In a landmark judgment which will change how land is acquired in Haryana, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it clear that no person whose residential house has been acquired for “public purpose” will be dispossessed till he/she is rehabilitated.
Stating that landowners, after acquiring their land, cannot be “thrown out on the roads with an unending hope that some day in future a plot or house will be allotted to them,” the High Court has ruled that rehabilitation must take place “simultaneously”.
Mincing no words, a division bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and Surinder Gupta has berated the “unjust, arbitrary and insensitive” action of Haryana in leaving “displaced persons in the lurch”.
The Bench has ruled that such insensitive action “must be curbed”. Slamming the “paltry” compensation offered by Haryana authorities in land acquisition cases, the Bench has ruled that “the … compensation assessed by the Land Acquisition Collector (LAC) invariably is far below the actual market value and cannot wipe out the tears of silent victims of ‘eminent domain‘.”
The judgment further reads that “in today’s time of high rise prices, when the petitioners do not even receive fair and just compensation for their acquired land, they cannot be thrown out on the roads with an unending hope that some day, in future, a plot or a house would be allotted to them under the policy”. As per the revised rehabilitation policy framed by Haryana which came into force on November 9, 2010 people whose residential houses are acquired by the State will be given an alternative plot after due consideration and procedure.
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