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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

once the land stood vested in the State under Section 16 of the Act, P. Velu and his vendees, namely the Respondents, could not have created and engineered rights or interests in the property against the State, except the right of seeking and receiving enhanced compensation. We are mindful that the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 as applicable to the State of Tamil Nadu does not specifically preclude the land owners from entering into sale transactions during an ongoing acquisition proceeding. But as long as the acquisition proceedings are not invalidated, any agreement creating or altering or extinguishing rights with respect to the land under acquisition will not be effective or efficacious against the State.

                                             REPORTABLE
                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                         CIVIL APELLATE JURISDICTION
                      CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 736-737 OF 2008

THE CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR,
TNHB & ANR                                ..       APPELLANTS

                                   VERSUS

S. SARASWATHY & ORS.                      ..       RESPONDENTS

                                    WITH

C.A. Nos. 745-746, C.A. Nos. 741-742, C.A. Nos. 553-554, C.A. Nos. 747-748,
C.A. Nos. 555-556, C.A. Nos. 706-707, C.A. Nos. 709-710, C.A. Nos. 828-829,
C.A. Nos. 833-834, C.A. Nos. 743-744, C.A. Nos. 739-740 and C.A. No. 712 of
2008


                               J U D G M E N T


VIKRAMAJIT SEN, J.


1.    The Appellant, Tamil Nadu Housing Board, is taking  exception  to  the
Judgment dated 07.04.2006 passed by the High Court in the Writ  Appeal  Nos.
603 to 615 of 1997 and the Judgment dated 27.09.2006 passed  in  the  Review
Application Nos. 108 to 120 of 2006 in the Writ Appeal Nos. 603  to  615  of
1997, whereby the High Court had directed the Appellant Government/State  to
issue No Objection Certificates to the  contesting  Respondents  before  us.


2.    The Government of Tamil Nadu initiated  land  acquisition  proceedings
on behalf of the Tamil Nadu Housing Board to acquire 513.52  acres  of  land
including the land in question,  in  and  around  Chennai,  under  the  Land
Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereinafter ‘the Act’) for the  purpose  of  Ambattur
Neighborhood Housing Scheme. Notification under Section 4  of  the  Act  was
issued  on  23.10.1975  and  published  on  12.11.1975,  followed   by   the
Declaration under Section 6 of the Act issued and  published  on  09.11.1978
and 10.11.1978 respectively. The land in question in  the  present  Appeals,
in all 1 acre and 10 cents, owned originally by V. Perumal,  forms  part  of
Survey Nos. 271/1 and 271/5 of the village Mogappair. The total area of  the
land falling under the said Survey No. 271 is 4  acres  and  10  cents:  the
said 1 acre and 10 cents owned by V. Perumal and another 3  acres  owned  by
A. J. Ponnial  and  A.  S.  Naidu.  The  aforementioned  three  persons  had
obtained an approved layout plan from  the  Director  of  Town  Planning  on
07.03.1975 with respect to the said Survey No. 271.

3.    When the Notifications for acquisition came to be passed, two  batches
of writ petitions  were  filed  before  the  High  Court;  the  first  batch
consisted of W.P. No. 7625 of 1982 filed by P.  Velu,  son  of  V.  Perumal,
while the second batch included W.P. Nos. 7499 and 8328 of 1983 filed by  A.
S. Naidu. The former batch assailed the Constitutional validity of  Sections
11(1) and 23(1) of the Act and contended that  the  compensation  determined
as on the date of publication of a notification under Section 4 of  the  Act
was inequitable and arbitrary. The second  batch  laid  an  assault  to  the
Notifications published under the Act in their entirety. It should be  noted
immediately that the statute has subsequently been amended to  mandate  that
an Award has to be passed  within  two/three  years,  thereby  substantially
addressing the grievance of compensation being a pittance owing to it  being
calculated after several years of the Notification.

