Apex court sends back Ananthagiri Sagar oustees case to Telangana HC

The bench rejected the memo filed by the State Advocate General seeking adjournment of these cases.

Published: 17th March 2021 07:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th March 2021 07:27 AM   |  A+A-

Telangana HC

Telangana HC

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: In a significant development, the Supreme Court on Tuesday remanded the case concerning the payment of compensation to Ananthagiri Sagar Reservoir oustees to the Telangana High Court for hearing again. The said reservoir is part of the mammoth Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS). 

Now, the High Court division bench, headed by the Chief Justice, must adjudicate the matter at the earliest. On June 3, 2020, a High Court division bench, headed by Justice MS Ramachandra Rao, had heard the batch petitions filed by several small farmers of Allipur and Ananthagiri villages in Siddipet and Rajanna-Sircilla districts respectively, whose lands were acquired or submerged under the Ananthagiri Sagar reservoir. 

The bench rejected the memo filed by the State Advocate General seeking adjournment of these cases. It held that the petitioners were entitled not only to compensation in accordance with Section 30 of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, but also to the lump sum amounts for rehabilitation and resettlement as per Section 31-A of the Act. 

The bench backed the farmers’ contentions that they were unwilling to sell their lands voluntarily as per the procedure prescribed in GO 123, and that the State government had paid a compensation of `13 lakh per acre in May, 2017, to others owning similar lands abutting theirs in Lingareddypally village. The petitioners alleged that they were discriminated against, and were paid only `6.5 lakh per acre. 

The bench declared that the consent awards entered into by the petitioners with the State were vitiated by coercion, and held that the actions of the government were violative of Article 14 and 300-A. Further, the bench directed the State to pay costs to the tune of `2,000 to each petitioner. Aggrieved with the orders, the Telangana government had filed the present appeals. While dealing with the appeals by State government, a Supreme Court bench, comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Krishna Murari, stayed the impugned judgment until the subsequent hearing of the case.

SC directs State AG not to seek any adjournment
Senior advocate CS Vaidyanathan, appearing for TS govt, contended that the HC had passed the order without fully hearing the arguments. Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the petitioners, submitted that the State Advocate General did not argue the case in spite of the opportunities given by the HC. After hearing both the sides, the SC bench decided to remand the matter to the State HC for fresh adjudication and directed the AG not to seek any adjournment


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