R Sedhuraman/Legal Correspondent
New Delhi, March 31
Farmers of Harsuru and Garouli villages in Gurgaon district would effectively get 10 per cent more compensation for their land acquired in 2006 for setting up a special economic zone (SEZ).
A Supreme Court Bench headed by Justice MB Lokur today directed the Haryana Government to deduct only 30 per cent as development charges from the compensation amount. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had decided the deduction at 40 per cent.
The state government had acquired 1,590 acres in five villages on January 27, 2006 for setting up a special economic zone (SEZ). The collector had awarded compensation varying between Rs 12.5 lakh and Rs 15 lakh, which was enhanced by the reference authority in the range of Rs 30.5 lakh to Rs 40.95 lakh on the landowners’ plea.
Unsatisfied with the enhancement, the farmers had approached the HC, which raised the compensation to Rs 68 lakh after deductions – 15 per cent for the land in Khandsa, Narsinghpur and Mohammedpur Jharsa villages and 40 per cent for that in Harsuru and Garouli villages.
The farmers ultimately came to the SC, seeking a further enhancement and a reduction in the development charges. After the initial arguments, the apex court agreed to issue notice to the state only on the issue of deductions.
Additional Advocate-General Arun Bhardwaj today pleaded against reducing the development charges, contending that it should not be less than 33.5 per cent in any case for Harsuru and Garouli villages.
The farmers whose land had been acquired had filed about 75 petitions challenging the HC verdict delivered on September 23, 2014. The apex court clarified that development charges would remain unchanged at 15 per cent for the three villages.
Bhardwaj later said the state government was in the process of challenging in the apex court the HC ruling on the compensation as it was quite high.
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