New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has sought the Centre's response on the allegation by farmers that compensation has not been paid for land acquired from Malcha village in 1911-12 for the Presidential Estate, Parliament House and government offices.
A bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and I S Mehta issued notice and also sought replies of the Lt. Governor, Land and Building Department and Ministry of Urban Development by March 23 on the farmers' plea challenging the land acquisition proceedings.
The farmers claimed that the land of the Presidential Estate, Parliament House and government offices near Sardar Patel Marg area here, then known as Malcha village belonged to them as it was acquired without paying compensation to their ancestors.
The petition filed through advocate Surat Singh, has contended that as per the new Land Acquisition Act of 2013, operational from 1st January 2014, "If an award has been passed five years or earlier and compensation has not been taken or physical possession has not been taken, the land acquisition proceedings shall be deemed to have lapsed".
According to the petition, 17000 acres of 150 villages of Delhi, including that of Malcha, were acquired by Award No. 30 of 1911-12 for the purpose of shifting the capital of India from Kolkata to New Delhi.
"Chief Secretary, Government of Punjab M W Fenton had issued section 6 notification on December 21, 1911 for 150 villages of Delhi including Malcha Village and payment record was prepared on December 16, 1912.
"The payment register shows that Shadi, great, great, great, great grandfather of the petitioners (Sajjan Singh and others) was entitled to receive a compensation of Rs 2217, 10 anna and 11 paise. But the same was not paid till date and the government gave this prime land to private parties and to some politicians," the petition has claimed.