Land Acquisition lapses, when award is made, but no compensation is paid by the authorities to the land owners, the provisions of Section 24(2) of RFCTLARR Act, 2015 is attracted
Civil Appeal No. 4864 of 2016
Bench: Justice Kurian Joseph; Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman
Case Brief: In the present matter, an appeal is brought against the judgement of the High Court, by which the writ petition filed by the appellants here, was dismissed by that Court. In the facts of the case, in connection with the land acquisition proceeding, the appellants here filed a writ petition by which the Notification under Section 4, declaration and award under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 were challenged. During the pendency of the writ petition, an additional affidavit was filed by the appellant in the view of Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 and sought to maintain that the land acquisition proceedings have lapsed as far as the land of the appellants are concerned. Appellants also claimed that respondent- State has neither paid compensation nor has taken physical possession of the land. State in its affidavit replied that before this bench, by the Administrator that award was made in 2005 and possession of the land was also taken over by the Land acquisition collector. Now question was whether taking over of the possession in such a manner would satisfy the statutory requirement taking physical possession.
The bench analysed Section 24(2) of the Act of 2013 and found that where an award is passed and compensation has not been paid to land owner or deposited before the court in terms of requirements under the Act of 1894, the acquisition proceedings get lapsed. And if compensation is no paid, the land acquisition in respect of that acquisition will be lapsed, as there was no acquisition. The bench found that the Requisitioning authority is required to pay the money of compensation, and not the Requisitioning authority saying that they are having money ready with them and land owners should come and receive their payments. The stand of the Requisitioning authority is found not permissible under the law. After paying the amount of compensation, the authorities shall take over the land and if they found any dispute as to whom the money be paid, then the same amount to be deposited in court. Here, bench found that no compensation is admittedly paid to the appellants as per Award, thus the appellants are entitled to succeed. And as such, the bench has decided to lapse the proceedings of acquisition and thereafter award also set aside. Thus appeal is allowed by this bench.
Read the Judgement: Vijay Latka & Anr Vs State of Haryana & Ors