Srinagar, Sept 22: High Court today directed for release and refund of the amount deposited in lieu of allotment of land on lease to National Conference (NC) provincial secretary of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district within six weeks with interest.
The direction has been passed in a plea filed by advocate Mir Suhail on behalf of the NC provincial Secretary Showkat Ahmad Mir seeking direction on the Revenue authorities to refund the amount of Rs. 16.66 lakhs with interest as the land in question has not been handed over to the party despite fulfilment of all requisites.
Justice Sanjeev after having gone through the reply filed by the concerned authority on the issue directed the Finance Secretary to immediately and forthwith release the amount of Rs. 16,66,668 in favour of the petitioner-party preferably within a period of six weeks from the date a copy of this order is served upon them.
Justice Kumar after perusal of the material on record said the failure of the respondents to deliver the possession of entire land out of said land, there was breach of contract on the part of the respondents.
The petitioner-party had applied for and required land measuring one kanal 13 marlas for constructing their party office and therefore the land offered to it was less by 19 marlas which was not found suitable for office.
“Be that as it may, the allotted land is still in possession of the respondent-authorities and they are well within their right to terminate the lease, if any, executed between the petitioner-party and the respondent-authorities”, court said
It has, however, been clarified that the authorities cannot refuse to release the amount which is duly deposited with them by the petitioner-party. “As per the reply affidavit filed by Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla, the amount is lying in the official account of Finance Secretary and therefore needs to be released there from without any further delay”, Justice Kumar directed.
The authorities after processing the case of the petitioner for allotment of land, identified the State land at village Ushkara in District Baramulla and accordingly sanction for allotment of identified land was accorded on lease basis for a period of 40 years in the first instance in favour of petitioner-party through Sheikh Nazir Ahmad, the then general secretary on 17-02-2010 against an amount of Rs.16,66,668.
It was submitted that the said amount was deposited by the petitioner and acknowledged by the concerned Deputy Commissioner in his communication directed the concerned Tehsildar on 23-06 2014 to visit the spot and handover possession to the concerned Organization on spot.
It is in response, Tehsildar concerned submitted a report where under it was stated that as per the revenue record, land in question is recorded in the name of Indian Military, out of which only one Kanal & 11 marlas is under their occupation on spot.
The Army Officers, who were present on spot, did not allow handing over of the possession of said land to the petitioner-party on the pretext that the deficiency of land measuring 19 marlas be released in their favour.
Court has been informed that, since the land was not handed over to the petitioner as a representation was made before the DC Baramulla for return of deposited amount along with bank interest accrued on this amount.