JAGJIVANBHAI MOTIRAI Vs. STATE OF GUJARAT
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
STATE OF GUJARAT
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(1.)Both these petitions challenge the same land acquisition of two different survey members. The notification under Sec. 4 of the Land Acquisition Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act) was published on 3u-1-1986 on the ground that the lands mentioned therein were likely to be needed for public purpose namely for increasing the refining capacity of Gujarat Refinery and its allied services. Large number of survey numbers totalling to about 126 Acres of land were notified including Survey Nos. 72/1 and 73/1 (Acres 2-27 gunthas) belonging to these two petitioners admeasuring 66 Ares 77 sq. mts. and 37 Ares 43 sq. mts. respectively. After conducting enquiry under Sec. 5A of the Act and after considering report under Sec. 5A the Government of Gujarat issued Sec. 6 notification on 5-6-1986 notifying the entire land of 126 Acres notified under Sec. 4 as likely to be needed for the public purpose. In the same notification it was also stated that the requisition of the said lands is urgently necessary. It was further directed under Sec. 17(1) of the Act that the Special Laud Acquisition Officer shall on the expiration of fifteen days from the publication of the notice relating to the said lands under Sec. (11) take possession of all the lands specified in the notification. Pursuant thereto possession of the land was taken on 14-11-1986 and award was published on 15 The award is a consent award in respect of all the other land owners of the acquired land excepting the present two petitioners whose land admeasures 2 Acres 27 Gunthas.
(2.)The acquisition is sought to be challenged on the ground that the procedure under Sec. 5A is not followed and even though the petitioners had not filed any objections under Sec. 5A of the Act it was the duty of the Special Land Acquisition Officer to consider all the relevant questions and environmental aspects. It is submitted that there is non-application of mind to the relevant questions i.e. environmental aspects excessivements of the acquisition and acquisition of fertile agricultural lands. It is also pointed out that the land of Survey No. 66 was also notified under Sec. 4 of the Act as likely to be needed for the public purpose. However a part of the said land was not acquired under Sec. 6 notification and was released from acquisition whereas the land of the petitioners is acquired and therefore there is violation of Art. 14 of the Constitution of India. It is also submitted that there is no satisfaction of the Government regarding the urgency and simultaneous issuance of Secs. 4 and 6 notification is illegal.
(3.)As far as the petitioners are concerned they have not filed any objections under Sec. 5A of the Act and notification under Sec. 6 came to be issued after considering the report under Sec. 5A on 30-6-1986. There is no infirmity in the same. The learned Counsel for the petitioners has submitted that even though the objections are not filed by the petitioners the Land Acquisition Officer is under a duty to consider all the relevant aspects and come to his own conclusion about the genuineness of the public purpose suitability of land for such purpose and whether it is excessive or not and other relevant aspects. All these aspects have been considered. In any case the petitioners have not filed any objections and they cannot make any grievance that objections are not considered and they have not been given any opportunity of hearing. It has been pointed out in the affidavit reply filed on behalf of the Indian Oil Corporation-respondent No. 3 that the capacity of Gujarat Refinery is about 8 7 Million Tons per annum of crude oil and this Refinery is now setting up a new project called Gujarat Hydro Cracker Project which is taken up as a part of extension of Gujarat Refinery which is the largest Refinery in the country productionwise the Hydro Cracker Project is a project of great national importance meant to meet the demands of valuable petroleum products and this project is first of its kind in the country and it is monitored at the highest level in the Government. It is also stated that the Land Acquisition Officer after following due procedure and after inviting objections under Sec. 5A of the Act came to the conclusion that the lands mentioned in Sec. 4 notification were in fact needed for the public purpose and the Government being satisfied about the same has issued Sec. 6 notification
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