4.     In the batch matter concerning A. S.  Naidu,  the  parties  fought  a
strenuous battle which resulted in a  lengthy  discourse  and  an  elaborate
order of the High Court. The  writ  petitioners  therein  averred  that  the
remarks, which were offered by the requisitioning  body,  i.e.  the  Housing
Board, upon furnishing to it the Objections of the landowners, had not  been
communicated to the latter. Such remarks along with the  Objections  of  the
landowners formed the basis for enquiry under Section 5A of the  Act;  ergo,
knowledge of those remarks or contentions of the  requisitioning  body  were
crucial for the landowners to sustain their objections. This  contention  of
the writ petitioners that Rule 3(b)  of  the  Tamil  Nadu  Land  Acquisition
Rules has been infracted because of non-furnishing of the  said  remarks  to
the landowners found favour with the High Court.  The  High  Court  reasoned
that the furnishing of the remarks to the landowners was  not  just  another
formality or discretionary procedure to be waived of at  the  whims  of  the
Authorities; and their non-communication  had  the  effect  of  “setting  at
naught the  very  purpose  of  the  enquiry”.  Another  contributory  factor
buttressing the case of the writ petitioners was that the Declaration  under
Section 6 was not in conformity with the proviso  of  Section  6(1)  of  the
Act, which prescribes that where land is being acquired for the benefits  of
a Local Authority, a part of the compensation payable  for  the  acquisition
shall have to be borne from the fund controlled or managed by the  concerned
Local Authority.  Since  the  Tamil  Nadu  State  Housing  Board,  i.e.  the
beneficiary of the subject acquisition proceedings, was  held  by  the  High
Court to be such a Local Authority  and  the  Declaration  under  Section  6
specifically provided that the entire compensation was to  be  paid  out  of
public revenue without any portion from the fund maintained by  the  Housing
Board, it was plain that the Declaration under Section 6 of the Act was  not
in accordance with the proviso of Section 6(1) of  the  Act.  On  these  two
counts thus, the Writ Petition of A. S. Naidu along with some of  the  other
parties was partly allowed by the High  Court  by  granting  the  relief  of
quashing of the said Declaration vide Order  dated  08.01.1988.  The  Court,
however, left the Notification issued under Section 4  of  the  Act  intact,
and it declined relief to those writ petitioners, who acquired ownership  of
the land under acquisition after the  issuance  of  the  Notification  under
Section 4 of the Act.

5.    A. S. Naidu, thereafter, approached this Court in  SLP  Nos.  11353-55
of 1988 (A. S. Naidu. v. State of  Tamil  Nadu),  challenging  the  Judgment
dated 08.01.1988, to the extent the High Court  refused  to  interfere  with
the Notification issued under Section 4  of  the  Act.  However,  the  State
accepted the  decision  of  the  High  Court  and  initiated  fresh  enquiry
proceedings including rehearing of the objections  preferred  under  Section
5A. When the matter reached this  Court,  it  opined  that  the  three  year
limitation period to publish a fresh Declaration  under  Section  6  of  the
Act, as amended by the Act 68 of 1984, had  already  lapsed,  especially  in
view of non-assailment of the Judgment dated 08.01.1988 by  the  State,  and
held it to have attained finality. In this  backdrop,  this  Court  observed
vide Order dated 21.08.1990 that:
“4.  On the date the declaration was made there were hardly  two  days  left
for completion of three years and after the High Court  order  on  8-1-1988,
the period has already lapsed but no declaration has been published and  the
same can no longer be made on  the  basis  of  preliminary  notification  at
present.  In the absence of challenge by the State, the order  of  the  High
Court against it has become final.

5.  We are of the view that in these  circumstances  it  would  no  more  be
available to the State to make the requisite declaration under Section 6  of
the Act. The acquisition itself is quashed but we make it clear that  it  is
open to the State Government in case it is  satisfied  that  acquisition  is
necessary in public interest, it is free to exercise its  power  of  eminent
domain  and  make  a  fresh  preliminary  notification.  The  special  leave
petitions are disposed of accordingly.”

6.    Meanwhile certain developments occurred,  having  crucial  bearing  on
the present matter.  The State passed Award No.  9  of  1983  on  20.06.1983
with respect to 22.91 acres of land, which included the suit  land  as  well
as the land of A. S. Naidu. Pursuant to that  Award,  P.  Velu,  son  of  V.
Perumal, received the compensation of Rs. 26615 and the  possession  of  the
land was taken without opposition, by the State on 01.07.1983.  Despite  the
acquisition of the suit land having been completed in all respects  thereto,
P. Velu illegally divided the suit land into twelve plots and sold  them  in
the year 1987 to the contesting Respondents before us vide  registered  Sale
Deeds, after over three years  of  vesting  of  land  into  the  State.  The
Respondents are educated, some of them  are  even  Advocates  and  would  be
expected to have made a title search.  Subsequent  to  the  passing  of  the
Judgment dated 08.01.1988 by the High Court and the Order  dated  21.08.1990
by this Court, the second batch of Writ Petition of P.  Velu  proved  futile
and eventually came to be rejected by the High Court on 22.07.1994, both  on
the grounds of merits and delay. At this juncture, it  merits  a  mentioning
that the batch of writ petitions including that of P. Velu  was  principally
concerned with the issue of fair determination  of  compensation  at  market
value of the property on the date  of  passing  of  the  Award,  instead  of
taking the date of issuance of notification under Section 4 of  the  Act  as
the pivotal point.  No  appeal  arose  from  the  dismissal  of  these  writ
petitions, thus rendering finality to the acquisition  proceedings  qua  the
writ petitioners in that batch.

