The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday deferred its ruling on the land acquisition case of Bisrakh village in Greater Noida and similar cases.
A three-judge bench of the court will now hear the petitioners on August 17, even as the farmers were given an option to reach an out-of-court settlement by August 12.
“The court wants the government and the authority to settle the matter with farmers and if there are other issues, come to larger bench on August 17. It has clearly given a clear cut instruction to talk to farmers. It has paved the way for a settlement,” said Anil Sharma, chairman, Amrapali Group.
The court was expected to deliver a verdict on the acquisition of 2,500 acres in seven villages in Noida Extension. It was significant as it covered 70 per cent of projects in Noida Extension, where 100,000 people booked apartments.
All petitions challenging land acquisition in Greater Noida areas were referred to the Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court on Tuesday. The division bench also requested that a larger bench be constituted to decide the matter. The court fixed August 17 as the next date of hearing.
The HC has set a deadline of August 12 for farmers to accept compensation for land in these cases, but has also said that no farmer should be forced to do so. It has asked the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority to file a detailed report on the farmers who have taken compensation and those who have not.
A division bench of judges Amitava Lala and Ashok Srivastava passed the order while hearing petitions of hundreds of farmers from nearly a dozen villages of Gautam Buddh Nagar, who had challenged acquisition of 3,000 hectares by the state government. The court also refrained from passing any order on the applications of investors, who had moved court.
Several farmers said they will honour the judgment and engage the authority in talks, but not all farmers are willing to oblige.
“Even as we were waiting for the court order, the state sent police reinforcements to our village. I don’t think the authority is keen to find a solution,” said Manveer Bhatti, a farmer leader from Bisrakh in a televised debate.
Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority CEO Rama Raman said when the farmers and authority sit across the table, “we will be able to address their grievances and find a solution”. “We have been talking to the farmers. They have certain reservations about abadi land and developed land, which can be sorted out,” he said.
A division bench of justices Amitava Lala and Ashok Srivastava passed the order while hearing petitions of hundreds of farmers from nearly a dozen villages of Gautam Buddh Nagar, who had challenged acquisition of more than 3,000 hectares by the state government.
The court refrained from passing any order on the applications of investors, who had moved the court under the banner of "Noida Extension Flat Buyers' Welfare Association", as well as builders, all of whom had made a request for being made parties in the case.