Failure to pay compensation to villagers lands UT in trouble

Court orders attaching of four cars, three bank accounts

The UT Administration's failure to pay compensation amount for a piece of land it had acquired way back in 1988 at Behlana village for the Chandigarh Airport came back to haunt top officials, as the sessions court on Tuesday ordered attaching of four official cars and three bank accounts till the payment was cleared.

As per the orders, four cars belonging to the UT administration (CH01G10009, CH01G0009, CH01G0027 and CH01G0090) and currently being used by the Deputy Commissioner (DC), Assistant Estate Officer (AEO), Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO), Buildings, and the Assistant Deputy Commissioner (ADC) have been attached. Besides, three bank accounts have also been attached till the Estate Office authorities clear the dues.

The bank accounts which have been attached in the case include the revenue account and the salary account of the Estate Office as well.

"The court will be issuing warrants to the UT Estate Office in a few days' time for the execution of the attachment orders of these cars and bank accounts with the orders of the court," said the counsel for the complainant, Manoj Dhiman.

The court has adjourned the case to March 14 and till then the administration has to pay the amount to the landowners.

When contacted, DC Mohammad Shayin said, "We will comply with the court's orders in toto." However, AEO Rahul Gupta and the ADC could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

The case dates back to 1988 when the UT administration had acquired 87 acres of land from the villagers of Behlana for the Chandigarh Airport. In 1999, the process of taking possession of the land began. However, the administration did not pay any compensation or rent to the landlords.

The landlords moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court and Rs 6.27 lakh per acre were awarded to the landlords which the administration had paid. However, after 2002, no compensation amount was given to the landlords and so another application was moved to the high court by the villagers.

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