The bench of Justices A K Goel and U U Lalit found that the state government's decision was "brought about by mala fide exercise of power" and was a "clear case of fraud on power".
The court had called forth the Dhingra Comission report, which formally accused Robert Vadra, the brother-in-law of Rahul Gandhi, for acquiring Rs 50.5 crore worth of land in Haryana with no expenses made. The farmers had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the state but their petition was dismissed. The SC bench has urged the high court to decide the dispute pertaining to the Dhingra Commission report within two months.
The court held that "criminal conspirators" had bought plots from "innocent land owners" at rates far below their market value, The Economic Times reported. "Thus, some politicians who were also important functionaries... officers and their agents caused a wrongful loss of Rs 1,500 crore to land owners of Village Manesar, Naurangpur and Lakhnoula of District Gurgaon and corresponding wrongful gain to themselves", the SC bench said. It also slammed "mindless acquisition" of agricultural land warning it would lead to eventual food shortage, besides displacing huge numbers from their homes and hearths.
"We direct the authorities of the state as well as the central government to reach the depths of such transactions and recover every single pie and make it over to the state government. A complete investigation in the transactions. shall be undertaken by CBI". The Court declared it as a fraudulent use of power. It ordered that all the land the Haryana government had acquired should now be vested with Huda, free from all encumbrances.
"There was an unholy nexus between the government machinery and the builders/private entities in devising a modality to deprive the innocent and gullible landholders of their holdings and jeopardise public interest, which the acquisition was meant to achieve", Justice Lalit said in the 97-page judgement authored by him on behalf of the bench. The sale deeds/other agreements in favour of the builder were also quashed. The bench quashed all sale deeds, release orders and other contracts issued to the private builders, who the judges said can not recover any money they paid the land owners. The landowners who have not received compensation will receive it.