Allahabad High Court: In a public interest litigation concerning the lack of action from the Kanpur Development Authority over land held for establishing “New Kanpur City”, the division bench of Pritinker Diwaker, C.J. and Ashutosh Srivastava, J. has said that the parties shall maintain status quo as it exists today. However, it shall be open for the Kanpur Development Authority to proceed with the negotiations with the tenure holders.
Earlier, the Supreme Court upheld the validity of the notifications issued under Section 4 of Land Acquisitions Act, 1984. However, it invalidated certain aspects of the notifications under Section 6 directing the need for a fresh evaluation under Section 5A. During the ongoing proceedings, multiple requests were made to the Kanpur Development Authority to allocate funds for compensating landowners.
As a result, new declarations under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act were issued, changing the designation of project from “New Kanpur City” to “Residential Colony of Kanpur Development Authority”. These declarations faced legal challenges in the High Court, leading to the annulment of notifications associated with filed petitions. Subsequently, fresh notifications were issued.
The petitioner submitted that the Kanpur Development Authority in gross derogation of Article 300A of the Constitution of India is continuing to have claim over land which was the subject matter of acquisition for the purposes of setting up “New Kanpur City”, which acquisition was quashed by this Court via an order dated 26-9-2006.
The petitioner submitted that there was a status quo order operating during the proceedings pending before the High Court and the Supreme Court. He further submitted that a total of 464.6965 hectare of land contained in 7 villages was sought to be acquired for the scheme of ‘New Kanpur City’ subsequently changed to ‘Residential Colony of Kanpur Development Authority’ and possession was illegally taken in respect of an area of 111.8468 hectare of land.
Further, he submitted that the remaining land is in possession of the private persons and is not in possession of the Kanpur Development Authority and such private persons have raised constructions and are living peacefully. He also submitted that the State Government has rejected the proposal of the Kanpur Development Authority for proceedings with the scheme for creation of New Kanpur City or for setting up residential colony for Kanpur Development Authority.
After taking note of the fact that the Development Authority is only in possession of part of the land and the scheme for proposed ‘New Kanpur City’ as of now is not viable, the Court said that the parties shall maintain status quo as it exists today. However, it shall be open for the Kanpur Development Authority to proceed with the negotiations with the tenure holders.
The matter will next be taken up on 16-10-2023.
[Prantesh Narayan Bajpeyi v State of UP, 2023 SCC OnLine All 724, Order dated 21-08-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Counsel for Petitioner:- Senior Advocate Abhinav Gaur
Counsel for Respondent:- Chief Standing Counsel Anand Prakash Paul