Violation of Right to Property | Govt can’t take possession of private land without adopting legal procedure: HC

 J&K High Court, Srinagar
J&K High Court, SrinagarMubashir Khan/GK File

Srinagar: Underscoring that the Right to Property is akin to a fundamental right, the High Court of J&K and Ladakh Monday ruled that the government cannot take possession of the land of any private person without adopting due procedure prescribed under the law.

A division bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Wasim Sadiq said this while disposing of a plea filed by some aggrieved persons a decade ago.

The court directed the authorities to work out compensation for 13.73 marlas of land at Wathoora, Budgam which had been taken over for the tube well station in 2002.

“First of all, the respondents cannot take possession of the land of any private person without adopting the due procedure prescribed under the law as otherwise, it will be violative of Article 300-A of the Constitution of India,” the court said.

“It is well settled in law that Right to Property is akin to fundamental rights and more than that it is a human right which cannot be denied without following the procedure prescribed in law.”

The court said that the non-payment of compensation was a recurring cause of action and the rightful owner cannot be refused compensation merely on the ground of delay in raising the claim.

“We believe that the respondents have deprived the petitioners of their Right to Property and have violated their human right in taking possession of the land without acquiring it by following the law and paying compensation,” the bench said.

Subsequently, the court directed the government to determine the compensation of the land and make payment, within four months, to the aggrieved persons who had approached it.

“It goes without saying that since the land has not been acquired so far by following any provisions of law, the respondents will work out the compensation in terms of the principle laid down in the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 as per the market value prevalent today,” the court said.

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