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Land Acquisition Officer, A.P. Vs Ravi Santosh Reddy (D) By L.Rs, on 18th May 2016, Supreme Court of India: Case Brief – Read Judgement

Interest calculation in Land Acquisition matter: Court found a Pity issue is brought to the Apex Court, thus cost to be paid by appellant to respondent

Civil Appeal No. 5647 of 2006
Bench: Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre; Justice Ashok Bhushan

Case Brief: In the present case, an appeal is filed challenging the final order of High Court of Andhra Pradesh, where the High Court had decided to dismiss the revision filed by the appellant against the order of the Subordinate Judge. In the facts of the case, the appellant herein- State earlier had acquired land pursuant to the notification issued under section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 in the year 1978. The Land of respondents’ predecessors was also covered under the said notification. The purpose shown was for laying down New Broad Gauge Line. In the year 1980 the land was divided by the Land Acquisition Officer into three categories by its Award and also awarded compensation to all the landowners whose lands had been acquired at the rates of Rs. 1100, Rs. 1200 and Rs. 1700 per acre. For re- determining the compensation, the predecessor of the respondents filed reference to the Civil Court under Section 18 of the Act. And when the reference was referred to the Lok Adalat for mutual settlement, in the year 1988, Lok Adalat’s order seemed enhancing the compensation. Then the predecessor filed an execution petition for realization of entire decreetal amount. However, predecessor died during the pendency of execution petition. Executing Court determined the amount payable to the respondents by the State and issued warrant against the judgement- debtor- State for recovery of interest amount and odds. The order was not challenged by the State, as such attained finality. However, recalling application was filed by it, but executing court dismissed the same. Thereafter, before the High Court, state preferred a revision petition, which was also dismissed by that Court.

Thus, the bench observed that despite notices none appeared for the respondent here. However, the bench heard counsel for appellant- State and perused records in the case, but found no merit in the appeal. The bench found it right when the High Court held that the only remedy which was available for the State was to challenge the main order of the executing court, but since it was not challenged, it has attained finality. The state challenged the order of executing court through which it had rejected the claim of re- calling the main order. As such, this bench observed that the Executing court was justified in rejecting state’s application, holding that the main order was not an ex- parte order, thus it was hold binding on the state. High Court’s order was also considered by this bench as justified one. Thus, the bench further observed in its considered opinion that the State unnecessarily pursued the pity matter of interest calculation to the Apex Court, which does not involve any arguable point. Bench also found it unfortunate that a genuine claim of the respondents was not satisfied by the state for such a long time. As such, this bench found no merit in appeal and thus it was dismissed with cost of Rs. 10,000 payable to respondents. Also, the state was directed to pay the unpaid decreetal sums, if any, in given period.

Read the Judgement:  Land Acquisition Officer, A.P. Vs Ravi Santosh Reddy (D) By L.Rs

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