Hyderabad: The Hyderabad High Court on Monday directed the AP Capital Region Development Authority and the Guntur district collector to maintain status quo with regard acquisition of land in Penumaka village of Tadepalli mandal in Guntur district and not to dispossess the farmers from their land till completion of the process in accordance with law.
Justice A.V. Sesha Sai was dealing with four petitions moved by 251 farmers of the village, challenging the notification issued by the district collector on April 11, 2017 for acquiring their lands for the state’s new capital.
P. Sudhakar Reddy, counsel for the petitioners, submitted that the authorities, without following the procedure contemplated under the Land Acquisition Act, 2013 issued the preliminary notification. He contended that under Section 8 of the Act, 2013, there was no provision for precast and prefabricated Social Impact Assessment.
Mr Reddy told the court that the officials completed the process of conducting gram sabha and field-level survey within a day in violation of the process prescribed under the Act, 2013. He said the authorities did not consider the objections of the farmers whose lands were targeted for acquisition before issuing the notification.
D. Ramesh, special counsel for AP, told the court that it was a preliminary notification and 60 days were required under Section 15 of the Act 2013 to receive objections from the landowners and to examine such objections. He said that final notification will be issued under Section 19 of the Act, 2013 only after completing the process under Section 15 of the Act.
While recording the statement of government counsel, the judge told the collector and the CRDA authorities to follow the procedure under Act, 2013 while considering the objections of the petitioner farmers and in making Social Impact Assessment. He said that till completion of the process, the farmers would be allowed to carry out their agriculture activities.