Read Order: Roda Singh and Ors v. Union of India and Others 

Vivek Gupta

Chandigarh, July 29, 2021: Deciding a plea filed by a group of persons who were yet to get full payment for their land that was compulsorily acquired for a government project, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that it is well settled that the Courts have been assigned the responsibility to do substantive justice between the parties. 

The High Court noted that the petitioners in the present case already stand deprived of their land, and the amount of compensation has also been finally determined.

“In such circumstances, the Courts are required to ensure the payment of amount to the persons who had lost their land due to compulsory acquisition. The Courts are required to focus on doing complete justice between the parties, rather than giving preference to technicalities,” stated the bench of Justice Anil Kshetarpal.

Brief facts of the case are that the petitioners were the owners of the land that was compulsorily acquired under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. The amount of compensation has been finally determined by the execution court. Their previous execution application for recovery of the amount was consigned to the record being partly satisfied.

The petitioners want the payment of the remaining amount. They filed an application for restoration of the execution petition. A further request was made to treat the application for restoration as a fresh execution petition. The attention of the Court was also drawn to the order, passed by the High Court in Charan Dass v. Union of India and Other (ESA No. 5 of 2018, decided on 02.05.2018), a connected case. However, the learned Executing Court dismissed the application with the observation that the petitioners can file a fresh execution petition.

“On going through the impugned order passed by the learned Executing Court, the bench is constrained to observe that the Court below has preferred technicalities over the cause of substantive justice,” the HC held.

The bench held that the present petitions are allowed and the various orders, under challenge, are set aside. 

“The learned Executing Court is requested to ensure that the land owners, who stand deprived of the land, are paid the remaining amount positively, within a period of three months,” the bench said.

“The Court will be at liberty to resort to coercive measures if the payment is not deposited by the judgment debtor. The parties, through their learned counsel, are directed to appear before the learned Executing Court on 16.08.2021. The respective execution petitions shall stand restored to their original number,” the HC held.

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