Onus is on petitioner for claiming relief: Andhra Pradesh HC

Court can’t be moved for execution of compensation after inordinate delay.

Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh High Court has made it clear that the burden was on the petitioner to establish the reasons for the delay and laches in approaching the court seeking relief from it, against the state, for its alleged illegal or wrongful executive action.

Justice P. Naveen Rao was dismissing a petition by Mohd Abdul Khader, seeking a direction to the state government, to pay balance compensation for acquiring 102 acres in Cherlapally, of Ranga Reddy district, in 1966.

Referring to a judgment of the apex court, the judge reiterated that the conduct of the petitioner should not be blameworthy, of the laches, undue delay, acquiescence, and waiver.

Ignoring the delay and laches on the part of a person, claiming the relief, if the relief was granted by the High Court, it was unsustainable as it would amount to not making decision judiciously.

The land of the petitioner was acquired in 1966 at the rate of Rs 2,000 per acre.

Aggrieved by the award, he moved the civil court and the civil court enhanced the rate to Rs 3,500 per acre and then he preferred an appeal before the High Court and the appeal was dismissed.

Then the petitioner moved the Supreme Court contending that for the neighboring lands compensation at the rate of Rs 2 per square yard was granted, which lands were acquired under the same Gazette notification.

The Apex Court considered his plea and disposed of the petitions holding that there should not be any distinction between the lands covered by the same notification. After that the authorities awarded compensation to him by excluding 1/3rd of the total extent of the land, for the purpose of roads, and common areas. He received compensation under protest in 1993.

In 2006, he moved the High Court by filing a writ stating that he was entitled for the compensation for his total land and the authorities withheld the compensation for 1/3 of the total land. Despite his representation, the authorities refused to pay the balance amount.

The government claimed that 1/3 of the land to be excluded as in any development of land, into a residential or commercial property, certain percentage of land has to be earmarked for roads and common amenities and said portion of land vests in the government.

The government contended that if the petitioner was not satisfied on the compensation, determined by the competent authority, in accordance with the order of the Supreme Court, he ought to have filed Execution Petition before civil court.

The Supreme Court passed the order in 1979 and after lapsing of almost two decades he invoked the jurisdiction of the High Court, which cannot be sustainable, the government argued.

Citing the larger bench decision of the AP High Court, in Bhimidipati Annapoorna’s case, the judge said that where the amount of compensation, finally determined was not paid, a person must first resort to the alternate remedy of taking out execution proceedings.

Despite it, if there was delay in paying the compensation, jurisdiction of this court can be invoked under Article 226 of the Constitution, the judge added.

Justice Naveen Rao found that the petitioner failed to explain the reasons for not taking the execution proceedings and it was not a case of non-payment of compensation, therefore, the remedy of writ petition was not maintainable.

( Source : dc )
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