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Key Takeaways

  • Section 25 of the 2013 Act would apply to the awards made and published under Section 24(1)(a) of the 2013 Act.

Background

  • The State of Maharashtra, on 16th June 2011, issued a land acquisition notification under Section 41 of the 1894 Act. On 30 October 2014, the SpecialL and Acquisition Officer purportedly made an award in terms of clause (a) to Section 24(1) of the 2013 Act.
  • The High Court allowed the writ petition challenging this award holding that in terms of Section 11A of the 1894 Act, the award ought to have been passed within two years from the date of the declaration under Section 6, that is, before 8th August 2014.

Observations

  • The Bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna observed that practical absurdities and anomalies may arise if the two years term for making of an award in terms of Section 11A of the Land Acquisition Act 1894 commencing from the date of issue of the declaration is applied to the awards to be made under Section 24(1)(a) of the 2013 Act.
  • The period during which the Court order would inhibit action on the part of the authorities to proceed with the making of the award would be excluded while computing the period under Section 25 of the 2013 Act.
  • Accordingly, the period of 79 days from 26th May 2014 when the High Court had stayed the operation of the notification dated 19th March 2014, till the new notification dated 13th August 2014 was issued has to be excluded.
  • The award purportedly dated 30th October 2014, was in any case duly made on or before the extended date of 20th March 2015. Hence, the concerned award is valid.

Questions

  • What is your opinion on this judgement?
  • What does Section 25 of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013 states?

Share your views in the comments section below.

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