Land acquisition: HC hikes compensation to farmers



New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has ordered a 10 per cent hike in compensation to farmers for acquisition of their land in three urban villages having "locational advantages" like IGI Airport in the vicinity.

"I find the aspect of higher potentiality of the acquired lands being in close vicinity of the IGI Airport, Indian Oil and Bharat Petroleum Depots and of Railway line passing through Village Bharthal...has somehow missed the attention of the reference (lower) court," Justice Sunil Gaur said while "partly" allowing a bunch of pleas for hike in compensation.

The court's judgement came on petitions of farmers from Bharthal, Bijwasan and Pochanpur villages, seeking enhanced compensation for their plots acquired in December, 2000 for planned development of Dwarka Phase-II.

The Central government had classified plots in 'A' and 'B' categories and had awarded Rs 13.82 lakh and Rs 12.32 lakh as compensation per acre respectively for them.

The farmers, after failing to get the desired reliefs from the court of an additional district judge, which had acted as a reference court under the Land Acquisition Act to determine the compensation, had moved the high court for raise in it.

The farmers of Barthal and Bijwasan had sought compensation of Rs 50 lakh per acre, while residents of Pochanpur sought compensation of Rs 30 lakh per acre.

Allowing the pleas partially, Justice Gaur said, "The market value of acquired lands of these three villages in question is determined at the rate of Rs 16.50 lakh per acre for category 'A' land and at the rate of Rs 14.69 lakh per acre for category 'B' lands in question."

The high court considered the locational advantage and the prospect of higher building potentiality while enhancing the compensation.

"I am inclined to grant 10 per cent increase over and above the market value of the acquired lands determined by the reference court in these matters on account of the aforesaid locational advantages providing a higher building potentiality in the acquired lands in question," Justice Gaur said.

"On account of locational advantages, the acquired lands in question, certainly assume higher building potentiality being in vicinity of Dwarka Phase-I. What persuades this Court to grant 10 per cent increase over and above market value of the acquired lands as assessed by the Reference Court on account of the higher building potentiality in the acquired lands is the settled legal position...," the court said.

It, however, said that it would be very difficult to provide a definite value in relation to potential, and "in view of the fact that exactness can never be achieved in the matters of assessing fair compensation.

"It is broad probabilities of the instant cases, which persuades me to treat them with equivalence by uniformly applying the Government’s minimum prices for the agricultural lands for computing the fair market value of the acquired lands as there are no special features to treat the acquired lands differently."

PTI