| NBA Press Release
|| 14 July 2008
M.P. High Court cancels appointment of ex-officers of NVDA as Members of GRA
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The High Court Madhya Pradesh today cancelled the appointments of three newly inducted members of the Grievance Redressal Authority on grounds that all three were earlier officers of the NVDA(Narmada Valley Development Autority). The Order was given while hearing a case filed by the Narmada Bachao Andolan for the rehabilitation of the Omkareshwar dam oustees. The High Court directed that in place of these ex-officers of the NVDA, two retired District Judges and one retired IAS officer, who has had no connection with the NVDA, be appointed as members of the GRA, so that three double benches can expedite hearing of the grievances of the oustees. The appointments of the ex-officers of the NVDA as Members of the GRA were cancelled in order to protect the autonomy of the GRA, which had been directed by the High Court to hear and redress the grievances of the Omkareshwar dam oustees, prior to submergence.
The Division Bench of the M.P. High Court comprising of Chief Justice Shri Anang Kumar Patnaik and Shri Ajit Singh was informed by the Senior Counsel for the NHDC, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad that three new members had been inducted into the GRA(Grievance Redressal Authority) as per the directions of the Hon'ble High Court of the earlier date. However the petitioner - the Narmada Bachao Andolan strenuously objected to the appointment of three retired IAS officers Shri J.P.Vyas, Shri Suraj Prakash and Shri J.N.Sharma who had been officers of the NVDA. The petitioner pointed out that Shri J.P. Vyas in his tenure as Member, NVDA had obstructed compliance with several Orders of the GRA. Thus, he was not fit to be a member of the NVDA. The Petitioner also pointed out that the Govt. of M.P. Notification for the GRA dated August 2001 states that the GRA would function as an autonomous Authority and that the oustees could complain against the orders of the NVDA to the GRA. Therefore, if ex-NVDA officials are inducted into the GRA, it would affect the autonomy of the GRA.
The GRA also submitted a report to the High Court on the number of land-holders eligible for agricultural land. However the Report was not signed by all three members and had many discrepancies. The Counsel for the GRA sought permission to withdraw the Report and it was directed that the GRA Report would be submitted with necessary changes to the High Court on the 21st of July. The High Court ordered the State Government to immediately allot agricultural land to the oustees and their adult sons who had not received compensation and also to the encroachers.
Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Senior Supreme Court Counsel pleaded for NHDC and Shri R.N. SIngh Advocate General argued for the Government of Madhya Pradesh. Ms. Chittaroopa Palit, activist argued for the Narmada Bachao Andolan.Alok Agarwal, Radheshyam Tirole, Shamesh,Ramkuwar Rawat, Bhagwan Mukati