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Relatives Not Dependent On Claimant Will Constitute A Separate Family Unit For Purposes Of Compensation & Rehabilitation: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court observed that the relatives who are not dependent on the claimant will constitute a separate family unit for the purposes of compensation and rehabilitation. In this case, the issue was whether one Anadinath Banerjee is entitled to employment by Eastern Coalfields Limited in lieu of the acquisition of lands, on the strength of a tripartite agreement. According to the said agreement, a claimant would be eligible for the grant of employment if the land acquired for the purposes of the project is at least 2.0 acres. The High Court allowed his Writ petition after it found that he was in possession of land in excess of the minimum required (2 acres) and was, therefore, entitled to employment. In appeal, the court noted that reliance was placed by the claimant on Land Acquisition Collector’s report. It indicates that the total holding of 2.01 acres which has been computed includes lands of several relatives and others, who are alleged to have executed affidavits in his favour, the court said. The holding of relatives and others cannot be included in the holding of the respondent merely on the basis of self-serving affidavits which would not amount to a conveyance of title, the bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed.

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