7.    In 1996, the contesting Respondents before us, who are the vendees  of
P. Velu, filed another batch of writ petitions seeking protection  of  their
possession  and  enjoyment  over  the  suit  land,  and  direction  to   the
respondents therein to issue them No Objection Certificates to  enable  them
to put up constructions on the suit land. There is no  denial  and  rebuttal
by them that they had bought the suit land from P. Velu after the Award  had
been passed. Nonetheless, they put forth their case before  the  High  Court
premised entirely on the cornerstone of the Order  dated  21.08.1990  passed
by this Court in A. S.  Naidu,  which  they  contended  had  the  effect  of
quashing the acquisition proceedings in toto. They further  maintained  that
A. S. Naidu, allegedly a co-owner with P.  Velu  of  the  land  property  in
Survey No. 271, was authorized by P. Velu to take all  the  necessary  steps
to get approvals for the planned layout as well as  to  initiate  subsequent
proceedings in order to protect their common  interest  in  the  Survey  No.
271. The  Single  Judge  of  the  High  Court  vide  common  Judgment  dated
19.02.1997 allowed the Writ Petitions of  the  Respondents,  believing  that
this Court had quashed the acquisition proceedings in totality; and it  also
followed some earlier order of the High  Court.  The  Division  Bench  while
dismissing the Appeals preferred  by  the  Appellant  vide  common  impugned
Judgment dated 07.04.2006 was of the opinion that the original owner of  the
suit land and the vendor of the Respondents  was  A.  S.  Naidu.  When  this
factual error was brought to its notice  in  the  Review  Applications,  the
Division Bench then reiterated the observations of  the  Single  Judge  that
this Court had quashed the entire acquisition proceedings  as  far  back  in
1990, and since no proceedings had been initiated thereafter,  the  question
of who the original owner was made no material difference. It thus  affirmed
the order and direction  of  the  Single  Judge  and  dismissed  the  Review
Applications vide common impugned Judgment dated 27.09.2006.

8.   The Respondents contend that even if the benefits of  the  Order  dated
21.08.1990 passed by this Court in A. S.  Naidu  is  confined  only  to  the
parties to those  proceedings  before  this  Court,  they  may  nevertheless
submit that acquisition in respect of the entire Survey  No.  271  had  been
challenged by A.S. Naidu, for himself and also on behalf of P. Velu and  the
view taken by this Court should enure to their benefit.

9.    We will first consider what implication  the  Order  dated  21.08.1990
passed by this Court has on the case in hand. The  High  Court  was  of  the
opinion that the Order dated 21.08.1990 had an all-encompassing  import  and
it annulled the entire acquisition proceedings.  In  that  respect,  we  can
gainfully extract from the Order passed  by  a  three-Judge  Bench  of  this
Court in Abhey Ram v. Union of India, (1997) 5 SCC 421:
“10. The question then arises is whether the quashing of the declaration  by
the Division Bench in respect of the other matters would enure  the  benefit
to the appellants also. Though, prima facie, the  argument  of  the  learned
counsel is attractive, on deeper consideration,  it  is  difficult  to  give
acceptance  to  the  contention  of  Mr  Sachar.  When  the  Division  Bench
expressly limited the controversy to the quashing  of  the  declaration  qua
the writ petitioners before the Bench, necessary consequences would be  that
the declaration published under Section 6 should stand upheld.

11.    It is seen that before the Division Bench judgment was rendered,  the
petition of the appellants stood dismissed and the appellants had filed  the
special leave petition in this Court. If it were a  case  entirely  relating
to Section 6 declaration as has been quashed by the High Court,  necessarily
that would enure the benefit to others also, though they did  not  file  any
petition, except to those whose lands were  taken  possession  of  and  were
vested in the State under Sections 16 and 17(2) of the  Act  free  from  all
encumbrances.   But  it  is  seen  that  the  Division  Bench  confined  the
controversy to the quashing of the declaration under Section  6  in  respect
of  the  persons  qua  the  writ  petitioners  before  the  Division  Bench.
Therefore, the benefit of the quashing of the declaration  under  Section  6
by the Division Bench does not enure to the appellants.

