2023 0 Supreme(SC) 202
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
M.R. SHAH, C.T. RAVIKUMAR, JJ.
Government of NCT of Delhi & Anr. - Appellants
Dayanand & Anr. - Respondents
Civil Appeal No. 481 of 2023 (@ SLP (C) No. 1865 of 2023) (@ Diary No. 28109 of 2021)
Decided On : 13-03-2023
Lapse of land acquisition proceeding – Original writ petitioner cannot be permitted to take benefit of his own conduct/wrong.
Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 – Section 24(2) – Lapse of land acquisition proceeding – Possession was taken in respect of major portion of land – Once notice under Section 12(2) of LA Act was issued and served upon original writ petitioner and he was called upon to collect compensation and thereafter, when he did not come to collect compensation and then compensation was sent to revenue deposit, thereafter it would not be open for original writ petitioner to contend that as compensation has not been paid acquisition proceedings are deemed to have lapsed – Original writ petitioner cannot be permitted to take benefit of his own conduct/wrong – Impugned judgment and order passed by High Court declaring that acquisition in respect of land in question is deemed to have lapsed is unsustainable. (Paras 2 to 5)
Result : Appeal allowed.
Advocates appeared :For the Appellant(s) : Ms. Sujeeta Srivastava, AOR For the Respondent(s) : Ms. Smita Maan, AOR Mr. Nitin Mishra, AOR Mr. Ishaan Sharma, Adv.
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. 1754 of 2015, by which, the High Court has allowed the said writ petition and has declared that the acquisition with respect to the land in question is deemed to have 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 & Anr. have preferred the present appeal.
2. From the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court and from the counter affidavit filed by the Land Acquisition Collector (LAC) before the High Court which is reproduced in paragraph 3 of the impugned judgment by the High Court, it was the specific case on behalf of the LAC that out of total land comprised in Khasra No. 115 (1-0) possession of 19 biswa was taken but possession of remaining 01 biswa could not be taken due to built up. It was also the case on behalf of the LAC that after the award was declared the original writ petitioner was issued a notice under Section 12(2) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (LA Act) for collecting the compensation amount vide registered post No. 4065 dated 27.02.2009 and when he did not come to collect the compensation, it was sent to Revenue Deposit. Thus, as per the LAC the possession of the major portion of the land acquired was taken by drawing possession proceedings dated 13.04.2009, despite the above and relying upon the earlier decision of this Court in the case of Pune Municipal Corporation and Anr. Vs. Harakchand Misirimal Solanki and Ors., (2014) 3 SCC 183, the High Court has allowed the writ petition and has declared that the acquisition with respect to the land in question is deemed to have lapsed under Section 24(2) of the Act, 2013 by observing that “even though respondent No.2/LAC claims that possession was taken in respect of the major portion of the land i.e., 19 biswa, there is no categorical statement that payment of compensation was made in accordance with law declared to be applicable i.e., in the case of Pune Municipal Corporation (supra).”
2.1 The decision of this Court in the case of Pune Municipal Corporation (supra) which has been relied upon by the High Court has been 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, the Constitution Bench of this Court has 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 fi
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