Decided on July 21,1976



- (1.)In this rule, the petitioners have challenged the order of requisition dated, March 17, 1976 issued by the Collector of 24 Parganas under the West Bengal Land (Requisition and Acquisition) Act, 1948, hereinafter referred to as the Act.
(2.)The petitioner Nos. 6 to 29 were roadside shopkeepers of Madhyamgram and their shops were situate on the crossing of Sodupur Road and Jessore Road. They were carrying on their business by erecting temporary sheds at the said crossing. Their shops were demolished by the Government on Dec. 31, 1975 and they were evicted from the lands they had been occupying on the ground that they were unauthorised occupants of Government lands. Most of them are displaced persons from East Pakistan, now bangladesh, and they used to maintain them and the members of their respective families out of the income of their shops. After they were dispossessed, they made representations to the respondent No. 2. the Administrator, Baraset II Anchalic Parishad, Barasat for making some alternative arrangements so that the shop-keepers of the locality might not lease the only means of their livelihood. On such representations, the respondent No. 2 negotiated with the Government of West Bengal for the acquisition of some vacant lands situate near the crossing of the said two roads. During the negotiation by the respondent No. 2 with the Government they were given to understand that a plot of land appertaining to C.S. Plot No. 514, of Khaitan No. 143. Mouza Chandnagar, might be acquired for the purpose of rehabilitation of displaced roadside shop-keepers, but the cost of such acquisition and compensation money were to be paid by the shop-keepers. It is alleged that they were also given to understand by the Block Development Officer that the displaced shop-keepers might also purchase by private negotiation, portions of the said plot from the owners of the same, namely, the petitioner Nos. 1 to 5.
(3.)The further case of the petitioners is that a Samity named Madhyamgram Pathiparsastha Baboshayi Samity, the respondent No. 4, was set up and was registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1963. The said Samity was set up mainly for the purpose of acquisition of land for the rehabilitation of the displaced roadside shop-keepers as the Government of West Bengal was not agreeable to acquire the said plot for public purpose at Government expense. The petitioner nos. 6 to 29 purchased different portions of the said C. S. Plot No. 514 from the petitioner Nos. 1 to 5 who were the owners of the same, on different dates in Jan. 1976 by registered deeds of sale. Thereafter, they have taken possession of the respective portions of the said plot purchased by them and erected their respective shoprooms. On March 23, 1976, they came to know for the first time about the impugned order of requisition. It is alleged that the said plot is going to be acquired at the instance and for the benefit of the members of the respondent Samity. Further, it is alleged that the impugned order does not come under the purview of section 3 of the Act. It is contended that as the purported acquisition of the said plot No. 514 is for the purpose of a registered Samity, namely, the respondent No. 4, at the expenses of the said Samity, it can only be acquired under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. Sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Act provides as follows:-
"If the State Government is of the opinion that it is necessary so to do for maintaining supplies and services essential to the life of the community or for increasing employment opportunities for the people by establishing commercial estates and industrial estates in different areas or for providing proper facilities for transport, communication, irrigation or drainage or for the creation of better living conditions in rural or urban areas, not being an industrial or other area excluded by the State Government by a notification in this behalf, by the construction or reconstruction of dwelling places for such areas or for purposes connected therewith or incidental thereto, the State Government may, by order in writing, requisition any land and may make such further orders as it appears to it be necessary or expedient in connection with the requisitioning :

Provided that no land used for the purpose of religious worship or used by an educational or charitable institution shall be requisitioned under this section".


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