HC admits petition against land acquisition by Centre for private oil company

The Gujarat High Court,on Tuesday,admitted a writ petition challenging the Union government’s decision to acquire the user right in land for transport of petroleum for the benefit of Bharat-Oman Refinery Limited.

Written by Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published: February 11, 2009 2:15:41 am

The Gujarat High Court,on Tuesday,admitted a writ petition challenging the Union government’s decision to acquire the user right in land for transport of petroleum for the benefit of Bharat-Oman Refinery Limited.

A division bench comprising Justice M S Shah and Justice H N Devani,however,directed the respondents to file an affidavit dealing with the question of just compensation to be paid to the petitioners and explain why sub clause (1) of Section 10 of the Petroleum and Mineral Pipelines (Acquisition of Right of User in Land) Act,1962,should not be declared as ultra vires.

The notices were issued on a petition by Pratapsinh Naranji Jadeja and other agriculturists of Jamnagar district. The next hearing in the case is scheduled on March 23.

The petitioners submitted that by using the provisions of the Act,the Government of India acquired user right in their land for the Bharat-Oman Refinery Limited in 1997,but they came to know about it in 2007 only.

Appearing on behalf of the petitioners,senior advocate Girish Patel contended that as the owner of the land had been paid only one-tenth of the market value of the land,it was not acquisition but really confiscation of the land without just compensation. Moreover,acquisition is not for the purpose of the government but for the benefit of a private company.

Patel contended that either the government should acquire the entire piece of land required for transport of petroleum,or should give full compensation.

Or,Patel contended,the government should ask Bharat-Oman Refinery Limited to pay annual rent for the use of the land instead of one-time payment,as the acquisition was but a lease in favour of the refinery.

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