SC and HC Judgments Online at MyNation

Judgments of Supreme Court of India and High Courts

Govt. of NCT of Delhi Vs. Shiv Dutt Sharma [24/11/2022]

Tweet

Govt. of
NCT of Delhi and Anr. Vs. Shiv Dutt Sharma and Anr.

[Civil
Appeal No. 8198 of 2022 @ Diary No. 27510 of 2022]

Delhi
Development Authority Vs. Shiv Dutt Sharma and Ors.

[Civil
Appeal No. 8248 of 2022 @ Diary No. 4252 of 2021]

M.R.
Shah, J.

1. Feeling
aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned judgment and order passed by the
High Court of Delhi at New Delhi in Writ Petition (C) No. 1870 of 2016 by which
the High Court has allowed the said writ petition preferred by the respondent
No.1 herein and has declared that the acquisition with respect to the land in
question has lapsed under Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and
Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
(hereinafter referred to as “Act, 2013”), the Government of NCT of Delhi as
well as the Land Acquisition Collector have preferred the present appeals.

2. We have
heard Ms. Astha Tyagi and Shri Nishit Agrawal, learned counsel appearing on
behalf of the respective appellants and Shri Manish K. Bishnoi, learned counsel
appearing on behalf of the respondent No.1.

3. At the
outset, it is required to be noted that while passing the impugned judgment and
order, the High Court has relied upon the decision of this Court in the case of
Pune Municipal Corporation and Anr. Vs. Harakchand Misirimal Solanki and Ors.
(2014) 3 SCC 183 and has declared that the acquisition with respect to the land
in question has lapsed under Section 24(2) of the Act, 2013 as the compensation
has not been paid / tendered to the original writ petitioner. However, there is
a specific finding given by the High Court that the possession of the subject
land has been taken over, however, the compensation has not been paid to the
recorded owner.

3.1 It is
the case on behalf of the respondent No.1 that the actual possession of the
land in question has not been taken over as the land in question is occupied by
the encroachers and that the area in question is known as ‘Sanjay Mohalla’.
However, it is required to be noted and as observed hereinabove, in paragraph
8, the High Court has specifically observed that there is a categorical
assertion made in the counter affidavit filed by the Land Acquisition Collector
that the possession of the subject land has been taken over, however, the
compensation has not been paid to the recorded owner.

It may be
that there may be illegal occupants and / or encroachers, but that does not
mean that the possession of the land in question was taken over and/or handed
over to the beneficiary department on 21.06.1973. As per the case on behalf of the
Land Acquisition Collector, in any case, the landowner can be permitted to take
the benefit of the encroachment made on the land in question.

Be that it
may, as observed hereinabove, while passing the impugned judgment and order,
the High Court has relied upon the decision of this Court in the case of Pune
Municipal Corporation and Anr. (supra) and the said decision in the case of Pune
Municipal Corporation and Anr. (supra) has been subsequently specifically overruled
by the Constitution Bench of this Court in the case of Indore Development
Authority Vs. Manoharlal and Ors. (2020) 8 SCC 129. In paragraphs 365 and 366,
it is observed and held as under:-

“365. Resultantly,
the decision rendered in Pune Municipal Corpn. [Pune Municipal Corpn. v.
Harakchand Misirimal Solanki, (2014) 3 SCC 183] is hereby overruled and all
other decisions in which Pune Municipal Corpn. [Pune Municipal Corpn. v.
Harakchand Misirimal Solanki, (2014) 3 SCC 183] has been followed, are also
overruled.

The
decision in Sree Balaji Nagar Residential Assn. [Sree Balaji Nagar Residential
Assn. v. State of T.N., (2015) 3 SCC 353] cannot be said to be laying down good
law, is overruled and other decisions following the same are also overruled. In
Indore Development Authority v. Shailendra [(2018) 3 SCC 412], the aspect with
respect to the proviso to Section 24(2) and whether “or” has to be read as
“nor” or as “and” was not placed for consideration. Therefore, that decision
too cannot prevail, in the light of the discussion in the present judgment.

366. In
view of the aforesaid discussion, we answer the questions as under:

366.1. Under
the provisions of Section 24(1)(a) in case the award is not made as on
1-1-2014, the date of commencement of the 2013 Act, there is no lapse of proceedings.
Compensation has to be determined under the provisions of the 2013 Act.

366.2. In
case the award has been passed within the window period of five years excluding
the period covered by an interim order of the court, then proceedings shall continue
as provided under Section 24(1)(b) of the 2013 Act under the 1894 Act as if it
has not been repealed.

