Supreme Court Stays Gujarat HC Order to Reclaim Adani Grazing Land Case

The Supreme Court on Wednesday suspended a Gujarat High Court directive ordering the state government to reclaim 108 hectares of grazing land allocated to the Adani group near Mundra port in 2005. The Adani group contended before the apex court that they were not given a chance to present their case before the order was issued. This decision follows a 13-year legal battle by villagers, which led the Gujarat government to decide on July 5 to return the pasture land previously handed over to Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd in Kutch district.

A bench of Justices B.R. Gavai and K.V. Viswanathan of the Supreme Court passed the order after senior advocate and former attorney-general Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Adanis, complained that the high court division bench had not heard the company’s counsel while passing the verdict.

Justice Gavai, heading the bench, recorded in the official order that according to the submission of Rohatgi, the Adanis’ counsel had not been heard. The bench said the order was being passed in the “interest of justice”.

“Issue notice and there shall be stay of the impugned order,” the apex court said.

Besides the state of Gujarat, notices had been issued to the PIL petitioner representing the local villagers.

On July 5, the high court had recorded an undertaking from the Gujarat government that it had decided to reclaim the 108 hectares of gauchar (grazing) land.

“We require the concerned authority/ officers to complete the process of resumption in accordance with law,” the division bench had said while taking on record the affidavit filed by the government assuring the court that the land would be returned to the villagers.

The high court had passed the directions while dealing with a PIL filed by residents of Navinal village in Kutch challenging the allotment of 231 acres of gauchar land to the Adanis on the ground that it had left them with a meagre 45 acres of grazing land for their cattle.

In 2014, the high court had disposed of the PIL after the state assured it that it would allot 387 hectares of government land for grazing at an alternative site. However, when the assurance was not complied with, the villagers filed a contempt petition. They had said the cattle were their only source of livelihood.

The villagers argued that they were provided only 17 hectares of alternative grazing land, located 7 kilometers from Navinal. During the contempt proceedings, the state assured the high court on July 5 through an affidavit that it would reclaim the entire land allocated to the Adani group and restore it to the villagers.

Also Read: Fake Hospital Uncovered in Ahmedabad Following Series of Fraudulent Institutions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *