niranjan Singh & Ors. Etc.