The Hon’ble bench comprising Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice Sanjiv Khanna held that Madhya Pradesh High Court order for disbursing the amount of Rs/- 1.96 Crore deposited by defense ministry for landowners be set aside.
In the instant case the landowners of about 51.57 acres, had filed the writ petition before the High Court of Madhya Pradesh alleging that they were being obstructed by the defense ministry from carrying out activities on their land
Subsequently, the said High Court has given direction that it was obligatory on the part of the defense ministry to proceed further and pay damages on account of restrictions imposed regarding the use of the land.
Further, Alleging non-compliance, the landowners had filed a Contempt Case which was disposed of by order directing the defense ministry to comply with the order passed in the previous writ petition.
Moreover, the landowners filed a second contempt petition after which the defense ministry through the chief secretary, government of Madhya Pradesh directed collector, Jabalpur to take appropriate action for computation and payment of the amount of compensation to landowners.
After this collector incorrectly invoked provisions of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, and asked the local military authority to deposit more than Rs.10.55 crores. further based on the objections by the defense ministry Finding merit in the said objections, the Collector undertook fresh exercise and determined the compensation vide his award fixing it at Rs.1,96,97,200/-.
Defense ministry not satisfied and are disputing the compensation of Rs.1,96,97,200/- determined by the Collector have, accordingly, filed a reference before the District Judge under Section 18 of the 1903 Act.
Being aggrieved by judgment and order in Contempt Case passed by the High Court of Madhya Pradesh, Principal Seat at Jabalpur the instant appeal is filed by the defense ministry.
The Hon’ble supreme court herein held that “The orders passed in the second and third contempt petitions have gone beyond the scope and ambit of the order passed in Writ Petition. The impugned order and the directions are given therein, therefore, cannot be sustained and are liable to be set aside. Ordered accordingly.”
Further, it is directed by the Hon’ble bench as follows:
- The reference petition pending before the 29th Additional District Judge, Jabalpur in a Case filed by the defense ministry against the determination of the amount of compensation by the Collector, Jabalpur, be decided expeditiously and under the law.
- The landowners would be also at liberty to file a reference before the District Judge for enhancement of the compensation.
- The reference filed by the defense ministry be decided uninfluenced by the fact that the defense ministry had failed to pass any order under Section 3 of the 1903 Act
- It will be open to the defense ministry to apply for a stay against the disbursement of the compensation amount lying deposited with the Collector, Jabalpur. Equally, it will be open to the landowners to approach the Collector for release of the amount to them.