HYDERABAD: Adding a new dimension to the ongoing saga of the Hyderabad Metro Rail, the high court on Tuesday directed the authorities to determine and pay compensation in tune with the new Land Acquisition Act to all those who are going to lose their shops, buildings and land for the sake of metro rail.
Dealing with scores of petitions filed by those who lost their properties for Metro rail, Justice P Naveen Rao of the high court made it clear that it is unlawful to pay compensation in terms of the old Land Acquisition Act even after the new Act (Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013) came into force.
The judge directed the Land Acquisition Officer (LAO) of metro rail project to hear the property losers once again and determine the compensation in accordance with the new Act.
According to legal sources, the authorities may have acquired the properties prior to the emergence of the new Act, but if the quantum of the compensation was not decided till January 1, 2014, the date from which the new Act came into force, the authorities will have to pay the new compensation.
Justice Naveen Rao was hearing a batch of petitions by property holders challenging the award passed by the LAO. While setting aside the earlier orders of the LAO that were passed under the repealed Land Acquisition Act, 1894, the judge said it was mandatory for the LAO to re-determine the compensation as per Section 24(1) of the new Act.
The judge ruled that the persons in occupation of properties shall be given four weeks time from the date of payment of compensation for vacating the premises and handing over the possession. The entire exercise shall be completed within the fixed time frame and LAO shall communicate the schedule to the petitioners along with the notice, including the date of payment and mode of payment, he added.