J&K High Court directs Defense Ministry to Pay ₹2.49 crore rent to dispossessed land owners

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the Ministry of Defence to pay pending rental dues of ₹2.49 crores to twenty-four families comprising Displaced Persons (DPs) from Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK). The families’ land, allocated to them in 1953, was taken over by the Indian Army in 1978 without due process or compensation.

Justice Wasim Sadiq Nargal highlighted that the land meant for rehabilitation couldn’t be taken without proper compensation or legal procedures. 

“Once a land is allotted to the DPs for their rehabilitation under, the same cannot be taken away from them by any means or by any of the agency without payment of rentals or by payment of compensation after adopting due course of law,” the court said, reported by Bar and Bench.

The judgment stemmed from petitions by descendants of the displaced persons. The Court mandated the government to pay the pending ₹2.49 crores as rental compensation from 1978 to 2009 within a month. Additionally, it instructed assessment and payment of further rent from 2009 onward within the month, warning of a 6 percent annual interest if payments aren’t made as directed.

Advocate Jagpaul Singh represented the displaced persons, while the Central Government was represented by Sandeep Gupta. Senior Additional Advocate General Monika Kohli appeared for the Deputy Commissioner, Jammu.