The Bombay excessive court docket (HC) on Monday held that railway our bodies which wish to purchase land, can not insist that landowners shall take away encroachments and hand them over vacant possession, earlier than compensation is paid for the land acquired underneath the Railways Act, 1989.
“From a minute and cautious examination of the 2 provisions [sections 20-H and 20-I of the Railways Act], what’s discernible is that fee of compensation to the individual(s) entitled, isn’t dependent upon handing over of possession of the land,” stated the bench of justice Ujjal Bhuyan and justice NR Borkar.
The bench stated there was no detrimental covenant within the regulation that empowered the buying our bodies to insist on encroachment-free possession of the land and withhold compensation on these grounds.
HC stated the authorized provisions made it clear that earlier than taking up possession of the land, the Central authorities has to deposit compensation with the competent authority, and as quickly because the deposit is made, the competent authority shall make the fee to the individual(s) entitled. Nevertheless, a interval of sixty days is prescribed for surrendering or delivering possession of the land.
“That is clearly indicative of the truth that fee of compensation isn’t contingent upon handing over possession,” the bench stated.
The court docket was listening to a petition filed by Premier Restricted, looking for a course to Devoted Freight Hall Company of India Restricted (DFCCIL), a subsidiary of Indian Railways, to launch the compensation quantity of ₹21.71 crore for 28,672sqm of the petitioner firm’s land at Bhopar in Thane district. The piece of land has been acquired by DFCCIL for the Western Devoted Freight Hall, a particular railway undertaking with a route size of 1483km, from Jawaharlal Nehru Port Belief (JNPT) to Dadri in Haryana.
Premier Ltd complained that although the ultimate award was handed as regards the piece of land on Could 6, 2017, and the land was transferred in income data to DFCCIL, compensation was not paid to it on the grounds that it did not clear encroachments on the land. The corporate contended that nowhere within the regulation was such a situation stipulated, and it was legally unsustainable.
DFCCIL, however, maintained that the land was well-protected till the publication of the primary notification for its acquisition, however thereafter, the petitioner firm permitted encroachments. “That is out of mala fide want of the petitioner to extract extra money as compensation from the second respondent, being hand in glove with the encroachers,” stated the lawyer for the railway subsidiary. “Because the land has been acquired for a public goal, the petitioner should clear the encroachments first, and handover possession of the vacant land, free from all encumbrances,” the lawyer added.
HC, nonetheless, refused to just accept the argument. The bench stated within the backdrop of the authorized place, the stand taken by DFCCIL was not justified. “Calling upon the petitioner to evict encroachers and at hand over vacant possession of the land, as a situation precedent to fee of compensation, is legally unsustainable,” stated the bench.
The court docket has now directed the sub-divisional officer at Kalyan, by whom the land was acquired, to pay the compensation quantity to Premier Restricted in six weeks, together with curiosity on the charge of 6℅ every year.