Pat HC | Delay of 3 years in making payment under Right to Fair Compensation Act found not bona fide; amount at the rate of 9% simple interest granted

Patna High Court: Ahsanuddin Amanullah, J, disposed the petition directing the respondents to pay the simple interest at the rate 9% per annum as provided under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 for three years delay in the amount being paid to the petitioner.

The facts of the case are that a person whose land has been taken in the year 2011, receives the full compensation only in the year 2020, wherein the additional demand of Rs 19,30,03,159 was raised before the respondents on 12-09-2015. However, the said amount was sanctioned by the Ministry of Home Affairs on 09-08-2018 and thereafter sent on 16-08-2018. There was no justification for the non-release of funds for a full three years.

The Court observed that the part of the delay can be understood in a way that a new Act came into force and thereafter things were re-worked. However, once the amount was quantified and demands rose by the District authorities on 12-09-2015, thereafter, the late sanctioning and sending the money after three years cannot be said to be bona fide. The Court, thus, opined that the petitioner is entitled to simple interest at 9% per annum, as has been provided in the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 itself, for three years delay in the amount being paid to the petitioner. [Surendra Das v. State of Bihar, 2020 SCC OnLine Pat 268, decided on 22-01-2020]

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