The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructural Development Corporation (HSIIDC) to deposit the balance land compensation amount of R650 crore.
Land of farmers was acquired for floating the industrial model township in Manesar by the Haryana government in 1990s.
In its order, the apex court instructed the development agency to deposit the money in the next eight weeks. While pulling up the agency, the court also sent instructions calling for an affidavit naming all guilty officers who were responsible for the miscalculation.
A senior HSIIDC official said on condition of anonymity that notices have been issued but didn’t confirm the amount as he hasn’t seen the court orders yet. The farmers were paid a paltry sum of R4,13,000 per acre which was sold at exorbitant prices ranging from R44 to 90 lakh per acre to industrialists.
The ‘duped’ land owners had challenged the compensation in the district court of Gurgaon in 1997.
The legal battle continued for more than a decade. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had granted interim relief to farmers with increased compensation but it was again challenged by HSIIDC in the Supreme Court last year.
Meanwhile, the industrialists were battling it out with HSIIDC. “We don’t mind paying the farmers but an RTI reply revealed that HSIIDC made a fortune by selling plots for more than Rs 2,200 crore whereas it spent only Rs 500 crore in developing the land. Rest of the money should, ideally, go to the land owners,” said Amina Sherwani, spokesperson of Manesar Industries’ Welfare Association (MIWA).
Following the high court’s relief to the industrial body, the two-judge SC bench held HSIIDC accountable in August last year and the enhanced compensation was fixed at R1.20 crore per acre (after adding accumulated interest).