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the question of consideration of the objections which were not filed does not arise. In view of the findings recorded by the High Court that a perusal of the record disclosed that objections were filed by the Respondent and were not considered, we summoned and examined the relevant record carefully. The minutes of the meeting of Hubli-Dharwad Urban Development Authority held on 06.02.2002 was filed as Annexure P-2 along with the written submissions of the Appellant. The recommendations of the Chairman of the Hubli-Dharwad Urban Development Authority for acquisition of lands of Byridevana Koppa Village were discussed in the said meeting. The First Respondent’s land was part of the total extent of 54 acres and 39 guntas of land which was sought to be acquired for the housing scheme. It was stated in the minutes that objections filed by the landowners/interested persons of the lands included in the Notification issued under Section 17(3) of the Act were considered by the Chairman of the Hubli-Dharwad Urban Development Authority. It is clear from the said minutes that out of 19 blocks of land which were acquired, landowners of only 10 blocks filed their objections which were considered. Survey No. 311/A/1 does not find place in the said 10 blocks. A draft award dated 31.01.2005 was also placed on record by the Appellant in which the names of the landholders/ landowners whose lands were acquired and who filed objections were given. The Respondent’s name does not find place in the said list of persons who had submitted their objections. The High Court has committed an error in holding that the First Respondent filed his objections which were not considered. A Panchnama was filed by the Appellant to show that possession of the land was taken on 02.09.2005 in the presence of five Panchas. A Notification under Section 16(2) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 was published in the Karnataka State Gazette on 21.12.2005. It is no more res integra that a Notification issued under Section 16 (2) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 shall be evidence of the fact that possession was taken, though not conclusive. - The First Respondent is also guilty of taking contradictory stands in the matter of possession. We see no reason to doubt the Panchnama evidencing taking over of possession. In addition, the Notification under Section 16(2) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 was published in the Gazette. Any attempt made by the First Respondent to show that he is still in possession is of no avail. In view of the above, the judgment of the High Court is set aside and the Appeal is allowed.

                                                              NON-REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                        CIVIL APPEAL No.9934 of 2016
                  (Arising out of SLP (C) No.20826 of 2010)

HUBLI-DHARWAD URBAN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
                                                           .... Appellant(s)
                                   Versus

SHEKHARGOWDA CHENNABASANNAGOWDA
PHAKIRGOWDAR (SINCE DECEASED) BY LR. & ANR.

                                                            …. Respondent(s)

                               J U D G M E N T
L. NAGESWARA RAO, J.
      Leave granted.

