Monday, December 5, 2022

Allahabad High Court directs SDM, Saidpur to reconsider acquisition of petitioner’s land for road widening purpose

In compliance with the said order, the S.D.M.Saidpur, Ghazipur has furnished instructions to the Chief Standing Counsel, which has been placed on record.

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The Allahabad High Court has directed the SDM of Saidpur tehsil in Ghazipur district to reconsider the acquisition of land of the petitioner for the purpose of road widening.

The Division Bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Gupta and Justice Deepak Verma passed this order on October 5, while hearing a petition filed by Meera Devi.

Earlier on September 21, the court had passed the following order:-

“The Standing Counsel prays for and is granted time to obtain instructions in the matter and clarify why, after demarcation, compensation is not being paid to the petitioner despite the letter of Saidpur SDM dated December 3, 2014 to the Executive Engineer, Provincial Division, PWD, Ghazipur stating that upon demarcation, it had transpired that 150 sq mt of petitioner’s land has been taken for construction of road”.

In compliance with the said order, the SDM, Saidpur has furnished instructions to the Chief Standing Counsel, which has been placed on record.

“In the said instructions furnished to the Standing Counsel, reliance has been placed on a report dated August 28, 2009. According to it, only 15 sq mt of land of the petitioner is covered by the road,” the Court noted.

It was also stated that on October 1, 2021, the site was inspected by a team constituted for such purposes and according to the report of Tehsildar dated October 3, 2021, only 15 of petitioner’s land is covered by the road and not 150 sq mt. Along with the instructions, a letter of ADM (Revenue) dated August 28, 2009 addressed to the District Magistrate, Ghazipur has been annexed to show that only 15 sq mt of land is affected.

The petitioner has placed reliaed on a communication by SDM, Saidpur dated January 2, 2014 addressed to the Executive Engineer, Provincial Division, PWD Ghazipur, mentioning that after inspection, the Tehsildar, Saidpur in his report dated December 17, 2013 has clarified that 150 sq mt of petitioner’s land is affected. Accordingly, he recommended payment of compensation in respect of an area of 150 sq mt.

The Counsel for the petitioner submitted that after 2009, twice measurements were taken and on both the occasions, it transpired that in fact,150 sq mt of land is covered by road.

Even the Superintending Engineer, PWD Ghazipur, by communication sent to Executive Engineer, PWD in March 2015, had made calculation of compensation by treating the affected land to be 150 sq mt.

The Bench said that the instruction furnished by the Saidpur SDM is completely silent on the above aspects. Although he has referred to a report of 2009, but it is completely silent in relation to the inspection report dated December 17, 2013. Even a copy thereof has not been annexed with the instructions. On the face of it, the instructions furnished are incomplete and misleading.

“We issue an ad-interim mandamus calling upon respondent no 3 i.e. Sub-Divisional Officer/Up-Ziladhikari, Tehsil Saidpur, Ghazipur to re-examine the entire matter in the light of observations made above and award compensation to the petitioner for an area of 150 sq mt or showcause by filing his personal affidavit and remaining present before the Court along with entire record on October 18,” ordered the Court.

It is clarified that in case any decision is taken in favour of the petitioner and compensation is determined by treating the affected land as 150 sq mt, an affidavit to that effect would suffice and respondent no.3 in that event is exempted from his personal appearance on the next date.

Raghvendra Dwivedi, Standing Counsel, shall communicate the said order to respondent no.3/Sub-Divisional Officer/Up-Ziladhikari, Tehsil Saidpur, for due compliance, directed the Bench and fixed October 18 as the next date of hearing.

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