Supreme Court allows Reliance Power to return land for Dadri plant

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 16 2014, 19:08pm hrs
Dadri power plantReliance Power has been allowed to return around 956 acre of land acquired by UP govt for letting the company set up its gas-fired power plant in Dadri.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed Reliance Power to return around 956 acre of land acquired by Uttar Pradesh government for letting the company set up its ambitious gas-fired power plant in Dadri.

The court disposed of a batch of petitions after accepting the company's request to permit it give back the land. Taking on record this plea, the court held the petition to be infructuous and said all the parties were at liberty to approach appropriate authorities to claim damages.

The land has been mired in legal wrangles, with the Allahabad High Court on December 5, 2009, quashing a state move to acquire the land through an emergency clause. This clause had allowed the state to waive a provision obligating the authorities to seek objections from farmers before acquiring their land.

The judgement made it mandatory for the state government to go back and get a no-objection certificate (NOC) from each seller or get them to return the compensation received to the government.

Reliance Power and the state government had both contested the high court ruling.

After all arguments in the case were completed and the top court reserved its verdict just a fortnight ago, Reliance Power submitted its affidavit, saying it would have set up the project had there been no legal issues with the land acquired for the project.

"But the acquisition was challenged even before the project could start," Reliance Power said. The company also claimed that in the 10 years since the project was envisaged, it has become more difficult to get a regular supply of natural gas.