Apex court suspends order on relief to Narmada dam displaced

New Delhi, Nov 20 (Inditop.com) The Supreme Court Friday suspended a Madhya Pradesh High Court order directing the state government to give land to the adult children of those displaced by the Indira Sagar dam project on Narmada river.

A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice J.M. Panchal, while suspending the Sep 2 order of the Jabalpur bench of the high court, also issued notices to the Narmada Bachao Andolan, whose lawsuit had yielded the high court order.

The high court had asked the state government to allocate two hectares of land to each of the adult sons and unmarried daughters of the people displaced by the dam project within three months from Sep 2. The deadline expired Nov 2.

The high court asked the state government to give the land saying that another bench of the court had issued the direction in Sep 8, 2006.

In its September order this year, the high court also warned the state government it could face contempt proceedings if it failed to give the land to the dam oustees within the stipulated time.

The apex court bench suspended the high court order on two separate lawsuits – one by the Madhya Pradesh government and the other by the Narmada Valley Development Authority and the Narmada Hydroelectric Development Corporation.

The government, the NVDA and the NHDC have come to the court contending that the high court had directed allocation of land to the displaced despite the fact that their lawsuit challenging the high court’s original order of 2006 stands challenged before the apex court, which is yet to take a call on the issue.