In a setback for the state government, Gujarat high court on Thursday stayed it from acquiring agricultural land without paying compensation, for its Special Investment Region (SIR) in Dhorela block, 60 km from Ahmedabad.
The HC bench ordered status quo until further hearing, which is now slated for January 2016.
The government has planned to acquire land from 22 villages in Dholera block for the industrial and investment zone.It has issued notices to over 200 farmers in the area asking them to vacate 50% of their agricultural land as part of the Town Planning scheme.
The farmers’ group -Gujarat Khedut Samaj -with residents of 22 villages of Dholera filed a PIL last year and questioned the notification issued under the SIR Act as unconstitutional. Their lawyer KG Vakharia said that as the land was acquired for industrial development, the government cannot take it away for free and due compensation must be given to the land owners.
On Thursday , the bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel questioned the application of Town Planning Scheme on agricultural land because this provision cannot be made applicable in an area that is not a declared municipal area.