Land acquisition by British in 1911 haunts Centre



New Delhi: Land acquisition by British almost a century ago here came back to haunt the rulers of the day when a Delhi court on Friday issued a notice to the Centre to apprise it as to whether descendants of the farmers need to be compensated or not.

The then British government had acquired land properties here from the farmers after it decided to shift the seat of power from Kolkata way back in 1911.

"I find that even on previous date, none has appeared on behalf of the Union of India (UOI) and the Land Acquisition Collector (New Delhi district).”

"In this circumstances, a court notice be issued to the UOI as well as the LAC in order to ascertain whether any amount still remains to be paid to the applicants," Additional District Judge Nivedita Anil Sharma said.

The court's order came on a bunch of petitions filed in 2007 by some Sonepat-based farmers, whose ancestors were then holding agricultural plots in revenue estate of village Malcha here.

The plots were later acquired by the British, the petition, seeking release of entire compensation, said.

The court also directed the State Bank of India to file an affidavit giving details about the accounts of the ancestors of petitioners including Rai Singh, Jeet Singh, Malik Raj.

It also asked the SBI to ascertain as to whether the compensation, which was allegedly deposited by the Centre, has been disbursed to the farmers or not.

The court now listed it for hearing on November 04.

The petitions, filed by advocate Sanjay Rathi, said the ancestors of the farmers were dispossessed without being paid any compensation.

PTI