New Delhi, April 17 (IANS) Clearing the decks for the expansion of Jamia Millia Islamia, the Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the Delhi government to acquire about 107 bighas (approximately 26 hectares) of prime land in Okhla village in south Delhi.
The case pertains to 214 bighas of land in Okhla village that Delhi government
wanted to acquire for the expansion of the 92-year-old university, one of India's oldest.
The city government had initiated the process a few months ago, but the Uttar Pradesh government objected to this, contending the land belonged to the state.
The court had in January stopped the acquisition process and ordered the maintenance of status quo.
"We contended before the court that the land belonged to the union government and that Jamia, being a central university, needs the land for its expansion," said Atyab Siddiqui, the varsity's standing counsel.
"The court modified its earlier order and allowed the acquisition of about 107 bighas of land. The rest of the 107 bighas would remain under judicial restrainment," Siddiqui added.
The Uttar Pradesh government had contended that it owned the entire area of a little over 214 bighas.
"The order has given a boost to Jamia's expansion plans. Currently, we are hard pressed for the space and there is hardly any space left for expansion," Jamia Millia Islamia media coordinator Mukesh Ranjan told IANS.
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