      Respondent No. 1 filed Writ Petition No. 12564 of  2006  in  the  High
Court  of  Karnataka  for  quashing  the  preliminary   Notification   dated
06.02.2002 issued under Section 17(3) of  the  Karnataka  Urban  Development
Authority  Act,  1987  (hereinafter  referred  to  as   ‘Act’)   and   final
declaration under Section 19 (3) of the  Act  dated  27.11.2003.   The  said
Notification pertained to acquisition  of  54  acres  and  39  guntas  which
included 2 acres and 36 guntas in Survey No.  311/A/1  in  Byridevana  Koppa
Village, Hubli Taluk belonging to  the  First  Respondent.   The  said  Writ
Petition was allowed by a  judgment  dated  02.04.2009  against  which  Writ
Appeal No. 6258 of 2009 was filed by the Appellant.   A  Division  Bench  of
the High Court dismissed the Writ Appeal by  a  judgment  dated  24.03.2010.
Aggrieved by the said judgment, the Appellant has approached this  Court  by
filing this Appeal.
2.     The First Respondent filed the Writ Petition stating that his  family
owns 2 acres and 35  guntas  in  Survey  No.  311/A/1  in  Byridevana  Koppa
Village,  Hubli  Taluk  in  which  there  were  bore  wells,  cattle  sheds,
residential houses and standing trees.  It was averred in the Writ  Petition
that a Notification under Section 17(3) of the Act was issued on  06.02.2002
but no notice was personally served on him.   It  was  also  stated  in  the
Writ Petition that a Notification under Section 19(1) of the Act was  issued
on 07.10.2003 which was published in the Karnataka  Gazette  on  17.11.2003.
It was stated in the Writ Petition that the First Respondent was  not  aware
of the publication in the Gazette and that  the  Notification  issued  under
Section 17 and the declaration issued under Section 19 of the Act  were  not
served upon him.  He was also unaware of the award proceedings.   The  First
Respondent further stated in the Writ Petition that he came  to  know  about
the preliminary Notification only in August, 2005 when the officials of  the
Appellant visited the site and informed  him  about  the  acquisition.   The
First Respondent also stated in the Writ Petition that immediately after  he
came  to  know  about  the  acquisition  proceedings   he   approached   the
authorities and found that no layout was prepared and finalized.  The  First
Respondent averred in the Writ Petition that  the  preliminary  Notification
under Section 17(3) of the Act  was  prepared  without  complying  with  the
provisions of Section 15(1), 16 and 17 (1) of the Act.   He  further  stated
that due to non service of the notice, he lost an opportunity  to  file  his
objections.  On the basis  of  the  averments  mentioned  above,  the  First
Respondent sought for quashing of  the  Notification  issued  under  Section
17(3) and the declaration issued under Section 19(3) of the Act.
3.    The Appellant filed its Statement of Objections in Writ  Petition  No.
12654 of 2006 in which it was stated that there were no  structures  on  the
acquired land and possession of the said land was  taken  on  02.09.2005.  A
Notification under Section 16(2) of  the  Land  Acquisition  Act,  1894  was
published in the Gazette on 22.12.2006.  It was also  stated  that  personal
notice was issued to the First Respondent on 11.09.2001 but  he  refused  to
receive the notice on 13.09.2001.  The said notice  was  also  published  in
Samyukta Karnataka Daily Newspaper on 26.07.2001 and Vijaya Karnataka  Daily
Newspaper on 27.07.2001.  It was further averred that the  First  Respondent
was aware  of  the  Notification  under  Section  19(1)  of  the  Act  dated
07.10.2003 which is evident from the fact that he gave an application  dated
30.01.2004 for dropping the acquisition proceedings.  The  said  application
was rejected on 28.02.2004.  According to  the  Appellant,  the  acquisition
Notification issued under Section 17(3) and  the  declaration  issued  under
Section 19(3) of the Act were  issued  after  complying  with  the  relevant
provisions  of  the  Act  and  that  interference  by  the  High  Court  was
unwarranted.
4.    By a  judgment  dated  02.04.2009,  a  learned  Single  Judge  of  the
Karnataka  High  Court  allowed  the  Writ  Petition  by  holding  that  the
objections  filed  by  the  First  Respondent  were  not  considered  before
issuance of the final declaration and  that  the  First  Respondent  was  in
possession of the land.  The learned Single Judge recorded  a  finding  that
the property in question is situated in a  corner  of  the  layout  and  the
scheme was not implemented in respect of the land  belonging  to  the  First
Respondent.
5.    The Division Bench confirmed the judgment of the learned Single  Judge
by holding that a perusal of the  record  indicated  receipt  of  objections
