Apex Law Journal
Apex Law Journal
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Editor

Neha Goel, Advocate

Advisory Board

S.C. Khunger, Advocate

Rohit Bansal, Advocate

Varinder Singh Kanwar, Advocate

Hittan Nehra, Advocate

Judgments on Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Friday, November 23, 2012
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 28-A — Re-determination of the compensation amount — Held, section 28-A is a special provision which gives right and remedy for re-determination to a particular class of society, namely poor, illiterate, ignorant and inarticulate people who generally fail to take advantage of the right of reference to the civil court under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — It is made only for “little Indians” — State of Orissa & Ors. v. Chitrasen Bhoi, JT 2009 (13) SC 388 relied.

 
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 17 — Constitution of India, 1950, Article 300-A — Compulsory acquisition — Although in exercise of the power of eminent domain, the State can acquire the private property for public purpose, it must be remembered that compulsory acquisition of the property belonging to a private individual is a serious matter and has grave repercussions on his Constitutional right of not being deprived of his property without the sanction of law – Article 300A and the legal rights — Therefore, the State must exercise this power with great care and circumspection — At times, compulsory acquisition of land is likely to make the owner landless — The degree of care required to be taken by the State is greater when the power of compulsory acquisition of private land is exercised by invoking the provisions like the one contained in Section 17 of the Act because that results in depriving the owner of his property without being afforded an opportunity of hearing.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 17 — Invoking of urgency provisions — Held, the invoking of the urgency provisions can be justified only if there exists real emergency which cannot brook delay of even few weeks or months — In other words, the urgency provisions can be invoked only if even small delay of few weeks or months may frustrate the public purpose for which the land is sought to be acquired.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 4(1) read with Section 17(1) and (4)–Judgment in Deepak Pahwa v. Lt. Governor of Delhi (1984) 4 SCC 308  (3-Judge Bench), held, cannot be relied upon for overlooking the time gap of more than five years between initiation of the proposal for establishment of the sub-station and the issue of notification under Section 4 (1) read with Section 17 (1) and (4) of the Act.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 4(1) read with Section 17(1) and (4) and Section 5A — Time gap of more than five years between initiation of the proposal for establishment of the sub-station and the issue of notification under Section 4 (1) read with Section 17 (1) and (4) of the Act — Effect — Held, such delay will have material bearing on the question of invocation of urgency power, particularly, when no material is produced by the appropriate Government to justify elimination of the inquiry envisaged under Section 5A — Anand Singh v. State of UP (2010) 11 SCC 242, relied.

 
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 18 — An analysis of section 18 of the Act would show that any person interested who does not accept the award can, by written application to the Land Acquisition Collector, require the matter to be referred for determination of the court in regard to any one of the following matters :

 

 (a) Objection to the measurement of the land;

 

 (b) Objection to the amount of compensation;

 

 (c) Objection as to the persons to whom the compensation is payable; or

 

