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The Meghalaya High Court while disposing of a writ petition has directed the State Government of Meghalaya to remove the construction made on the land acquired by Petitioner.

The writ petition was filed before the High Court by altogether 106 petitioners who are all residents of Rattacherra, East Jaintia Hills District, Meghalaya, against the state of Meghalaya.

The petitioners challenged the use of their lands, mostly agricultural in nature, for the purpose of laying down pipelines under the Natural Rural Drinking Water Programme sponsored by the State Government without acquisition and without the payment of compensation.

The petitioners approached the High Court alleging that the State used their lands without their consent and without lawfully acquiring of the same for laying down pipelines and without paying compensation to them.

The High Court sought an affidavit wherein the state submitted that the scheme for laying pipelines for water supply was being implemented under the Natural Rural Drinking Water Programme.

There is no component of payment of money for land compensation in that Scheme. Owing to this, the respondent-State had abandoned the Project in 2016 itself and they now no longer require using the land of the petitioners.

The High Court held that the petitioners would be free to make use of their lands in the manner they want. If part of the Scheme was implemented and some constructions were made, the respondent-State would be free to remove the same within a fortnight.

India Legal Bureau

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