HC vacates interim order, allows plea by SEZ

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Chennai, Aug 9: Madras High Court has vacated an interim order of status quo granted earlier on a petition filed by the Anna Industrial Park Land Owners' Welfare Association of Kittampalayam in Coimbatore district.

The petitioner had sought an interim injunction restraining the developer of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) from dealing with or altering the physical structure of a property covered in a Deed of Exchange.

In his order, Justice S Nagamuthu said the petitioner had not made out a case much less a prima facie case for grant of any interim order. Hence the order of status quo already granted was liable to be vacated.

Following a request from the Arignar Anna Cooperative Industrial Estate, the government had acquired vast tracts of land in Annur Village in Palladam Taluk and handed it over to the society, which formed layouts. It appeared that the plots had been allotted to its members.

But, nothing further was done in favour of the members, such as execution of sale deed.

Following a resolution adopted at the society's General Body Meeting, its Special Officer and Suzlon Infrastructure Limited, developer of an SEZ in Annur village, entered into a Deed of Exchange by which the society would offer its lands to the company in exchange for the company's lands.

The landowners' welfare association filed a writ petition seeking to quash the resolution of the society's general body and consequently cancel the Deed of Exchange, dated October 2007, which had been registered. In June 2008, the court ordered status quo.

The SEZ developer filed a petition seeking to vacate the interim order.

Allowing the petition seeking to vacate the interim order, Mr Justice Nagamuthu said the petitioner association could not maintain the writ petition.

There was no question of allowing the interim order to continue. Subsequent to the Deed of Exchange, a Memorandum of Understanding was inked by the government and a foreign company to establish a wind mill on the property.

From the submissions of senior counsel for the developer, it was seen that more than Rs 100 crore had been spent on the project.

The Judge further said it was too late on the part of the petitioner association to make any complaint about the developments at this stage. If the construction was stopped for any reason, the whole project would come to a standstill.


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