 (d) Objection to the apportionment of the compensation among the persons interested.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 18 — Role/Position of Land Acquisition Collector — The Land Acquisition Collector is not a court. When he determines the compensation, he does not adjudicate, but merely makes an offer for the acquired land, on behalf of the government — If the land owner considers the amount offered by the Land Acquisition Collector to be inadequate and makes a request within the prescribed period, for reference to the civil court under section 18 of the Act, the Land Acquisition Collector is bound to refer the matter to the Civil Court for determination of the compensation — He has no choice of refusing to make a reference, when the request is in time — Neither the act of making an award offering compensation nor the act of referring the matter to a civil court for determination of compensation at the request of the land owner are judicial functions, but are administrative functions.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 18 — In a reference made to the Reference Court under section 18 of the Act, the land owner, held, is not barred from amending the amount claimed in the reference application and seeking higher compensation — Such application can be made even after the expiry of the period of limitation mentioned in section 18 of the Act as  the period of limitation in section 18 of the Act has nothing to do with specifying the amount of compensation claimed.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 18 r/w Section 23 — Once the land owner states that he has objection to the amount of compensation, and seeks reference to the civil court, the entire issue of compensation is open before the Reference Court — Once the claimant satisfies the Reference Court that the compensation awarded by the Land Acquisition Officer is inadequate, the Reference Court proceeds to determine the compensation, with reference to the principles in section 23 of the Act.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 18 — Objection as to the amount of compensation — Reference — Held, as the Act does not require the person aggrieved/landowner to specify the amount of compensation sought, when objecting to the amount of compensation and seeking a reference, mentioning of the amount of compensation sought is optional — Further held, as there is no obligation to specify the amount in the application for reference, it can be specified in the claim statement filed before the Reference Court.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 18 r/w Section 19 — Where the application under section 18 contains the necessary particulars, the Reference Court may treat the application for reference under section 18 and the Collector’s statement under section 19 of the Act as the pleadings — The land owner is entitled to specify the amounts claimed by him as compensation and the heads of compensation for the first time in such claim statement before the Reference Court — He can also file an application amending the claim — What is not permitted after the expiry of the period of limitation specified in section 18 of the Act, is changing the nature of objections from one category to another — If the reference had been sought with reference to objection to amount of compensation, the land owner cannot after the period of limitation, seek amendment to change the claim as objection to measurement or objection to apportionment.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 18 r/w Section 3(a) — Jurisdiction of Reference Court to decide the compensation for the land, buildings and trees and other appurtenances — Held, once the reference is made in regard to amount of compensation, the Reference Court will have complete jurisdiction to decide the compensation for the land, buildings and trees and other appurtenances — The Reference Court will also have the power to entertain any application for increasing the compensation under whatever head — The fact that the landowner had sought increase only in regard to the land in the application for reference, will not come in the way of the landowner seeking increase even in regard to trees or structures, before the Reference Court.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 18 and 23 r/w Section 3(a) — Where compensation is awarded for the land, whether no compensation can be awarded for trees or well separately? — Held, if the land value had been determined with reference to the sale statistics or compensation awarded for a nearby vacant land, then necessarily, the trees will have to be valued separately — But if the value of the land has been determined on the basis of the sale statistics or compensation awarded for an orchard, that is land with fruit-bearing trees, then there is no question of again adding the value of the trees — Further, if the market value has been determined by capitalizing the income with reference to yield, then also the question of making any addition either for the land or for the trees separately does not arise — In this case, the determination of market value was not with reference to the yield — Nor was the determination of market value in regard to the land with reference to the value of any orchard but was with reference to vacant agricultural land — In the circumstances, the value of the trees could be added to the value of the land.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 18 — Where the landowner has sought increase in compensation for only the land, in the application under section 18 of the Act, whether he can seek increase in compensation for the trees or structures also, before the Reference Court? — Held, yes.

 
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 17 and 5-A — The government functionary, in the present case, has proceeded at very slow pace at two levels, that is, prior to the issuance of the Notification under Section 4 and post the issuance of the Notification under Section 4 — Whether in these circumstances State Government was justified in invoking the urgency provision of Section 17(4) of the LA Act? — Held, no — The appellants cannot be denied of their valuable right under Section 5-A of the LA Act.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 5-A r/w Section 17(1) and 17(4) — Acquisition of land for public purpose by itself shall not justify the exercise of power of eliminating enquiry under Section 5-A in terms of Section 17 (1) and Section 17 (4) of the LA Act — The Court should take judicial notice of the fact that certain schemes or projects, such as the construction of the Leather City Project for public purpose, which contemplate the development of residential, commercial, industrial or institutional areas, by their intrinsic nature and character require the investment of time of a few years in their planning, execution and implementation — Therefore, the land acquisition for said public purpose does not justify the invoking of urgency provisions under the LA Act.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 6, Proviso (ii) — Time-limit for a declaration — Held, proviso (ii) only provides a time-limit for a declaration and not for publication as it has been incorporated in sub-section (1) of Section 6 of the LA Act.  

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 4 and 6 — The Notification under Section 4 has to be published in the manner laid down therein — As against this, under Section 6, a declaration has to be first made and that declaration is then to be published in the manner provided in Section 6(2) of the LA Act — Also, the proviso (ii) to Section 6(1) lays down a time-limit within which declaration has to be made — The said proviso (ii) significantly only provides a time-limit for a declaration and not for publication as it has been incorporated in sub-section (1) of Section 6 of the LA Act.  