12.    It is true that a Bench of this Court has considered  the  effect  of
such a quashing in Delhi Development Authority v. Sudan Singh (1997)  5  SCC
430. But, unfortunately, in that case the operative  part  of  the  judgment
referred to earlier has not been  brought  to  the  notice  of  this  Court.
Therefore, the ratio therein has no application to the facts in  this  case.
It is also true that in Yusufbhai Noormohmed Nendoliya v. State  of  Gujarat
(1991) 4 SCC 531 this Court had  also  observed  that  it  would  enure  the
benefit to those petitioners. In view of  the  fact  that  the  notification
under Section 4(1) is a composite one  and  equally  the  declaration  under
Section 6 is also a composite one, unless the declaration  under  Section  6
is quashed in toto, it  does  not  operate  as  if  the  entire  declaration
requires to be quashed. It is seen that the appellants  had  not  filed  any
objections to the notice issued under Section 5-A.” (Emphasis supplied)

10    We also have the advantage of a Judgment dated 29.01.2010 passed by  a
Coordinate Bench of this Court in Civil Appeal Nos. 3148-49 of 2002,  titled
as Tamil  Nadu  Housing  Board  v.  L.  Chandrasekaran  (2010)  2  SCC  786.
Chandrasekaran was  also  seized  of  the  acquisition  proceedings  we  are
dealing with, although involving the issue of release of land under  Section
48 of the Act, but in respect of different survey numbers.  The  respondents
therein pressed several grounds but finally rested their claim on the  basis
of the Order dated 21.08.1990 passed by this  Court  in  the  case  of  A.S.
Naidu.  One of the issues before this Court was to decide whether the  Order
passed by this Court in A.  S.  Naidu  had  the  effect  of  nullifying  the
acquisition in its fullness.  This Court observed in Chandrasekaran that  it
was not possible to return a finding that while  disposing  of  the  special
leave petitions preferred by A.S. Naidu this Court had  quashed  the  entire
acquisition proceedings.   This Court underscored that A.S.  Naidu  did  not
even make a prayer before  the  High  Court  for  quashing  the  preliminary
Notification issued under Section 4 of the Act, and it  observed:  “…in  the
absence of a specific prayer having been made in that  regard,  neither  the
High Court nor this Court could have quashed the  entire  acquisition.”  The
Court then took into account the cases of Shyam Nandan Prasad  v.  State  of
Bihar (1993) 4 SCC 255,  Abhey  Ram,  Delhi  Admin.  v.  Gurdip  Singh  Uban
(1999) 7 SCC 44 and Delhi Admn. v. Gurdip Singh Uban (2000) 7  SCC  296  and
reiterated the established and consistent view of this Court  that  quashing
of acquisition proceedings at the instance of one  or  two  landowners  does
not have the  effect  of  nullifying  the  entire  acquisition.   Since  the
observations contained in Chandrasekaran are apposite for our  purposes,  we
think it advantageous to extract the following paragraphs therefrom:

15. The first issue  which  requires  consideration  is  whether  the  order
passed by this Court in A.S. Naidu case has the  effect  of  nullifying  the
acquisition in its entirety. In this context,  it  is  apposite  to  mention
that neither the appellant Board nor have the respondents placed before  the
Court copies of the writ petitions  in  which  the  acquisition  proceedings
were challenged, order(s) passed by the High Court  and  the  special  leave
petitions which were disposed of by this  Court  on  21-8-1990  and  without
going through those documents, it is not possible to record a  finding  that
while disposing of the special leave petitions preferred by A.S.  Naidu  and
others, this Court had quashed the entire acquisition  proceedings.  So  far
as A.S. Naidu is concerned, he did not even make a prayer  before  the  High
Court for quashing the preliminary notification issued  under  Section  4(1)
of the Act.
16. This is evident from the prayer made by him in Writ  Petition  No.  7499
of 1983, which reads as under:
“For  the  reasons  stated  in  the  accompanying  affidavit,  it  is   most
respectfully prayed that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to issue  a  writ
of certiorari or any other proceeding  or  any  other  appropriate  writ  or
direction or order in the nature of a writ to call for the  records  of  the
first respondent relating to GOMs No. 1502, Housing  and  Urban  Development
Department dated 7-11-1978 published in the Tamil  Nadu  Government  Gazette
Extraordinary dated 10-11-1978 in Part II Section 2 on  pp.  22  to  26  and
quash the said notification issued under Section 6 of the  Land  Acquisition
Act, 1894 insofar as it relates to  the  land  in  the  petitioners’  layout
approved by the Director of Town Planning in [pic]LPDM/DTP/2/75  dated  7-3-
1975 in Survey Nos. 254, 257, 258, 260, 268 and 271  in  Mogapperi  Village,
No. 81, Block V, Saidapet Taluk, Chingleput District and render justice.”

