No Compensation When Title Is in Dispute: HC

Hyderabad: A two-judge bench of the Telangana High Court refused to enhance compensation for lands acquired in 1985 on the ground of delay and latches. The bench also set aside the order of a single judge awarding compensation as in 1985.

The bench, comprising Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice J. Anil Kumar, was dealing with two writ appeals, one filed by the writ petitioner Radhe Shyam and another by the district collector. Earlier, the appellant-petitioner filed a writ petition contending that ancestral land admeasuring 3000 sq. yards in Thotaguda revenue village in the present day Nampally mandal was allotted and pattas were granted to families of weaker sections by the then revenue divisional officer (RDO). He argued that distributing patta certificates over the land without payment of compensation to him is illegal and sought a direction to the respondents to pay compensation at the prevailing market price. The respondents also contended that the writ petition was not maintainable, since it was filed 25 years after the pattas were distributed. The authorities also denied that the land belongs to the petitioner as it belonged to the government and the persons, who residing thereon since a long time, were issued pattas. It was pointed out that ‘Ambedkar nagar’ that existed in the area was one of the oldest slums in Hyderabad. Taking note of the suggestion of the then speaker of the Legislative Assembly, proceedings were issued in August 1985 by the district collector, Hyderabad and accordingly permission for regularization of possession was granted. Dealing with the writ petition a single judge said “It may be true that there is inordinate delay on the part of the petitioner. The same is attributable to the death of the original owner and lack of proper pursuit by his son.

Time and again, this court held that when the property of a private individual is taken over by the government, the delay in pursuing the proceedings does not come in the way. At the most, the owner of the land can be denied the benefit of interest on the compensation for the concerned period. In the instant case, a further rider can be added to the effect that the compensation must be determined as per the rates that were prevailing in the year 1985” and “directed to arrange for payment of compensation for the land in question, calculated at the rates that prevailed in the year 1985, within a period of three months.” This order was challenged by the petitioner for not granting enhanced compensation. The bench, while dismissing the appeal, observed that the single judge ought to have appreciated that the petitioner was not entitled to any relief under the extraordinary jurisdiction of the court and said it is a trite law that extraordinary jurisdiction is discretionary in nature. This court, under Article 226 of Constitution of India, would not grant relief to an indolent person, who has slept over his rights and was not able to explain his inaction for 26 years. The single judge also ought to have appreciated that the petition suffered from delay and laches. The bench accordingly set aside the order and allowed the appeal of the district collector.

HC go ahead for DRDL elections

Justice S. Nanda of the Telangana High Court refused to interdict the scheduled elections to the DRDL works committee. The judge said it was not a case for an ex-parte ad interim order. She said that the results of the writ petition will be subject to the writ petition. The judge granted permission for hearing on an urgent basis a writ plea filed by an employee of DRDL. Seshu, the writ petitioner, said that elections should be based on a voter’s list as of the date of the election. It is his complaint that the election is being held on the basis of the voter’s list frozen on December 4h. The elections are scheduled for January 5.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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