The Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the Haryana government to issue show-cause notices to the officers who have released a total of around Rs 100 crore in excess as compensation to 47 land owners. A division bench of Justices Surya Kant and Shekher Dhawan in the order passed on Tuesday has also asked the government to inform all the officers about the pendency of the court proceedings and give them the liberty to assist the court before “an order of proportionate recovery is passed against them”. It has also asked the State Vigilance Bureau to submit its status report in the matter.
The division bench had last month observed that the excess amount could be recovered from the salary or retiral benefits of the officers or their personal assets.
The government recently told the High Court that the actual amount of Rs 76 crore has been found to be paid to in excess, out of which Rs 27 crore has been since recovered.
The Vigilance Bureau last month had informed the High Court that “a substantial amount has also been paid to private individuals in respect of Shamlat deh land though compensation for such land ought to have been released to the Gram Panchayat.”
The matter had reached the High Court in 2015 when two sisters had filed a petition against the notices issued to them for the recovery of the excess amount.
Following their counsel’s submission that though the two sisters have been fair enough to deposit the excess amount after it was pointed out, “the amount was paid to number of land owners in excess, which was about Rs 100 crores”, the High Court last year had asked the state to submit the details.