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Friday, May 13, 2016

There is no question of `come and get' the compensation while compulsorily acquiring the land; the approach required under law is `go and give'. In this case, no award has been passed and the land value has not been given to the owner. The impugned order is hence set aside. The appellant and the Acquisitioning Authority are directed to complete the acquisition proceedings by passing an award under the provisions of the 2013 Act. This shall be done within a period of six months and needless also to say that the entire compensation due to respondent No.1 would be calculated in terms of the 2013 Act and the same shall either be deposited with the Land Acquisition Collector or disbursed to the respondent No.1 within one month thereafter.


                                                                  REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                        CIVIL APPEAL NO.4821 OF 2016
                 (Arising out of SLP ( C) No. 4282 of 2011)



      ALIGARH DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY                     APPELLANT


                                VERSUS

      MEGH SINGH & ORS.                                 RESPONDENTS




                               J U D G M E N T

      KURIAN,J.


1.          Leave granted.

2.          The appellant- Aligarh  Development  Authority  took  steps  for
acquisition of land belonging to the respondent  No.1  as  per  Notification
issued under Section 4(1) of the  Land  Acquisition  Act,  1894  (For  short
`1894 Act') on 09.08.2004. Simultaneously emergency clause was also  invoked
under the provisions of Section 17 followed by Section 6  declaration  dated
03.08.2005. According to the appellant possession of  the  land   was  taken
and  part  of  the  compensation  was  deposited  with  the   Special   Land
Acquisition Officer.

3.          The  respondent  No.1  challenged  the  acquisition  on  various
grounds and the High Court  of  Judicature  at  Allahabad  by  the  impugned
Judgment  dated  21.10.2010  allowed  the  writ  petition  and  quashed  the
Notification dated 09.08.2004 and the declaration dated  03.08.2005.   Among
other reasons, the main  reason  for  taking  such  a  view  is  that  after
invoking emergency clause, no award  was passed even  after  the  expiry  of
four  years.   Thus  aggrieved,  the   Requisitioning   Authority   -Aligarh
Development Authority is before this Court.  When  the  matter  was  pending
before  this  Court,  the  land  owner  non-applicant  filed   I.A.No.3/2015
contending  that  respondent  No.1  is  entitled  to  a   declaration   that
acquisition proceedings have lapsed in view of the operation of  Section  24
of the Right to Fair Compensation  and  Transparency  in  Land  Acquisition,
Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013  (For  short  `2013  Act'),  since
neither compensation has been paid to the  owner  nor  possession  has  been
taken by the Land Acquisition Collector.

4.           The  appellant-Authority  has  filed  reply  to  the  affidavit
stating that the compensation has been deposited with the  Land  Acquisition
Collector.  As far as the possession is  concerned,  it  is  stated  in  the
affidavit that the land has already been taken in possession  and  a  `full-
fledged and complete residential colony has been developed'.

5.          It is however an admitted position that no  Award  either  under
the 1894 Act or under the 2013 Act has been passed in respect  of  the  land
of respondent No.1.  Section 24 of the 2013 Act  reads as follows:


“24. Land acquisition process under Act No.1 of  1894  shall  be  deemed  to
have lapsed in certain cases.- (1)  Notwithstanding  anything  contained  in
this Act, in any case of land acquisition proceedings  initiated  under  the
Land Acquisition Act,1894 (1 of 1894),-
a) Where no award under section 11 of the  said  Land  Acquisition  Act  has
been made, then, all provisions of this Act relating  to  the  determination
of compensation shall apply; or
b)  Where  an  award  under  said  section  11  has  been  made,  then  such
proceedings  shall  continue  under  the  provisions  of   the   said   Land
Acquisition Act, as if the said Act has not been repealed.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), in case  of  land
acquisition proceedings initiated under the Land Acquisition  Act,  1894  (1
of 1894),, where an award under the said  section  11  has  been  made  five
years or more prior to  the  commencement  of  this  Act  but  the  physical
possession of the land has not been taken or the compensation has  not  been
paid  the  said  proceedings  shall  be  deemed  to  have  lapsed  and   the
appropriate Government, if it so chooses, shall initiate the proceedings  of
such land acquisition afresh in accordance with the provisions of this Act:
Provided that where an award has been made and compensation in respect of  a
majority of land holding has not  been  deposited  in  the  account  of  the
beneficiaries, then, all beneficiaries specified  in  the  notification  for
acquisition under section 4 of the  said  Land  Acquisition  Act,  shall  be
entitled to compensation in accordance with the provisions of this Act.”

6.          Section 24 of the 2013 Act envisages mainly two  situations;  i)
where the land acquisition proceedings had already been initiated under  the
1894 Act but no award was  passed till  the  date  the  new  Act  came  into
force. (ii) where the Award has been passed but neither the owner  has  been
dispossessed nor has he been paid the compensation.  Under the first,  where
the award had not been passed, the acquisition proceedings  could  continue;
but the compensation will have to be determined under  the  scheme  of  2013
Act.  Under  the  second  category,  there  is  a  statutory  lapse  of  the
proceedings. There is also an incidental third situation, where award  under
the 1894 Act had already been passed prior to coming into force of the  2013
Act, but payment is yet to be made and possession is yet to  be  taken.   In
that case, the further proceedings after the award could continue under  the
old Act of 1894;  but if either payment or possession has not  taken  effect
in five years prior to the 2013 Act, then proceedings will lapse.

7.          In the case before us, since admittedly the award has  not  been
passed,  there  arises  no  question  of  lapse.    The   land   acquisition
proceedings would continue but with the rider that the award  will  have  to
be passed and compensation determined under the provisions of 2013 Act.

8.    In that view of the matter, it is not necessary  to  go  into  various
other aspects.  Having regard to  the  factual  matrix  of  the  residential
colony having been set up, which fact is not controverted  also,  it  cannot
be said that there was an  urgency  for  the  acquisition.   Therefore,  the
approach made by the High Court is not correct.  However, the stand  of  the
Authority that it had deposited  80%  of  the  compensation  with  the  land
acquisition officers and hence it was for the owner to  collect  the  money,
cannot  be  appreciated.   That  is  a  matter  between  the  Requisitioning
Authority and the Acquisitioning Authority.  There is no question  of  `come
and get'  the  compensation  while  compulsorily  acquiring  the  land;  the
approach required under law is `go and give'.  In this case,  no  award  has
been passed and the land  value  has  not  been  given  to  the  owner.  The
impugned order is hence set aside.  The  appellant  and  the  Acquisitioning
Authority are directed to complete the acquisition  proceedings  by  passing
an award under the provisions of the 2013 Act.  This shall be done within  a
period of six months and needless also to
say that the entire compensation due to respondent No.1 would be  calculated
in terms of the 2013 Act and the same shall either  be  deposited  with  the
Land Acquisition Collector or disbursed to the respondent  No.1  within  one
month thereafter.
9.    The appeal is disposed of as above.  No costs.


                                          ................J.
                                    [KURIAN JOSEPH]



                                                      ....................J.
   [ROHINTON FALI NARIMAN]
   NEW DELHI;
  MAY 05, 2016

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