Contentious land takeovers must be settled through the Courts: Hithadhoo Magistrate Court

Aeriel view of Addu Equatorial Hospital | Photo: Avas

Addu City, Maldives – Court verdicts that there is no issue in the City Council taking land from the area around Addu Equatorial Hospital (AEH) if there is no contention between both parties.

However, if there is contention between the two parties and in case of a hostile land takeover by the state, only the courts will decide on the matter, according to the court sentence by the Hithadhoo Magistrate Court.

On July 15, a statement released from the City Council states that as instructed by the law, they have started to allocate lands of the same size at the area that was initially to be developed; south of Addu stadium for those whose lands were taken from the AEH area. The Council also provided the opportunity for those who are not satisfied with the compensated lands to submit a letter to the Hithadhoo Office before the deadline. 

However, the Council was met with heavy criticism from the public, followed by seven people filling a case to the Court against it. The Court initially issued a temporary halt to the compensation of the 35 lands this Monday, however, the Court sentenced yesterday that there is no issue in taking the lands in agreement with compensation if both parties are in agreement.

However, the Magistrate Court sentence states that if there is a disagreement, and the citizen disagrees to handover the plot of land, in such a situation the Courts will evaluate the extent of investments of the land by the citizen and decide henceforth.

The Court also stressed that such a handover must be fair and conducted through a judicial court in cases of contention.

As per the council, the main purpose of claiming land surrounding AEH is to give the opportunity for economical development in the area.

The council advised the public not to carry out any activities on the land claimed by the council, adding that they will not be responsible for any consequences. 

While speaking with local media publication Mihaaru, Addu City Mayor Ali Nizar previously said that land was distributed from the area without a proper plan and that it was very congested. He added that as people from several islands will be frequently visiting the hospital, it was not wise to have a congested living area near the hospital.