CIVIL APPEAL NO. 944 OF 2023
Delhi Development Authority Versus MGS (India) Private Limited & Ors.
DATE OF ORDER:
M.R.Shah, C.T.Ravikumar, Sanjay Karol
Petitioner:Govt. of NCT of Delhi
Respondent:MGS (India) Private Limited & Ors
Feeling dissatisfied and unsatisfied with the impugned judgment and order issued by the High Court of Delhi in New Delhi on July 20, 2015, in Writ Petition (C) No. 910 of 2015, by which the High Court granted the aforementioned writ petition and stated that the acquisition about the subject land is deemed to have The Delhi Development Authority (DDA), as the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, has preferred the present appeals, which have lapsed due to Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement Act, 2013 (hereinafter referred to as "Act, 2013").
ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE APPELLANT
- The initial writ petitioner before the High Court, according to the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellants, was the subsequent purchaser, who indisputably purchased the property - land in question after the acquisition procedures began and the award was made. It is argued that because the initial writ petitioner was a subsequent purchaser, he had no standing to dispute the acquisition procedures and/or the lapse of the acquisition proceedings.
- It is submitted that the aforementioned objection was raised before the High Court and was even specifically mentioned in the counter before the High Court, but the Hon'ble High Court has not decided the locus of the original writ petitioner to pray for the acquisition's lapse as a subsequent purchaser.
- This Court relied on its judgments in the cases of Shiv Kumar & Anr. vs. Union of India & Ors., (2019) 10 SCC 229; Delhi Development Authority vs. Godfrey Phillips (I) Ltd. & Ors., Civil Appeal No. 3073 of 2022, and the subsequent decision in which the aforementioned two decisions were relied on.
ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE RESPONDENT
- Although not challenging the fact that the original writ petitioner was the subsequent purchaser and bought the land after the acquisition processes, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent – original writ petitioner – does so. However, he has argued that the court's ruling in the case of Shiv Kumar & Anr. (supra) is not relevant because the original writ petitioner in that instance did not have any title and instead claimed the title based on the general power of attorney.
- According to the argument, at the time, the High Court came to rely on this Court's judgment in the case of Government (NCT of Delhi) Vs. Manav Dharam Trust and Anr., (2017) 6 SCC 751.
ANALYSIS BY THE COURT
- The later purchaser, who bought the subject land after the acquisition proceedings and even after the award was made, is unquestionably the original writ petitioner. Due to this, subsequent purchasers do not have the right to contest the expiration of the acquisition, as this Court has noted and held in several decisions, most notably in the cases of Shiv Kumar & Anr. (supra) and Godfrey Phillips (I) Ltd. & Ors. (supra) and other subsequent decisions.
- In response to the respondent's argument that this Court's ruling in the case of Shiv Kumar & Anr. (supra) shall not be applicable because in the present case, the subsequent purchaser purchased the property by registered sale deed, and in the aforementioned decision, the original writ petitioner claimed the title based on a general power of attorney, it is necessary to note that the law established by this Court in the aforementioned decision is that a subsequent purch It was specifically noted and decided in the case of Godfrey Phillips (I) Ltd. & Ors. (supra) that the subsequent purchaser has no right to ask for the acquisition to lapse.
- Regarding the reliance on this Court's decision in the case of Manav Dharam Trust and Anr. (supra), it is necessary to highlight that this Court in the aforementioned decisions held the aforementioned decision to be per incuriam.
- According to the impugned judgment and order issued by the High Court, even though it was acknowledged in the counter that an objection was raised regarding the maintainability of the writ petition before the High Court, the High Court did not address it at the request of appeal writ petitioner-subsequent purchaser. The High Court should have addressed the aforementioned issue. Whatever the case, it nonetheless stands that, as this Court noted and decided in the aforementioned instances, the respondent, who was a subsequent purchaser, had no right to request that the acquisition lapse. As a result, the High Court's contested ruling and order cannot stand.
- Given the foregoing and for the aforementioned causes, both of these appeals are successful. The High Court's contested decision and order are hereby reversed and quashed. The High Court remarked and held that the acquisition proceedings for the subject land shall not be deemed to have expired.
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