Expressing shock over the fact that the compensation amount for the land acquired 54 years ago for the bus depot in Palani was yet to be settled, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Tuesday observed that neither the government nor its officials were interested in the welfare of the citizens and honoured the orders of the court.
Justice R. Subramanian observed that,“This can happen only in this country and with these government officials”. It demonstrated how lethargic, indifferent and cruel the government officials were in dealing with the rights of the citizens, the judge said and observed that if the entire balance compensation was not deposited by the Dindigul Collector by March 25, the Collector will have to appear before the court on March 26.
The court was hearing an application filed by the Dindigul district authorities who sought extension of time to comply with the order of the court passed in 2018.
In 1967, the land was acquired by the government to set up a bus depot in Palani. The Land Acquisition Officer fixed a sum of ₹ 1.70 per sq.ft.
The compensation amount was enhanced to ₹ 7.82 per sq.ft by the Sub Court, Palani, in 2004, nearly 30 years after the award by the Land Acquisition Officer. This fixation was challenged before the High Court and the appeal filed by the Land Acquisition Officer was dismissed. The fixation of the enhanced compensation was confirmed.
The legal heirs of the original owner of the land filed an execution petition in 2007 seeking the execution of the award. In 2010, the executing court directed the attachment of tables and chairs in the office of the Palani Revenue Divisional Officer. Challenging the order, a revision was filed before the High Court in 2011.
The State submitted a memo of calculation signed by a Special Tahsildar showing the balance to be ₹ 25,42,894. It was undertaken that the said amount would be paid in 2019. However, the amount has not been paid and a time extension was sought.