The High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh recently ordered the Government of Jammu and Kashmir to vacate a police station situated on private land, which was being occupied without payment of rent or compensation to the owner, reported by Bar and Bench.
A bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Moksha Khajuria Kazmi held that the state cannot occupy land belonging to private persons without acquisition and payment of compensation and doing so would be violative of the basic human rights guaranteed under Article 300-A of the Constitution of India.
“The respondents cannot occupy any land of a private person without acquisition and payment of compensation as otherwise it results in the violation of the basic human rights as guaranteed under Article 300-A of the Constitution of India,” the Bar and Bench reports, quoting the judgment.
The order was passed on a petition moved by one Abdul Ahad Shergijri who claimed to be the lawful attorney holder of some landed property in Kashmir’s Achhabal.
It was submitted that the land was under the occupation of the State police since 2003 but that the petitioner had not been paid any rent or compensation for the same.
The Court, in an order passed in 2017, had directed the respondent-State to pay the petitioner rent of the land as fixed by the District Rent Assessment Committee and compensation as approved by the competent authority upon private negotiations, from the year 2003 till date
However, despite the Court order and and several opportunities granted in the past, the rent and the compensation has not been paid.
Therefore, the Court directed the police to vacate the land on which the Police Station Achhabal in Anantnag District is constructed, handover the land to owner, and pay him the accrued rent.
“We direct the respondents to immediately vacate the property and handover its vacant possession to the petitioner and at the same time make payment of the rent from 16-03-2003 till date as per the rate fixed, within a period of six weeks from today or to file counter affidavit within such period,” the Court said.
Further, it said that the respondents may either initiate proceedings for the acquisition of the land or to pay the compensation as has been fixed by the competent authority on negotiation.