State govt ‘fails’ to furnish evidence to prove Nano land allotment ‘legal’

The state government,in its reply running into 166 pages submitted to the court,has claimed that the land allotted to Tata Motors for its Nano car project was legally acquired in 1911.

Written by Syed Khalique Ahmed | Ahmedabad | Published:January 22, 2009 1:26 am

The state government,in its reply running into 166 pages submitted to the court,has claimed that the land allotted to Tata Motors for its Nano car project was legally acquired in 1911. However,it has failed to furnish evidence with regard to notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act of 1894 as also a copy of the award alleged to have been published in 1991 regarding compensation given to original land owners.

The reply was submitted in connection with a petition filed by Jeetsinh Sardarsinh Waghela and others who had moved Gujarat High Court saying that the land in question belonged to their ancestors and the state government’s act of allotting the land to the Tatas without paying compensation to them was “illegal”.

The petitioners,in their submission,had told the court that their ancestors in Khoda village of Sanand taluka of Ahmedabad district had leased out 865.12 acres of land in favour of the Gujarat Cattle Preservation Association Limited under the then British government in 1902,for the protection of a certain breed of cow facing extinction due to a severe drought that the region had witnessed then. The petitioners alleged that the land in question was never acquired by the government nor any compensation paid to their forefathers.

In their submissions,they had also told the court that they had approached the authorities to show a copy of the notification of Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act and also a copy of compensation award.

Meanwhile,the state government,on October 7,2008,entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Tata Motors and allotted the land in question to the latter.

The petitioners,therefore,moved the court on November 14,seeking cancellation of the allotment. In compliance with the notices of the court,the state government submitted a detailed reply on January 19,2009.

But the petitioners said that the state government had neither produced a copy of the Section 4 notification of Land Acquisition Act— an essential condition for acquisition of land—nor a copy of the award alleged to have been published in 1911. “The 166-page affidavit does not have copies of Section 4 notification and compensation award,” one of the petitioners said.

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