New Delhi, February 11
The Supreme Court today slammed the Centre for the delay in the payment of compensation to farmers in Bathinda and Sirsa after acquiring their land for the defence forces.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu disposed of a batch petitions filed by the Defence Secretary in 2010, challenging the compensation amount decided by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The apex court made some changes in the interest amount, but upheld the rate of compensation awarded to Manphool Singh and others.
Pointing out that the Centre had enacted a new land acquisition law for payment of compensation, the Bench said the government was reluctant to go by these legal provisions.
“You spend over Rs 100 crore on the Republic Day parade, but when it comes to compensation amounting to just Rs 10-20 crore, you file appeals,” the Bench told the Centre’s counsel.
The apex court also noted that the Centre was not following its own National Litigation Policy to desist from filing frivolous appeals.
In this context, the Bench also took exception to the Centre constituting various tribunals without bothering about the need to provide adequate manpower and other infrastructure for their proper functioning. In some cases, even retired judges heading these tribunals were not given residential accommodation.
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