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 6 r/w Proviso (ii) to Section 6 and Section 4 — Declaration of notification under Section 6 has to be within a period of one year starting from the last date of publication of notification under Section 4.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 4(1) — State Government after publishing the notification under Section 4 on 4.07.2006 in the regional language, that is, Hindi, had also published the said notification in English language on 05.01.2007 — Held, publication of the Notification in two newspapers having circulation in the locality where the land is situated and where people are well conversant with Hindi amounts to ample compliance with the requirement of the publication under Section 4(1) of the LA Act — Subsequent publication of English translation of the said Notification under Section 4 in two newspapers on 05.01.2007 was unnecessary — Further held, last date of publication for the purpose of Section 4(1) of the LA Act, which can be treated as date of publication, is the date on which, the first Notification under Section 4 was published in the newspaper, that is, 04.07.2006.

 
Monday, September 05, 2011
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 34 and 23 — The Supreme Court in the case of  Sunder Vs. Union of India (2001) 7 SCC 211, has held as follows:–

 

 a. The compensation awarded would include not only the total sum arrived at as per sub-section (1) of Section 23 but the remaining sub-sections thereof as well. It is thus clear from Section 34 that the expression “awarded amount” would mean the amount of compensation worked out in accordance with the provisions contained in Section 23, including all the sub-sections thereof.

 

 b. It is inconceivable that the solatium amount would attract only the escalated rate of interest from the expiry of one year and that there would be no interest on solatium during the preceding period. What the legislature intended was to make the aggregate amount under Section 23 of the Act to reach the hands of the person as and when the award is passed, at any rate as soon as he is deprived of the possession of his land. Any delay in making payment of the said sum should enable the party to have interest on the said sum until he receives the payment. Splitting up the compensation into different components for the purpose of payment of interest under Section 34 was not in the contemplation of the legislature when that section was framed or enacted.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 34 and 23 — If in the Award passed, the Reference Court makes a specific reference to payment of interest but without any such reference to the payment of interest on solatium and merely payment of interest on compensation is granted, then it would be open to the executing court to apply the ratio of Sunder [(2001) 7 SCC 211] and declare that the compensation awarded includes solatium, and consequently, interest on the amount could be directed to be deposited in execution.

 
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 4, 5-A, 17(1) and 17(4) — Acquisition of the land for public purpose by itself shall not justify the exercise of power of eliminating enquiry under Section 5-A in terms of Section 17 (1) and Section 17 (4) of the Act — The Court should take judicial notice of the fact that certain public purpose such as development of residential, commercial, industrial or institutional areas by their intrinsic nature and character contemplates planning, execution and implementation of the schemes which generally takes time of few years — Therefore, the land acquisition for said public purpose does not justify the invoking of urgency provisions under the Act.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 4 and Section 17(1) read with Section 17(4) — Delay in acquisition of land — Whether a ground to invoke the emergency provision of Section 17(4) — Held, no — The delay, by itself, does not create a ground or cause for urgency for acquisition but increases the already existing urgency for acquisition of land for any public purposes.

 
Monday, July 25, 2011
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 4 and 23 — Acquisition of a large piece of land — Sale instances realting to smaller pieces of land, whether can be taken into consideration to determine the value of the acquired land? — Held, yes — In the normal course of events, it is hardly possible for a claimant to produce sale instances of large tracks of land — The sale of land containing large tracks are generally very far and few — Normally, the sale instances would relate to small pieces of land — This limitation of sale transaction cannot operate to the disadvantage of the claimants — Thus, the Court should look into sale instances of smaller pieces of land while applying reasonable element of deduction.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 4 and 23 — Acquisition of a large piece of land — There is no absolute rule that when the acquired land is a large tract of land, sale instances relating to smaller pieces of land cannot be considered — There are certain circumstances when sale deeds of small pieces of land can be used to determine the value of acquired land which is comparatively large in area.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 4 and 23 — Acquisition of agricultural land — Fact that the land was situated by the side of a residential locality and was in the midst of a highly developed industrial locality, the acquired land was capable of being used for non-agricultural purposes and should be considered as non-agricultural land in determination of compensation. 

