1965 war widow finally gets 300 sq-m land in Khed

Written By kom nampultig on Rabu, 06 Agustus 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Almost half-a-century after a woman, then 24 years old, lost her husband in the 1965 Indo-Pak war, she will finally get her own home with the Bombay high court on Tuesday directing the government to give her a 300 sq-m land at Khed. Ironically, when she finally got the land, she was in the ICU.

A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice A S Chandurkar also fined the government Rs 75,000 for the delay in granting the land and directed it to deposit the amount in 73-year-old Indira Jadhav's pension account within six weeks. But from the Rs 75,000 cost, the government will deduct 50% of the occupancy price for the land, which she is liable to pay according to the July 8, 1998 GR and the then ready reckoner rates. The court has directed that the district collector should put Jadhav in possession of the land, free of encumbrances and encroachment, in six weeks.

The judges also directed the collector to take steps so that Jadhav gets an additional plot of land for agricultural use and that the government should take a decision on it within two months. They said the government could recover the amount of cost "from those responsible for the gross negligence".

Jadhav's husband Babaji died on October 27, 1965, in Ladakh in a mine explosion. He was a sepoy with the 20 Maratha Light Infantry at Belgaum.

While hearing the case, the court was furious that Jadhav was initially asked to pay the 2014 market rates for the Khed land. State advocate Molina Thakur on Monday said she would have to pay according to the 2001 rates as per the July 1998 GR as it was an urban plot, which would translate into Rs 45,730 as the 50% occupancy charges. But the judges questioned why she was not charged according to the GR date, which is 1998.

In their order, the judges noted that the state had claimed that Jadhav had applied for the first time in 2011, though correspondences between her and the authorities dated way back in the late 60s. "What is more shocking", the judges said, was that state officials made a panchnama of the Khed land and claimed that Jadhav was not found despite them being aware of her Chinchwad address. "The facts are so glaring that it is not necessary for us to use harsh words and findings against the state," the court said.

The judges have directed that a copy of the judgment be sent to the state chief secretary to ensure necessary remedial measures are taken. Disposing the petition, the judges said they hoped that the government would take steps to immediately grant relief to "people similarly situated".

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=woman,land,Khed,Bombay high court,1965 Indo-Pak war

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