Kochi: Kerala High Court has given a relief to a family involved in a land dispute with the government for the past 50 years by upholding their writ appeal.
The court order stated that reduction and alienation in the land under the possession of the government could not be put on the shoulders of others.
Heirs of Venkateswara Shenoy was objecting to Ramachandra Kamath handing over 1.76 acres to the government by registering a trust deed for setting up a primary health centre at Thuravoor in Alappuzha district in 1957.
Mr Shenoy died in 1968, and his wife and children filed a case in Alappuzha sub-court claiming that out of the 1.76 acres, they have the right to 88 cents and the court ruled in their favour.
When the complaints filed a petition for the implementation of the verdict, the government stated that it had taken 34 cents for the highway development and another 24 cents were with encroachers.
The complainants again went to Alappuzha district court, and the court in 2001 gave a compensation of Rs 85,000 for the land acquired for the highway development because they have only the right for 17 out of the 30 cents they claimed.
The complainants then appealed in the HC against the order of the district court leading to the present verdict.
Referring to the Alappuzha sub-court verdict, it observed that the government was entrusted with 1.76 acres of land and the entrustment was challenged by the family members of the late Mr Shenoy claiming half of it.
"The entrustment of the entire property with the government is not in dispute. If there is any reduction of extent, alienation, parting with possession of property to strangers or acquisition of any property either due to default on the part of the defendant or due to any action, deeds or inaction, the same can be adjusted towards the share of the defendant and it cannot be put on the shoulder of the other sharer", it said.
According to T.R.S. Kumar, counsel for the complainant, the verdict rendered justice to the family as the government can only now claim rights over the land by paying compensation as per provisions of the land acquisition act passed in 2013....