which were not considered by the Appellant.  The Division  Bench  held  that
only a xerox copy of the original  Mahazar  drawn  at  the  time  of  taking
possession was produced in the Court.    The  Division  Bench  rejected  the
submission of the Appellant that possession of  the  land  was  taken.   The
Division Bench further found  that  the  scheme  remained  unimplemented  in
respect of the land in dispute.
6.    Mr. Basavaprabhu S. Patil, learned Senior Counsel  appearing  for  the
Appellant submitted that the findings of the High Court are contrary to  the
record.   He submitted that the question of consideration of  objections  of
the First Respondent did not arise as the averments  in  the  Writ  Petition
are to the effect that he was not aware of the acquisition proceedings  till
the middle of August, 2005 and that he lost an  opportunity  of  filing  his
objections.   He took us through  the  minutes  of  the  meeting  of  Hubli-
Dharwad  Urban  Development  Authority  dated  06.02.2002   in   which   the
recommendation for acquisition of the land was  approved.   The  total  land
under acquisition for development of a housing scheme was shown as 54  acres
and 39 guntas.  An extent of 2  acres  36  guntas  in  Survey  No.  311/A/1,
belonging to the First Respondent forms part of  54  acres  and  39  guntas.
It was stated in the said minutes that the objections submitted by the  land
owners/interested persons were considered.  It was clearly mentioned in  the
said minutes that the  objections  of  farmers  and  interested  persons  in
respect of lands admeasuring 32 acres and 28 guntas were examined by  a  one
man committee.  The First Respondent’s land was not part in  the  said  land
of 32 acres and 28 guntas.  He  also  referred  to  the  draft  award  dated
31.01.2005 in which the names of 13 persons who filed their objections  were
mentioned.  The name of the First Respondent was not found therein.
7.    Mr. Patil submitted that the authority considered all  the  objections
that were filed by the landholders.  The High Court went  wrong  in  holding
that the objections filed by the First Respondent were  not  considered.  It
was also submitted by Mr. Patil that the Mahazar that was  produced  by  the
Appellant before the High Court clearly showed that  possession  was  taken.
He also submitted that the Notification under  Section  16(2)  of  the  Land
Acquisition Act, 1894 is conclusive proof of possession being taken  by  the
authority.   According to Mr. Patil, the judgment of the High Court  suffers
from apparent errors and is liable to be set aside.
8.     Mr.  Balaji  Srinivasan,  Advocate  appearing  for  First  Respondent
submitted that the High Court was  right  in  holding  that  the  objections
filed by the Respondent were not considered by  the  authorities.   He  also
submitted that the landowners are  in  possession  of  the  land  even  now.
According to him, the High Court rightly refused to consider the xerox  copy
of the Mahazar produced by the Appellant to show that possession was  taken.
 He further submitted that the scheme was not implemented in respect of  the
land in dispute.   Pursuant to the liberty given by this  Court,  the  First
Respondent filed his written submissions in which he stated that there is  a
farm house along with a cattle shed  on  the  land.   A  leave  and  licence
agreement dated 16.12.2009 was filed along with written submissions to  show
that a mobile tower is erected on the land. The  Respondent  further  stated
in the said written  submissions  that  the  legal  heirs  of  the  original
Respondent furnished their Statement of Objections dated 29.08.2001  to  the
Counsel.  The said objections did  not  receive  any  consideration  by  the
authorities. The Respondent is still in possession of the land which is  not
integral to the housing scheme. The Respondent submits that the judgment  of
the High Court be upheld.
9.     The  High  Court  quashed  the  Notification  dated  05.02.2002   and
declaration dated 27.11.2003 for the reasons that the  objections  filed  by
the  landowners  were  not  considered  before   issuance   of   the   final
declaration,  that  the  possession  of  the  land  was  not  taken  by  the
authorities and that the scheme  was  not  implemented  in  respect  of  the
property in question.  The First Respondent pleaded  in  the  Writ  Petition
that he was not aware of the Notification issued  under  Section  17(3)  and
the declaration issued under Section 19(3) of  the  Act.    It  was  further
averred in the Writ Petition that he  was  deprived  of  an  opportunity  of
filing objections as notice was not  given  to  him  personally.    We  find
force in the submission of Mr. Patil that the question of  consideration  of
the objections which were not  filed  does  not  arise.    In  view  of  the
