Freight Corridor: Land Acquisition Rate For Palghar Villagers To Remain ₹1.6 Crore Per Hectare

Freight Corridor: Land Acquisition Rate For Palghar Villagers To Remain ₹1.6 Crore Per Hectare

DFCCIL has petitioned that the compensation was “without the application of mind”, thus claiming that there was a patent illegality in the award.

Pranali LotlikarUpdated: Friday, May 03, 2024, 12:45 AM IST
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DFCCIL | Wikipedia

The Thane district court has come to the rescue of 91 villagers of Palghar district and upheld the compensation awarded to them by the Deputy Collector for their land acquired by the Dedicated Freight Corridor corporation of India (DFCCIL). The arbitrator for Divisional Commissioner of Konkan Division had enhanced the award from Rs15.5 lakh per hectare to Rs1.6 crore per hectare.  

DFCCIL has petitioned that the compensation was “without the application of mind”, thus claiming that there was a patent illegality in the award. The court rejected the arguments put forth by the company.

The DFCCIL had acquired land in Agwan village to implement its plan of constructing the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor, which is notified as ‘Special Railway Project’ with a route length of 1,483km. This route starts from JNPT (Maharashtra) to Dadri (Haryana). The Ministry of Railways had appointed the Deputy Collector (Land Acquisition) to conduct the proceedings and award appropriate compensation for land measuring 3,316 hectares.

Considering that the adjoining land was agricultural, the arbitrator, in 2013, awarded Rs15.5 lakh per hectare. The 91 aggrieved villagers filed a petition before the arbitrator, Divisional Commissioner, Konkan Division, which conducted a proceeding of all petitions, and enhanced the amount to Rs1.6 crore per hectare. 

The arbitrator held that he was approached by the Project Affected Persons (PAPs) of the village and that the compensation was passed considering future development, the fact that the land is near Dahanu Municipal Council and the rate of neighbouring village Ambewadi. The order was challenged by DFCCIL before the Thane district court. As per the firm’s petition, “The arbitrator did not consider that there is no potential development in village Agwan and thus there is a patent illegality in the arbitral award.”

The court, while passing the orders, referred to the judgment in the MMTC Ltd V/s. M/s Vedanta case. While reading the orders from the cited judgments, the court said, The court held, “It is clear that under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, the court can interfere in the arbitral award only if findings of the arbitrator are arbitrary, capricious or perverse, or when the conscience of the court is shocked, or when the illegality is not trivial but goes to the root of the matter. It is also well settled that if the view taken by the arbitrator is a possible view based on facts, the arbitral award is not to be interfered with.”

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