The Supreme Court believes the WB government has been holding unlawful possession of property for 22 years without paying a single piece for compensation.

In the most recent case of Punalur Paper Mills Limited v West Bengal Mineral Development and Trading CorporationIt was a second-floor lot on Linsday Street in Calcutta, which was 7,500 square feet. It was requested from WBMTDCL in August 1973 under the West Bengal Requirement and Control Act (Temporary Provisions) of 1947.

In 1987, Section 10B was added to the law requiring any property requested by the law to be released by the state government on or before a period of 25 years from the date of the request. For the property in question, this 25-year period ended in August 1998 and obliged the state to vacate the premises. Instead of releasing the property, the property was acquired for public use in September 1999 to provide permanent office space to WBMDTCL. This was done by issuing the notification pursuant to Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act of 1894.

That notice was challenged in the Calcutta Supreme Court, where the bank ordered that ownership of the property should be handed over within three months of the order. The main problem, however, was how to determine compensation. The matter was challenged in the Bench Division of the High Court, where the court ordered the premises to be vacated and the property returned to the defendants within 3 months.

The Supreme Court ruled that the premises should be released on or before August 1998. The state had 11.5 years to act and acquire the property if such an acquisition could easily have been made by notice under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act before the expiry of 25 years. However, the state did not do so, and after the request period ended on August 15, 1998, the state issued a notice under Section 4 of the Act.

The Court of Justice went on to determine the compensation and found that the unfortunate fact about the current situation is that it is a government agency (which falls under the definition of the state) that has been operating for the past 22 years Unlawful possession of the property has preserved years without paying the money.

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