Stalled projects due to court interventions

There are certain issues and considerations meriting attention with due stress while deciding for granting temporary injunctions or stays by courts like which project was going to be affected and the importance of that project and two – the court being satisfied that a temporary injunction or granting stay would provide relief to the aggrieved petitioner, what role was played by the Government authorities in Revenue Department etc in getting such stays and the like vacated as soon as possible. There is a fallout of this scenario in that the concerned projects of much importance are not only considerably delayed but also result in extra financial burden on the state exchequer in the form of cost escalation as interim directions of the courts are not usually followed with the required zeal and eagerness for getting the same reversed and vacated. Why does such a situation arise and who should monitor such cases very closely instead of thinking that it was rather a difficult proposition or time consuming one hence adopting a lackadaisical approach? In this connection, the Government issuing directions to the Revenue Officers for taking steps in connection with getting such interim directions like stays etc vacated is a step in the right direction especially in the light of various judgments of Supreme Court of India as well as the High Court. By doing so, on case to case basis, and following the developments earnestly, those projects which are held up could have work on them being restarted. At the outset, the response to such cases or even other cases where the UT Government was involved, the concerned Law Officers were required to be more eager to have the cases disposed of through regular follow- up and in the instant issue where direct bearing on even prestigious projects was there, many of those being of strategic and national importance, laced with development and raising of important infrastructure etc, intervention of courts had to be got reversed by taking necessary available steps. Revenue, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Departments have, in this connection, underlined the need to have the orders of status-quo and stay vacated by following the due process especially in the light of the judgments passed by the apex court as also the High Court. There are landmark judgments by the Supreme Court in the matter under reference where land acquired for such projects which are of national importance and of infrastructural utility, interference of courts should be ”minimal”. In the light of such chain of judgments, the crux is to discourage stalling of land acquisition proceedings as the same was tantamount to going against the larger public interest. Under such circumstances when there was ample cushion provided by the apex court in matters of land acquisition, as also by the High Court in two specific cases, the job of the concerned Revenue Officers and other Law Officers had become easy and smooth which should now see most of such interim orders getting vacated, all in the public interest. Moreover, the circular recently issued jointly by the Principal Secretary to Government Revenue Department and Secretary to Government, Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs – makes the issue more clear and of guiding nature. As such, we feel required necessary steps would be taken in right earnest for vacation of interim orders, positions of status quo and stay etc in such cases of land acquisition, in particular, that were linked with the prestigious projects.