Order of the Supreme Court of India regarding employment to people whose land was acquired by Mahanadi Coal Fields, Odisha, 21/08/2019

  • 21/08/2019

Order of the Supreme Court of India in the matter of Mahanadi Coal Fields Ltd. & Others Vs Mathias Oram & Others dated 21/08/2019 regarding employment to people whose land was acquired by Mahanadi Coal Fields Ltd.

The Solicitor General submitted that apart from villages Kirpsira and Ratansar, the lands from villages Garjanbahal and Bangurkela have been "made over to Orissa Ultra Megha Power Project of Orissa Integrated Power Ltd.(OIP Ltd.) and as such the obligation which Mahanadi Coal Fields Ltd. (MCF Ltd.) is required to discharge in terms of Orissa Resettlement and Rehabilitation Policy Act, 2006, would require a re-look." It was also submitted that MCF Ltd. has till this date given employment to 1634 persons and it would not be possible for the MCF Ltd. to extend the same facility to others, especially when lands lost by those families are not enuring to the advantage of MCF Ltd. It was also suggested that MCF Ltd. in the first instance is prepared to deposit or make over a sum of Rs.10 lakhs to each of the relevant claimants by way of monetary compensation in lieu of employment with a liberty to recover the same from OIP Ltd.

The counsel appearing for the claimants including the petitioners who have filed contempt petitions however, expressed their inability to accept said offer. It was their submission that the persons who were holders of the land, as a result of the acquisition now stand completely displaced and the only connection which they could retain with the land was through the employment which would guarantee them occupation and residence in and around the lands in question.

Keeping in mind the circumstances, the SC directs notice to be issued to Orissa Integrated Power Ltd. and Mahanadi Coal Fields Ltd.