Karnataka High Court (Photo | EPS)
Karnataka High Court (Photo | EPS)

Land cannot be taken away without invoking acquisition law: Karnataka High Court

The state government contended that the authorities submitted that some landowners agreed and accordingly gave up their lands by executing relinquishment deeds.

BENGALURU: Lands cannot be taken away by the state and authorities without invoking provisions of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, said the Karnataka High Court, partly allowing a batch of petitions filed by several people from Shivamogga against taking away their lands forcibly by the local authorities to expand a road.

The court said that if others have given up their land, that cannot be a legal ground to compel the petitioners to surrender their properties too, since the constitutional guarantee is available to the property of individuals and not necessarily a collection of individuals. Making these observations, Justice Krishna S Dixit restrained the authorities from interfering with the properties of KV Srinivas Rao and other petitioners till they are acquired as per the provisions of the said Act.

The petitioners’ counsel argued that the right to property, though not a fundamental right, is constitutionally guaranteed under Article 300A and his clients, who are the land owners, cannot be compelled to give up their properties except in accordance with the law. His clients are not agreeable to relinquishing their properties. If at all the state wants these properties, the acquisition process under the 2013 Act is the only option, he argued.

The state government contended that the authorities submitted that some landowners agreed and accordingly gave up their lands by executing relinquishment deeds. This course is open to the petitioners as well, where the compensation payable would be three times the guidance value keeping in view the provisions of the 2013 Act. By contending in this manner, they both seek dismissal of the writ petitions, the government advocate argued.

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