KATHMANDU, Sept 27: In a significant blow to the government, the Supreme Court on Wednesday issued the full text of a verdict ordering the government to acquire private land for public purpose only after paying adequate compensation to the land owners.
The judgment came at a time when the government authorities have come under scrutiny for acquiring private lands for road expansion and other purposes without giving due compensation to the land owners.
Underlining that it will be a gross violation of the rights of the people if compensation is not given while acquiring private lands, the apex court also warned the government authorities not to create such situation in the future.
The apex court's ruling came in response to a writ petition filed jointly by Santwana Subedi and Sunita Poudel challenging the government authorities including the Ministry of Urban Development, Kathmandu Metropolitan City, KMC Ward No 4 Office and the Kathmandu Valley Development Authority for the acquisition of their land located in Baluwatar without paying compensation.
The case was decided by a division bench of justices Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada and Dr Ananda Mohan Bhattarai on September 1.
The bench asked government to strictly follow the provisions of the law by protecting the rights of the individuals.
Citing various previous orders in relation to road expansion in which the apex court had favored the interest of the general public, the SC said that it would be against the democratic norms to seize anyone's property without paying compensation.
Stating that nobody can go against the established rights as enshrined by the constitution in a democratic country, the bench also said that the government authorities cannot encroach the rights of any individual under any pretext.