The Madras High Court has upheld the government’s action in invoking an urgency clause in the Land Acquisition Act to acquire 106.65 acres for the establishment of a 765/400kv sub-station in Dharmapuri district.
Though the urgency clause is not to be invoked easily, the government could do so taking into consideration the larger interest of the public, Justice V Dhanapalan has said. The judge was dismissing a writ petition from M Madhan Mohan, seeking to quash a notification dated August 30, 2011 of the Member-Secretary, Energy Department, for the acquisition of 30.12 acre of his land in Somanahalli and Pangunatham villages.
Mohan contended that the urgency clause under Section 17(2) of the Land Acquisition Act could not be invoked without conducting an inquiry under Section 5A of the Act.
Dismissing the petition, the judge observed that even though the urgency clause could not be invoked easily, taking into consideration the fact that the government and the public at large would be benefited by the project, it could be done. The State was facing an acute power crisis and the present scenario was alarming, he added. The petitioner was in possession of other vast areas of land and was also into real estate business.
Property belonging to other villagers had also been acquired. The acquisition officer had deposited `1.63 crore as compensation for crop loss. Taking into consideration that the project had to be end by March 2012, the judge said he was upholding the acquisition.