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Judgments of Supreme Court of India and High Courts

Manash Mohan Chatterjee vs Y. Ratnakar Rao on 13 November, 2018

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IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
INHERENT JURISDICTION

CONTEMPT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 1041 OF 2018

IN

SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 26845 OF 2017

MANASH MOHAN CHATTERJEE ANR ANR. …… Petitioners

VERSUS

Y. RATNAKAR RAO AND ORS. …..Respondent/
Alleged Contemnors

ORDER

1. This Contempt Petition has been initiated against the

respondents/alleged Contemnors for deliberate and wilful violation

of the order dated 27-10-2017 passed by this Hon. Court in

SLP(C) No. 26845 of 2017.

2. The Brief facts which are necessary for adjudicating the dispute

involved in the present Contempt Petition in a nutshell are as

follows: The father of Contempt Petitioners (Predecessor in

interest) i.e. Sumohan Chatterjee, since deceased, was the owner

of land in question ad-measuring 2 Bighas 7 Cottas 1 Chittacks
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bearing number 5K 333 within the Mouza Kasba, District – South

24 Parganas. In the year 1983, the said Sumohan Chatterjee the

father of Contempt Petitioners died. In the year 1999, the

Contempt Petitioners having come to know that the aforesaid

property was acquired by the State, approached the State

Authorities, wherein it was declared that the property was acquired

by the State and compensation was duly paid.

3. The Contempt Petitioners filed title suit being T.S. No. 117 of 2004

stating that they have neither received any notice of acquisition nor

has been paid compensation by the State. The suit was dismissed

vide order dated 30-06-2011.

4. The Contempt Petitioners then filed Title Appeal No. 235 of 2011

before Additional district Judge and the same was allowed vide its

order dated 29-6-2013, entitling mandatory injunction and holding

that the Contempt Petitioners do get a decree of declaration of title

and recovery of the possession in respect of the suit land. The

respondents were permanently restrained from making any other

construction on the suit land and directed to vacate the suit land

and to give khash possession to the Contempt Petitioners within

two months.

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5. Thereafter, Contempt Petitioners filed WP No. 21429(w) of 2014

before High Court seeking a writ of Mandamus against the State

alleging therein that it was impossible to execute the decree

passed in Title Appeal No. 235 of 2011 and to recover

Possessions because of massive construction has taken place in

the property by the government and also having transferred same

to the Institute of Nuclear Physics.

6. Learned. Single Judge vide order dated 02-06-2015 allowed the

writ petition holding that properties belonging to the contempt

petitioners were never acquired and the same has been taken over

by the State authorities without following due process. The High

Court further directed to the State Authorities to acquire the

property of the contempt petitioners following the relevant

provisions of law and to pass an award and make payment of

compensation within period of six months.

7. Aggrieved by that, State went in appeal being MAT No. 347/2016

before division bench of High Court and on 21-08-2017, Division

Bench confirmed the order of the Single Judge and directed the

completion of acquisition proceedings before 31-12-2017 and in

default for each day respondents shall pay compensation of Rs.

50,000/- to the contempt petitioners.

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8. Being Aggrieved, State appealed before this Court by way of

SLP(C) No. 26845 of 2017 wherein this Court vide order dated 27-

10-2017, while dismissing the SLP, inter-alia passed the following

order.

“ ……However, learned Senior counsel
appearing for the State makes a request that
for compliance of the order, time may be
granted at least for a period of four months.

As prayed, four months’ time is granted
to comply the order.”

9. It is stated by the Contempt Petitioners that on 23-02-2018, the

Additional Land Acquisition Officer sent a letter stating therein that;

“…. we have taken necessary steps and
sought approval from the concerned authority
for payment of compensation by way of direct
purchase policy as laid down in G.O. No. 756-
LP dated 25-02-2016 and it is learnt from your
letter that Sumohan Chatterjee died on 28-10-
2017, therefore you are requested to submit the
succession certificate by 26-10-2018. In respect
of the legal heirs of Late Sumohan Chatterjee
for taking further necessary action regarding the
payment of compensation. ”

10. In the instant Contempt Petition, it is stated by the Contempt

Petitioners that there is no question of applying any purchase

policy of the state Government in the instant case as the direction
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of the Hon’ble Division Bench is to acquire and complete the

acquisition by making an award and to make payment of

compensation.

