J. Venkatesan

Issues notice to Delhi Govt. on widening of U.P. link road

The road connects Games Village to Mayur Vihar, Noida

’Approval of State concerned needed for land acquisition’

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has declined to stay a Delhi High Court judgment directing the Uttar Pradesh Government to provide 21 acres of its land for widening the U.P. link road connecting the upcoming Commonwealth Games Village to Mayur Vihar and Noida.

A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice K. G. Balakrishnan, Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice B. S. Chauhan, however, issued notice to the Centre, the National Capital Territory of Delhi and others seeking their response and posted the matter for further hearing on October 23.

Senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Mayawati Government, questioned the notification issued by the Delhi Government for acquiring the land by dispensing with the hearings on objections to the acquisition. He said a State government could not acquire land belonging to another State without its approval. “There could be a problem if such forced acquisition was allowed,” he added.

Attorney-General G. E. Vahanvati submitted that the land was required for widening the road, which should be made ready by October 2010 and this was a vital link road.

The Chief Justice told Mr. Vahanvati and Mr. Rohatgi, “These are all matters to be discussed at the highest level. Why don’t you sort it out?” Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam intervened and said though a meeting took place in July, the State Government refused to respond.

The UP Government in its special leave petition said the land in question was allotted to the State Irrigation Department for the purpose of controlling floods from the Yamuna to the adjoining areas of Delhi and UP: “This itself being a public purpose, no change in it can be effected unilaterally without the concurrence of both the governments.”

It said neither the State Government was consulted nor any communication made with the State authorities and in this case an arbitrary, unilateral and illegal approach of the respondents was reflected. The SLP sought quashing of the impugned judgment and an interim stay of its operation.