 
Monday, March 21, 2011
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 3(f) — Constitution of India, 1950 — Words public purpose must be viewed through the prism of Constitutional values.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 3(f) — Constitution of India, 1950, Part III Rights — The meaning of public purpose in acquisition of land must be judged on the touchstone Part-III rights.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 3(f) — Constitution of India, 1950, Article 13 — In construing the concept of public purpose, the mandate of Article 13 of the Constitution that any pre-constitutional law cannot in any way take away or abridge rights conferred under Part–III must be kept in mind.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 3(f) — The concept of public purpose cannot remain static for all time to come — The concept, even though sought to be defined under Section 3(f) of the Act, is not capable of any precise definition — The said definition, having suffered several amendments, has assumed the character of an inclusive one — It must be accepted that in construing public purpose, a broad and overall view has to be taken and the focus must be on ensuring maximum benefit to the largest number of people — Any attempt by the State to acquire land by promoting a public purpose to benefit a particular group of people or to serve any particular interest at the cost of the interest of a large section of people especially of the common people defeats the very concept of public purpose — Even though the concept of public purpose was introduced by pre- Constitutional legislation, its application must be consistent with the constitutional ethos and especially the chapter under Fundamental Rights and also the Directive Principles. 

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 3(f) — Concept of public purpose in land acquisition has to be viewed from an angle which is consistent with the concept of a welfare State.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 5A — The valuable right of the appellants under Section 5A of the Act cannot flattened and steamrolled on the ‘ipsi dixit’ of the executive authority.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 5A — Time gap of more than 11 months between Section 4 and Section 6 notifications, held, clearly demonstrates that there was no urgency in the State action which could deny the petitioners their right under Section 5A.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 17(4) — Time gap of more than 11 months between publication of Section 4(1) and Section 17(1) notification and Section 6 declaration, held, clearly evinces that there was no urgency for acquiring the land so as to warrant invoking Section 17(4) of the Act. 

 
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 23(1A) — Amendment Act No. 68 of 1984 — Acquisition proceeding commenced with the notification under Section 4 issued on 06.03.1965 — Award passed by the Collector on 09.07.1980, i.e., before 30.04.1982, the date from which the amending Act 68 of 1984 was made applicable to the pending and subsequent proceedings — Respondents, whether entitled to the benefit of Section 23(1A)? — Held, no — K.S. Paripoornan v. State of Kerala and others (1994) 5 SCC 593 relied.

 
Friday, November 26, 2010
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 4(1) — What is the purpose of publication of preliminary notification? — Held, the purpose of publication of the notification is two fold: First is to ensure that adequate publicity is given so that land owners and persons interested will have an opportunity to file their objections under Section 5A of the Act. Second is to put the land owners/occupants on notice that government officers will be entering upon the property for carrying on the activities enumerated in section 4(2) of the Act.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 4(1) — Difference between actual, implied and constructive notices — Held:–

 

 1. When notice is directly served upon a party in a formal manner or when it is received personally by him, there is actual notice. 

 

 2. If from the facts it can be inferred that a party knew about the subject matter of the notice, knowledge is imputed by implied notice. For example, if the purpose of the notice is to require a party to appear before an authority on a particular date, even though such a notice is not personally served on him, if the person appears before the authority on that date or participates in the subsequent proceedings, then the person can be said to have implied notice. 

 

