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"This Can Happen Only In This Country & With These Govt. Officials": Madras High Court On 54-Year Delay In Disbursing LA Compensation

Sparsh Upadhyay
8 Feb 2021 4:37 PM GMT
This Can Happen Only In This Country & With These Govt. Officials: Madras High Court On 54-Year Delay In Disbursing LA Compensation
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"Neither the Government nor its officials are interested in the welfare of the citizens and honoring orders of this Court. Excuses after excuses have been made to satisfy the award passed by this Court.”

The Madras High Court (Madurai Bench) last week came down heavily on the Government Officials of the State of Tamil Nadu for delaying the disbursement of compensation, by 54 years, for a piece of land acquired to set up a bus depot. The Bench of Justice R. Subramanian specifically observed, "It is almost 54 years now since the land was acquired. This can happen only in this country...

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The Madras High Court (Madurai Bench) last week came down heavily on the Government Officials of the State of Tamil Nadu for delaying the disbursement of compensation, by 54 years, for a piece of land acquired to set up a bus depot.

The Bench of Justice R. Subramanian specifically observed,

"It is almost 54 years now since the land was acquired. This can happen only in this country and with these Government officials."

The matter before the Court

The Tamil Nadu Government filed a plea under Section 148 of Civil Procedure Code seeking grant of an extension of time for further four months to deposit compensation amount along with accrued interest before Sub Court, Palani.

The proceedings arose in execution of a award passed in L.A.O.P.No.73 of 1974 by the Sub Court, Palani.

The land in question was acquired by the Government for formation of the Bus Depot at Palani under a 4 (1) notification on 03.08.1967.

By an order dated 21st October 2010, the executing court directed attachment of tables and chairs in the office of the Revenue Divisional Officer, Palani. Challenging the said order, the above revision came to be filed before the Court in 2011.

When the revision was ultimately taken up for hearing, the Government Advocate had submitted a memo of calculation signed by the Special Tahsildar showing that there is a balance of Rs.25,42,894/-. It was also undertaken that the said amount would be paid on or before 10.01.2019.

However, the said amount was not paid and the Revenue Divisional officer, Dindigul, filed the instant application seeking extension of time.

Noting that Government officials have been "lethargic, indifferent and cruel" while dealing with the rights of the citizens, the Court said,

"I do not think any further fact is necessary to justify my conclusion that neither the Government nor its officials are interested in the welfare of the citizens and honouring orders of this Court. Excuses after excuses have been made to satisfy the award passed by this Court."

Lastly, considering the "fervent request" made by the Special Government Pleader, time was granted to comply with the award till 25th March 2021.

The Court also directed that if the entire balance compensation is not deposited by that day, the District Collector, Dindigul will appear in person before the Court on 26th March 2021.

Case title - The District Collector, Dindigul District and Another v. Saraswathi and others [CMP (MD). No.2487 of 2019 in CRP (MD). No. 919 of 2011]

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