‘Forcible Takeover Of Land’: HC Slaps Rs 10L ‘Special’ Penalty On Govt

J&K High Court | File Photo

Srinagar- The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh has imposed a penalty of Rs. 10 lakh on the UT administration for forcibly taking over a private land, without following due procedure of law.

The judgement came into a writ petition filed by Shabir Ahmad Yatoo in which he pleaded that the government had forcibly taken over his land measuring
9.053 marlas at Moza Sultanpora in Sumbal, Bandipora district.

The petitioner in the case had had pleaded that the R&B Department took possession of his land for construction of the long Steel Girder Bridge but without his consent or acquiring the land in accordance with any statutory provision.

The petitioner had not claimed that he wasn’t paid any compensation of the said land ever since then.

“On account of violation of the right to property of the petitioner which is guaranteed by the Constitution, the respondents are directed to pay special penalty of Rs. 10.00 lacs to the petitioner within a period of three months,” the High court said, adding that if aforesaid amounts are not paid within the time stipulated, it will be open for the petitioner to move an application and to bring it to the notice of the Court whereupon the Court will swing into action and take appropriate coercive measures against the respondents for the realization of the aforesaid amount may be as arrears of land revenue.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Javid Iqbal Wani heard the matter on June 30, 2022, observing that the right to property is a basic human right.

“It is well recognized that Right to Property is a basic human right which is akin to a fundamental right as guaranteed by Article 300 A of the Constitution of India and that no one can be deprived of his property other than by following procedure prescribed in law,” the division bench noted, adding that “it is also an admitted fact that the petitioner has not been paid any compensation in respect of the said land though the determination/assessment of the compensation is under way as per the stamp duty rate”.

The bench further observed that the facts mentioned by petitioner Shabir Ahmad Yatoo through Advocate Javid Ahmad Parray has brought into forth that the UT of J&K has violated the basic human right of the petitioner.

“The facts as narrated above clearly reveal that the respondents have violated the basic human right of the petitioner and has deprived him of his property without following any procedure of Law,” the court noted.

In its order, the division bench noted that the respondents are liable to be penalized for violating the basic human right of the petitioner and at the same time to pay compensation of the said land at the stamp duty rate prevalent today as well as the rental compensation for its use and occupation from the year 2017 till date.

“Accordingly, the respondents are directed to assess and determine the compensation of the aforesaid land payable to the petitioner at the stamp duty rate as prevalent today in the area within a period of 6 weeks and to make payment thereof within a further period of 3 months. The respondents at the same time shall also pay token rental compensation for the use and occupation of the aforesaid land from the year 2017 till 2021 i.e., 05 years @ Rs. 1.00 lac per year within 3 months from today,” the court said.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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