T.N. govt. opposes case filed by Sasikala against acquisition of her Paiyanur land
The land had been acquired in 2010 for widening of OMR but possession had not been taken till date
Ten years after former interim general secretary of the AIADMK V.K. Sasikala filed a case in the Madras High Court against the acquisition of 784 sq m of her Paiyanur land for widening of the Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR), the State government authorities have now filed a counter affidavit, contending that the land was absolutely essential for the road-widening project and that the acquisition proceedings were concluded in 2011 itself.
In the counter affidavit filed before Justice G.K. Ilanthiraiyan, the Special Tahsildar (Land Acquisition), Radial Road Scheme, Tambaram, stated that though the acquisition was complete on paper, the possession was not taken since the present writ petition was pending in the court since 2011. The Tahsildar also stated that necessary compensation would be paid immediately after taking possession.
According to Ms. Sasikala, the land owned by her adjacent to OMR in Paiyanur village, Chengalpattu district, had several coconut trees and other fruit yielding trees. The land was fully surrounded by a compound wall built at a huge cost. In January 2010, she came to know that the State government had decided to acquire a portion of her land along with lands belonging to other individuals.
She submitted a detailed objection to the acquisition proceedings on January 18, 2010. Since the property then fell under Kancheepuram district, the Collector conducted an inquiry on January 22, 2010. Thereafter, an award was passed on September 15, 2011 and she was asked to submit documents to prove land ownership to provide so that necessary compensation could be paid to her. She urged the court to quash a G.O. issued on August 6, 2010 for acquisition of her land. However, in her counter affidavit, the Special Tahsildar V. Radha stated that OMR had been notified under Section 3 of the Tamil Nadu Highways Act of 2001 and it had been assigned the number SH-49A.
Therefore, the acquisition proceedings were initiated lawfully for converting the road in to a six-lane highway and all legal procedures were followed scrupulously. The principles of natural justice had also been adhered to by considering the objections raised by the writ petitioner against acquisition of her land for the public project and those objections were rejected with valid reasons, the official said.
Since the petitioner did not receive the notice for the award inquiry, such notice was affixed on her property by the Village Administrative Officer on May 6, 2011. Though the award inquiry was conducted on May 30, 2011, neither the petitioner nor her representatives participated in the inquiry and therefore the officials went ahead and passed the award, the court was told.
After taking the counter affidavit on file, the judge adjourned the case to September 21 for the petitioner to reply to it.