HC boost to PRR project

Court dismisses plea questioning land acquisition

July 31, 2014 12:42 am | Updated 12:42 am IST - Bangalore:

The High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday has dismissed the petitions filed by owners of around 137 acres of land and 75 houses and sites questioning the acquisition of their properties for the Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) project.

The acquisition was part of around 1,900 acres acquired for the project during 2005–2007.

In his order, Justice Anand Byrareddy said that the acquisition process, initiated under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, could not be held to be lapsed in view of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 that came into force with effect from January 1, 2014.

A fresh acquisition process under the new Act could not be undertaken as the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) could not complete the acquisition proceedings in view of the stay granted by the High Court, and also because these lands were part of the notifications, which were upheld by a Division Bench of the High Court in its July 15, 2013 verdict, Justice Byrareddy said. Only around 372 acres of additional land acquired in 2010 to provide utility services along the PRR, were quashed by the Division Bench and that order is under challenge before the Supreme Court, he observed while refusing to interfere with the acquisition of these lands.

‘Relief under new law’

However, Justice Byrareddy made it clear that the determination of compensation for these lands acquired for the PRR should be made as per the new Act. The BDA had not passed the award announcing compensation under the old law before the process of acquisition of these lands was stayed by the High Court.

Though the preliminary and final notifications for acquisition was issued under the provisions of the BDA Act in terms of the Land Acquisition Act, the procedure that would now regulate further process, including determination of compensation and other relief, would be the provisions under the 2013 Act, the High Court held.

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