Vijay Latka & Anr Vs State of Haryana & Ors, on 5th May 2016, Supreme Court of India – Read Judgement

REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NO.4864 OF 2016
(Arising out of SLP (C)No. 22578 of 2008)

 

VIJAY LATKA & ANR. APPELLANTS
VERSUS

STATE OF HARYANA & ORS. RESPONDENTS
J U D G M E N T
KURIAN, J.
Leave granted.

The appellants are aggrieved by the judgment dated 01.05.2008 in Civil
Writ Petition No. 4118/2006 of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana. The
writ petition was filed by the appellants challenging the Notification
dated 11.11.2002 issued under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894
(For short `1894 Act’) and the declaration dated 07.11.2003 and Award dated
31.10.2005. The High Court dismissed the writ petition on the sole ground
that since Award had already been passed, the writ petition was not
maintainable.
Be that as it may, during the pendency of the writ petition, in view
of Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land
Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (For short `2013
Act’) appellants have filed an additional affidavit stating therein that
the land acquisition proceedings have lapsed as far as the land of the
appellants are concerned. Since according to the appellants, the
respondent State has neither paid the compensation nor taken physical
possession of the land, this court directed the State to respond to the
affidavit. Accordingly, an affidavit dated 19th April, 2016 has been filed
before this Court by the Administrator, Haryana Urban Development
Authority. At paragraph 3 of the affidavit, it is stated that the award
was made on 31.10.2005 and “that possession of the land was taken over on
as is where is basis by the Land Acquisition Collector on 31.10.2005…..”.
Whether taking over the possession in such a manner would satisfy the
statutory requirement of taking physical possession is a question to be
addressed.

4. However, since the appellants are otherwise entitled to succeed
in this case we leave that question open. It is the case of the appellants
that no compensation in respect of the acquired land has been paid to them.
Learned counsel for the respondents submits that whoever approached the
Authority, the compensation has been paid. The learned counsel also
invited our attention to paragraph 8 of the affidavit which reads as
follows:

“That as regards the compensation amount for acquired land,
office of the Land Acquisition Officer, Panchkula has reported that the
compensation has not been obtained by the petitioners though compensation
to the extent of Rs.4,00,93,086/- has already been obtained by other land
owners who came forward to take the compensation. Therefore, there was due
offer of compensation and the present case does not fall within the meaning
of provision contained in Section 31(2) of the Act, 1894.”

5. Under Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act, where an Award under
Section 11 of the 1894 Act has been passed and in case compensation has not
been paid to the land owner or deposited before the Court in terms of the
requirements under the 1894 Act, the acquisition proceedings get lapsed.
In case compensation has not been paid, the land acquisition proceedings in
respect of that acquisition will stand lapsed, as if there is no
acquisition.

6. The contention of the learned counsel appearing for the
respondents is that whoever approached the Haryana Urban Development
Authority or the competent authority has been paid compensation and since
the appellants failed to approach the quarters concerned for the
compensation, they cannot be granted any relief. We find this contention
difficult to appreciate. When a land is compulsorily acquired, it is for
the Requisitioning Authority to make the payment and does not require the
land owner to come and receive the payment.

7. As and when land is taken over by way of acquisition, the land
owner has to be compensated with the amount of compensation duly determined
under the Act. In case there is any dispute as to who is to be paid the
amount, the same is to be deposited in Court in terms of Section 31 of the
1894 Act. In this case before us, the stand of the Requisitioning
Authority, namely, Haryana Development Authority is that the money is
ready with them and it is for the land owner to come and receive the
payment. This stand is not permissible under the law. It is for the
authorities concerned to pay the money and take the land and in case there
is any dispute as to whom the money should be paid, then the same has to be
deposited in Court.

8. As admittedly no compensation has been paid to the appellants
in terms of the above mentioned Award passed in the year 2005, the
appellants are entitled to succeed. Accordingly, the appeal is allowed.

9. The proceedings for acquisition of land of the appellants and covered
by the Notification issued under
Section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act,
1894 and leading to the Award referred to above stand set aside as having
been lapsed.
10. The learned counsel for the Haryana Urban Development
Authority submits that the land of the appellants has been acquired for the
purpose of development scheme and it comes under the Green Belt. We make
it clear that this judgment would not stand in the way of the HUDA taking
fresh steps for requisition of the land of the appellants under the
provisions of the 2013 Act.

11. The appeal is allowed. No costs.
…………….J.[KURIAN JOSEPH]
……………..J.[ROHINTON FALI NARIMAN]

NEW DELHI;
MAY 05, 2016

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