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MHC sets aside petition seeking return of lands from NLCIL

Justice S M Subramaniam observed that ex-gratia amount for the farmers can be settled by the NLCIL, it cannot be compelled to pay as there is no legal compulsion.

MHC sets aside petition seeking return of lands from NLCIL

Madras High Court (File)

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court (MHC) on Monday rejected the plea seeking to return the lands, which were acquired for the NLCIL (Neyveli Lignite Corporation India Limited) and the court also ordered the farmers to vacate the land on or before September 15.

Justice S M Subramaniam hearing a petitioner Murugan from Valayamadevi Melpathi Village, Cuddalore observed that the farmers should not continue the further cultivation in the land which was acquired by the NLCIL and allowed that only the farmers can harvest the standing crops.

The judge also made it clear that the acquired land is vested with the NLCIL, if any further cultivation it leads to a trespass, the judge observed quoting the Supreme Court judgment.

The judge observed that the NLCIL has given the statutory compensation and enhanced compensation for the land acquisition further the ex gratia compensation is also given to the farmers proportionally, the lands acquired from the owners after 2014 only are entitled to receive Rs.25 lakhs as ex gratia, other land owners who have given their lands before 2014 cannot ask for Rs.25 lakhs as ex- gratia.

Further, the judge also mentioned that state should collect money from those political parties, individuals, and organisations damaging the public properties in the name of agitation and ensure law and order.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) ARL Sundaresan for the NLCIL filed the counter affidavit that Rs.40,000 per acre for the standing crop damages has been paid to the 88 beneficiaries.

The senior counsel T Mohan appeared for the petitioner, demanded Rs.25 lakhs as compensation to all the farmers.

Objecting to this, the ASG contended that Rs.25 lakh as ex gratia is only entitled to the farmers who have given their land after 2014.

In response senior counsel Mohan said that NLCIL has not paid the compensation of Rs. 25 lakhs to all farmers, so they should not ask the farmers to vacate the land. Expansion of NLCIL would add to climate change issues, the counsel added demanding NLCIL to drop the expansion.

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