Relief to Adani Group: SC stays HC order asking govt to return grazing land

Supreme Court stays an earlier order by Gujarat High Court directing state government to return 108 hectares of grazing land near Mundra Port

Data Intelligence Team
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Mundra port of Adani

Mundra Port is a part of Adani Group, and Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) challenged the HC order

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The Adani Group saw reprieve on Wednesday when the Supreme Court stayed an earlier order by the Gujarat High Court that had directed the state government to return 108 hectares of grazing land next to Mundra Port to local residents of Navinal village in Kutch district.

The Mundra Port is a part of the Adani conglomerate, and Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) had challenged the High Court order issued on July 5.

Senior lawyer Mukul Rohatgi represented the Adani Group before the Supreme Court (SC) Bench comprising Justices BR Gavai and KV Viswanathan, and argued that the Gujarat High Court had issued the order without giving the conglomerate a scope to present its case.

“He (Mukul Rohatgi) states that though the counsel for the petitioner was present before the High Court and attempted to make submissions, he was not heard by the High Court. Issue notice, and there shall we stay the impugned order,” Justice Gavai said, according to a Mint report.

The High Court ruled in favour of the Navinal villagers who, around 13 years ago, had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against the state government for allocating 231 acres of grazing land to APSEZ. The order was based on an affidavit from the additional chief secretary of the Gujarat state revenue department, which stated that the state government sought to reclaim 108 hectares from APSEZ to set up a total 129 hectares of grazing land in the area.

In 2005, the state revenue department had initially allocated the land to APSEZ. Following the turn of events, the local villagers had stated that if APSEZ was given ownership of the area then they would be left with just 45 acres of grazing land. Then, in 2014, the High Court did away with the PIL, once the Gujarat government promised to grant extra grazing land. However, this did not happen and a contempt petition was filed, according to the media report. In 2015, the state government presented a review petition before the Gujarat High Court arguing that it only had 17 hectares of land to allot to the villagers.

Adani Group