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Andhra Pradesh High Court stays demolition of property for road widening

The Andhra Pradesh High Court has held that even if the property of the petitioners is required for the public purpose of widening the road, the respondents will still have to follow the due process of law as contemplated under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 in acquiring the said property of petitioners for widening the road.

A single-judge bench of Justice Cheekati Manavendranath Roy closed a petition filed to declare the action of the respondents in not following the procedure contemplated under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 and making an effort to acquire the property of the petitioners for the public purpose of widening the road, as illegal and arbitrary.

As per the petitioners, administrative sanction for a sum of Rs 16.60 crore was given by the State Government to take up certain development works in Narsipatnam Municipality including the expansion of main road from Abid Center to Pedda Boddepalli Madhum and other roads in the said vicinity and to widen the roads. The respondents are now making an effort to acquire the property of the petitioners without following due process of law as contemplated under the Act.

It is also their grievance that even without considering the objections of the petitioners as required under GO dated 27.12.2022, the respondents are making an effort to acquire property of the petitioners. Therefore, the petitioners are before this Court by way of filing this Writ Petition seeking the aforesaid reliefs.

“Even if the property of the petitioners is required for the public purpose of widening the road as per the administrative sanction of a sum of Rs 16.60 crore made by the State Government of Andhra Pradesh, still the respondents have to follow the due process of law as contemplated under the Act in acquiring the said property of the petitioners for the purpose of widening the road,” the High Court held.

Therefore, in the said facts and circumstances of the case, the petition is disposed of by the High Court with a direction to the respondents concerned to follow due process of law in acquiring the property of the petitioners, if at all the said property of the petitioners is required for the public purpose of widening the said road or for any other public purpose by following the procedure contemplated under law.

Till the property of the petitioners is acquired by following due process of law as directed supra, no steps to dispossess the petitioners from the property either by way of demolishing the said property or in any other manner shall be taken by the respondents, the Court further directed.

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