Delay in payment of compensation to the land owners of Tethar-Takiya Road

HC directs DC Ramban and SDM Banihal to decide claims


Jammu, Feb 10: In a significant order Justice Alok Aradhe of Jammu Kashmir High Court (Jammu Wing) in a writ petition filed by residents of Villages Tethar, Banihal directed Deputy Commissioner Ramban and Collector Land Acquisition Banihal to decide the claims of the petitioners for the payment of due amount in accordance with law within a period of four weeks.
When this writ petition filed by Ghulam Hassan Shan alongwith other residents of Village Tethar, Banihal came up for consideration Advocates Irfaan Khan appearing for the petitioners submitted in the year 2013 the despite the completion of the construction work of Tethar-Takiya Road only fifty percent of the awarded compensation has been paid to some petitioners and in case of petitioners 11 to 15 not even a single penny has been paid till date.
Advocate Khan further submitted that in the year 2011 the Executive Engineer Public works Department submitted an indent to Collector Land Acquisition Banihal for the construction of Tethar-Takiya Road as the same was sanctioned under NABARD RIDF-XVI and accordingly acquisition proceedings were initiated by the Collector Land Acquisiton Banihal and the land of the petitioners alongwith other inhabitants was acquired. He further submitted the in the year 2013 award was finalized and the compensation at the rate of Rs 5.50 lac per kanal was fixed and the total compensation awarded for 28 kanals and 15 ½ marlas and Jabrana at the rate of 15 percent was Rs 18200187.00 and out of that only 50% was paid to most of the petitioners and nothing to petitioners 11 to 15. The liability has been admitted by the Collector Land acquisition Banihal in response to the legal notice wherein it has been stated that out of 1.82 crore only Rs 31.37 lac has been disbursed and the remaining Rs 1.50 Crore is still pending.
Advocate Khan also submitted that appropriate directions be issued to the respondents to release the outstanding compensation beside interest as per section 35 of J&K Land Acquisition Act which is mandatory as the same is integral part of compensation. He relied on the judgment of the Apex Court passed in case of Laxmi Devi wherein the delay on part of State in paying compensation to a land owner is an act of 'carelessness and callousness" beside the same amounts to flagrant violation of fundamental rights of the petitioners as guaranteed under Constitution of India. At this stage Mr Ehsan Mirza Dy Advocate General submitted that suitable action in accordance with law shall be taken.
After hearing both the sides, Justice Alok Aradhe directed Deputy Commissioner Ramban and Sub-Divisonal Magistrate Banihal to decide the claims of the
petitioners for payment of due amount in accordance with law within a period of four weeks.JNF

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