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Ananthagiri oustees also entitled to resettlement amount: HC to Telangana government

but also to the lump sum amount towards rehabilitation and resettlement as per Section 31-A of the Land Acquisition Act. 

Published: 04th June 2020 09:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th June 2020 09:18 AM   |  A+A-

Telangana High Court

Telangana High Court. (File Photo| EPS)

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: In a judgment which may have far reaching ramifications relating to payment of compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement under the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, a division bench of Telangana High Court, on Wednesday, held that the petitioner farmers are entitled to not only compensation for their lands as per Act 2013, but also to the lump sum amount towards rehabilitation and resettlement as per Section 31-A of the Land Acquisition Act. 

The bench directed the State government to complete the re-determination of compensation exercise and its payment within three months with respect to small farmers of Allipur village in Siddipet district and Ananthagiri village in Rajanna Sircilla district, whose lands were acquired or submerged under Ananthagiri Sagar reservoir, which is part of mammoth Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project. Besides, the bench ordered the Telangana government to pay `2,000 to each of the petitioner which works out to `2.4 lakh as there are 120 petitioner farmers. 

The bench comprising of Justice MS Ramachandra Rao and Justice K Lakshman pronounced the said order while allowing batch petitions filed by the small farmers of the two villages seeking compensation for resettlement and rehabilitation as mandated under the Act 30 of 2013. The very purpose of the Act 30 of 2013 is to lessen the hardship of land owners. In the present case, not a single agreement signed by the petitioners is placed before the court to show how the price consideration per acre was arrived at or that the petitioners consent was voluntary. Counter affidavits were filed without any supporting material in this regard, the bench said.

Petitioners’ counsel B Rachna Reddy contended that these small farmers were forcibly evicted from their lands and houses, in the middle of the night, on April 20, 2020 and on April 24, Ananthagiri Sagar reservoir was inaugurated and Godavari water was released from it to Ranganayaka Sagar reservoir which submerged their lands. 

After perusing the case records, the bench declared that the agreements/consent awards entered into by the petitioners with the State are vitiated by coercion, and held that the action of the State is violative of Article 14 and 300-A of the Constitution of India. While holding the petitioners entitled to compensation strictly in accordance with the Act 30 of 2013. While agreeing with the petitioners’ contentions, the bench said that the said agreements/consent awards do not bind the petitioners and they are entitled to lump sum compensation in lieu of resettlement and rehabilitation under Section 31-A of the Act. The re-determination of compensation exercise as well as payment of the same should be made within three months taking into account the amounts already received by the petitioners, the bench said in its order.



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