Cuttack: In a significant judgment, the Orissa High Court on Friday quashed the benchmark valuation of land in Khurda district, including in Bhubaneswar, as fixed by the District Level Valuation Committee in July this year.
A division bench of Chief Justice V Gopalagowda and Justice BK Mishra has directed the Chairman, District Level Valuation Committee, to fix the benchmark valuation of the district by a properly constituted committee as per the Orissa Stamp Rule in three months.
So far as the closure of the Dist Sub-Registrar offices by the lawyers’ association and Deed Writers’ Association is concerned, the bench observed that they are a part of the democratic system and they should not have stopped the work in a Government office by preventing entry of general public while the matter was pending before the High Court. The bench advised not to resort to such kind of activities in future.
Earlier, acting on a writ petition filed by Capital Bar Association, Bhubaneswar, through its Secretary Govind Pattnaik challenging the fixation of benchmark valuation for Khurda district, including in Bhubaneswar, the bench had heard the case and reserved its judgment.
The petitioner had filed the PIL challenging the benchmark valuation of the land in Khurda district fixed by the District Level Valuation Committee on various grounds.
He alleged that while fixing the benchmark valuation of the land for the purpose of registration, the DLVC has not considered the objection filed by the Association. It has been further alleged that the authorities have also not adhered to the provisions of law properly and in respect of some areas, the valuation has been hiked exorbitantly.
On the other hand, in the counter affidavit filed by the State, it was submitted that the DLVC has fixed the valuation keeping in view the price rise of the land in Bhubaneswar because of its developed status in all aspects.
However, the bench found that the DLVC, which fixed the valuation was not properly constituted as required under law and accordingly directed to re-fixation by a properly constituted committee.