 3. Notice arising by presumption of law from the existence of certain specified facts and circumstances is constructive or deemed notice. For example, any person purchasing or obtaining a transfer of an immovable property is deemed to have notice of all transactions relating to such property effected by registered instruments till the date of his acquisition. Or, where the statute provides for publication of the notification relating to a proposed acquisition of lands in the Gazette and newspapers and by causing public notice of the substance of the notification at convenient places in the locality, but does not provide for actual direct notice, then such provision provides for constructive notice; and on fulfillment of those requirements, all persons interested in the lands proposed for acquisition are deemed to have notice of the proposal regarding acquisition.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 4(1) — Notice of the proposal of acquisition to the person concerned, held, can also be by way of implied notice or constructive notice.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 4(1) — Whether acquiring authority has to prove the actual notice of the proposal to acquire under section 4(1) of the Act, to the person challenging the acquisition? — Held, no — The purpose of publication of public notice provided in section 4(1) of the Act is to give notice of the proposal of acquisition to the persons concerned and such notice can also be by way of implied notice or constructive notice.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 4(1) — Publication of preliminary notification in newspapers — If the person challenging the acquisition is able to establish that the notifications were deliberately and with malafides, published in newspapers having negligible circulation, to avoid notice to the persons concerned, then section 4(1) will be violated.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 4(1) — Publication of preliminary notification in newspapers — Held, if there is failure to publish in two daily newspapers or if the publication is in two newspapers that have no circulation at all in the locality, without anything more, the notification under section 4(1) of the Act and the consequential acquisition proceedings will be vitiated, on the ground of non-compliance with an essential condition of section 4(1) of the Act.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 4(1) — Publication of preliminary notification in newspapers — If the two newspapers carrying the publication of the notification have reasonably wide circulation in the locality, (apart from the publication of the notification in the Gazette and causing public notice of the substance of the notification to be given at convenient places in the locality), then the requirements of section 4(1) are complied with and all persons concerned in the locality shall be deemed to have notice of the notification. (For this purpose, the publication need not be in newspapers having the widest or largest circulation, but it is sufficient if the publication is in newspapers having reasonably wide circulation). In that event, neither the notification under section 4(1), nor the consequential acquisition proceedings would be open to challenge, on the ground of violation of Section 4 of the Act.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 4(1) — Publication of preliminary notification in newspapers — If the newspapers in which the notification is published were circulating in the locality, but did not have a reasonably wide circulation in the locality, then neither the notification under section 4(1) nor the consequential acquisition proceedings, will become vitiated automatically — If the person aggrieved, apart from demonstrating that the two newspapers did not have reasonably wide circulation in the locality, also asserts that as a consequence, he did not have notice of the proposed acquisition that was provided for in Section 4(1) of the Act, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, the acquisition to the extent of the land of such person will be vitiated — But if such assertion is rebutted by the acquiring authority by placing evidence to show that the person concerned had in fact notice (as for example where he participated in the enquiry under section 5A of the Act), the acquisition will not be vitiated on the ground of violation of section 4A of the Act.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 4(1) — Publication of preliminary notification in newspapers — To avoid unnecessary controversies and litigation, acquiring authorities should ensure that the notification under section 4(1) of the Act is published in the newspapers having reasonable wide circulation.

