Supreme Court docket maintain that the WB authorities has been retaining illegal possession of property for the final 22 yr with out paying a single pice in direction of compensation.
In the recent case of Punalur Paper Mills Limited v. West Bengal Mineral Development and trading Corporation, there was a property in question which was 7,500 Square feet property on the second floor in the Linsday street, Kolkata. It was requisitioned under the West Bengal Requisition and Control (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1947 in August 1973 to WBMTDCL.
In 1987, the Section 10B was inserted in the Act through which any property requisitioned by the act has to be released by the State Government on or before the expiry of a period of 25 years from the date od requisition. For the property in question, this 25-year period ended in August, 1998 obligating the state to release the premises. But instead of releasing the property, the property was acquired for the public purpose of providing the permanent office accommodation to WBMDTCL in September 1999. This was done by issuing the notification under Section 4of the Land Acquisition Act 1894.
This notification was challenged in Calcutta High Court where the Bench ordered that the possession of the property to be handed over withing in three months from the order. But the major issue was to determine the compensation. The matter was appealed to the Division Bench of High Court where the court directed that the premises should be vacated and possession would be handed to the defendants withing 3 months.
The Supreme Court on this held that the premises were supposed to be released on or before August, 1998. The State had the time of 11.5 years to act and acquire the property where such acquisition could easily have been done by way of a notification under the section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act before the lapse of 25 years. However, the state failed to do so and after the requisition period elapsed in August 15, 1998, the state issued a notification under Section 4 of the Act.
The Court addressed the determination of the compensation and stated that the unfortunate fact about the present situation is that it was a government body (which comes under the definition of state) was the one which was retaining the unlawful possession of the property for the last 22 years without paying the money.