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High Court issues notice to Rajasthan Govt on plea against land acquisition for mining

PTI Jaipur | Updated on May 27, 2013 Published on May 27, 2013

The order came on a writ petition filed by more than 50 villagers challenging acquisition of land in five villages of Bhilwara for a private company allegedly in the garb of “public purpose.”

The Rajasthan High Court today issued notices to the State Government and a private firm on a plea by villagers in Bhilwara district challenging acquisition of their land by authorities for alleged mining by the company.

A single judge bench of Justice Alok Sharma directed that notices be issued to Principal Secretary, Industries and Chairman of RIICO and Managing Director of Jindal Saw Ltd, and also fixed June 1 for hearing a plea for stay on acquisition proceedings.

“Since the matter is of urgent nature, let the prayer for stay of the acquisition proceedings be heard on June 1,” the court said.

The order came on a writ petition filed by more than 50 villagers challenging acquisition of land in five villages of Bhilwara for a private company allegedly in the garb of “public purpose.” The company was allotted two mining lease in year 2010 and 2011 in around 20 sq.km area along the Jaipur-Bhilwara-Udaipur national highway.

The counsel for petitioner contended that the procedure for allotment of mines is contained in Section 89 of Rajasthan Land Revenue Act according to which the farmer has a right to negotiate and fetch best price in lieu of letting the surface rights of the agricultural land allotted for mining purposes.

A similar provision of law is also provided in Land Acquisition (Companies) Rule, 1963 and the Major Mineral Concession Rules, 1960. “But the company without approaching the farmers applied to the State Government for acquisition of the land forcibly which is illegal,” the counsel alleged.

The petition argued that the provisions of Land Acquisition Act could not have been invoked for acquiring land for ‘mining purposes’ and that too for a private company acting for personal gains to extract mineral for commercial use.

The petitioners also alleged that JSL was allotted mines without any public notice and in a clandestine manner as such the allotment is liable to be quashed.

Published on May 27, 2013
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