News Ticker

Aligarh Devt.Auth Vs Megh Singh & Ors, on 5th May 2016, Supreme Court of India- Read Judgement



(Arising out of SLP ( C) No. 4282 of 2011)


1. Leave granted.

2. The appellant- Aligarh Development Authority took steps for
acquisition of land belonging to the respondent No.1 as per Notification
issued under Section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (For short
`1894 Act’) on 09.08.2004. Simultaneously emergency clause was also invoked
under the provisions of Section 17 followed by Section 6 declaration dated
03.08.2005. According to the appellant possession of the land was taken
and part of the compensation was deposited with the Special Land
Acquisition Officer.

3. The respondent No.1 challenged the acquisition on various
grounds and the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad by the impugned
Judgment dated 21.10.2010 allowed the writ petition and quashed the
Notification dated 09.08.2004 and the declaration dated 03.08.2005. Among
other reasons, the main reason for taking such a view is that after
invoking emergency clause, no award was passed even after the expiry of
four years. Thus aggrieved, the Requisitioning Authority -Aligarh
Development Authority is before this Court. When the matter was pending
before this Court, the land owner non-applicant filed I.A.No.3/2015
contending that respondent No.1 is entitled to a declaration that
acquisition proceedings have lapsed in view of the operation of Section 24
of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition,
Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (For short `2013 Act’), since
neither compensation has been paid to the owner nor possession has been
taken by the Land Acquisition Collector.

4. The appellant-Authority has filed reply to the affidavit
stating that the compensation has been deposited with the Land Acquisition
Collector. As far as the possession is concerned, it is stated in the
affidavit that the land has already been taken in possession and a `full-
fledged and complete residential colony has been developed’.

5. It is however an admitted position that no Award either under
the 1894 Act or under the 2013 Act has been passed in respect of the land
of respondent No.1. Section 24 of the 2013 Act reads as follows:
“24. Land acquisition process under Act No.1 of 1894 shall be deemed to
have lapsed in certain cases.- (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in
this Act, in any case of land acquisition proceedings initiated under the
Land Acquisition Act,1894 (1 of 1894),-
a) Where no award under section 11 of the said Land Acquisition Act has
been made, then, all provisions of this Act relating to the determination
of compensation shall apply; or
b) Where an award under said section 11 has been made, then such
proceedings shall continue under the provisions of the said Land
Acquisition Act, as if the said Act has not been repealed.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), in case of land
acquisition proceedings initiated under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (1
of 1894),, where an award under the said section 11 has been made five
years or more prior to the commencement of this Act but the physical
possession of the land has not been taken or the compensation has not been
paid the said proceedings shall be deemed to have lapsed and the
appropriate Government, if it so chooses, shall initiate the proceedings of
such land acquisition afresh in accordance with the provisions of this Act:
Provided that where an award has been made and compensation in respect of a
majority of land holding has not been deposited in the account of the
beneficiaries, then, all beneficiaries specified in the notification for
acquisition under section 4 of the said Land Acquisition Act, shall be
entitled to compensation in accordance with the provisions of this Act.”

6. Section 24 of the 2013 Act envisages mainly two situations; i)
where the land acquisition proceedings had already been initiated under the
1894 Act but no award was passed till the date the new Act came into
force. (ii) where the Award has been passed but neither the owner has been
dispossessed nor has he been paid the compensation. Under the first, where
the award had not been passed, the acquisition proceedings could continue;
but the compensation will have to be determined under the scheme of 2013
Act. Under the second category, there is a statutory lapse of the
proceedings. There is also an incidental third situation, where award under
the 1894 Act had already been passed prior to coming into force of the 2013
Act, but payment is yet to be made and possession is yet to be taken. In
that case, the further proceedings after the award could continue under the
old Act of 1894; but if either payment or possession has not taken effect
in five years prior to the 2013 Act, then proceedings will lapse.

7. In the case before us, since admittedly the award has not been
passed, there arises no question of lapse. The land acquisition
proceedings would continue but with the rider that the award will have to
be passed and compensation determined under the provisions of 2013 Act.

8. In that view of the matter, it is not necessary to go into various
other aspects. Having regard to the factual matrix of the residential
colony having been set up, which fact is not controverted also, it cannot
be said that there was an urgency for the acquisition. Therefore, the
approach made by the High Court is not correct. However, the stand of the
Authority that it had deposited 80% of the compensation with the land
acquisition officers and hence it was for the owner to collect the money,
cannot be appreciated. That is a matter between the Requisitioning
Authority and the Acquisitioning Authority. There is no question of `come
and get’ the compensation while compulsorily acquiring the land; the
approach required under law is `go and give’. In this case, no award has
been passed and the land value has not been given to the owner. The
impugned order is hence set aside. The appellant and the Acquisitioning
Authority are directed to complete the acquisition proceedings by passing
an award under the provisions of the 2013 Act. This shall be done within a
period of six months and needless also to
say that the entire compensation due to respondent No.1 would be calculated
in terms of the 2013 Act and the same shall either be deposited with the
Land Acquisition Collector or disbursed to the respondent No.1 within one
month thereafter.
9. The appeal is disposed of as above. No costs.
MAY 05, 2016

Read Also: Case Brief – Aligarh Devt.Auth Vs Megh Singh & Ors