The Kerala High Court on Monday closed all the petitions challenging the government orders on land acquisition for the SilverLine project as well as for the conduct of a social impact assessment survey in view of the submission by the Centre that the detailed project report (DPR) of the project had not been approved by it.
Justice Devan Ramachandran, while passing the order, also pointed out that the consideration of the validity of the government orders had now become unnecessary as the order for the SIA study had lapsed and the land acquisition orders were literally ‘stillborn,’ awaiting final approval from the Centre. When the petitions came up for hearing, S. Manu, Deputy Solicitor General, submitted that the Union government had not approved the DPR. Therefore, it could not be said that there was a project as such.
‘No nod for SIA’
Even after the DPR was approved, it would have to be vetted by various authorities at the Centre. Until the final approval was granted by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs of the Centre, the project could not even be said to be on the anvil and could at best be only a proposal. He also submitted that the Centre had not given permission for conducting SIA and any action taken in this regard would be at the State government’s risk and responsibility.
The court also noted that the stand of that the State government was that unless the proposal got the concurrence of the Centre, the project could not be fructified. The petitions were closed with the full liberty to seek rehearing in the cases when further action was taken by the State government either for the SIA or for land acquisition.