Tuesday, July 19, 2011

SC upholds Greater Noida land verdict | Magicbricks.com Property Pulse

SC upholds Greater Noida land verdict | Magicbricks.com Property Pulse


The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld cancellation of huge tract land allotted by Greater Noida Authority in Sahberi village to developers, whose glossy brochures had attracted thousands from middle-class to invest dreaming of a flat at cheap rate.

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A bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly severely criticized Greater Noida Authority for being in collusion with developers to illegally change land use from industrial to residential and imposed a cost of Rs 10 lakh on it. The money will be spent to assist poor litigants in Supreme Court, the bench added.

It dismissed the appeals filed by the developers and the Greater Noida Authority and said there was no error in the Allahabad High Court order cancelling the acquisition of agricultural land in Shahberi village. The HC had said it was a colourable exercise of executive power unsustainable under the Land Acquisition Act.

Those asked to scrap their housing projects are Amrapali, Ajnara, Supertech, Mahagun, Panchsheel, SJP Infracon and Gulshan Builders, who together had been allotted 4 lakh square metres of land by the Greater Noida Authority.

What drowned the case of Greater Noida Authority was the transfer of the land to the builders even before the Uttar Pradesh government approved its proposal to change the land use from industrial to residential.

The government had acquired the land for industrial purpose in Shahberi village for the planned development of Greater Noida. Taking into account the Collector’s report that 185 farmers, who are the original land owners, would be rendered homeless because of the acquisition, the bench repeatedly asked the Greater Noida Authority to have a heart and feel the pain of the farmers.

What irked the bench was the transfer of the land to developers in brazen violation of law and in anticipation of an adverse order from the High Court. “The authorities have to act only in public interest. In the name of public interest, the Greater Noida Authority was serving private interest,” it said.

The builders argued that they had no clue about the transfer of land to them without prior clearance of the change of land use from industrial to residential and sought protection of the interest of thousands of investors who have put in their hard earned money in the housing project.

The SC said, “You were behind the curtain when Greater Noida transferred the land for residential purposes without approval.”

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