The Karnataka High Court has said that if some landowners have relinquished their land it cannot be a ground to compel other landowners to do so except in accordance with law.
A single judge bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit, partly allowed a bunch of petitions and restrained the Land Acquisition officer of Sagar City Municipal Council, from forcibly taking away the land of petitioners for expansion of a road.
The court rejected the submission of the government counsel that some of the land owners have agreed and accordingly given up their lands by executing Relinquishment Deeds and therefore, this course is open to the Petitioners as well wherein the compensation payable would be three times the Guideline value keeping in view the provisions of Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.
It said “That cannot be a legal ground to compel the petitioners to give up their land too. Since constitutionally guaranteed avails to the property of individuals and not necessarily the collection of individuals. An argument to the contrary would undermine the sanctity & efficacy of Article 300A and therefore, cannot be countenanced.”
The petitioner’s counsel had submitted that the Right to Property though not a Fundamental Right is constitutionally guaranteed under Article 300A. His clients cannot be compelled to give up their property except in accordance with law. Moreover, his clients are not agreeable for relinquishing their property and therefore, if at all the State wants these properties, the acquisition process under 2013 Act is the only course open.
Further, it was prayed that his clients’ ownership & possession should be protected from interference of the Respondents save with the authority of law.
The bench agreed with the submissions made by the petitioners and said “Lands cannot be touched by the State and the authorities, save by acquisition in accordance with law the Right to Property having been constitutionally guaranteed.”
Thus it directed “The Respondents are restrained from interfering with the properties of the Petitioners till after the same are acquired in accordance with law, namely 2013 Act.”
Case Title: K V Srinivas Rao & others And State of Karnataka & Others
Case No: WRIT PETITION NO.24580/2021(LA-RES) C/W WRIT PETITION NOS.22750/2021(LB-RES), 23022/2021(LB-RES),6905/2022(LA-RES)
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Kar) 25
Date of Order: 17-01-2023
Appearance: Advocate Vijaya M N for petitioners; AGA R Srinivasa Gowda FOR R1 TO R4; Advocate R Vishwasnath Hegde for R5.