The Supreme Court pulled up the Uttar Pradesh government for acquiring prime agricultural land to build luxury flats in Greater Noida. As the Apex Court has declined to stay the high court’s order to quash the notifications for land acquisition in Greater Noida, it vividly indicates the high-handedness of the state government. Now it is crystal clear that the UP government willingly acquired agricultural land under some provision so that no one can raise protest against it. As the issue was concerned with the UP government, so the Supreme Court slammed it, stating that there should not be a Nandigram like situation in other states. The way the court cited Nandigram, where such steps to acquire land by invoking an urgency clause led to large scale protests and violence, the state government should take a serious note of it. Uttar Pradesh is not only the state where land acquisition is going on recklessly, there are so many states which witness such malpractices. The Supreme Court found that some people in Greater Noida got undue benefit under the garb of land acquisition. That’s why the SC wants to get detail of ongoing residential projects on the acquired lands in that area. It is sheer misuse of power that the prime agricultural land has been acquired to build luxury flats under invoking urgency clause. This kind of urgency clause should be invoked when there is a need of road, bridge, school and hospital.

No one can decline the Supreme Court’s conclusion that a particular class is being given benefit by handing over the acquired land to private sector with the help of urgency clause. The state government will grope in dark if it has to answer the questions fielded by the court in this context. The comment of the Apex Court regarding land acquisition is quite right and it puts the Central government in the dock as the Centre is not keen on amending the Land Acquisition Law. It is unlikely that the government will come up with  new Land Acquisition Law in the monsoon session. Understandably, the amendment of Land Acquisition Law is not an easy task, but it is not wise to put the this law on backburner which is causing hurdles in the path of so many projects. It could not be declined that land can be acquired for the development but one should get undue benefit from it.