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For acquiring land by Government Authorities like, MUDA, BDA, or similar authorities, they have to acquire land within a reasonable time from the date of issue of notification. Otherwise, such notifications can be quashed and declaratory relief can be obtained

In the case of C.Rangegowda vs. State of Karnataka and Others-2015(4) KLJ 64, The MUDA intended to form a layout in the year 2006 and issued a preliminary notification dated 4-1-2007 to acquire the land belonging to one Sri. C. Rangegowda. After this notification was issued and no action was taken for six years and thereafter the authority wanted to acquire the lands. The former, as a Petitioner, approached the Hon'ble High Court of KAR, BLR assailing preliminary notification dated 4-1-2007 issued by the MUDA under Section 17(1) of the Karnataka Urban Development Authorities Act, 1987. By this notification, inter alia, the Petitioner's land situated at Chowdahalli Village, Mysore Dist, has been sought to be acquired.

Admittedly, thereafter no declaration or final notification under Section 19 of the Act was issued. In the circumstances, the Petitioner approached the Hon'ble High Court of KAR, BLR seeking quashing of preliminary notification and a declaratory relief to the effect that the entire scheme has lapsed. The lands were sought to be acquired for the purpose of formation of 'Swarna Jayanthi Nagara Layout' at Mysore.

The Hon'ble HC of KAR had passed orders in earlier instances also in many similar cases. In the present case the HC observed that nearly six years have lapsed from preliminary notification. The HC viewed that such a delay is unreasonable and referred to the view of the Supreme Court which had held that even in the absence of specific provisions a reasonable time for issuing final notification may be taken as two years.

The HC ordered that the preliminary notification issued loses its value, it becomes non est and the owner of the land should be at liberty to deal with the property in the manner he likes. However, if the acquiring authority still are interested to acquire the lands, this judgment will not come in their way subject to the authority again issuing a preliminary notification followed by a final one within a reasonable time, in which event, the market value of the land to be acquired is to be paid on the date of fresh notification. It will give justice to the owner of the land. The H C further ordered that the preliminary notification stands quashed.

In view of this decision, I opine that the authorities, like, BDA, MUDA, others cannot suddenly wake up from their slumber after a lapse of more than two years from the date of issue of preliminary notification to acquire lands belonging to private persons. Their notifications/declarations becomes non est and liable to be quashed by Courts.

The author can also be reached at drgubbilegal@gmail.com

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Category Property Law, Other Articles by - Dr Gubbi S Subba Rao