-Report by Moksh Kapoor
Interest was granted to the petitioners in the case of ROSHANBI AZIZ MOTIWALA THROUGH POA MR. ILIYAS AZIZ MOTIWALA AND ORS. Vs THE COMPETENT AUTHORITY AND DEPUTY COLLECTOR AND ORS. Decided on 06-04-2023.
The properties of the petitioners in the present case were acquired by the Competent Authorities. It was contended by the petitioners that the authorities passed an order under section 3(G) of the national highways act dated 15th July 2017 that the compensation awarded to the petitioners according to their building structure will be for an amount of Rs. 1,08,92,995/-. The petitioners contended that the compensation amount which was paid had not been added with the interest on the amount determined by the Competent Authority under the Award from the date of declaration of the Award till the date of payment of the amount of compensation. A similar claim was rejected by the Competent Authority and the petitioners moved to the high court for redressal under Article 226 of the Indian constitution.
Petitioners claimed they are entitled to interest on the sum given under the Award from the date of the Award until the date of payment. They also claimed that the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement (Removal of Difficulties) Order dated August 28, 2015, which went into effect on September 1, 2015, provided that the provisions of The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement Act, 2013 (“the said Act of 2013”) relating to the determination of compensation. They further contended that it was the duty of the competent authority to disperse the compensation amount after passing the reward and the competent authority has failed to do the same. Petitioners also stated the case of Tarsem Singh, in which the apex court held that Sections 23(1-A) and (2) of the Land Acquisitions Act relating to Solatium and interest, as well as Section 28 in which interest is payable this provision will also apply to any acquisition made under the 1956 Act.
The respondent contended the notice to collect the reward to both the petitioner was issued and the petitioner by their will claimed the award in February/March 2015 and the amount was given to them during that time only. The competent authority also contended that after the award was issued the valuation of the property can’t be done therefore the award concerning structure was not passed. They stated that the supplementary compensation amount was deposited in the petitioner’s account as per the letter issued by NHAI dated 27, September 2017 and the notice for the same was issued on 28th September 2017. They claimed the petitioner is provided with the full compensation of their land therefore they are not liable to pay any interest.
The Bombay High Court in this case held that the claims made by the competent authority of issuing notices to both the petitioners are not maintainable in the court as there is no proof for the same. There was no material produced in the court to back up the claim. The court also held that the question here is not of providing the actual compensation, but rather providing the interest for the delay of providing the compensation by the competent authority. If there is a delay in the actual payment of compensation amount from the date of respective Awards in Petition, the Petitioners would, in our opinion, be entitled to interest from the date of respective Awards. Award valid till the date of payment. In light of the facts and circumstances of both Writ Petition and for the reasons stated above, it would be necessary to direct the Respondents to pay the Petitioners interest at the rate of 9% per annum from the date of award until the date of actual payment.
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