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The Supreme Court in Union of India v Tarsem Singh has directed the parties to place documents on record and asked NHAI to submit copy of chart of all villages in the National Highway Authority’s appeal by today.

National Highway Authority of India had filed a Special Leave to appeal against the impugned order of Punjab and Haryana High Court where HC upheld the award given by Arbitrator and the appeals filed by the land owners are allowed and the amount of compensation awarded by the Arbitrator, was enhanced to Rs. 75,000/- per marla for commercial and Rs. 75,000/- per marla for residential.

Petitioner argued that Section 37 of Arbitration Act relief has been against petitioner and 90% of cases are   impacted. He further added that there is no justification for 18% interest on award by Arbitral Tribunal and competent authority should take following into consideration-

1)     Consideration Damage

2)     Damages Sustained by person taking possession of Land

3)     If person is compelled to shift from land then compensation should be given

Counsel argued for Individual the solatium was differentiated but it will not imperil the NHAI Act.

Respondent argued that there must be a statutory provision for grant of solatium. In legal circles, a solatium is a payment made to a victim as compensation for injured feelings or emotional pain and suffering (such as the trauma following the wrongful death of a relative), as distinct from payment for physical injury or for damaged property.

Like many legal terms, solatium, which first appeared in English in the early 19th century, is a product of Latin, where the word means solace. The Latin noun is related to the verb solari, which means “to console” and from which we get our words solace and console.

Counsel for respondent Sr Advocate Amit Sibal today argued that solatium is being misplaced as market value for land acquired. He argued that solatium occurs in National Highway Act before Land Acquisition Act.

Counsel for Petitioner argued that Arbitral award of compensation given for 8 villages has increased. Total compensation for one village – 51 Lakh – has been enhanced to Rs 2.8 Crore by Statutory arbitrator. Arbitrator is an IAS officer and has allegedly taken money from farmers and NHAI.

Court has ordered to place documents on record before court and directed petitioner to give copy of chart giving details of all villages today on 28th August 2019. Court has listed the matter on 3rd September, Tuesday, for final hearing.

–India Legal Bureau

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