11. This Hon. Court vide its order dated 11-05-2018 issued

notice returnable in four weeks in the instant contempt petition.

Thereafter, matter came up on 02-07-2018, when this Court’s inter-

alia passed the following order.

“…….Learned Senior counsel appearing for
alleged contemnor has submitted that the
Additional Land Acquisition Officer has issued a
letter dated 23-2-2018 addressed to the learned
Advocate of the petitioners indicating therein that
they have taken approval from the concerned
authority for payment of compensation by way of
direct purchase policy and the method of
calculating the compensation amount and paying
the same. Mr. Ajit Kumar Sinha, learned Senior
counsel appearing for the petitioners, on the
other hand, submits that he is not willing for that.
However, learned Senior counsel has made a
calculation sheet of compensation which was
handed over to the learned Senior counsel
appearing for the State in the Court today. As
prayed by the learned Senior counsel appearing
for the respondents, two weeks’ time is granted
to file comprehensive affidavit in the matter. List
the matter after two weeks.”

12. Thereafter, matter again came up on 20-07-2018, when this

Court inter-alia passed the following order.
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“……learned counsel appearing for the State has
handed over the demand draft of Rs.

7,82,77,387/- (Rupees Seven Crore Eighty Two
Lakh Seventy Seven Thousand Three Hundred
and Eighty Seven only) in favour of Registrar,
Supreme Court of India payable at New Delhi.

Let this amount be kept in an interest
bearing short term fixed deposit of a Nationalised
Bank.

List this matter after four weeks.”

13. Today, we have heard learned senior counsel for the parties at

length and perused the material placed before us.

14. Mr. Anand Grover, learned senior counsel appearing for the State

vehemently contended and submitted that the land has already

been acquired once and compensation is paid. Second time

compensation is contrary to public interest. Apart from that, he

contends that the State has filed a second appeal before the High

Court of Calcutta contending therein that the land has been

acquired and compensation is paid. The second appeal is still

pending. Without adjudicating the second appeal, the money

cannot be paid to the petitioners.

15. On the other hand, Mr. Jaideep Gupta, learned senior counsel

appearing on behalf of the contempt petitioners submits that the

other party i.e. Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority

(hereinafter referred to as KMDA) has challenged the order passed
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by the Additional District Judge subsequently in second appeal and

thereafter, filed a special leave petition, which was withdrawn by

them. State is also party to the said litigation. Now they cannot

take such a plea in the contempt proceedings.

16. Apart from that, it is submitted that the learned Single Judge in the

Writ Petition as well as the Division Bench subsequently given

categorical finding that no acquisition has taken place. It is also a

matter of fact that subsequently after dismissal of the present

special leave petition, even the contempt proceedings are going

on. So far, State has not passed any Award in accordance with the

directions given by the High Court.

17. Hence, we direct the State Government to pass an Award in

accordance with law, as per the directions of the High Court, within

a period of four weeks’ from the date of receipt of copy of this order

and thereafter, the compensation should be paid in accordance

with the said Award, subject to procedure and law.

18. Taking into consideration the facts and circumstances of the case

and basing on the dismissal of the special leave petition, learned

senior counsel for the respondent – State made a request that this

order should not prejudice its rights in the second appeal.
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19. We request the High Court that if any second appeal is pending,

that may be considered on its own merits, in accordance with law.

20. The contempt petition is, accordingly, disposed of.

……………………………..J.

(N.V. RAMANA)

………………………………………………J.
(MOHAN M. SHANTANAGOUDAR)
New Delhi,
November 13, 2018

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