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The Supreme Court has issued notices to the state of Haryana on a petition filed by Reliance SEZ Limited seeking transfer of the petition pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court to the apex court.

This will enable all the petitions challenging the validity of the Land Acquisition Act, 1984, to be decided once and for all by the apex court.

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices R V Raveendran and Dalveer Bhandari issued the notices after hearing senior counsel Harish Salve, who contended that it will be in the interest of justice, if the honourable court transfers the petitions pending in the High Court involving the challenge to the validity of the Land Acquisition Act.

According to the petitioners in the High Court, which included farmers, land acquired for SEZ cannot be called for public purpose as it is for commercial activities, which cannot be in public interest.

The petitioners have said the government is forcibly acquiring fertile lands of the farmers to the tune of thousands of acres of land at throwaway prices without providing them adequate compensation.

According to them, land is being taken away by force without the consent of the farmers, although barren and waste land should be utilised for the purposes of SEZ.

There had been violent protests in various places like Nandigram in West Bengal, Dadri in Uttar Pradesh, in Uttarakhand, Orissa, Punjab and Haryana against the forcible acquisition of the land. 

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