From the above reproduced prayer clause, it is crystal clear that  the  only
relief sought by Shri A.S. Naidu was for quashing  the  notification  issued
under Section 6 insofar it related to the land falling in Survey  Nos.  254,
257, 258, 260, 268 and 271 in Mogapperi Village, No. 81, Block  V,  Saidapet
Taluk and in the absence of a specific  prayer  having  been  made  in  that
regard, neither the High Court nor this Court could have quashed the  entire
acquisition. This appears to be the reason why the  Division  Bench  of  the
High Court, while disposing of Writ Appeals Nos. 676  of  1997  and  8-9  of
1998 observed that quashing  of  acquisition  by  this  Court  was  only  in
relation to the land of the petitioner of that case  and,  at  this  belated
stage, we are not inclined to declare that order dated 21-8-1990  passed  by
this Court had the effect of nullifying the entire acquisition and that  too
by ignoring that the appellant Board has already  utilised  portion  of  the
acquired  land  for  housing  and  other  purposes.  Any  such   inferential
conclusion will have disastrous consequences inasmuch as it will  result  in
uprooting those who may have settled in the flats or houses  constructed  by
the appellant Board or who may have  built  their  houses  on  the  allotted
plots or undertaken other activities.
17. We may also usefully refer to the  judgments  of  this  Court  in  Shyam
Nandan Prasad v. State of Bihar, Abhey Ram v.  Union  of  India  (para  11),
Delhi Admn. v. Gurdip Singh Uban (paras 8, 9 and  11)  and  Delhi  Admn.  v.
Gurdip Singh Uban, in which it has been consistently held that  quashing  of
acquisition proceedings at the instance of one or two  landowners  does  not
have the effect of nullifying  the  entire  acquisition.  Moreover,  in  the
absence of challenge by  L.  Chandrasekaran  to  the  order  passed  by  the
Division Bench of the High Court in Writ Appeal No. 9  of  1998,  his  legal
representatives do not have the locus to contend that the order dated  21-8-
1990 passed by this Court in SLPs (C) Nos. 11353-55 of 1988 had  the  effect
of nullifying the entire acquisition.

11    We are respectfully in accord  with  the  observations  of  Coordinate
Benches that unless the Declaration under  Section  6  or  the  Notification
under Section 4 of the Act is not explicitly  quashed  in  toto  or  in  its
wholeness by the Court, the benefits of relief granted by  the  Court  would
be effective only qua the parties before it.   As already adumbrated  above,
at the time the Appeal of A. S. Naidu came to be  decided,  the  three  year
limitation period to publish a declaration under Section 6 of  the  Act  had
already expired, making it impossible  for  the  Government  to  complete  a
fresh process culminating in  another  declaration;  and  it  was  for  this
reason that the acquisition was quashed by the Court.

12    It has been repeatedly reiterated by this Court that  those  who  have
missed the boat in challenging the acquisition  proceedings,  who  sat  idle
and have let  the  grass  grow  under  their  feet  cannot,  thereafter,  be
permitted to jump on the bandwagon of others who entered the portals of  the
Court at the appropriate time and  thereafter  obtained  favourable  orders.
Significantly, in Chandrasekaran the Court  was  alive  to  the  reality  of
utilization of large chunks of land by the State for housing scheme; and  in
this scenario, it was obviously and rightly reluctant and facially  hesitant
to quash the acquisition  proceedings  in  toto,  knowing  that  that  would
result in grave consequences to society.  In this analysis, the  Respondents
including their vendor, P. Velu, cannot be permitted to take  any  advantage
of the Orders passed by this Court in A. S. Naidu.

