The case pertains to 1.5 acres of land acquired by Railways to lay railway lines in Kanchipuram in 1999 without due compensation.

TN court orders seizure of train in 19-yr-old case of land acquisition drama ensues
news Law Saturday, December 01, 2018 - 10:58

There was huge drama in store as officials of the Revenue department and railway authorities at Kanchipuram station got into an argument on Friday when the revenue officers attempted to seize a train following a court order.

The case pertains to 1.5 acres of land acquired by the Railways to lay railway lines in Kanchipuram in 1999. According to the complainants, they were not paid any compensation for the land they gave up for the Railways and hence the landowners had approached court.

The Kanchipuram sub-court had, on November 23, issued an order to seize a locomotive engine from the railways and cars in which Kanchipuram District Collector and District Revenue officer travel.

Acting on the order, the staff of the court with policemen reached the Kanchipuram railway station around 8.20 am on Friday. A short while after they arrived, the Puducherry-Egmore-Tirupati train reached the station. The court officials and the policemen approached the loco-pilot of the train and showed him the court order, asking him to get off the engine so that it can be seized. This led to arguments between the court team, the complainants and the station manager who said that the engine was a central government property and asked the other officers to leave. The station master then flagged the train off at around 8:40 am, after a 15-minute delay. Though the court team chased the train, they could not catch up and hence abandoned their efforts.

The team then rushed to the district office to seize the cars of the two top officers but then since they were not available at the office, their efforts went in vain. 

Following a 15-minute delay, the station master flagged off the train at around 8.40am, while the court officials gave a futile chase.

The complainants alleged that the Railways had assured to give Rs 25 per square feet of land and failed to keep their word. Hence they moved court seeking enhanced compensation from Railways. The court, hearing the plea, awarded Rs 88 per square foot of land and ordered Railways to pay the money to the land owners in 2017. But since the order was not obeyed, the litigants approached court again and secured a notice to seize the engine and the cars.

The Kanchipuram sub-court court had passed an order in 2017, directing the Railways to pay compensation of Rs 1.30 crore to four persons whose 1.5 acres of land was acquired for laying of railway lines in 1999 but it was not done by the Railways.

One of the landowners alleged that the Railway Board had not given them a single rupee as compensation though they had surrendered their land 19 years ago.

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