The division bench comprising Justice S Manikumar and Justice Subramonium Prasad after hearing marathon arguments from counsels appearing for the farmers and the government about the Tamil Nadu Act 1 of 2015 called the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act. 2014 is ultra vires of the Central Act 2013 reserved its order without mentioning a date.
Anaithu Vivasayikal Paathukapu Nalasangam Naganenthal represented by its President R Karunandihi, said right to fair, just and reasonable compensation is an inherent right of every land owner if the property is sought to be acquired by the state.
Noting that the state cannot choose the enactment to avoid or deprive the owner of land from a reasonable, just and fair compensation, senior counsel P Wilson submitted that such form of selecting enactment would amount to ‘legislative shopping’ and would frustrate the very object of Central Enactment besides depriving the land owners of a just and reasonable compensation.
It was also argued that Sections 3, 6 and 7 of the Tamil Nadu Act 1997 provides a dictatorship type of method of fixing compensation and hence has no legs to stand particularly in the light of Central Legislation which confers right to solatium and compensation as per marked value by a factor as set out under the Central Act 2013.
The crux of the submission made by the counsels appearing for the farmers also dwelt on the aspect that by virtue of the Central Enactment which provides a complete gateway for acquisitions of all types of land for all purposes, it is inappropriate for the state government to choose to legislate Tamil Nadu Amendment Act 1 of 2015 and proceed land acquisition under TN Act 1997.
Following the plea leading to various interim orders land acquisition in the State had come to a standstill. Even the land acquired for various projects including the metro rail project is also under scrutiny. The said association had moved the court after administrative sanction was accorded for acquisition of lands in three villages namely Thiruppalaikudi, Vilamavur and Uppoor to an extent of 543.53 hectares for construction of a coal-based power plant by name Uppoor Power Plant of 2 x 800 MW capacity.