Rs 100 cr paid in ‘excess’ to Panchkula landowners as compensation: HC seeks details of officials
The direction came from the high court bench of justices Rajesh Bindal and Harinder Singh Sidhu on a petition of two women who had disputed the amount sought from them in recovery notices even after they had paid back the principal amount that had been erroneously given to them in excess.punjab Updated: May 25, 2017 15:57 IST
The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed Haryana government to give names of the collector and other officials who calculated the compensation amount in a 1998 land acquisition by the state in Panchkula in which Rs 100 crore was paid in “excess” to the landowners.
The direction came from the high court bench of justices Rajesh Bindal and Harinder Singh Sidhu on a petition of two women who had disputed the amount sought from them in recovery notices even after they had paid back the principal amount that had been erroneously given to them in excess.
The two sisters got compensation of Rs 31.34 crore but later the land acquisition collector realised a mistake and they were informed that the amount due was Rs 15.86 crore. The government had sought recovery of Rs 16.74 crore, including interest for the period when the excess money remained with them.
The high court has now directed the sisters to deposit Rs 30 lakh, the amount of difference, within four weeks.
During the hearing, the counsel for petitioners, senior advocate Anand Chhibbar, pointed out that petitioners had been fair enough to deposit the amount immediately after the error was pointed out.
But the amount was paid to number of landowners in “excess”, which was about Rs 100 crore.
The state has not made recovery of even a single penny from any of the other landowners, Chhibbar submitted.
Taking serious note of submissions, the high court has now given state four weeks to furnish details of the entire excess amount paid to the landowners along with their particulars and also as to whether recovery was made from any other landowners or not and steps taken to recover the amount.
Details of officials involved in the process, including the collector, have also been sought.
The acquisition pertained to land falling under Chowkhi village of Panchkula in which compensation was given in 2015. The award of acquisition was passed in 2003 but the matter remained in court for years.