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Telangana HC: Pay one rate for Patta land, assigned land

DECCAN CHRONICLE | Vujjini Vamshidhar

Published on: January 7, 2023 | Updated on: January 8, 2023

Telangana High Court.   DC Image

HYDERABAD: A division bench of the Telangana High Court, comprising Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice N. Tukaramji, directed the state government not to be discriminatory in payment of compensation for the assigned land it had acquired.

The bench reiterated that the Supreme Court judgment in ‘Land acquisition officer vs Mekala Pandu and others’ evidenced that assignees of government land were entitled to payment of compensation equivalent to the full market value of the land and other benefits at par with patta owners.

This would apply even in cases where the assigned land holdings were taken possession of by the state in accordance with the terms of the grant, notwithstanding the fact that such resumption was for a public purpose.

The bench was dealing with an appeal filed by the government, challenging the order of a single judge bench which had directed the government to pay compensation to assignees, whose land was resumed in 1998 for the purpose of submergence under the Udaya Samudram tank in Panagal, Nalgonda, on par with what was paid to patta holders.

In 1998, the compensation was awarded to assignees and pattadars at `31,500 per acre. Later, when the pattadars approached the High Court, the award was enhanced to `1,10,000 in 2008. The enhanced amount was deposited in 2011 only for patta landowners.

Stating that the assignees did not petition the court, the government did not agree to pay enhanced amounts to them. After several representations to the authorities, the assignees approached the High Court in 2016.

In March 2022, a single judge directed the government to pay compensation on par with what was paid to patta holders. Challenging it, the government had filed an appeal.

While upholding the single judge orders, the division bench observed that if the state did not act in conformity with the law, it was not open for it to defeat or deny a legitimate claim to compensation on grounds of delay.