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Land Acquisition Act 2013 Section 24 - Capsule of Law laid down by the 5 Judge Constitution Bench of Supreme Court

Section 24 LAA 2013 - POINTS DECIDED IN IDA 2020

Friends request to read slowly & carefully - refer to the Judgment - This is capsule - typo-e&oe:

1. IDA 2018 - To the extent of the non-consideration of the effect of AND, IDA2018 cannot prevail. For the rest it prevails - para 362

2. Physical Possession - means as recorded in Panchanama

3. Paid/Deposit

  1. As per the Treasury rules, a "notice to receive is given" para 225/228/229: this is TENDER of PAYMENT as the rules are binding on officers and these rules have prevailed for long. [inference-Therefore if the farmers doesn’t come and collect – it is payment - refused/not accepted. Thereafter the officer is free to deposit it in treasury/LRC]
  2. If compensation is tendered under 31(1) as per rules by the issuance of notice to collect compensation[para 225/228/229], obligation to pay is complete. Therefore [if the farmers refuse to collect] it cannot be said to be "not paid" para 224/363(5)
  3. Farmers who don’t accept compensation or refuse to receive, and file LR for higher compensation cannot say that they are not paid . para 224
  4. Paid is not deposit within s/31 of 1894 - refusal / non-acceptance of tender - causes deposit in Land Acquisition Officers account OR  Treasury OR Land Reference Court. para 224
  5. For the 2013 act Paid in 24(2) and deposit in proviso is distinct and cannot be read as it will cause inconsistency and repugnancy will be caused. Further, the Legislature was cautious to keep the words different: para 215/242
  6. Rules under s/55 and Standing order and Treasury Rules have prevailed for long. These rules provide for issuing notice to receive. They are binding on the officer. And even if the amount is not paid only interest is payable. Para 229
  7. If Compensation is in Land Acquisition Officers account OR  Treasury OR Land Reference Court – it is "deposited" for proviso of 24(2). {inferred as per Para 242 as consequence is the benefit of higher compensation under the proviso}
  8. If Compensation is not in Land Acquisition Officers account OR  Treasury OR Land Reference Court of majority - higher compensation is available under the proviso Para 229/242
  9. even if deposit in Land Acquisition Officers account OR  Treasury OR Land Reference Court is irregular, the farmers are entitled only to interest under 34 NOT under Proviso para 242
  10. Where Land Reference is filled by the farmer – even if the amount is not paid or deposited, he can claim interest u/s 34. Para 240
  11. If the compensation of majority is not deposited in Land Acquisition Officers account OR  Treasury OR Land Reference Court and possession not taken – Majority will be entitled to the compensation as per proviso  available to farmers, to be computed as on date of s/4 notification  para 363(4)
  12. If the compensation of majority is not deposited in Land Acquisition Officers account OR  Treasury OR Land Reference Court and possession taken – proviso doesn’t apply – farmers entitled only to interest under 34 of 1894 – para 363(4)
  13. in other cases if possession taken and compensation not paid  –farmers entitled to interest under s/34 of 1894 act
  14. Deposit in Treasury instead of LRC causes no prejudice to farmers as they will still get higher interest u/s 34. Para 229, 230
  15. Para 359: if possession taken payment not made, remedy lies elsewhere if not covered under proviso, and is independent of 24(2)
  16. Para 204: for purpose of s/34 of 1894 act paid or deposited, includes "tender"

4. Principle of Stale

  1. If possession taken and compensation tendered proceeding is concluded [{i}whether or not refused / not accepted- {ii} whether or not deposited in – Land Acquisition Officers account OR  Treasury OR Land Reference Court]
  2. 24(2) applies to "pending proceeding under 1894 act"
  3. If farmers have not questioned the non-compliance of both [1] no possession and [2] no compensation, within time limit, [para 242 page 215] they have no right to claim lapse. None questioning of the above failure amounts to waiver by the farmers. Time limit to question 6 months from failure of the 2 stages above stage, not 24(2).

5. Legislative intent on Lapse

  1. Even if "Not Paid" and "No Possession taken" – only Interest is payable as per 2013 Act – no lapsing as – such consequence is not provided in 1894 act and not the intention of the legislature
  2. There is no provisions in 1894 act and 2013 act for lapse for nonpayment. Para 331. Section 101 applies to acquisition under the 2013 act not to 1894 act para 361
  3. Intent of legislature is to give enhanced compensation under proviso to 24(2) under 2013 act. Therefore there will be no lapse in cases covered under proviso, even if possession not taken and compensation is not paid/not deposited in majority landowners account – para 243/356

6. Emergency acquisitions us/17 – No lapse. Only higher compensation will be allowed under 2013 act as on date of 17 notification, in case compensation is not paid. Subject to observation of "paid" in judgment- para 122

7. AND/OR - OR has to be read as AND - reasons

  1. When 2 negatives used both to be complied
  2. as per Loksabha debates intent of draftsman and legislature was to use AND - para 164-164
  3. parliaments intent was failure of authority, not dilatory tactic of farmers. Para 113
  4. once possession is taken it is vested right under 6 of GCA, therefore it cannot be taken away. Once possession is taken acquisition cannot be allowed to be withdrawn under 1894 Act. Vested rights of Govt cannot be taken away. Para 148
  5. Farmers cannot get unjustly enriched nor was it intent of the legislature. Para 132
  6. both [1] no possession and [2] no compensation, would have to be satisfied for 24(2) to get activated, as when 2 negatives are used both are required to be satisfied. Para 97/99/101/123
  7. Casus omissus not applied – para 309
  8. There is no retrospective operation of 2013 act-para 208

8. Proviso to 24(2) - Proviso is to 24(2)- para 197

9. Who cannot seek lapse -

  1.  persons who have refused / not accepted the tender by collecting it as per notice to receive u/s12(2)
  2. persons who have refused / not accepted the tender but filed LR
  3. persons whose claim to possession/compensation have been barred 
  4. all cases where there is tender
  5. all cases where possession is taken
  6. where majority landowners are not paid
  7. where amount is deposited in account of - Land Acquisition Officers OR  Treasury OR Land Reference Court

 

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