Hutti mines told to pay ex gratia at Rs 90k per acre

Hutti mines told to pay ex gratia at Rs 90k per acre

The Supreme Court has directed the Karnataka government’s undertaking Hutti Gold Mines company to pay Rs 90,000 per acre as compensation to those whose land was acquired for extraction of the yellow metal.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, in an order passed last week, allowed a petition filed by Mareppa against the Karnataka High Court’s judgement of June 19, 2012.

The top court relied upon its previous order passed on February 18, 2016 in Civil Appeal - Siddanna (now dead) by legal representatives and others vs General Manager, M/s Hutti Gold Mines Co & Anr. The court had then ordered that the land owners should be held entitled to compensation at Rs 90,000 per acre along with all statutory benefits as admissible.

An extent of 249 acres 10 guntas was acquired in the state for the purpose of excavation of gold by Hatti Gold Mines Company Limited.

The bench did not prefer to issue a notice to the state government and passed the order on grant of compensation and also condoned the delay by the petitioner in approaching the court.

The high court had earlier determined the compensation at the rate of Rs 25,000 per acre. It had taken into account Section 70 of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964 which vests in
the state all rights to mines and mineral products that may be found in any kind of land.

Though the land-owners sought a compensation of over Rs one lakh per acre, the high court took the view that valuation of the land on the basis of the availability of gold and the gold price was not a correct method of determination of the entitlement of the appellants-claimants/land owners to the compensation.

The top court, without going into the reasoning of the high court’s order, decided to enhance the compensation to the land owners.