Rajasthan Court Cancels Allotment of Agricultural Land to Adani for Solar Park

Reported by

Kuber Bathla

Legal Data by

Bhavesh Seth, Mukta Joshi

Edited by

Moushumi Sharma

Updated by

Published on

February 2, 2022

February 2, 2022

Updated on

February 2, 2022

Location of Conflict

Nedan

Jaisalmer

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Renewable Power

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

990

ha

Starting Year

2018

State

Rajasthan

Sector

Power

A solar power project in Jaisalmer’s Nedan village, proposed over 3,821 acres (6,115 bighas) of land, had been a bone of contention between the village residents and Adani Renewable Energy Park Rajasthan Limited (AREPRL). The residents claimed to be ‘khatedari tenants’ of the land (any tenant who, according to the Rajasthan Tenancy Act of 1955, has certain special rights in different regions of the state). The disputed area is one of the two land parcels allotted to the company, and it is close to the conservation area of the endangered Great Indian Bustard.

The project was started by AREPRL in 2018 when the state allotted land for building a solar park with a maximum capacity of 1,500 megawatt. The government had initially allotted 1,452 bighas of land to Adani but had later shifted the project to AREPRL on February 9, 2015. It was scheduled to be completed on May 31, 2021. The parcel of land was reportedly earlier marked as agricultural land, the status of which was changed to ‘barren land’ through an executive order on May 30, 2017.

The farmers had registered a case in the Rajasthan high court in 2018 and also submitted their complaints to the district collector. They claimed that they had been using the land for agricultural purposes for the past 40-50 years. Protests against the allotment took place across Jaisalmer. The farmers demanded the return of the entire allotted land and that the status of the same be changed to agricultural land again.

On November 27, 2019, a single-judge bench of the high court dismissed the claim made by the petitioners. Later, a division bench of the court cancelled the allotment of the land to Adani. The court, based on evidences and affidavits submitted by both the parties, said that the disputed area of land is being used for public utilities and hence cannot be used to build a solar park. It also directed the state to survey the entire land and cancel the allotment of any land that is being used for public purposes.

Since then, there has been no update or media reports on the status of the land or on the surveys undertaken by the government. Meanwhile, Barkat Khan, one of the petitioners in the case, informed LCW that he did not wish to pursue the case further.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to change the status of the disputed land back to 'agricultural land'

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

401

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Year of Estimation

2021

Page Number In Investment Document:

7

Has the Conflict Ended?

Yes

When did it end?

June, 2021

Why did the conflict end?

Project/scheme was cancelled or modified

On November 27, 2019, a single-judge bench of the Rajasthan high court dismissed the claim made by the petitioners. Later, a division bench of the court cancelled the allotment of the land to Adani. The court, based on evidences and affidavits submitted by both the parties, said that the disputed area of land was being used for public utilities and, hence, could not be used to build a solar park. It also directed the state to survey the entire land and cancel the allotment of any land that was being used for public purposes.

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

Rajasthan Tenancy Act, 1955
Section 16 (xiv) [Khatedari land rights to not be valid in the case of land which, in the opinion of the District Collector, has been set apart for the flow of water into any reservoir or tank for drinking water]
Rajasthan Land Revenue (Allotment of Land for Setting up of Power Plant based on Renewable Energy Sources) Rules, 2007
Rule 5 [Land not to be available for allotment under certain conditions] Rule 5(c) [Land that is set aside for any specific rules not to be available for allotment]  Rule 2(jjj) [Definition of solar park] Rule 6(4) [Ownership of the rent shall stay with the state government after the lease] Rule 12A [Allotment of land to RREC or Rajasthan Solar Park Development Company Limited]
Rajasthan Land Reforms and Acquisition of Landowners' Estates Act, 1963
The Supreme Court issued guidelines to protect certain species of birds on the verge of extinction, partly due to the threat posed to them by overhead power transmission lines. The measures suggested included laying underground transmission lines wherever possible and attaching diverters in case of overhead lines. The court recommended that CSR and CAMPA funds be used to finance these measures.
M. K. Ranjitsinh v. Union of India (WP (C) No. 838 of 2019, Supreme Court)
The Supreme Court issued guidelines to protect certain species of birds on the verge of extinction, partly due to the threat posed to them by overhead power transmission lines. The measures suggested included laying underground transmission lines wherever possible and attaching diverters in case of overhead lines. The court recommended that CSR and CAMPA funds be used to finance these measures.
  1. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  2. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  3. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  4. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  5. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  6. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  7. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Land record discrepancies

Lack of legal protection over land rights

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Disposed

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court of Rajasthan

Case Number

SB CWP No. 5707 of 2018; DB Spl. Appl. Writ No. 51/2020

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

A single bench of the high court dismissed the writ petition on November 27, 2019. During hearings, the state government took the stand that no public utility was handed over to Adani Renewable Energy Park Rajasthan Limited (AREPRL) as part of the solar power plant project, and any allotments made in relation to such land would be cancelled. As per the high court, this adequately dealt with the petitioner’s concerns. All other claims raised by the petitioners involved disputed questions of fact, which could not be considered by the high court in its writ jurisdiction. Later, a division bench of the court cancelled the allotment of land that had not yet been taken possession of by AREPRL. The court, based on evidences and affidavits submitted by both the parties, said that the disputed area of land is being used for public utilities and hence cannot be used to build a solar park. It also directed the state to survey the entire land and cancel the allotment of any land that is being used for public purposes.

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Board of Revenue for Rajasthan, Department of Energy, Jaisalmer District Collector, Pokhran Sub Divisional Officer

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Adani Renewable Energy Park Rajasthan Limited

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Documented By

Text Link

Reviewed By

Text Link

Updated By

Text Link

Edited By

Text LinkLand Conflict Watch
X

Support our work

Your contribution ensures continuity of this crucial project.

As a member, you will get exclusive access to special reports, policy papers and research projects undertaken by Land Conflict Watch and behind-the-scenes interactions with the writers and researchers about their work.
Join Now