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Central Government can acquire any particular property for a public purpose: High Court Of Jammu and Kashmir

There was an illegal requisition of the land by the respondent across petitioner property measuring 46 Kanals 18 Marlas, and the same was held in the judgement passed by a division bench judge comprising The Hon’ble Chief Justice & Hon’ble Mr Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul, in the matter Zahoor Ahmad Wani  V. Union Territory of J&K and another [OWP no.1523/2013].

Petitioner in the instant writ petition mentioned that in the year 1952, a big chunk of land was requisitioned for establishing 2 OWP no.1523/2013 Airport at Srinagar and the said action at that time was taken on the understanding and assurance that landowners will be paid rent compensation. So the point is that The Government took possession of a big chunk of land including the land measuring 46 Kanals 18 Marlas, In the revenue records, the said land was recorded under the possession of the Public Works Department when it is actually under the possession of the Indian Army.

There was a  writ petition filed by said landowners titled as Zamindarani Committee Damodar Karewa Village vs. State an other, came to be allowed, against which [LPA no.22/200], which was decided on 23rd July 2009. The respondents were directed either to acquire the land or in alternative vacate the said land and hand over possession to landowners. But When needful was not done, the petitioner filed a fresh petition, bearing [OWP no.565/2013].

Whereas  Reply affidavit was been filed by respondents 1&4. They contend that in the year 1952 Indian Army occupied a big chunk of land all over the Kashmir Valley and thereafter most of the land under occupation was regularized either by way of acquisition, requisitioning, hiring. Respondents also mentioned that the status, nature and geographical location of these Khasra numbers and their recorded position does not confirm the claim of the petitioner to be the absolute owner of land out of these Khasrea numbers and that petitioner by adopting illegal means managed to mutate the said property in his favour in the year 2011 and is misguiding the Court by taking the dispute to 1952.

Respondents told that as per entry in Military Land Register, an area measuring 6112 Kanals was transferred to Defence Department and the land being Ex-State Forces property with “situation of holding” mentioned as “Srinagar Air Field”. It is submitted that judgement dated 23rd July 2009, passed in LPA no.2/2004, relates to the land measuring 3879 Kanals 12 Marlas, held on requisition by Army at Village Karewa Damodar, Kralpora and Wathoora and that petitioner is trying to mislead the Court by linking aforesaid judgement with the land mentioned in a writ petition, which is under continuous possession of Air Force being Defence owned land.

The Petitioner’s claim was rejected as it was observed that land for which petitioner is claiming compensation, is defence land which stands either acquired or transferred from the State of J&K to the Government of India, being Ex-State forces property, The facts made mention by respondents 1&4 qua land in question and its ownership, in their Reply Affidavit, cannot be said to be incorrect as such factual aspects of the matter need to be adjudicated upon in civil proceedings and not in writ proceedings under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. The seriously disputed questions  [OWP no.1523/2013]of fact which require consideration of the evidence, are not to be decided in a petition under Article 226.

The Hon’ble High Court perused the facts and the arguments presented, and thereby, opined that -“This Court, while rendering a judgement dated 18th August 2021, in Bashir Ahmad Fargodoo vs. State of J&K and others, which is similar to the instant writ petition, has held that when writ petition involves dispute of ownership, the same is to be adjudicated upon following provisions of Section 9 of the Code of Civil Procedure by an appropriate civil court based on the evidence of the parties and as a consequence of which writ petition is liable to be dismissed. For the foregoing reasons, this writ petition is without any merit and is, accordingly, dismissed with connected CM(s). Interim direction, if any, shall stand vacated”.

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Judgment Reviewed by: Mandira BS

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