Kolkata: In a major setback for the ongoing East-West Metro railway corridor project, the Calcutta High Court has declared as "lapsed" the acquisition of land along a stretch where a station was to come up.
Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya ordered the land acquisition collector to restore the possession of the petitioners to premises acquired by the state transport department for the proposed Central station at Bowbazar in the city.
"As consequences for non-publication of the compensation award within the statutory period, this Court holds that the entire land acquisition proceedings concerning those properties stood lapsed," Bhattacharya said in his order Sep 6, but only made available Tuesday.
According to the Land Acquisition 1894, the compensation award has to be published within two years from the date of declaration of acquisition of the land.
In the instant case, while the acquisition declaration was made on Aug 27, 2009, the award determining the compensation payable to the tenants amounting to Rs.1,90,000, was published by the collector only on Nov 15, 2011.
While hearing a writ petition filed by Central Calcutta Citizens Welfare Association, the court also held that on failure of the collector to restore possession to the tenants within two weeks of the order, the state government will be liable to pay damages.