Home / News / India /  Bombay HC sets 5 December for hearing bullet train project case

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday set 5 December for hearing the matter pertaining to the Maharashtra government's decision to acquire Godrej & Boyce's Vikhroli land which was proposed to be used for the bullet train project.

Last week, in its rejoinder filed before the high court, Godrej & Boyce said that the acquisition proceedings for its Vikhroli land for the proposed bullet train project between Ahmedabad and Mumbai was unlawful and the award is ex facie a nullity. The rejoinder comes as a response to the affidavit filed by the government in the matter.

The rejoinder comes as a response to the affidavit filed by the government in the matter.

Adding that the replies represent a desperate attempt by the state government to paper over multiple, patent illegalities in the land acquisition proceedings, including the entire decision-making process with respect to the subject land.

In fact, on 19 October the court had directed the government to give the company sufficient time to respond in the matter.

As part of the compensation award, the state government has deposited 264 crore towards the project, the government had informed the court. However, the company alleged that 264 crore given as final compensation for the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project is a fraction of the initial amount of 572 crore offered earlier.

Additionally, the National High Speed Rail Corporation Ltd and the government that held Godrej &Boyce responsible for the inordinate delay in concluding the acquisition proceeding of the land.

Godrej & Boyce, however, clearly refusing to accept any such claims said that "This is demonstrably false, and belied by the record that clearly establishes that the substantial delay is attributable entirely to the government". The government's attempt to attribute the delay to the company is mala fide and untenable, it said.

Since 2019, the government and the company have been locked in a legal tussle over who would hold the land needed to build the bullet train on the company's property in the suburb of Vikhroli. 21 km of the 508.17 kilometres of train track that will connect Mumbai and Ahmedabad will be subterranean. The area at Vikhroli is where one of the entrances to the underground tube is located (owned by Godrej).

Further, Godrej & Boyce have also said in the rejoinder that the government had failed to submit a complete report detailing the exact cost of the land acquisition. This leads to failure of complying with the Fair Compensation Act, the rejoinder said.


Priyanka Gawande
Priyanka Gawande is a senior legal correspondent at Mint. She has worked as legal reporter for four years with both television and digital mediums. Based in Mumbai, she reports on disputes across sectors including banking, corporates and finance. This also includes insolvency and bankruptcy cases and intellectual property rights (IPR) litigation. Her focus also comprises tracking capital markets and disputes relating to securities law. Previously, Priyanka worked with Informist Media for 2.5 years covering major insolvency and bankruptcy cases and corporate developments. She started her career in journalism with Business Television India (BTVi) where she reported on primary markets, banking, finance and insurance companies.
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