Civic body liable to pay Rs 2k solatium per month, SC in Khori village case

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The Supreme Court on Thursday said the Faridabad Municipal Corporation in Haryana is liable to pay solatium of Rs 2,000 per month to eligible persons, whose unauthorised structures on the Aravali Forest area were demolished.

A bench, headed by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, said that until permanent accommodation is offered, the Faridabad civic body should pay Rs 2,000 per month, to the eligible persons, until the date of issuance of possession letter by it.

Senior advocate Sanjay Parikh, representing some petitioners, submitted that payment of solatium, which was for a period of six months, must continue till the time the government provides flats in a habitable condition.

The civic body counsel submitted before the bench, also comprising Justices A.S. Oka and C.T. Ravikumar, that 1,027 applicants have been found eligible and they would be allotted flats on permanent basis by end of April.

The bench said: “Until permanent accommodation is offered to the eligible persons, the corporation shall be liable to pay ex-gratia solatium amount of Rs 2,000 per month until the date of issuance of possession letter by the corporation.”

As Parikh contended that nobody had occupied the flats, as they were in bad condition, the bench observed that the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation should certify that the premises offered to the people are in habitable condition. It further added that the possession letter can be issued, post certification, and then the premises can be occupied.

The civic body’s counsel contended that it had earlier informed the court that final possession of the flats will be given by April 30, 2022. The bench emphasized that flats should be made habitable, and those who did not occupy these flats should be compensated.

The bench directed the Superintendent of Police, Faridabad, to assist the civic body to ensure that there is no encroachment on the area, where structures were demolished.

The top court also reserved its verdict on the separate pleas raising issues in connection with forest and non-forest land in Haryana. It will also continue to hear the matter further on April 26.

The top court in June last year, directed Haryana and Faridabad Municipal Corporation to remove all encroachments, which included around 10,000 residential constructions, on the Aravali forest area near the Khori village.

20220331-213603

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