IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CONTEMPT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 1041 OF 2018
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 26845 OF 2017
MANASH MOHAN CHATTERJEE ANR ANR. …… Petitioners
Y. RATNAKAR RAO AND ORS. …..Respondent/
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
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
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.
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
“ ……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
of the Hon’ble Division Bench is to acquire and complete the
acquisition by making an award and to make payment of
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.
“……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
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
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.
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.
(MOHAN M. SHANTANAGOUDAR)
November 13, 2018