CIVIL APPEAL NO. 1301 OF 2023
Delhi Development Authority v. Rajender Singh & Ors.
DATE OF ORDER:
24 February 2023
Hon’ble Mr. Justice MR Shah and Hon’ble Mr. Justice CT Ravikumar
Appellant: Delhi Development Authority
Respondent: Rajender Singh & Ors.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Court’), set aside the order of the High Court and held that the land acquisition proceedings, in the present case, cannot be deemed to have lapsed under section 24(2) of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013.
Accordingly, the appeal was allowed.
Land Acquisition Act, 2013
- Section 24(1) - In case of a pending land acquisition proceeding, where a compensation award has not been passed under the 1894 Act, then the landowners would be entitled to compensation prescribed under the 2013 Act.
- Section 24(2) - in case the compensation award has been made under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, then the land acquisition proceedings under the 1894 Act would be deemed to have lapsed.
Land Acquisition Act, 1894
- Section 4 - Publication of preliminary notification and powers of officers thereupon - Whenever it appears to the appropriate Government that land in any locality is needed or] is likely to be needed for any public purpose or for a company a notification to that effect shall be published in the Official Gazette and in two daily newspapers circulating in that locality of which at least one shall be in the regional language, and the Collector shall cause public notice of the substance of such notification to be given at convenient places in the said locality the last of the dates of such publication and the giving of such public notice, being hereinafter referred to as the date of publication of the notification.
- Section 31 - Payment of compensation or deposit of same in Court
- On making an award under section 11, the Collector shall tender payment of the compensation awarded by him to the persons interested entitled thereto according to the award, and shall pay it to them unless prevented by some one or more of the contingencies mentioned in the next sub-section.
- If they shall not consent to receive it, or if there be no person competent to alienate the land, or if there be any dispute as to the title to receive the compensation or as to the apportionment of it, the Collector shall deposit the amount of the compensation in the Court to which a reference under section 18 would be submitted
- Section 34 - Payment of interest - When the amount of such compensation is not paid or deposited on or before taking possession of the land, the Collector shall pay the amount awarded with interest thereon at the rate of nine per centum per annum from the time of so taking possession until it shall have been so paid or deposited.
- In Writ Petition (C) No. 3561 of 2015, the High Court of Delhi held that the acquisition proceedings in respect of the land in question is deemed to have lapsed u/s 24(2) Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.
- The original writ petitioner and respondent in the present case had filed this writ petition at the Delhi HC against the acquisition of land in question by the Delhi Development authority.
- The Ld. High Court gave relief to the original writ petitioners and held the land acquisition proceedings can be said to have lapsed as per the Land Acquisition Act, 2013.
- The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) (appellants) have preferred the present appeal against the impugned judgement and order passed by the High Court.
- Whether the High Court erred in holding that the acquisition with respect to the land in question is deemed to have lapsed u/s 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013?
ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE PARTIES:
- The counsel for the Appellants contended that on 23.09.1981, the acquisition and subsequent possession of lands in question was taken over and given to the beneficiary department.
- It was further contended by the appellants that the compensation arising out of the said lands was sent in RD because of the dispute.
ANALYSIS BY THE COURT:
- The Ld. Court observed that the Delhi HC relied upon the Pune Municipal Corporation and Anr. v. Harakchand Misirimal Solanki and Ors., (2014) 3 SCC 183 case, in holding that acquisition with respect to the lands in question is deemed to have lapsed u/s 24(2) of the 2013 Act on the ground that the said compensation was not paid as per the manner prescribed in law to the land owners.
- It was further observed by the Apex Court that the present view taken by the High Court was contrary to the law laid down in the case of Indore Development Authority v. Manoharlal and Ors., (2020) 8 SCC 129.
- It was noted by the Court that according to the law laid down in the case of Indore Development Authority, two conditions need to be followed for a deemed lapse u/s 24(2) of the Act, 2013, namely,
- Possession has not been taken and;
- The compensation is not paid.
- If either of the conditions is not fulfilled, it cannot be said that the acquisition of the land in question has been deemed to lapse under the Act, 2013.
- The Court applied the law laid down in the Indore Development Authority case and noted that the impugned judgement and order passed by the High Court is unsustainable.
It was held by the Ld. Court that the High Court erred in holding that the acquisition of the land in question have been deemed to lapse under the Land Acquisition Act, 2013. Thereby, the impugned order and the judgement of the High Court was set aside.
Accordingly, the present appeal was allowed.