 
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 28A — Constitution of India, 1950, Articles 38, 39 and 46 — Payment of compensation to those who are deprived of their land for the benefit of the State — Held, the provision of Section 28A represents the Legislature’s determination to ensure that the goal of equality enshrined in the Preamble of the Constitution and Articles 38, 39 and 46 thereof is translated into reality, at least in the matter of payment of compensation to those who are deprived of their land for the benefit of the State, its instrumentalities/agencies and even private persons.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 28A — Section 28A, held, represents statutory embodiment of the doctrine of equality in matters relating to the acquisition of land.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 28A readwith Section 18 — Remedy for ‘agriculturist’ who could not, on account of poverty, ignorance and other disabilities join others in seeking reference under Section18 — Held, the scheme of Section 28A provide some solace to ‘agriculturist’ by ensuring that such of the land owners whose land was acquired under the same notification but who could not, on account of poverty, ignorance and other disabilities join others in seeking reference under Section 18 get an opportunity to claim compensation at par with others — This section is aimed at removing inequality in the payment of compensation in lieu of acquisition of land under the same notification — To put it differently, this section gives a chance to the land owner, who may not have applied under Section 18 for determination of market value by the Court to seek re-determination of the amount of compensation, if any other similarly situated land owner succeeds in persuading the Reference Court to fix higher market value of the acquired land — Therefore, Section 28A has to be interpreted in a manner which would advance the policy of legislation to give an opportunity to the land owner who may have, due to variety of reasons not been able to move the Collector for making reference under Section 18 of the Act to get higher compensation if market value is revised by the Reference Court at the instance of other land owners, whose land is acquired under the same notification. Of course, this opportunity can be availed by filing application within the prescribed period.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 28A readwith Section 18 — Section 28A, held, is aimed at removing inequality in the payment of compensation in lieu of acquisition of land under the same notification — To put it differently, this section gives a chance to the land owner, who may not have applied under Section 18 for determination of market value by the Court to seek re-determination of the amount of compensation, if any other similarly situated land owner succeeds in persuading the Reference Court to fix higher market value of the acquired land.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 28A(3), 28A(2), 28A(1) and 3(d) — A person who is not satisfied with an award made under Section 28A(2) can make an application to the Collector under Section 28A(3) for making a reference to the Court as defined in Section 3(d) of the Act and this right cannot be frustrated merely because as a result of re-determination made under Section 28A(2) read with Section 28A(1) the applicant becomes entitled to receive compensation at par with other land owners.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 28A(3) and 28A(1) — The appellant who had not invoked Section 18 of the Act filed an application under Section 28A(1) for payment of enhanced compensation at par with other land owners, at whose instance reference was made by the Collector — By an order dated 31.12.1990, the Land Acquisition Officer held that the appellant is entitled to receive compensation at par with other land owners — On the same day, the appellant filed an application under Section 28A(3) of the Act for making a reference to the Court for fixing the fair market value of the acquired land by asserting that he was accepting the amount of compensation under protest — The Land Acquisition Officer referred the matter to Collector, Karimnagar, who accorded permission for making a reference to the Court — Thereupon, the Land Acquisition Officer sent communication dated 2.6.2000 to the Reference Court for fixing the fair market value of the appellant’s land — Respondent No.1 challenged the aforesaid communication in Writ Petition No.23600/2000, which was dismissed by the learned Single Judge with an observation that the Civil Court is already seized with the matter in O.P. No. 31/2000 and the petitioner can agitate all the points including the one relating to maintainability of reference made under Section 28A(3) — The Division Bench allowed the appeal preferred by respondent No.1, set aside the order of the learned Single Judge and held that a person who gets benefit of higher compensation under Section 28A(1) cannot file an application under Section 28A(3) — Held, impugned judgment of the Division Bench is set aside and it is held that the application filed by the appellant under Section 28A(3) is maintainable — However, the Court before which O.P. No.31 of 2000 is pending shall pass appropriate order only after and in terms of judgment of Appeal Suit Nos.688 and 1643 of 2001 by the High Court — Appeal allowed.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 28A(3), 28A(2) and 18 — There is nothing in the plain language of Section 28A(3) from which it can be inferred that a person who has not accepted the award made under Section 28A(2) is precluded from making an application to the Collector with the request to refer the matter to the Court — Of course, the Court to which reference is made under Section 28A(3) will have to bear in mind that a person who has not sought reference under Section 18 cannot get compensation higher than the one payable to those who had sought reference under that section.

 
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 23(1A) — Civil Procedure Code, 1908, Order 41, Rule 33 — Whether the landowners, without filing an appeal before the High Court from the order of the Reference Court are entitled to the benefit of the amending provision under Section 23(1A) on the basis of their application under Order 41, Rule 33 of CPC? — Held, yes.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 23(1A) readwith Section 30(1) — There is no scope for any speculation about the parliamentary intention by reading Section 23(1A) in isolation from Section 30(1) of the Act — K.S. Paripoornan vs. State of Kerala and others, (1994) 5 SCC 593 relied.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 23(1A) readwith Section 30(1) — Section 23 (1A) and Section 30 are interconnected — K.S. Paripoornan vs. State of Kerala and others, (1994) 5 SCC 593 relied.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 23(1A) — In the instant case the acquisition proceeding commenced with notification under Section 4 which is dated 5.3.1983 and the award was passed on 1.3.1984 — Therefore, the landowners who were affected by the instant acquisition proceeding were entitled to the benefit of the amending provision under Section 23(1A) in view of the ratio in Paripoornan case [(1994) 5 SCC 593].

 

 
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — The direction of the High Court for payment of interest for the period prior to the issuance of the notification under Section 4 of the Act i.e. 4th April, 2002 is hereby set aside and order to be deleted.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 4(1) and 48 — The Court, in situations where possessions has been taken prior to issuance of notification under Section 4(1) of the Act, can direct the Collector to examine the extent of rent or damage that the owners of land would be entitled to — The provisions of Section 48 of the Act would come to aid and the Court would also be justified in issuing appropriate direction. 

