High Court quashes GO 123

Thu 04 Aug 2016, 12:43:30
The High Court at Hyderabad on Wednesday quashed GO MS No. 123 as “unconstitutional and ultra vires of The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013”. It also chided the state government for acting as a “property dealer”.
Justice Suresh Kumar Kait quashed the GO issued by the Revenue (JA&LA) Department on 31-07-2015 while hearing a petition by Algi Thukamma and 22 other landless agricultural labourers of Bardipur village in Jarasangam mandal of Medak district.     
The State government was 'procuring' over 12,500 acres of land in this area for setting up of the National Investment and Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ) near Zaheerabad. The government 'bought' lands from 'willing' farmers for a 'consideration' under GO 123. 
The petitioners, all landless agricultural labourers, approached the court

stating that under the 2013 Land Acquisition Act, they would be falling under the definition of 'project affected people' and consequently entitled for various benefits under the Act. 
However, the state government by adopting the GO 123 route was denying these benefits to them. They had filed the petition in April of this year and it was part heard by Justice A Rajashekar Reddy. Since the subject Land Acquisition was placed under Justice Kait, it came up for hearing before him for the first time on Wednesday.
With the High Court striking down GO MS No. 123, the state government faces uphill task in completing the acquisition process for various projects, including Palamur-Ranga Reddy Lift Irrigation and Mallanasagar. The government was forced on the backfoot after opposition parties and TJAC chairman Prof Kodandaram came out openly against the GO and launched public agitation. 

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