High Court imposes cost on Collector

Staff Reporter

MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here on Friday imposed a cost of Rs.10,000 on the Pudukottai Collector and a Special Tahsildar for not paying full compensation to a person whose 3.9 acres of land was acquired in 1989 for Adi Dravidar welfare schemes.

Dismissing a civil revision petition filed by the two officials against an order passed by a lower court to attach properties of the Collector’s office, Justice N. Paul Vasanthakumar directed them to pay the costs to the landowner before February 16.

“This court is pained to see the attitude of the respondents in not paying compensation though the land was acquired and an award was passed as early as on July 31, 1990. The award was also confirmed by this court on December 11, 2000,” the Judge said. He stated that the Government had initially fixed a compensation of Rs.78,000 for the total extent of land. The quantum was challenged and a sub-court in 1990 fixed the land value at Rs.40 per square foot to be paid with interest at 9 per cent per annum.

Immediately, the officials challenged the award through an appeal suit in the principal seat of the High Court in Chennai. Disposing of the case after a decade, a Division Bench in 2000 fixed the final value at Rs.11,63,248 per acre.

The amount was not paid and hence the landowner filed an execution petition before the sub-court for releasing the money and to attach the properties in the Collector’s office. Only thereafter, the officials began paying the amount in instalments.

A memo was filed in August 24, 2006 stating that a substantial amount had been paid and the balance amount of Rs.2,49,233 would be deposited within a month. But contrary to the submission, the balance was not paid even after three months.

Consequently, the sub-court on December 12, 2006 ordered attachment of Collectorate properties.

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