CHENNAI: Five rounds of litigation and 22 years later, the Tamil Nadu Housing Board has paid a compensation of Rs 41,864 to a woman for acquiring her land. For delaying the payment and not following court orders, the Madras high court has fined the state housing agency 25,000.
The housing board acquired R Rukmani's land measuring 4,880sqft in Sholinganallur in 1993. After she failed to receive any compensation, she filed a petition in 2002, and the Madras high court directed the board to consider the application and take action. The special tahsildar sent a reply to the court saying the compensation was deposited in a Poonamallee court. As the amount was not deposited, Rukmini again approached the court in 2011. The court, in June 2011, directed the authorities to consider the petition within six weeks.
This too was not followed. Rukmini then filed a contempt petition. The special tahsildar said verification of Rukmini's plot of land was pending. When she checked the records, Rukmini found that the survey number of the plot was wrong. She again filed a petition in April 2013 seeking compensation. In November 2013, the court directed the tahsildar to pay a compensation of Rs 41,864 along with Rs10,000 as case cost. Rukmini sent two representations for compliance of the order. Despite this, the board did not disburse the amount. The next year, she again filed a contempt petition.
After the court issued a notice to the board in January 2015, the amount was paid the next month. In his counter, the special tahsildar of the land acquisition unit said that after receiving the court verdict in November 2013, the board had sent a representation to the government pleader for obtaining his opinion. But, despite several reminders it received a reply only after 10 months.
Justice S Manikumar said Rukmini had to knock the door of the court at every stage.