Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court Friday ordered cancellation of land
acquisition in three villages of Noida and Greater Noida, besides
declaring a 64 percent hike in the compensation for acquired land.
A special three-judge bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, S.U.
Khan and V.K. Shukla gave the verdict on a joint writ petition
moved by 491 farmers from more than a dozen villages in Gautam
Budh Nagar district, forming Noida and Greater Noida.
More than 3,000 hectares of land was acquired by the Uttar Pradesh
government for large scale urbanization in these areas.
The judgment will, however, jeopardise the dreams of thousands of
applicants who were hoping to own a home under different housing
schemes undertaken in the three villages - Deola, Chak-Shahberi
(Greater Noida) and Asadullahpur (Noida) - where the court has
quashed the acquisition.
Farmers of these three villages have been entitled to restoration
of their acquired land, subject to return of all compensation they
have received so far.
The court said: "The Greater Noida Authority and its allottees are
directed not to carry on development and not to implement the
Master Plan 2021 till the observations and directions of the
National Capital Regional Planning Board are incorporated in
Master Plan 2021 to the satisfaction of the National Capital
Regional Planning Board. "
The court further called for immediate suspension of all
construction and urbanization activity in 40 villages of Greater
Noida until a clearance was obtained from an officer of the rank
of principal secretary that the work was in accordance with the
norms laid down by the National Capital Region (NCR) Planning
Meanwhile, 19 other petitions moved on behalf of farmers of two
other villages were rejected as these were "time-barred".
In addition to monetary compensation, the Noida and Greater Noida
authorities have also been directed to give developed land to
every farmer, whose land was acquired.
"All the petitioners shall be entitled for allotment of developed
'Abadi' plot to the extent of 10 percent of their acquired land
subject to a maximum of 2,500 sq metres.
"We, however, leave it open to the Authority in cases where
allotment of Abadi plot to the extent of six percent or eight
percent have already been made either to make allotment of the
balance of the area or may compensate the land owners by payment
of the amount equivalent to balance area as per average rate of
allotment made of developed residential plots," the court ruled.
Litigation in Noida and Greater Noida has been on the rise ever
since the Mayawati government took up large scale urbanization in
and around the entire area.
What sparked off major trouble was violent protests which put the
state government in a tight spot, particularly after Congress
leader Rahul Gandhi plunged in to take up the cause of farmers.
What came as a morale booster for them was the order of the high
court May 12, striking down the acquisition of 156 hectares of
land in Shahberi village.
The court cancelled the acquisition on the plea that land was
acquired in the village in the name of "planned industrial
development of Greater Noida", but later handed over to private
developers for building housing projects."
The state government's appeal against the high court was later
struck down by the Supreme Court, which further encouraged more
farmers to challenge the acquisition of land in larger areas
As the issue acquired larger magnitude, with the fate of hundreds
of farmers, real estate companies and thousands of flat buyers at
stake, the court decided to constitute a special three-judge bench
to take up the matter on which the verdict was pronounced Friday.
Reacting to the judgment, farmers' counsel Lalji Thakur told
mediapersons: "We welcome the court's decision to increase the
compensation, but we still feel that acquisition in several
villages needs to be scrapped."
"A final decision on making an appeal to the Supreme Court would
be taken only after I have had a detailed discussion with my
farmer clients," he said.