Bar & Bench, Jan 31 2017, New Delhi: The Supreme Court has today floated the possibility of a Committee being set up to deliberate the amount of compensation to be granted to those who were displaced by Narmada Dam Project.

A Bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justices NV Ramana and DY Chandrachud today accepted that the adivasis and locals of the region had “been wronged, without a doubt” but refused to entertain the possibility of stopping the developmental work and re-issuing the land to the aggrieved.

Advocate Sanjay Parikh appeared for the petitioners. Noted Human rights activist Medha Patkar was also present in Court today. Patkar has been the most recognizable face of the movement which also had names like actor Aamir Khan associated with it.

After hearing the petitioners at length, the Bench made it clear at the very outset that their demand for claiming the original land could not be allowed. The Bench then posed a single pertinent question to Parekh,

“What should we do that gives you a way out? Tell us what you want in lieu of the land. What has happened has happened. “

The Bench themselves then mooted the idea of having a committee to ascertain the exact amount of compensation payable to the aggrieved. It also put to rest apprehensions of a biased committee, leaving the decision to appoint the members in the hands of both the petitioners and respondents. The Bench stated,

“Give us names that no one will reject. There are such people in the country who inspire confidence in everyone. It doesn’t have to be very old people. We need people who can run up and down. “

The suggestion was met with satisfaction by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for the Centre.

The matter is now posted for February 8, by which time the parties are expected to come up with a list of names for the Committee members.