JEDDAH – The Administrative Court in the Board of Grievances on Wednesday quashed a series of verdicts issued by a lower court in lawsuits relating to compensation for properties expropriated by the Ministry of Transport for the Haramain Railway project.
Informed sources told Okaz/Saudi Gazette the court overturned 20 preliminary verdicts issued by the lower court after Saudi citizens challenged the mechanism for evaluating their properties in the higher court. While the property owners celebrated the court rulings, the Ministry of Transport said it would appeal at the Administrative Appeals Court.
After listening to the opinions of experts in the Real Estate Committee at Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), the Administrative Court observed that the norms used for assessing the compensation were unfair.
The ministry is also facing 10 other appeals against the cost estimation of land acquired for the railway project. These cases are still being looked into by the Board of Grievances, which is expected to issue its verdicts in the next few days.
The Administrative Court had considered a number of appeals against the Ministry of Transport by citizens who claimed that the compensation amounts fixed for their properties were unfair and well below the market price.
A Transport Ministry representative reiterated that the ministry’s stance was correct and it took into consideration the value of real estate in each area while offering compensation. He expects the appeals court to overrule the Administrative Court’s decision.
Meanwhile, the General Court in Jeddah has received applications from more than 200 citizens seeking temporary title deeds for properties they own in the pathway of the Haramain Railway. Many of the property owners do not hold title deeds and thus are not eligible to get compensation from the Transport Ministry.