A Punjab farmer is now the owner of an express train following an order by the Ludhiana court on Wednesday. In 2012, Sampuran Singh, 45, had approached the court seeking a compensation from the Northern Railways for acquiring his land for laying tracks in 2007, PTI reported. Moreover, Singh was also granted the ownership of the Ludhiana railway station master’s office.
Since the Railways delayed the compensation, the court handed over the Swarna Shatabdi Express to Singh. The train runs between New Delhi and Amritsar every day.
The case dates back to 2007 when the railway authorities had paid Singh only Rs 42 lakh for acquiring his land to build a Ludhiana-Chandigarh railway line. However, the farmer claimed the authorities were yet to pay him about Rs 1.05 crore for his land.
After he filed a case in 2012, the court in January 2015 had ordered the Railways to pay him the remaining amount. The court also enhanced the compensation to Rs 50 lakh per acre, however, the Railways had failed to pay the amount.
Now the owner of a 20-coach train, Singh with his lawyer went to the Ludhiana railway station on Wednesday with the court orders and waited for their train to arrive. Singh said he let the train go ahead to its destination as he did not want to cause inconvenience to thousands of passengers on board.
The railway officials have secured an interim order against the court’s decision until the case is heard once again. “If they fail to pay the money by Saturday, then the court can sanction an auction,” Singh’s lawyer Rakesh Gandhi told AFP.
In the past, a Karnataka court had ruled in favour of a 62-year-old farmer in a 2006 compensation case and confiscated an express train.