The Bold Voice of J&K

Delay of 20 years in taking steps for land acquisition;HC directs Vigilance to investigate matter within six months

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JAMMU: Observing that no steps have been taken to conclude the land acquisition proceedings in a land acquisition case despite lapse of about 20 years of issuance of declaration on 29th April, 1994, Justice Alok Aradhe directed the Commissioner/Secretary to Government, Power Development Department, Civil Secretariat, Jammu to handover the investigation to Vigilance Department to enquire into the inaction on the part of the delinquent officers and subsequently directed the Vigilance Department to conclude the enquiry within a period of six months.
“The competent authority shall initiate disciplinary proceedings against the delinquent officers depending on the result of enquiry in accordance with law”, the court further observed. Needless to state that if the construction of Data Recovery Center has been raised by the respondents illegally without obtaining any sanction from the Municipal Corporation, Jammu, it shall be at liberty to take action in accordance with the law in respect of the construction which has been raised by respondents. Court also directed respondents to conclude the proceedings under the Act within a period of four months from today positively and to file copy of the award before this Court. In addition, the petitioner would be at liberty to seek compensation before the appropriate forum for illegal use of his property as the right to hold the property is a fundamental right, it also observed.
This significant direction has been passed in a petition, wherein petitioner is the owner of the land comprised in Khasra No.286/12 measuring 5 kanals and 6 marlas and Khasra No.37/12 measuring 1 kanal and 9 marlas. Initially proceedings under the Act were initiated in the year 1977 and the award was passed on 28th November 1979. The aforesaid award was subject matter of challenge in OWP No.413/1983 which was decided by a bench of this Court vide order dated 21st October 1992 by which the proceedings initiated under the Act as well as award was quashed. However, the petitioner was restrained from disturbing the possession of the respondents and the respondents were directed to initiate the proceedings within a period of one month and to conclude the same as early as possible. In pursuance of the directions issued by this Court, notification under Section 4(1) of the Act was issued on 26th February, 1993 which was admittedly withdrawn. A notification under Section 6(1) of the Act was issued on 29th April, 1994 and thereafter a notification under Section 9 of the Act was issued on 21st May, 1994. However, no further action in the matter was taken. In the aforesaid factual background, the petitioner has approached this Court seeking the relief.

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