13   There could be cases however, where  the  acquisition  proceedings  are
deracinated, annulled and quashed in toto.   Such grounds could include,  to
wit: absence of public purpose; non publication  of  the  substance  of  the
notification under Section  4  as  required,  denuding  the  rights  of  the
landowners;  complete  lack  of  consideration  of  the  objections  by  the
authorities, thus obscuring the public purpose; fraudulent or mala  fide  or
colourable exercise of the power of eminent domain  behind  the  smokescreen
of public purpose; inherent defect or illegality  in  the  issuance  of  the
notification under Section 4; acquiring of land for  a  private  company  by
illegally bypassing the extant statutory procedure etc.

14     Even if we assume that the Order passed by this Court swept away  the
entire acquisition proceedings,  the  claim  of  the  Respondents  is  still
unsustainable.  In the Judgment dated 08.01.1988 passed by  the  High  Court
in the case of A. S. Naidu, it has been clarified that “only those  persons,
who are the owners on the  date  of  Section  4(1)  Notification  alone  can
question the validity of  the  acquisition…when  the  property  was  already
notified for acquisition, if  the  petitioners  had  come  to  purchase  the
property, they cannot have any right to agitate with  regard  to  procedural
violation.” There is thus no confusion that the relief of  quashing  of  the
Declaration under Section 6 of the Act was expressly limited to  some  while
being plainly denied to others, signifying  thereby,  that  the  Declaration
under Section 6 was left untouched in the other cases. In A. S. Naidu,  this
Court annulled the Notification issued under Section 4 on  the  premises  of
limitation. This would mean that the rest  of  the  acquisition  proceedings
was left untouched by this Court in A. S. Naidu.

15    The second factor, detaching the case of  the  contesting  Respondents
even farther, is that since the Respondents  had  purchased  the  suit  land
after the Award had been passed and possession of the land  had  been  taken
by the State, they could not have acquired any  rights  against  the  State.
P. Velu did not bring down the acquisition proceedings qua his land, but  on
the contrary, by accepting compensation, had manifested  his  acceptance  of
the Award. In these circumstances, once the land stood vested in  the  State
under  Section  16  of  the  Act,  P.  Velu  and  his  vendees,  namely  the
Respondents, could not have created and engineered rights  or  interests  in
the property against the State, except the right of  seeking  and  receiving
enhanced compensation. We are mindful that the Land  Acquisition  Act,  1894
as applicable to the State of Tamil Nadu does not specifically preclude  the
land  owners  from  entering  into  sale  transactions  during  an   ongoing
acquisition proceeding. But as long as the acquisition proceedings  are  not
invalidated, any agreement creating  or  altering  or  extinguishing  rights
with respect to  the  land  under  acquisition  will  not  be  effective  or
efficacious against the State.

16.     As we have noted above, the additional case of  the  Respondents  is
that A. S. Naidu, as a  co-owner  or  even  otherwise,  had  challenged  the
acquisition proceedings qua the entire Survey No. 271 on behalf  of  himself
and P. Velu also.  We are sorry to record that we have found not a grain  of
evidence supporting their specious claim. The cases of A. Viswanatha  Pillai
v. The Special Tahsildar for Land Acquisition No. IV   (1991) 4 SCC  17  and
Jalandhar Improvement Trust v. State of Punjab (2003) 1 SCC 526 relied  upon
by them in this context, where reliefs were granted to  the  co-owners,  are
distinguishable  from  the  facts  obtaining  in  the  instant   case.   The
Respondents or even P. Velu cannot assert to be co-owner with  A.  S.  Naidu
merely because they happened to own plots in the larger or main  Survey  No.
271 in the backdrop of  that  Survey  having  been  fractured  into  smaller
Survey numbers, or even because an approved layout plan had been granted  of
the larger Survey number.   Nor do we think that owning a plot in  the  same
survey number ipso facto authorises A.S. Naidu to litigate on behalf  of  P.
Velu also.  The writ petition of A. S. Naidu is also conspicuous in that  it
does not lay any claim to represent P. Velu.

17    We are unable, for the manifold reasons stated above,  to  uphold  the
impugned common Judgments. The  same  are  set  aside  accordingly.    Civil
Appeals stand allowed.  The Writ Petitions are held  to  be  devoid  of  any
merit  and  are  dismissed.   Parties  to  bear  their   respective   costs.
























                                                       ……..  ……..  ……………………J
                                                         (VIKRAMAJIT SEN)

                                                        …….. ……..  ……………………J
                                                     (PRAFULLA CHANDRA PANT)
NEW DELHI;
11TH MAY 2015.


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