Huda compensation | Give account with Rs 15,000-cr balance in 24 hours: HC tells Haryana govt
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday gave 24 hours to the Haryana government to give an account before it with Rs 15,000 crore balance.india Updated: Apr 06, 2017 10:29 IST
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday gave 24 hours to the Haryana government to give an account before it with Rs 15,000 crore balance.
The order was passed by high court bench of justice Rajesh Bindal and justice HS Sidhu on a bunch of petitions alleging delay in compensation by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda), an arm of the Haryana government, running in several hundred crores and in some cases pending for decades.
The high court bench observed that this was the most unfortunate situation where the state had acquired land running into thousands of acres owned by the landowners and had failed to pay the compensation. “As the land was acquired by the state and not Huda, the respondents (government) are directed to furnish information about the account head of the state in which the amount of about Rs 15,000 crore is lying or is likely to be received in near future for utilisation or disbursement to the landowners,” the HC bench said asking for compliance within 24 hours.
It warned that on account of failure, the court might have to take “drastic steps” to ensure payment of compensation to the landowners.
During the hearing, the court observed that on March 20, it was apprised by the state counsel that Huda had bank accounts in Punjab National Bank and HDFC Bank, which had already been attached by civil courts as Huda failed to pay compensation. The court was informed that an estimated amount payable by the Huda for compensation was stated around Rs 15,000 crores. The urban development authority on last date of hearing had told court that it was trying to raise loan from the banks to pay compensation and a decision on this is to be taken by March end. However, on Wednesday the government counsel did not have any information and told the court that none from the department had contacted him. The case was passed over. But even then no definite information could be provided to court.
The government counsel maintained that besides the accounts in Punjab National Bank and HDFC Bank, Huda did not have any account in any other bank. On the other hand, the petitioners’ counsel had told the court that Huda had accounts in ICICI Bank and Union Bank of India as well.
Taking a serious note of handling of the case by Huda, the court asked government counsel Ankur Mittal to provide source of the information of Huda having only two accounts to which he said that one accounts assistant from the HUDA office was there to assist him and no other officer had even talked to him to furnish any information. It was at this the high court bench while posting the matter for Thursday gave government 24 hours to submit details of an account with Rs 15,000 balance.