SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed state authorities to pay compensation within two months as per the market rate and a plot of land apiece to the dislocated families of Haft Chinar (Nursing Garh) Indira Gandhi road, Srinagar, whose land was acquired for construction purposes by the government.
The court also directed the authorities to submit the petitioners’ case within three weeks before a High-Level Committee (HLC) headed by the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir for fixation and payment of adequate compensation for the building structures and the terms of the package related to such structures in the form of residential plots to be provided for dislocated families.
The court of Justice M K Hanjura said that “the cumulative effect of all that has been said and done above is that the writ petition on hand is disposed of, and impugned award dated 10 December 2010, bearing endorsement no. C/CRP/632-40, issued by the Collector, Circular Road Project, Srinagar, is quashed.”
“The concerned authorities are directed to submit the case of the petitioners to the High Level Committee, headed by the Divisional Commissioner(DC) Kashmir, for fixation and payment of adequate compensation for the building structures and in terms of the package related to such structure in the form of providing residential plots for dislocated families,” the court said.“The respondents shall also pay compensation in lieu of the shops acquired from the petitioners on the analogy of similarly situated shopkeepers.”
“The petitioners’ case shall be submitted to the High Level Committee within a period of three weeks from the date copy of this order is served upon the Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, and the Collector, Circular Road Project, Srinagar. The Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, shall take a decision in light of the directions for payment of adequate compensation and for providing the plot of the land in favour of the petitioners within a period of two months thereafter,” the court said.
Case details: The fascicule of facts, indispensable and germane to comprehend the backdrop of the writ petition, based whereupon the case has been set in motion and the present legal process has been made, has its genesis and origin in the envisioning of the widening of Haft Chinar Indira Gandhi Road, Srinagar.
The Public Works (R&B) Department through Executive Engineer, construction Division 3rd, Ganderbal, vide indent nos.15238-15297, dated 10 September 2004, had requisitioned the acquisition of land measuring 02 kanals and 237.169 square feet, comprising of Khasra nos.1707/830 min, 1742/830 min, 828 min, 829 min, 830 min and the structures bearing engineering marks nos.1 to 18, situated in Estate Nursing Garh, Tehsil and District Srinagar.
The Notification under Section 4 of the State Land Acquisition Act was issued vide no. C/CRP/LA/766-79, dated 14 September 2004 and published in dailies/newspapers as well as through Tehsildar, Srinagar, calling for objections from interested persons.
The acquisition case was taken up by the High Level Committee (HLC) headed by the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, in which out of 18 structures notified, the owners of 14 structures accepted the HLC decision and surrendered possession to the indenting department. However, the owners of four of the structures, nos 2, 4, 13 and 14, did not surrender the possession.
Given the objection of the owners and the decision of the HLC, the Collector, Circular Road Project, Srinagar, proceeded to acquire the afore-mentioned structures and the land under the compulsory actions mode.
The matter was taken up with the Financial Commissioner (Revenue) J&K, vide no. C/CRP/1586-92, dated 17 March 2008, for issuance of the notification/declaration under Sections 6, 7 and 17 of the Land Acquisition Act. The government issued notification no. 323 of 2008 under Sections 6, 7 and 17 of the Land Acquisition Act with a direction to finalise the case immediately and take over the possession of the land.
Notification under Sections 9 and 9A of the Land Acquisition Act was issued vide no. C/CRP/LA/532/39, dated 03.11.2008, to the interested persons as well as the concerned indenting department to file objections qua the rate, measurement claims and their interests, within 15 days.
The objections were submitted by the owners of structure nos. 2, 4, 13 and 14. The indenting department, vide communications bearing nos. EE/1670-72, dated 20.04.2009, and EE/1673-75, dated 20.04.2009, requested for de-notification of the area of the land arising because of the change of the road alignment.
The Collector, Circular Road Project, Srinagar, by the notification no.13/DCS of 2010, dated 11 January 2010, was authorised to take the order for the acquisition of the land declared as requirement for public purpose under Section 6 of the Act.
The land acquisition cases of Haft Chinar Indira Gandhi Road, Srinagar, with regard to the land/structures bearing nos. 2, 4, 13 and 14 was processed afresh right from the issuing of the notification under Section 4 to Sections 9 and 9A of the Act. The land/structure owners again put forward their objections for the payment of compensation as per the market rate. The objections made by the structure owners were examined by the concerned authority, and it was declared that the said objections were not tangible.
In terms of the final award, bearing endorsement no. C/CRP/632-40, dated 10 December 2010, the Collector, Circular Road Project, Srinagar, assessed the compensation of Rs.10,81,591 for the land measuring 2,179.21 square feet, Rs. 31,94,400 as the cost of the four structures, and Rs.1,62,237 as Jabirana @ 15 percent. In total, Rs. 44,38,228 has been awarded as the compensation to which the petitioners are aggrieved and are claiming that the compensation has not been paid as per market rates.