findings recorded by the High Court that a perusal of the  record  disclosed
that objections were filed by the Respondent and  were  not  considered,  we
summoned and examined the relevant record carefully.   The  minutes  of  the
meeting of Hubli-Dharwad Urban Development Authority held on 06.02.2002  was
filed as Annexure P-2 along with the written submissions of  the  Appellant.
The recommendations of the Chairman of the Hubli-Dharwad  Urban  Development
Authority  for  acquisition  of  lands  of  Byridevana  Koppa  Village  were
discussed in the said meeting.  The First Respondent’s land was part of  the
total extent of 54 acres and 39 guntas  of  land  which  was  sought  to  be
acquired for the housing  scheme.    It  was  stated  in  the  minutes  that
objections filed by the landowners/interested persons of the lands  included
in the Notification issued under Section 17(3) of the  Act  were  considered
by the Chairman of the Hubli-Dharwad Urban  Development  Authority.   It  is
clear from the said minutes that  out  of  19  blocks  of  land  which  were
acquired, landowners of only 10 blocks filed  their  objections  which  were
considered.  Survey No. 311/A/1 does not find place in the said  10  blocks.
A draft award dated 31.01.2005 was also placed on record  by  the  Appellant
in which the names of the landholders/ landowners whose lands were  acquired
and who filed objections were given.  The Respondent’s name  does  not  find
place in the said list of persons who had submitted their  objections.   The
High Court has committed an error  in  holding  that  the  First  Respondent
filed his objections which were not considered.
10.   Admittedly, the land was  acquired  for  a  housing  scheme.   It  was
submitted by the Appellant that plots have already been allotted.  The  land
belonging to the First Respondent has been earmarked  for  civic  amenities.
In view of the interim order of status quo  passed  by  the  High  Court  on
13.09.2006, no development could take place on the land.    The  High  Court
ought not  to  have  held  that  the  Appellant  was  responsible  for  non-
implementation of the scheme qua  the  land  of  the  Respondent.    It  was
submitted  by  the  Appellant  that  the  land  is  very  much  needed   for
development of civic amenities.
11.   A Panchnama was filed by the Appellant to show that possession of  the
land  was  taken  on  02.09.2005  in  the  presence  of  five  Panchas.    A
Notification under Section 16(2) of  the  Land  Acquisition  Act,  1894  was
published in the Karnataka State Gazette on 21.12.2005.  It is no  more  res
integra that a  Notification  issued  under  Section  16  (2)  of  the  Land
Acquisition Act, 1894 shall be evidence of  the  fact  that  possession  was
taken, though not conclusive. The prevaricating stands taken  by  the  First
Respondent about the possession of the land does not  help  his  cause.   On
30.01.2004, the power of attorney holder of the First  Respondent  submitted
a representation to the Chairman  of  the  Hubli-Dharwad  Urban  Development
Authority requesting for exemption of the land from acquisition.  He  stated
in the said representation that he was running  a  ginning  factory  on  the
said land.  He also stated that he employed 40  workmen  for  whose  housing
the  land  was  needed.  The  said  representation  was  rejected   by   the
Commissioner, Hubli-Dharwad Urban Development  Authority  on  28.08.2004  by
stating that the acquisition proceedings were at a final stage  and  so  the
request cannot be acceded to.  In  the  written  submissions  filed  by  the
Respondent, it is stated that a farm house along with a cattle  shed  and  a
mobile tower exist on the land.   Some photographs  and  a  lease  agreement
have been filed in support of the said averments.  The  submission  made  by
the First Respondent regarding the non-consideration of  his  objections  is
contrary to the pleading in the Writ  Petition.   The  First  Respondent  is
also guilty of taking contradictory stands in the matter of possession.   We
see no reason to doubt the Panchnama evidencing taking over  of  possession.
In addition, the Notification under Section 16(2) of  the  Land  Acquisition
Act, 1894 was published in the Gazette.   Any  attempt  made  by  the  First
Respondent to show that he is still in possession is of no avail.
12.   In view of the above, the judgment of the High Court is set aside  and
the Appeal is allowed.

                      .…............................J.
                                                 [ANIL R. DAVE]



                     ................................J.
                                                     [L. NAGESWARA RAO]
New Delhi,
October 03, 2016

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