SC : Land Acquisition Act has become an engine of oppression


Land Acquisition Act has become an engine of oppression: court
J. Venkatesan

The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed concern over misuse of the Land Acquisition Act, a colonial law, by all States to acquire land from farmers for development in the guise of a ‘public purpose’.

A Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and A.K. Ganguly said that in the name of globalisation and land development the States had marginalised farmers by paying a pittance as compensation.

The Bench was hearing a batch of appeals against an Allahabad High Court order, which quashed the notifications for land acquisition in Greater Noida. The Bench made it clear that it would not stay the High Court order and would hear the parties concerned.

When senior counsel P.P. Rao, appearing for one of the builders, said residential complexes were being constructed for the needy, Justice Ganguly asked: “Do you think judges live in a fool’s paradise? Look at your own brochure. It is saying about swimming pool, spa, tennis court, badminton court, beauty parlour, Ayurvedic massage, etc. All these are for poor people? Land is given for development which must be inclusive. The State is taking advantage of the law against the poor. A sinister campaign is made by various State governments. The State is doing a totally anti-people thing.”

Justice Ganguly said: “The purpose of the land acquisition was being defeated. The poorest man in society should benefit in the public interest but you [State] are responding in such a way that the poor are driven out.”

Justice Singhvi questioned the Uttar Pradesh government’s rationale in changing land use in Greater Noida from industrial to residential purposes within 11 days. Though the State had the power to change land use, in this case it was done in a hurry, he said.

Justice Ganguly, expressing his anguish, said, “What farmers get are lathis and litigation. Men are arrested and women are raped. In the name of globalisation poor people are marginalised; why are terrorist activities increasing? Why so many people commit suicide? They are pushed to the wall. [The] Land Acquisition Act has become an engine of oppression for the common man. You [State] have virtually demolished every area for the benefit of a particular society for which you work.”

“There is greater danger to society. They take to crime. Once you take away the land, you deprive the next five generation of farmers of their livelihood.”




  1. August 24, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    […] SC : Land Acquisition Act has become an engine of oppression ( Share this:ShareEmailFacebookLinkedInTwitterPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

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