The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday directed the Noida Authority to produce the relevant notification on the basis of which Noida was constituted.
The court passed the order while hearing a petition in which it was argued that, legally, the authority should not be permitted to function in Gautam Buddh Nagar district.
A division bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Naheed Ara Moonis, said: “List in the next cause list so as to enable the respondents to obtain instructions and produce the relevant notification under which the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (Noida) was constituted.” The matter is likely to be taken up for further hearing on May 21.
The petitioner Jasmal Singh, a resident of Delhi, and five others owned land in Begumpur village of Noida totalling over 15 hectares. Their land was initially reserved for a special economic zone (SEZ). However, a notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act was issued in 2007 by the Noida Authority in the name of ‘planned industrial development’.
Later, when the notification under Section 6 of the Act was issued, to begin the actual acquisition process, the petitioners came to know that it was being done for constructing residential dwelling units by private developers on land given to them by Noida.
The petitioners then demanded that the notification be quashed on the ground that the Authority was changing its land use without following due procedure. In the same petition, it was argued that the Noida did not have legal wherewithal to function as an Authority.
Shiv Kant Mishra, counsel for the petitioners, said: “Our argument is that Noida was constituted under the Uttar Pradesh Industrial Development Area Act, 1976. Under its provisions, Section 2 (D) dealt with the area to be included within a particular Authority. It was to be read with Section 3 of the said Act, which says that a development Authority will be given a proper name. Together, these provisions would establish the name of the Authority and the number of villages under its purview.”
Mishra also said: “The last notification, issued by the Governor regarding the number of villages that were to be included within the jurisdiction of Noida was on July 11, 1989. This notification superseded all previous notifications and included 53 villages under Noida.”
“But, the notification only mentioned that the Governor was exercising his power under Section 2 (D) of the UPIDA Act, 1976, assigning 53 villages to the said Authority.
However, the Governor did not exercise Section 3. As a result, the relevant notification does not provide a legal validity for any Authority by the name of Noida,” Mishra said.