366.3. The
word “or” used in Section 24(2) between possession and compensation has to be
read as “nor” or as “and”. The deemed lapse of land acquisition proceedings under
Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act takes place where due to inaction of authorities
for five years or more prior to commencement of the said Act, the possession of
land has not been taken nor compensation has been paid. In other words, in case
possession has been taken, compensation has not been paid then there is no
lapse. Similarly, if compensation has been paid, possession has not been taken
then there is no lapse.

366.4. The
expression “paid” in the main part of Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act does not
include a deposit of compensation in court. The consequence of non-deposit is provided
in the proviso to Section 24(2) in case it has not been deposited with respect
to majority of landholdings then all beneficiaries (landowners) as on the date
of notification for land acquisition under Section 4 of the 1894 Act shall be
entitled to compensation in accordance with the provisions of the 2013 Act.

In case the
obligation under Section 31 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 has not been fulfilled,
interest under Section 34 of the said Act can be granted. Non-deposit of
compensation (in court) does not result in the lapse of land acquisition
proceedings. In case of non-deposit with respect to the majority of holdings
for five years or more, compensation under the 2013 Act has to be paid to the
“landowners” as on the date of notification for land acquisition under Section
4 of the 1894 Act.

366.5. In
case a person has been tendered the compensation as provided under Section
31(1) of the 1894 Act, it is not open to him to claim that acquisition has lapsed
under Section 24(2) due to non-payment or nondeposit of compensation in court.
The obligation to pay is complete by tendering the amount under Section 31(1). The
landowners who had refused to accept compensation or who sought reference for
higher compensation, cannot claim that the acquisition proceedings had lapsed
under Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act.

366.6. The
proviso to Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act is to be treated as part of Section
24(2), not part of Section 24(1)(b).

366.7. The
mode of taking possession under the 1894 Act and as contemplated under Section
24(2) is by drawing of inquest report/memorandum. Once award has been passed on
taking possession under Section 16 of the 1894 Act, the land vests in State
there is no divesting provided under Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act, as once possession
has been taken there is no lapse under Section 24(2).

366.8. The
provisions of Section 24(2) providing for a deemed lapse of proceedings are
applicable in case authorities have failed due to their inaction to take possession
and pay compensation for five years or more before the 2013 Act came into
force, in a proceeding for land acquisition pending with the authority
concerned as on 1-1-2014. The period of subsistence of interim orders passed by
court has to be excluded in the computation of five years.

366.9. Section
24(2) of the 2013 Act does not give rise to new cause of action to question the
legality of concluded proceedings of land acquisition. Section 24 applies to a
proceeding pending on the date of enforcement of the 2013 Act i.e. 1-1-2014. It
does not revive stale and time-barred claims and does not reopen concluded
proceedings nor allow landowners to question the legality of mode of taking
possession to reopen proceedings or mode of deposit of compensation in the treasury
instead of court to invalidate acquisition.”

4. In view
of the above and for the reasons stated above, and, more particularly,
considering the subsequent decision of the Constitution Bench of this Court in
the case of Indore Development Authority (supra), the impugned judgment and
order passed by the High Court is unsustainable and the same deserves to be
quashed and set aside and is accordingly quashed and set aside. The submission
on behalf of the respondents that the encroachment on the land in question is
being regularized is concerned, that is not the subject matter before this
Court.

It is
ultimately for the appropriate court to take appropriate decision. However, so
far as the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court is concerned, the
same is unsustainable in view of the decision of this Court in the case of Indore
Development Authority (supra) and as observed hereinabove. The present appeals
are accordingly allowed. No costs.

Pending
application, if any, also stands disposed of.

………………………………….J. [M.R. SHAH]

………………………………….J. [M.M. SUNDRESH]

NEW DELHI;

NOVEMBER 24, 2022.

 Back

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2023 SC and HC Judgments Online at MyNation
×

Free Legal Help, Just WhatsApp Away

MyNation HELP line

We are Not Lawyers, but No Lawyer will give you Advice like We do

Please read Group Rules – CLICK HERE, If You agree then Please Register CLICK HERE and after registration  JOIN WELCOME GROUP HERE

We handle Women Centric biased laws like False Sectioin 498A IPC, Domestic Violence(DV ACT), Divorce, Maintenance, Alimony, Child Custody, HMA 24, 125 CrPc, 307, 312, 313, 323, 354, 376, 377, 406, 420, 497, 506, 509; TEP, RTI and many more…

MyNation FoundationMyNation FoundationMyNation Foundation