The Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court on Friday upheld the government decision to scrap its Special Economic Zone policy and squashed the land allotted to the promoters of seven SEZ in Goa and ordered status quo for a period of four months.
The Division Bench comprising of Justices A S Oka and Filomeno Reis held that the allotment of land to the seven promoters was done in “undue haste and without proper scrutiny of applications”. Besides the bench also noted that the procedure adopted was not fair and transparent and squashed the orders of allotment of land and also the lease deeds signed by Goa Industrial Development Corporation.
However, the promoters have been permitted to apply afresh for the same land within a period of four months and the GIDC has been permitted to consider the fresh applications. In case no allotment is done within this period then the GIDC is at liberty to take back possession of the land allotted to the promoters.
The Court clarified the status quo by directing the promoters not to carry out any further construction in the land nor create any third party interest and the GIDC has been directed not to dispossess the promoters of the land allotted to them for the same period.
The seven promoters of SEZ in Goa are Meditab Speciality Pvt. Ltd., K. Raheja Corporation, Paradigram Logistics & Distribution Pvt. Ltd., Inox Mecantile Pvt. Ltd., Maxgrow Finlease Pvt. Ltd., Peninsula Pharma Research Centre Pvt. Ltd., and Planet View Mercantile Co. Pvt. Ltd.
It may be recalled that there was a massive agitation launched in Goa by the villagers opposing the allotment of such large tracts of land to these promoters. As the very SEZ policy was being questioned, the Digambar Kamat government soon after taking over the reins of the State, cancelled the policy.
Even as some villagers had filed Public Interest Litigation against the SEZ policy, after the government cancelled the policy the SEZ promoters filed individual petitions before the High Court, which were clubbed together and the order was passed on Friday.