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"Right To Property Is Basic Human Right": J&K&L High Court Imposes ₹10 Lakh Penalty On Govt. For "Forcibly" Taking Over Private Land

Aasif Wani
1 July 2022 5:15 AM GMT
Right To Property Is Basic Human Right: J&K&L High Court Imposes ₹10 Lakh Penalty On Govt. For Forcibly Taking Over Private Land

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

A division bench comprising of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Javid Iqbal Wani observed,

"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 prescribe in law."

The Court also directed the administration to 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 petitioner's specific allegation was that back in 2017, the R&B Department took possession of his land for construction of the long Steel Girder Bridge at Zalpora Sultanpora Sumbal, Bandipora. However the possession was taken over without formally acquiring the said land in accordance with any statutory provision or with the consent of the petitioner.

He contended that he was not been paid any compensation of the said land ever since it was taken over by the government.
The Public Works Department, in their reply, did not dispute the claim made by petitioner admitting that land of the petitioner was taken over for construction of Steel Girder Bridge. They also submitted that the representation of the petitioner for grant of compensation is under consideration and proposed to pay compensation as per the stamp duty rate.
Taking a cue from facts and circumstances, the court noted the land of the petitioner has been taken over forcibly without consent of the petitioner and without taking recourse to any procedure prescribed in law.
Holding respondents responsible for violating the basic human right of the petitioner and for depriving him of his property without following any procedure of Law the Division bench in it's order said:
"...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."
The respondents were directed to compensate the petitioner after assessing and determining the compensation of the aforesaid land payable to the petitioner at the stamp duty rate as prevalent today in the area. The process is to be completed in 3 months and 6 weeks respectively.
Court also left the doors open for petitioner and hinted at taking coercive measures in case the government fails to pay the aforesaid amount within the stipulated time.
The court observed: "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.
Case Title: Shabir Ahmad Yatoo. Vs. UT of J&K and Ors.

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (JKL) 52

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