HC rejects plea challenging land allotment to Archean, Gujarat Congress’s allegations proved bogus
Ahmedabad, 28 June 2012
This is definitely a blow to Gujarat Congress.
For last many months, in their every other speech Gujarat Congress leaders would speak against Gujarat government’s land allotment to industries, and land allotment to Archean Chemicals would be part of the list without failure, because the company is closely related to former BJP President Venkaiah Naidu.
Now today, the Gujarat High Court has cleared the land allotment to Archean Chemicals.
The Gujarat High Court court today dismissed a petition by an environment activist challenging the allotment of around 40,000 hectare land close to Pakistan border in Great Rann of Kutch to Archean Chemicals to develop a project of manufacture of sulphate of potash in association with Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute.
The petitioner, NGO Paryavaran Mitra, had contended that the land was given at a throwaway price, a rent of Rs 150 per hectare on lease for 10 years. Congress has alleged that the promoter of the company is closely related to former BJP president Venkaiah Naidu.A two-judge bench of the HC comprising acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice JB Pardiwala, however, dismissed the petition.
“The petitioner has also contented that the company has undertaken mining activities within the protected area without environmental clearance and scrapping of the Working Plan 2009, but that will be pursued legally before a competent forum,” lawyer for the petitioner Amit Panchal said.
The petition was not entertained on the grounds that the land was not ‘sold’, but given on lease. Besides, the company had signed an MoU for the project during Vibrant Gujarat 2005 summit and land was allotted as per the advice of the industries commissioner. Besides, it has been three years since the project was commenced and the petitioner chose to approach the court only in 2011, by when the company had invested Rs 400 crore.
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