“Ex post facto approval is biggest problem before Supreme Court”

Against the backdrop of the Noida land controversy, Chief Justice of India S.H. Kapadia on Sunday described as the “biggest problem” the situation in which the Supreme Court is called upon to give ex post facto approval to projects after crores were invested.

Speaking at an international seminar here, he said: “The most acute problem over the years the Supreme Court has faced is that the plans, the buildings, the projects come up and suddenly at the end a PIL [petition] comes and we are required to decide ex post facto approval.”

“This is the biggest problem which the Supreme Court is facing. Should crores of investment be just thrown out or should we give ex post facto approval? If so, in what cases?”

His remarks came as buyers of flats in Greater Noida prepare to move the Supreme Court challenging the Allahabad High Court orders that quashed the acquisition of about 750 hectares acquired by the U.P. government from farmers and given to builders for setting up multi-storeyed residential apartments.

The High Court recently cancelled the land allotments in Noida Extension — Shahberi and Patwari villages — on the charge that the State government did not give adequate compensation to farmers.

Some of these projects are nearing completion and the order would lead to demolition of flats and loss of crores of rupees.

The CJI was apparently referring to such cases though he did not name the projects.

Justice Kapadia said local bodies also created problems for the Supreme Court when they first approved a project but backtracked later.

“We have village durbars and some local bodies which give OK, NOC but after sometime, they object to the project coming up. How do we deal with this? Even in public participation, views can change for certain reasons at a later date,” he said. — PTI

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