State of U.P. And Ors Vs. Surendra Pratap and Ors, on 13th May, 2016, Supreme Court of India: Case Brief- Read Judgement

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Possession taken over under the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976, earlier to the enactment of the repealing Act, is upheld by the Court
Civil Appeal No. 5102 of 2016
Bench: Chief Justice of India T. S. Thakur; Justice Uday Umesh Lalit

Case Brief: The present appeal is preferred against the judgement and order which was passed by the High Court in the Writ petition, where the claim of respondent nos. 1 & 2 allowed by that Court. In the facts of the case, under the provisions of the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976, the vacant land in urban agglomerations was brought under process of ceiling, and thereafter all the notices and publications were duly made by the Competent authorities and also the notification under section 10 (3) of that Act was published and said declared surplus vacant land stood vested with the State Government free from all encumbrances. Thereafter, the notice under section 10 (5) of the Act of 1976 was also issued against the holders to hand over possession of the land in question to the Collector, the respondent no. 1 preferred objections before the Competent authority against issuance of such notice under section 10 (5) of that Act. Moreover, when the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Repeal Act, 1999, the Respondent Nos.1 & 2 filed Writ Petition in the High Court contending inter-alia that they were still in possession of the land in question and entitled to the benefit under the Repeal Act. As such, the High Court accepted the contention and allowed their Writ Petition by impugned judgement and order, holding that the expression “possession” used under section 3 (2)(a) of Act of 1999 meant actual physical possession and that court found no record of Competent Authority’s taken of actual physical possession was seen.

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After considering the various submissions and contentions preferred by the counsels appearing for both the parties, this bench observed that the record indicates that notification under section 10(3) of the Act of 1976 was published in the official gazette in 1986 and an appropriate notice under section 10(5) of that Act was issued by the Competent Authority in 1993, and such aspects of the matter were not disputed by Respondent Nos.1 & 2, however, this party claimed that the possession was never taken over. However, this bench observed that the factum about taking over the possession finds clearly mentioned in the possession certificate of 1994. Also in the objections of Respondent Nos. 1 & 2 also, the facts of possession found mentioned, as taken over by the authorities. As such this bench found that all the requisite actions contemplated under the Act of 1973 were taken in accordance with law well before the enactment of Act of 1999. Thus, the bench held that the surplus vacant land stood vested with the State Government and also possession thereof was also taken over. Thus, the writ petition of the Respondent no. 1 & 2 was dismissed, with setting aside the decision of the High Court and the appeal is allowed.

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Read the Original: State of U.P. And Ors Vs. Surendra Pratap and Ors

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