Land compensation case: Report on pending, disbursed payments due on Jan 11

Published: January 11, 2017

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday ordered the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to submit on January 11 a report carrying details of the people who were paid compensation or to whom payments are still overdue in a land acquisition cases.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui directed the CDA to submit the lists while hearing 108 similar petitions filed by the affected people of different sectors in the capital.

Meanwhile, the parties gave consent to form a commission to scrutinise the matter and check entitlements for compensation.

In addition, the court on January 11 will take up an application filed by the CDA requesting the removal of an embargo on its accounts, which was attached pending payment of compensation to the villagers of Bheka Syedan, who were affected by the development of Sector F-11.

Previously, the court had clubbed all the 108 petitions filed by the affected villagers of different sectors. The petitioners are seeking compensation for land the CDA had acquired from them about a decade ago but had not paid for yet.

The petitioners had gone to the court and in 2012, the CDA was directed to develop a mechanism for compensating them. Later in October last year, Justice Noorul Haq N Qureshi of IHC had directed the CDA to compensate the petitioners within a month.

When Justice Siddiqui resumed the hearing of the case on Monday, he observed that the CDA had failed to comply with the court’s orders.

On December 21, Justice Siddiqui had ordered that the CDA’s accounts be attached till a plan for disbursement of payments to the affected villagers is finalised. This meant the CDA needed court permission prior to any transaction except for payment of salaries.

The order had come in response to a petition filed by of some 350 villagers of Bheka Syedan – pending since 2009 – wherein the petitions had sought compensation or plots against their land. The counsel for petitioners, Hamid Ali Bukhari, said that some of the petitioners were given compensation or plots, but many were still waiting.

Bukhari had maintained that the land was acquired through three different awards — announced in 1980, 1982 and 1985 — and despite an order of the federal ombudsman in 1995 directing CDA to pay the affectees, the villagers have not yet been provided compensation.

Earlier, the CDA’s legal adviser had maintained that the officials concerned were verifying the claims of the affected villagers, adding that some of them have been allotted developed plots in lieu of raw land.

Earlier, the CDA had decided to allot land to the villagers in sector I-14 instead of F-11, but the landholders refused to accept plots in the undeveloped sector.

The decision, taken on a proposal sent to the CDA board by the authority’s land and rehabilitation directorate, is said to be contrary to a 1990 agreement between the two sides under which the CDA was to provide land to the villagers in sectors F-11 and I-10, which are closer to the original village.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2017.

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