The Sikkim High Court has recently disposed of a suo motu PIL on the issue of non-payment of compensation for land occupied by defense personnel.
The PIL was instituted in 2016 on the basis of a letter sent by one Pipon, Lachen Dzomsa, North Sikkim to the “Hon’ble Judge, Supreme Court of India, Camp at Lachen, North Sikkim,” seeking a direction to the Ministry of Defence, Government of India, to make payment of the compensation for occupation of their land, expeditiously.
The letter was treated as a “Public Interest Litigation” in terms of an order dated October 17, 2016, passed by a Division Bench of the High Court headed by the then Chief Justice. Thereafter, the matter was heard from time to time and several orders had been passed.
On December 2 , the Division Bench of Chief Justice Biswanath Somadder and Justice Meenakshi Madan Rai after hearing the submissions made by the advocates for the parties observed that in the meanwhile steps have been taken by the acquiring authority, namely, the District Collector, North Sikkim, for acquisition of the land in question in accordance with law.
“Since acquisition proceedings have already been initiated in accordance with law, no further directions are required to be passed in the instant Public Interest Litigation which stands disposed of with a direction to the appropriate authority of the Central Government to ensure that, in the meanwhile, hiring charges are paid regularly to those individual landowners in terms of the undertaking in the form of an affidavit given to the Court, earlier,” the order reads.