Owners of illegal farmhouses move SC against demolition

Owners of illegal farmhouses move SC against demolition
30/01/2018 , by , in News/Views

The owners of ‘illegal farmhouses’ in two villages—Nagli Nagla and Nagli Sagpur—said they have filed a special leave petition in Supreme Courtagainst the Allahabad high court judgment ordering demolition of their structures along the Noida-Greater Noida expressway. They claimed that they had purchased these properties after completing all legal formalities.

In a press conference on Sunday, Ramneek Bajaj, president of AJS Farmhouse Owners Association, alleged that the land acquisition and compensation process was not completed as per the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. “The government took over possession of the acquired land on paper, but did not compensate the owners. The owners of the land continued to use the land and were in actual possession of the land,” he said. Nearly 15-20 farmhouse owners had joined Bajaj in the programme.

The 482-acre land is spread in two villages, Nagli Nagla (105 acres) and Nagli Sagpur (377 acres) in Gautam Budh Nagar. There are over 200 farmhouses in the area at present. In 1950, the area came under Pargana Dadri of Sikandrabad tehsil in Bulandshahr. On November 23, 1950, the district collector of Bulandshahr issued a letter (a copy of which is with TOI) about the acquisition of the land by the administration and its handover to a military estate officer, K N Sinha, to develop a firing and bombing range for the Indian Air Force.

In 2011, the IAF received complaints about encroachments on its land. An inspection found that there was rampant encroachment, and illegal transactions were being carried on its land. The inspection team also found unauthorised cultivation, construction of illegal farmhouses, illegal plotting of land through the erection of barbed wire fencing, boundary pillars and brick walls and construction of kachcha and pucca roads and unauthorised cattle farms on its land.

In March 2015, Noida activist Ajit Singh filed a PIL in Allahabad high court on illegal sale and purchase of farmlands in areas of Yamuna Pushta. Hearing the matter on July 2017, the HC observed that the IAF had acquired the land from the Bulandshahr district collector as per the records. “Before handing over possession of the land to the military estates officer, Agra circle, the entire amount towards compensation was deposited with the collector, Bulandshahr,” the court observed. The high court had then ordered the removal of encroachments from the two villages.

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