Mumbai: The Maharashtra Government has informed the Bombay High Court on Monday that the land acquisition for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project is complete except for the land owned by Godrej & Boyce company at suburban Vikhroli.
Advocate General (AG) Ashutosh Kumbhakoni and Additional Government Pleader Jyoti Chavan, appearing for the State Government, made the statement before a division bench of RD Dhanuka and SG Dige during the hearing of a petition filed by Godrej challenging September order of the State Government awarding Rs264 crore in return for acquiring its land for the project.
Counsel for Godrej, Navroz Seervai, said that the petition was regarding constitutional challenge to the amendment to the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act which exempted the bullet train project from social impact assessment carried out by experts.
He said that he would take 3 days to argue the main challenge along with the related issues.
The AG urged the court to hear the matter expeditiously as it had completed all formalities for acquisition and what remained now was taking possession of the land. The State Government is in possession of all the other land and only the portion belonging to Godrej was not in its possession.
The HC then said it will start hearing the matter from December 5.
Godrej has also filed an application in the writ petition seeking disclosures of the documents and records relied upon by the State Government for deciding on the plots of land to be acquired for the project. Mr Seervai claimed that certain disclosures had been made before the Gujarat High Court which he will rely upon in the present petition.
The government had opposed the application stating that the question of giving inspection was an indirect roving and fishing inquiry.
The court has asked all the parties to submit synopsis of their arguments.