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Ambani-promoted SEZ moves court on land acquisition

May 19, 2009 19:14 IST
Mukesh Ambani-promoted Mumbai SEZ, coming up in the neighbouring Raigad district, on Tuesday moved the Bombay High Court seeking a speedy completion of land acquisition by the district administration.

The Court has sought reply from the collector's office by May 22.

The SEZ's lawyer senior advocate Janak Dwarkadas said that two years after the state issued a declaration of "intention to acquire the land" for the company, the final award has not been made by the collector.

If the final consent award is not made before June 6, the whole process would lapse in accordance with the Land Acquisition Act, Dwarkadas said.

However, the government's lawyer said that before the award is made, the persons "interested in the land", i.e. the original landowners, must appear before the collector so that he could verify whether acquisition has been done properly.

Dwarkadas said that the Mumbai SEZ had registered agreements of land sale, and no further verification is necessary.

"We have paid some Rs 600 crore (Rs 6 billion)…We have paid consideration ten times the market prices," he said.

The Vacation Bench of Justices Anand Nirgude and Rajesh Ketkar, however, adjourned the hearing till May 22, asking the government to file an affidavit stating its stand.

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