Himachal High Court stays land acquisition for Ambuja cement plant

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh High Court has stayed land acquisition in six villages of Solan district by Himachal government that was intended for being handed over to Ambuja Cement for mining purpose.

A division bench presided over by Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rajiv Sharma stayed the process of acquisition of 1305 bighas of land for which the government had issued a notification on 2nd March, 2011.

The interim stay came in response to a petition by villagers alleging that no mandatory public hearing was conducted before issuing the notification under provisions of the Land Acquisition Act.

The government intended to acquire the 1305 bighas of land in the villages of Barog, Ghumaron, Mangu and Gyana in district Solan for mining purposes by Ambuja Cement plant.

JS Bhogal, senior counsel for the petitioner contended before the court that the state government is not acquiring the land for any public purpose as mentioned in the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act.

The cement company is not performing any public function but is purely a commercial establishment, it was argued.

Petitioners Jagarnath and two others have alleged that the state government has issued notification for acquisition of land of the private owners for mining purpose.

Petitioners have alleged that no public hearing was offered before issuing the acquisition notification under the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act.

Petitioners have urged the court to quash the notification issued by the government.

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