The crucial final hearing on petitions challenging the validity of Special Economic Zone policy was today postponed by the Supreme Court which asked Haryana Government to apprise it of the current status of land allocated to Reliance Industries which has withdrawn from one such project.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam, which yesterday commenced the hearing on a bunch of petitions, noted that Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation has not placed the response to the PIL seeking quashing of 1,383 acres of land allocated for SEZ in Gurgaon.
However, senior advocate Amarender Sharan, appearing for the corporation, informed the bench that Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries has withdrawn from the project and the land for the proposed SEZ has been returned to the state government.
The bench, also comprising justices Ranjan Gogoi and Shiva Kirti Singh, asked Haryana Government to file an affidavit about the current status of land allocated for the SEZ and posted the PILs for hearing on February 13.
Haryana Janhit Congress leader Kuldip Bishnoi and Ajay Singh Chautala of Indian National Lok Dal have raised questions about the acquisition of farmland for SEZs in the state.
According to the proposal, Haryana will have 30 per cent stake in the SEZ. The land allotment was made from about 12,000 acres acquired by the state government in Gurgaon in 2003.
However, later in January 2012, RIL offered to return the land and it was de-notified in June, 2013.
Seven years after the first plea was made, the Supreme Court had yesterday commenced the final hearing on a bunch of petitions challenging the validity of the SEZ policy of the Centre and the laws governing it for acquisition of land in the country.
The apex court will examine the contentions and counter- contentions raised by farmers, politicians and big corporates on the issue of controversial land acquisitions in different parts of the country to set up SEZs.
All the petitions filed across the country since 2006 on the issue of SEZ Act, 2005 have been clubbed.
The allocation of land by state governments, including to Mukesh Ambani-promoted Reliance Industries in Punjab and Haryana and Anil Ambani-run Reliance Energy in Uttar Pradesh, for developing SEZs are under scrutiny.
The petitioners, including farmers group from different states, have submitted that governments should be prohibited from allowing use of agricultural land for purposes other than crop cultivation