After Noida Extension its Dwarka Tension

If farmers in Uttar Pradesh are unhappy with the land acquisitions, the situation in Delhi is no better. At present, the Delhi High Court has 2,500 pending cases pertaining to enhancement of compensation for acquired land.

Calling it a “ mess, ”Justice Pradeep Nadrajog — who is to hear 1,700 of the total pending cases — has put the land acquisition matters up for regular hearing from July 22.

“There is already a lot of mess in the land acquisition cases which needs to be sorted to allow the water to flow smoothly,” Nandrajog said, as he dealt with a few appeals.

The appeals pending before Nandrajog relate to land acquisition by the Delhi government in 25 areas, including Rohini, Tughlaqabad, Jasola Vihar, Village Kilokari, Kotla Mahigram, Lado Sarai, Madanpur Khadar, Mehrauli and Molarband.

The other 800 appeals, most of which are related to compensation amounts for farmers whose lands were acquired to build Dwarka sub- city, are being heard by Justice Hima Kohli.

In May this year, Delhi High Court Chief Justice Dipak Misra decided to speed up hearings into long- pending matters of land acquisition compensation, and hence the two justices were appointed to specifically deal with the matters.

After protests against land acquisition in Bhatta- Parsaul villages in Greater Noida turned violent, efforts are being made to use legislative changes to settle the large number of pending cases.

Ajit Singh, Rashtriya Lok Dal ( RLD) chief and the man behind the land acquisition Bill, wants the new legislation to be implemented with retrospective effect.

“For decades, matters pertaining to land acquisition have been pending before the collectors and various courts.

We have now demanded that all such matters must be brought under the purview of the new Bill, which we hope to see soon,” Singh said.

R. K. Chadha, national convener of the legal cell of the RLD and a senior advocate, explained that every time a new law is formed or amended, the legislature has to specify whether the new law will also be applicable to the pending cases.

Singh is adamant on getting the land acquisition Bill passed in the coming monsoon session of Parliament. With the new law minister Salman Khurshid also counting land acquisition matters as one of his priorities, Singhs hopes are flying high.

“I am quite hopeful that we will create enough pressure on the government to get this Bill passed,” he added.