NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today considered Centre's submission that it has not re-promulgated the Land Acquisition Ordinance and disposed of two PILs challenging the re-promulgation exercise.
A bench headed by Justice J S Khehar took note of the submission of Additional Solicitor General Pinki Anand, appearing for the government, that as of now, the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015 is not in existence.
The court, at the request of senior advocate Indira Jaising who was representing the PIL petitioner, left legal questions pertaining to the government's right to promulgate ordinances, open for future challenges.
On July 16, the bench had issued notice to the Centre on a plea by farmers body Delhi Gramin Samaj against the re-promulgation of the ordinance.
The NDA government had re-promulgated the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015, after it lapsed on June 4. The ordinance was first promulgated in December last year, re- promulgated in April this year and again in May. It was finally allowed to lapse on August 31.
The farmers' organisations had challenged re-promulgation of the ordinance terming it 'unconstitutional' and 'ultra vires' of the Constitution, saying it was a "colourful
exercise of power" by the executive to "usurp" the law-making powers of the legislature.
Besides Delhi Grameen Samaj, Bharatiya Kisan Union, Gram Sewa Samiti and Chogama Vikas Avam were also co-petitioners in the case.
The petition had said the government's action in promulgating successive ordinances "bypassing" the legislative process of Parliament, was not only "arbitrary and violative" of Article 14 but also a "fraud on the Constitution" itself.
It had said the government's action in re-promulgating the land ordinance was "malafide" and thus open to challenge.