The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Defence Estate Officer (DEO) for failing to give compensation to the evacuees of the Seabird Naval Project in Karwar.
The SC had, in September 2012, directed the DEO to pay compensation and other statutory benefits to the landowners — who gave up the land for the project — within four months in the form of demand drafts.
“Considering the gravity of the matter and the fact that the land losers, despite waiting for almost 25 years, are deprived of their rightful compensation, the court is issuing notice to A Bhaskar Reddy (DEO) asking him as to why it should not be considered as contempt of court,’’ SC lawyer Devdas Kamath said.
The compensation had been enhanced from `150 per gunta to `11,500 per gunta after reviewing a petition by the land losers.
The DEO had sought extension of time for depositing the enhanced amount of compensation and accordingly in February this year, a bench comprising Justice G S Singhvi and Justice H L Gokhale granted time of four months. Subsequently the DEO also filed a review petition which was dismissed by the bench later. Despite the expiry of four months granted by the Supreme Court, the DEO did not comply with the orders and failed to pay the compensation.
On Friday, the court asked the DEO to respond within eight weeks to its notice.
For Sea Bird Project, the Government of Karnataka had acquired land in 13 villages under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. According to the lawyer, more than 100 people are yet to get the compensation. ens