Skip to main content

Gujarat High Court bullet train judgment dubbed bad in law, spirit, undesirable

By Our Representative
Well-known environmentalist and human rights activist Rohit Prajapati, in a “quick comment” on the Gujarat High Court's Judgment on the acquisition of land for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet 508 km-long Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, has said that the judgment dated September 19, is “bad in law, spirit and undesirable”.
Prajapati, who was one of the top activists who represented before the Japanese funders of the project, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) expressing concern over the manner in which farmers were allegedly sought to be evicted, 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.
According to him, “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”, adding, “Acritical 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, who heads the Vadodara-based environmental organization, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, believes, “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).”
Rohit Prajapati
In what has been interpreted as a setback to farmers in Gujarat, the High Court on September 20, junked more than a 100 petitions challenging the land acquisition process for the ambitious bullet train project on grounds of “inadequate” compensation. In their petitions, farmers had challenged the Gujarat government’s notification for the acquisition of their land, contending that the State had no power to acquire land for a multi-state project like that of the bullet train.
The bench, consisting of Justices Anant Dave and Biren Vaishnav, upheld the validity of the Land Acquisition Act, amended by the Gujarat government in 2016, and declined to entertain the petitions challenging the land acquisition for project. Gujarat government sources said, the judgment clears a major hurdle in the way of the ambitious project.
According to them, by upholding the validity of the Gujarat amendment of 2016 to the Centre’s land acquisition law, the High Court recognized that it is a multi-state project, but the Centre has executive powers, which have been given to the state government, to acquire land. Before the amendment, the court noted, the state had no such power, but things changed in 2016.
The court also rejected the farmers’ plea for conducting social impact assessment (SIA), justifying the state’s move to the skip mandatory provisions, which were part of the 2013 Central law. It justified the SIA process carried out under JICA guidelines as “appropriate and satisfactory.”
An estimated 5,000 of the total 6,900 farmers affected by the project are said to have registered objections to the land acquisition process initiated by state authorities.About 1,000 farmers, while the hearing was ongoing, had filed a one-page affidavit registering their objection on the land acquisition process, demanding the nature of compensation should be aligned with the Centre’s land acquisition law.

Comments

TRENDING

India reaches 8th of 10 stage genocide: US Muslim advocacy group raises 'alert'

By Hena Zuberi* India has reached the 8th stage of genocide with the persecution of the Muslim community. Stating this, Professor Greg Stanton, who heads Genocide Watch, declared a Genocide Emergency Alert for India today at Justice For All online briefing.

Mayawati's 'success' depends on how BSP taps new crop of young Amdekarite leaders

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Whatever be the election results in Uttar Pradesh on March 10, it is extremely important to understand: that the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and its leader Mayawati have the potential to rise like a Phoenix any time.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Anti-poor? 'Cumbersome' to link aadhaar, voter ID for people sans internet access

By Prashant Kumar Chaudhary, Ajit Kumar Jaiswal*  At present, technology plays an increasingly crucial part in modelling human existence by offering a variety of solutions to many of the challenges individuals confront in the real world. As a result, every branch of research works to provides means to solve these difficulties precisely and efficiently. The Central government works along the same lines as well.

India's actual Covid death rate about 2500 per million, third highest in world: Study

By Rajiv Shah  There is now well-researched proof, if it can be called that, indicating that the Government of India may have fudged data to show lower Covid death rate. A new paper, published in “Science”, has said that while officially the Government of India’s Covid-related death estimates as of January 1, 2022 – 345 per million population – are one-seventh of the US death rate, the actual analysis of crude death rate in India suggests, this may be a gross underestimation. 

'Dargah site was a temple': Claim in Gujarat following post-Babri verdict demands in UP

By Rajiv Shah  Will Gujarat also see demands to replace mosques and dargahs with Hindu temples? It would seem so, if a new fact-finding team conclusion is any indication. Apprehending the “danger” of communal conflagration, it has cited the claim on a 15th century dargah was originally a Hindu temple – allegedly quite on line with what has been happening in UP following the Supreme Court verdict on Babri Mosque.

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.

Why Church in India today needs a Rutilio Grande, martyred for stance on social justice

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  For the people of El Salvador, January 22, 2022 will be more than just a red-letter day. Three of their sons, Jesuit Fr Rutilio Grande and his two lay associates 72-year-old Manuel Solorzano and 15-year-old Nelson Rutilio Lemus (and Italian Franciscan missionary Fr Cosme Spessotto who was also martyred) will be beatified in San Salvador.

Gender insensitive? Model Gujarat's cyclone relief package ignores 40,000 fisherwomen

CSJ volunteers talking to fisherwomen By Rajiv Shah  A Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) note on the Gujarat government’s compensation package to the victims of the devastating Tauktae cyclone, which hit the coastal belt of Saurashtra's Amerli, Rajula, Una, and Gir-Somnath districts in May 2021, has said, the relief offered was so terribly inadequate that many of the fisherfolk were not able to fish for the rest of the year.

Haridwar call for genocide direct result of Modi 'tolerating' Islamophobic policies

By Our Representative  A high-level briefing organised in Washington DC, in which as many as 17 human rights and interfaith organizations -- including Amnesty International USA, Genocide Watch and Hindus for Human Rights, apart from several persons in their individual capacity -- participated, has come down heavily on what they called "Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Islamophobic policies and tolerance of open incitement by Hindu extremists for a genocide of Muslims."