Skip to main content

Activists 'wrong', Gujarat HC order on bullet train insisted on 'adequate' compensation

Yagnik with JICA officials
By Our Representative 
Senior High Court advocate Anand Yagnik has taken strong objection to what he calls some “Gujarat-based activist friends, more known for computer activism, who are happy that we lost matters of bullet train.” Claiming that they are “spreading misinformation out of malice to the people of India and Japan”, he regrets, “Unfortunately, this NGO hazard enjoys freedom of expression”.
Yagnik is a top petitioner on behalf of the farmers affected by the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA). JICA officials recently handed over a crucial report to Yagnik on a meeting they had with the aggrieved farmers affected by the project. The state government earlier denied handing over the report.
Without naming anyone, Yagnik, in a message to a WhatsApp group, says, these activist friends “may read the last paragraph of the judgment”, stating, these “friends”, who have their “base in Ahmedabad and other parts of Gujarat and felt left out in the bullet train initiative”, should stop misinformation, warning, “Or else their names will be disclosed with evidence of misinformation and twisted information.”
The last paragraph of the High Court order on bullet train, forwarded by Yagnik, even as dismissing 100 plus pleas, says, “However, this judgment shall have no bearing on the future of issues which arise about adequacy of compensation”  (click HERE for full order).
It continues, “Further, the state government is expected to keep in mind that the most important factor which should with the authorities is about fair, adequate and reasonable compensation to be paid by following a transparent procedure under the provisions of the amended Act read with the Central Act, 2013 which the land is acquired for public purpose keeping in mind provisions of Article 300A of the Constitution of India.” 
Last paragraph of the judgment
It also says that it should be “borne in mind that such compensation is paid in respect of similar types of land situated in the immediate adjoining areas when it was acquired by the National Highways Authority or any such Central or state government authorities.” 
The Central Act referred to by the judgment refers to the is the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Act, 2013, while its amended Gujarat Act, cleared by the President of India in 2016, “dilutes” the Centre's stringent provisions of LARR. It does away with social impact assessment and consent clauses for acquiring land parcels for public projects.
Article 300-A provides that "no person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law", even as ensuring that the right to property "is a constitutional/legal right/as a statutory right, and in the event of breach, the remedy available to an aggrieved person is through the High Court."
Top environmentalist Rohit Prajapati of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, a Vadodara-based NGO, in a “quick reaction” to the Gujarat High Court judgment had dubbed the Gujarat High Court judgment on the acquisition of land for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet 508 km-long Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, dated September 19, as “bad in law, spirit and undesirable”.
Prajapati regretted that the judgment “reads like a recording of the proceeding and at the end opinion of the court and not like a well-conceived comprehensive judicial order”, adding, “Crucial principles of the law of the land, legal and other issues raised in the Petition are not dealt within proper legal framework, either in letter or in spirit”.
He added, “A critical and complex matter has been narrowed down to simple opinion by the court without a sound basis, critical examination of all the facts, factors, democratic process of decision making, social and environmental impacts.”
Prajapati further said, “All in all, the judgment not only sets a bad precedent, but also has severe and grave impacts as well as short and long-term consequences for the project affected people, justice and the environment (including biodiversity).”

Comments

TRENDING

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Letter to friends, mentors: Coming together of class, communal, corona viruses 'scary'

By Prof (Dr) Mansee Bal Bhargava*
COVID greetings from Ahmedabad to dear mentors and friends from around the world…
I hope you are keeping well and taking care of yourself besides caring for the people around you. I’m writing to learn how is the science and the society coping with the prevention and cure of the pandemic. I’m also writing to share the state of the corona virus that is further complicated with the long-standing class and communal viruses.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.

Oxfam on WB project: ICT 'ineffective', privatised learning to worsen gender divide

By Rajiv Shah 
A top multinational NGO, with presence in several developed and developing countries, has taken strong exception to the World Bank part-funding Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) project in six Indian states – Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha – for its emphasis on information and communication technology (ICT)-enabled approaches for teacher development, student assessment and digital platform for early childhood education.

Coal blocks for tycoons: Rinchi village tribals may be declared forest land encroachers

By Gladson Dungdung*
On June 18, 2020, the Government of India initiated the process for auctioning 41 coal blocks for commercialisation. These coal blocks are located in different states within India and most of them fall under Fifth Schedule areas. The Indian government claims that their decision to auction these coal areas is a big step towards making the country Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant) in the energy sector.