Armed with court orders, farmers seek to claim possession of Janshatabadi Express
Making it the country’s first ever case of its kind, a local court has ordered the Indian Railways to attach the Janshatabdi Express train in lieu of unpaid land compensation to two farmers who had fought a protracted legal battle for 17 long years in Himachal Pradesh.
Nearly an hour before departure of the train, the two farmers, accompanied by advocate Arun Kumar Saini, had reached the Una railway station to oversee the execution of the court orders before its deadline expired on Thursday morning. A senior railway official informed the court bailiff (an official executor ) at 4.45 am about compliance of the orders and payment of compensation.
Senior Station Engineer (SSE) S K Sharma produced photo copies of two bank drafts of amount Rs 26,53,814 and Rs 8,91,424 drawn in favour of one Madan Lal, 55, and Mela Ram, 68, respectively, which will be submitted to the Registrar Himachal Pradesh High Court at Shimla. He also gave an undertaking and requested the Delhi-bound train to proceed as per its schedule since passengers have already boarded the train.
“Hon’ble court of Additional district and session’s judge, Una Mukesh Bansal had passed the orders on April 9 giving hardly much time to the railways to deposit the money. Then there were holidays including Himachal Day (April 15), causing some delay and incontinence ,” he explained to the court bailiff.
Bansi Lal, the court bailiff, had relented only when Sharma gave an undertaking and handed over authentic photo copies of the drafts . “I will submit my compliance to the court. In the meantime the train can leave,” he said defusing the tension on the platform.
The two farmers arrived turned up at the station along with their family members an hour before the departure of the Janshatabdi Express. Over a dozen other fellow villagers also arrived in hope as most of them have similar land compensation cases pending against the railways in the high court since 1998.
Several acres of prime land in Chruru village was acquired by the Indian Railways in 1997-98. The farmers were paid a meager compensation of Rs 5,500 to 6000 per kanal. The farmer took the railways to court seeking compensation based on market value of the irrigated land. The compensation was increased in 2009 but they are yet to receive the the money.
“The Railways was not willing to pay the compensation. It had adopted a completely negative and hostile attitude even when dealing with the court orders. Though, the high court had passed its order in 2013 giving six months’ time to deposit the money, nothing was done till December 2014,” said a farmer.
Source:: Indian Express