All HC | Compulsory acquisition of private land of citizens without granting any compensation – violates Articles 14 and 300-A of the Constitution

Allahabad High Court: A Division Bench of Shashi Kant Gupta and Pankaj Bhatia, JJ. allowed a writ petition in a matter related to the construction of a public road on the land of the petitioner.

The grievance of the petitioner in the instant case was that, the respondent authorities were constructing a public road over the land of the petitioner without acquiring the land lawfully. The land in question was acquired by the State, and no compensation was given to the petitioner.

The Chief Standing Counsel from the side of the respondents contended that the Government Order dated 12-05-2016 provided that when the land was being acquired without giving any compensation, the matter would be considered by the Committee as constituted under the said Government Order and the committee after examining the matter, would submit its report within a period of two months before the concerned District Magistrate, who will act upon that report within one month thereafter.

The Court after considering all the relevant facts and circumstances directed the petitioner to file representation in terms of the Government Order dated 12-05-2016 before the Committee as constituted under the said Government Order. Apart from this, it also recorded its strong displeasure on the trend of taking possession of the private land of the citizens without an acquisition or giving any compensation to them. It declared this practice unsound in terms of contravention to Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 and in violation of Articles 14 and 300-A of the Constitution of India.

The Court held, “Compulsory acquisition without acquiring the land or making any payment of the property belonging to a private individual is a serious matter having grave repercussions on his constitutional right of not being deprived of his property without sanction of law.”

In view the above, the Court directed the Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh to ensure that action be taken against the erring officials who take the possession of the land from the owners illegally without adhering to the statutory provisions.[Gayatri Devi v. State of Uttar Pradesh, Writ- C No. 14473 of 2019, decided on 09-05-2019]

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