In a judgment which is likely to be hailed by landowners, the Supreme Court has recently ruled that the government must pay landowners the highest market price for land being acquired, rather than the average market price of similar properties in the locality, which is the measure adopted in computing compensation.
The judgment, which dealt with a suit in relation to lands owned by the erstwhile ruler of Faridkot state, Colonel Sir Harinder Singh, should be a cause for concern for both government and the private sector, particularly given the already spiralling costs of land.
In 1979, 33 acres of land belonging to Singh were acquired by the Punjab government under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, for the extension of a grain market at Faridkot.
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