DIMKIO DUBI Vs. STATE OF ARUNACHAL PRADESH
LAWS(GAU)-2018-3-40
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI (AT: ITANAGAR)
Decided on March 16,2018

Dimkio Dubi Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF ARUNACHAL PRADESH Respondents

JUDGEMENT

AJIT BORTHAKUR - (1.) By preferring the above two writ petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the petitioners have challenged the legality and validity of acquisition of 12.62 hectares of their land for construction of 2000 MW, Upper Subansiri Hydro-Electric Project at Menga, Upper Subansiri District, Arunachal Pradesh, without adhering to the provisions of law governing acquisition of land.
(2.) The petitioners' case, in a nutshell, is that the National Hydro Power Corporation Ltd. (for short 'NHPC Ltd.') initiated a Hydro-Electric Project, known as Upper Subansiri Basin Project in the Upper Subansiri District of Arunachal Pradesh for generating 2000 MW electricity power. With the said object, the respondent No. 10, the Senior Manager (Civil), NHPC Ltd., Daporijo, Upper Subansiri District, Arunachal Pradesh, by a letter, dated 12.07.2000, requested the respondent No. 6/Deputy Commissioner, Upper Subansiri District, to allot about 50 (fifty) hectares of land for construction of temporary residential and non-residential buildings near Daporijo/Sippi or Menga. Accordingly, the respondent No. 6/Deputy Commissioner, Upper Subansiri District, issued Circular No. LR/DRJ-121/2000, dated 11.08.2000, calling for a meeting of all HGBs/GBs, prominent public leaders and Ex-Panchayat members of various villages including the petitioners, that is, Pisa villagers and the NHPC Ltd., on 19.08.2000, at the general ground, Sippi, in connection with land acquisition for the said proposed project. In the said meeting, the petitioners agreed to allow the district administration to survey their land for temporary settlement by the NHPC Ltd., subject to negotiation with the NHPC Ltd. for the welfare of the land owners and in regard to the terms and conditions thereof.
(3.) The petitioners have contended that thereafter, the respondent No. 6/Deputy Commissioner, Upper Subansiri District by an order, dated 05.02.2001, deputed land management staff for survey of land at Pisa village jointly with the NHPC Ltd. officials and by another order, dated 19.01.2001, constituted a four Member Board headed by an EAC (Judl.) as Chairman for determining the rates of the land to be acquired within 3 (three) days. The Board recommended the rates of the land, which was approved by the respondent No. 6/Deputy Commissioner, Upper Subansiri District. Thereafter, the respondent No. 6/Deputy Commissioner, Upper Subansiri District assessed the cost of 12.62 hectares of land at Rupees 36,00,453/- (Thirty Six Lakh Four Hundred Fifty Three only), without giving any opportunity of hearing to the land owners, that is, the petitioners and forwarded the estimate to the NHPC Ltd. for payment. The NHPC Ltd. vide letter, dated 27.03.2003, submitted a cheque bearing No. 822825 amounting to Rs. 36,00,453/- (Thirty Six Lakh Four Hundred Fifty Three only) as cost of land including buildings and crops thereon at Pisa village. Prior to it, the respondent No. 6/Deputy Commissioner, Upper Subansiri District had constituted the Pisa Village Committee by an order, dt. 20.6.2001, inter-alia, for the purpose of assisting the local administration and the NHPC Ltd., in the matter of acquisition of land for the NHPC Ltd., Subansiri Basin Project. A notice was also issued, on 28.5.03, to the land owners of Pisa village to raise objection, if any, against the acquisition of their land before the Pisa Village Committee and in response thereto, the Committee submitted a memorandum on 28.05.2003, to the respondent No. 6/Deputy Commissioner, Upper Subansiri District, to invite the NHPC Ltd. and the Pisa villagers for settlement of land acquisition proceeding laying down certain conditions, which was forwarded to the Chief Engineer, NHPC Ltd., Upper Subansiri Project, Daporijo, on 10.06.2003, requesting him to arrange for negotiation with the land owners. However, without taking any initiative for negotiation, the NHPC Ltd. and the respondent No. 6/Deputy Commissioner, Upper Subansiri District, making false promise of fulfiling the demands of the petitioners and taking advantage of the illiteracy obtained their signatures/thumb impressions on the Sale Deeds, dated 31.07.2003, in favour of the NHPC Ltd.;


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