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Relatives Not Dependent On Claimant Will Constitute A Separate Family Unit For Purposes Of Compensation & Rehabilitation: Supreme Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
10 Aug 2021 7:25 AM GMT
Relatives Not Dependent On Claimant Will Constitute A Separate Family Unit For Purposes Of Compensation & Rehabilitation: Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court observed that the relatives who are not dependent on the claimant will constitute a separate family unit for the purposes of compensation and rehabilitation.In this case, the issue was whether one Anadinath Banerjee is entitled to employment by Eastern Coalfields Limited in lieu of the acquisition of lands, on the strength of a tripartite agreement. According to the...

The Supreme Court observed that the relatives who are not dependent on the claimant will constitute a separate family unit for the purposes of compensation and rehabilitation.

In this case, the issue was whether one Anadinath Banerjee is entitled to employment by Eastern Coalfields Limited in lieu of the acquisition of lands, on the strength of a tripartite agreement. According to the said agreement, a claimant would be eligible for the grant of employment if the land acquired for the purposes of the project is at least 2.0 acres. The High Court allowed his Writ petition after it found that he was in possession of land in excess of the minimum required (2 acres) and was, therefore, entitled to employment.

In appeal, the court noted that reliance was placed by the claimant on Land Acquisition Collector's report. It indicates that the total holding of 2.01 acres which has been computed includes lands of several relatives and others, who are alleged to have executed affidavits in his favour, the court said.

The holding of relatives and others cannot be included in the holding of the respondent merely on the basis of self-serving affidavits which would not amount to a conveyance of title, the bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed.

The court noted that in compensation schemes, the 'family' is considered as the unit. The court also referred to the definition of family under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. It also noticed that in Employees' Provident Fund Scheme, 1952, Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 define 'family' to include wife, children, and dependent families.

"12 The principle which can be deduced is that relatives who are not dependent on the claimant will constitute a separate family unit for the purposes of compensation and rehabilitation. The self-serving affidavits executed by the father, brother and nephews of the respondent cannot be taken as the basis of determining whether the holding of the respondent was in excess of the threshold of two acres. Such affidavits create no interest in the land particularly when the persons who executed them do not fall within the ambit of the phrase 'family'.", the court observed.

Allowing the appeal, the court held that the claimant failed to establish that his holding was in excess of 2 acres, and thus was not entitled to employment. 


Case: Eastern Coalfields Limited vs. Anadinath Banerjee (D) ; CA 2887-89/2021
Citation: LL 2021 SC 366
Coram: Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah

Click here to Read/Download Judgment




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