Government files affidavit in High Court
Having stated earlier that four farmers had ‘voluntarily relinquished’ their six acres of land for Siddipet collectorate complex, the State government on Thursday informed the Telangana High Court that it had offered them ₹8 lakh per acre towards compensation.
In an affidavit filed in HC in a writ appeal filed by four farmers of Duddeda village in Kondapaka mandal, Siddipet Collector P. Venkatrami Reddy said the four farmers, all belonging to the same family, rejected the government’s offer. They demanded a compensation of ₹70 lakh per acre, he said in the affidavit filed before a bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy.
The Collector explained that the government had resumed land from different persons for construction of collectorate complex and police commissionerate. An amount of ₹15.08 crore at the rate of ₹8 lakh per acre had been paid to land owners. They were also allotted house sites.
The bench, during the previous hearing, did not buy the theory and the version of the government that the four farmers had “voluntarily relinquished” rights over their lands. The government described that there was a provision called ‘Razinama’ in Revenue Rules under which citizens could give away their lands voluntarily.
The bench then observed that it was strange that poor farmers had voluntarily given up their rights over land which was their only means of livelihood. Not agreeing with the government’s contention, it directed the government to hold negotiations with the four farmers over compensation.
In pursuance of the bench direction, the farmers were invited to the collectorate complex and consultations were held, Mr. Reddy stated. He said in the affidavit that though the appellants were not eligible for compensation, the government decided to pay ₹8 lakh per acre since similar amount had been paid in the case of assignee lands, which were acquired for construction of collectorate.
The bench directed petitioners’ counsel to file a rejoinder. The matter was posted for September 23.
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