Delay and laches not ground for dismissal of claim of compensation for land acquisition by the State

The Calcutta High Court dismissed the appeal filed by the State of West Bengal, holding that the State must compensate the petitioners for utilizing their land without paying them any compensation, or following due process of law, even if there is a delay of more than 40 years in approaching the Courts for compensation. It also dismissed the argument that greater financial burden will be cast upon the State if compensation is paid as per the present Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 when the land was acquired in 1972-73, since the State “should on its own ensure that due compensation is paid..”