The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) is leaning toward not appealing the ruling on the Dapu land expropriation case to avoid harming the residents, Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) said yesterday, adding that the final decision would not be made until after receiving the verdict in writing.
“At the moment, we do not have enough information to make a final decision. We can only do so after receiving the verdict in writing from the Taichung High Administrative Court and discussing it with the Miaoli County Government,” Lee said. “However, unlike in the past, we are considering not appealing the case, because it could cause more harm to the residents.”
Lee was referring to a verdict handed down by the Taichung Administrative Court on Friday, which ruled in favor of four families in Dapu Borough (大埔), in Jhunan Township (竹南), Miaoli County, in a high-profile dispute on land expropriation.
The court ruled that the approval by both Miaoli County Government and the ministry to seize private lands and demolish private homes to make way for a science park project in Dapu was unlawful, since the county government did not negotiate the amount of the compensation with the landlords and the ministry did not fulfill all legal requirements during a review of the application for the development project submitted by the county.
While a total of 19 Dapu residents collectively filed the lawsuit, only nine of them belonging to four families — Chang (張), Chu (朱), Ko (柯) and Huang (黃) — won, since the other plaintiffs have already agreed to the compensation measures proposed by the county government.
Thomas Chan (詹順貴), the attorney representing the Dapu residents, said that the ministry was unlikely to win the lawsuit even if it decides to appeal.
“The High Administrative Court actually ruled in favor of the MOI at first, but the ruling was revoked by the Supreme Administrative Court, which pointed out particular mistakes that the ministry has made in approving the project, and asked the High Administrative Court to review the case, leading to the High Administrative Court’s overturn of its own previous ruling,” Chan said in a separate setting yesterday.
“If the ministry does decide to appeal the case, I believe the Supreme Administrative Court would uphold its previous views on the case, and reject the appeal or make another ruling in favor of the residents,” Chan added.