SC upholds Kerala HC order, Silverline social impact survey to continue

The top court was considering a petition filed by citizens and property owners, the apex court said it cannot interfere in the survey proceedings at present.

Published: 28th March 2022 02:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th March 2022 12:11 AM   |  A+A-

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan meets PM Narendra Modi seeking nod for SilverLine Project. (Photo | Special Arrangement)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the pleas challenging the decision of a division bench of the Kerala High Court that had given a green light for survey proceedings of the Kerala government and Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (K-Rail) for the Silver Line Project.

The top court refused to interfere with the order passed by Chief justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji p. Chaly of the Kerala High court that had set aside a single judge bench order that had stayed the social impact survey proceedings.
The top court was considering a petition filed by citizens and property owners, the apex court said it cannot interfere in the survey proceedings at present.

A bench headed by MR Shah said that the single judge bench ought not to have stalled a prestigious project by an ad interim order. The Supreme Court also noted that the survey was an exercise that would not harm the petitioners.

"Taking into account the various pros and cons, and the facts and figures, we are of the unequivocal and considered opinion that the State Government is vested with adequate powers to conduct the survey, and mark the properties appropriately, for conducting the Social Impact Assessment study, and therefore, the impugned interim order passed by the learned single Judge, interdicting the survey and marking of the properties in question, after issuing appropriate notifications by the State Government under the provisions of Kerala Survey and Boundaries Act, 1961, and the rules framed thereunder, has to be interfered with. Accordingly, we set aside the common interim order passed by the learned single Judge in . in regard to the same." The Kerala High court's division bench order reads.

"We make it clear that the observations and findings rendered by us are for the purpose of arriving at a logical conclusion, in the matter of the interim order passed by the writ court, and the same will not stand in the way of the rival parties taking up all contentions in the writ petitions." It was added.

The issues raised in the writ petitions before the Kerala high court were in connection to installation of survey marks by the govt under Kerala Survey and Boundaries Act, engraving "K-Rail" in the properties belonging to the writ petitioners and others, in order to conduct Social Impact Assessment (SIA) study for the proposed Semi High Speed Railway Line Project (Silver Line Project) between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod districts, within the State of Kerala.

The judgement said that Section 12 of the Land acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Act, 2013 makes it clear that for the purpose of enabling the appropriate Government to determine the extent of land to be acquired, it shall be lawful for any officer, either generally or specifically authorized by such Government in this behalf, and for his servants and workmen, to enter upon and survey, and take levels of any land in such locality, for the purpose specified therein; to do all other acts necessary to ascertain whether, the land is adapted for such purpose, etc.


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