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Calcutta HC Raps Police Authorities For Non-Registration Of FIR In Case Of Non-Payment Of Compensation Under Land Acquisition Act

Aaratrika Bhaumik
17 Feb 2022 3:57 PM GMT
Calcutta HC Raps Police Authorities For Non-Registration Of FIR In Case Of Non-Payment Of Compensation Under Land Acquisition Act
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The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday expressed displeasure at the conduct of the police authorities of Alipurduar Police Station in not registering an FIR despite receipt of complaint with regards to non-payment of compensation under Land Acquisition Act, 1894. Justice Rajasekhar Mantha observed, "This Court, therefore, takes exception to the conduct of the Alipurduar Police Station...

The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday expressed displeasure at the conduct of the police authorities of Alipurduar Police Station in not registering an FIR despite receipt of complaint with regards to non-payment of compensation under Land Acquisition Act, 1894. 

Justice Rajasekhar Mantha observed, 

"This Court, therefore, takes exception to the conduct of the Alipurduar Police Station in not registering FIR."

The Court further underscored that as per the dictum laid down by the Supreme Court in the decision of Lalita Kumari v. Govt. Of U.P. & Ors police authorities are bound to register FIR and commence investigation on the receipt of complaint disclosing a cognisable offence and accordingly observed further, 

"Having heard the rival contentions of the parties, this Court is of the considered view that since after receipt of a complaint as regards the commission of a cognizable offence, the Alipurduar Police Station was bound to register FIR and commence investigation, as per the dicta of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Lalita Kumari vs Govt. Of U.P. & Ors reported in (2014) 2 SCC 1."

In the instant case, the petitioner had preferred a complaint dated September 3, 2021 addressed to the Alipurduar Police Station with regards to the non-payment of compensation under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. A complaint in this regard had also been filed by the office of the District Magistrate, Alipurduar on September 4, 2021 with the Kotwali and Alipurduar Police Stations. 

During the proceedings, the counsel for the NHAI submitted that the central authority had nothing to do in the matter since the compensation has already been deposited with the office of the District Magistrate, Jalpiaiguri and disbursal thereof is by the State Authority. 

Furthermore, the senior counsel appearing for the former Additional Land Acquisition Collector apprised the Court that the money payable to the writ petitioner had been mistakenly transferred to the relative of a third person bearing the same name as the writ petitioner. The Court was further informed that after detecting the mistake, the money was subsequently re-transferred back to the account of the writ petitioner and relevant records to this effect was also submitted before the Court. 

Pursuant to the submissions, the Court directed the concerned police authorities to immediately register an FIR and complete investigation within a period of 2 months. The Court further observed in this regard, 

"It is ordered that FIR shall forthwith be registered and investigation should be completed as expeditiously as possible preferably within a period of two months from the date of communication of a copy of this order and after completion of investigation, a suitable report shall be submitted before the Jurisdictional Magistrate."

It was further opined that as to whether there is criminality or whether the ingredients of the offences are available would depend on the statements made in the complaint. The investigating officer was ordered to consider the same while submitting the final report to the ACJM concerned.

Accordingly, the petition was disposed of. 

Case Title: Sabita Roy v. State of West Bengal 

Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Cal) 43

Click Here To Read/Download Order 


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