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The Supreme Court has directed National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) to pay Rs 22 lakh as compensation to land owners as per the orders of the Allahabad High Court.

The amount of compensation was determined at the rate of Rs 115 per square yard.

A bench, comprising Justices S P Sinha and Cyriac Joseph, also pulled up the district collector for not following the directives of the Uttar Pradesh government and noted, ‘The directives issued by the state of Uttar Pradesh that the sale deed involving the highest consideration should be taken into consideration has not been followed by the collector and he must be held guilty of administrative indiscipline.’ The apex court allowed the appeals of Satish and others while dismissing the petitions filed by NTPC as ‘not pressed’.

Civil appeals numbered 6230-6251, 6300, 6301-6321 of 2002, filed by the land owners with the cost, were allowed and NTPC was directed to pay Rs 50,000 in each case (44 cases).

The apex court also noted, ‘Before parting, however, we may notice that NTPC had given an undertaking before the High Court. The said amount has not yet been paid. The amount of compensation, as determined by the court, has also not been paid.

It is, thus, expedient that the amount of compensation would be paid to the land owners as expeditiously as possible.’ The Uttar Pradesh government had issued notification for acquisition of land in Muradnagar area on September 6, 1984.

Keeping in view that generation of electricity was urgent and imminent, Section 17(1) and Section 17(4) of the Land Acquisition Act were also pressed into service for prompt and quick acquisition of land and 80 per cent of the amount of compensation, as determined by the collector, was paid by way of advance to the land owners.

Possession was taken on November 16, 1984.

While determining the amount of compensation at the rate of Rs 115 per square yard, as arrived at by the Allahabad High Court, the apex court noted, ‘We, therefore, are of the opinion that the determination of market value at the rate of Rs 115 per square yard, as arrived at by the High Court, cannot be held to be on a higher side.’

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