Land Acquired But Compensation Not Paid Since 1990s, Court Attaches Gujarat Govt’s Cars, Furniture
The Logical Indian Crew Gujarat
July 11th, 2018 / 11:36 AM
In an attempt to compensate farmers of Gujarat, whose lands have been acquired for various government projects, some courts in Gujarat are now giving away civic bodies’ properties to pay the farmers. On Thursday, Amreli court in Gujarat attached three cars and some furniture items of the executive engineer of the state irrigation department after the state government, despite several court orders, did not pay the dues to the nine farmers whose land was acquired for the Thebi and Vadiya dam projects in that district in the 1990s. The attached cars and furniture, including the main table, of the office of the executive engineer (EE) were officially put in the custody of the court.
According to the Indian Express, Hemant Patel, in-charge executive engineer of the irrigation department in Amreli, said that the court warrants were “erroneous” and that the government would appeal against them.
Helping the farmers
However, Jitendra Senjaliya, advocate for the heirs of late farmer Jeram Kathiriya said that they are pleased with the court using its long arm against the government. He further said, “The government had not paid compensation due to my client despite a court order and repeated warnings of such action. We hope this attachment of assets will open the eyes of the government and it will comply with the order to pay higher compensation to farmers with interest.”
Advocate Senjaliya further said that the irrigation department had acquired around 4.74 bigha (75.35 gunthas) land from Kathiriya for the Thebi dam project. However, the department paid him compensation for around 2.5 bigha (35.35 gunthas). He also said that the court had ordered the government to pay compensation to the farmer, but the government did not comply with to the court’s order. “The farmer moved the Amreli court again in 2011. Since then, the court issued repeated directives to clear dues, but the government was unmoved. The latest warrant for recovery of more than Rs 10 lakh due to Kathiriya was issued three months ago,” said Senjaliya.
A case from 1976
This is not the first time when a Gujarat court has slammed the government. According to the Times of India, in a similar manner, last month, a Vadodara civil court issued distress warrants for the attachment of properties of the special land acquisition officer and functionaries of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC).
The distress warrants were issued as the civic body had not paid the compensation to a family for land acquired in 1976. The Vadodara civil court attached property including the office chairs and cars of VMC commissioner, deputy commissioner, mayor, deputy mayor and other officers.
The VMC in 1976 had acquired the land under Pratapnagar railway under-bridge project. In this case, 3900 square meters of cultivable land belonging to Saheda Ashfaq Hakim and Mushir Ashfaq Hakim was acquired. The couple was unhappy with the amount of the compensation they received which was Rs 6,000. The couple approached the court in 1983.
In 2017, the court ruled in favour of the petitioner. The court ordered that they should be given a compensation of Rs 1.15 crore including 15% interest science 1983.
The Logical Indian take
Over 30 years of wait for compensation for land owned by them, how is it justified? Whenever people’s land is acquired by the government for projects, the protests are often downplayed saying that the government is giving compensation. However, in many cases, the farmers do not get the due compensation. Even when they get compensated, the delays are significant. Landless and without compensation, what choice do they have but to protest?
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