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 4(1), 11 and 16 — Once notification under Section 4 (1) of the Act has been issued and the acquisition proceedings culminated into an award in terms of Section 11, then alone the land vests in the State free of any encumbrance or restriction in terms of provisions of Section 16 of the Act.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Acquisition of land — Determination of the market value by capitalization of yield method will depend upon the agricultural yield, that is, value of agricultural produce less expenditure for growing them, and not with reference to a further sericultural activity by using the agricultural produce. 

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 23 — Determination of fair market value of the acquired land — Held,  the Court is entitled to apply some kind of reasonable guess work to balance the equities and fix just and fair market value in terms of the parameters specified under Section 23 of the Act. 

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Acquisition of land — Compensation on the basis of the genuine sale instance containing the highest rate — Held, claimants can be given the benefit of awarding compensation on the basis of the genuine sale instance containing the highest rate, provided it has been proved in accordance with law and is a comparable instance — Such sale instance must satisfy all the requirements and pre-requisite stated in the Act — It should be a bonafide transaction and should also be in reasonable proximity to the date of notification under Section 4 of the Act.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Acquisition of land — Determination of fair market value of the acquired land — Comparable sales methods of valuation, held, is preferred because it furnishes the evidence for determination of the market value of the acquired land which a willing purchaser would pay for the acquired land if it has been sold in open market at the time of issue of notification under Section 4 of the Act. 

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Acquisition of land — Determination of fair market value of the acquired land — Held, it is a settled principle of law that lands of adjacent villages can be made the basis for determining the fair market value of the acquired land — This principle of law is qualified by clear dictum of this Court itself that whenever direct evidence i.e. instances of the same villages are available, then it is most desirable that the court should consider that evidence — But where such evidence is not available court can safely rely upon the sales statistics of adjoining lands provided the instances are comparable and the potentiality and location of the land is somewhat similar — The evidence tendered in relation to the land of the adjacent villages would be a relevant piece of evidence for such determination — Once it is shown that situation and potential of the land in two different villages are the same then they could be awarded similar compensation or such other compensation as would be just and fair.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Methodology to be adopted in determining fair value of the land at the relevant time — Held, Sections 23 and 24 of the Act spell out the have and have nots, applicable to the scheme of awarding compensation by the Collector but do not describe the methodology which should be adopted by the courts in determining the fair market value of the land at the relevant time — By development of law, the courts have adopted different methods for computing the compensation payable to the land owners depending upon the facts and circumstances of the case — The Courts have been exercising their discretion by adopting different methods, inter alia the following methods have a larger acceptance in law :


 (a) Sales Statistics Method: In applying this method, it has been stated that, sales must be genuine and bonafide, should have been executed at the time proximate to the date of notification under Section 4 of the Act, the land covered by the sale must be in the vicinity of the acquired land and the land should be comparable to the acquired land. The land covered under the sale instance should have similar potential and occasion as that of the acquired land {Faridabad Gas Power Project, N.T.P.C. Ltd. & Ors. v. Om Prakash & Ors. [2009 (4) SCC 719], Shaji Kuriakose & Anr. v. Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. & Ors. [AIR 2001 SC 3341], Ravinder Narain & Anr. v. Union of India [2003 (4) SCC 481]}.


 (b) Capitalization of Net Income Method: This method has also been applied by the courts. In this method of determination of market value, capitalization of net income method or expert opinion method has been applied. {Union of India & Anr. v. Smt. Shanti Devi & Ors. [1983 (4) SCC 542], Executive Director v. Sarat Chandra Bisoi & Anr. [2000 (6) SCC 326], Nelson Fernandes & Ors. V. Special Land Acquisition Officer, South Goa & Ors. (supra)}


 (c) Agriculture Yield Basis Method: Agricultural yield of the acquired land with reference to revenue records and keeping in mind the potential and nature of the land – wet (irrigated), dry and barren (banjar).

 

        Normally, where the compensation is awarded on agricultural yield or capitalization method basis, the principle of multiplier is also applied for final determination. These are broadly the methods which are applied by the courts with further reduction on account of development charges. In some cases, depending upon the peculiar facts, this Court has accepted the principle of granting compound increase at the rate of 10% to 15% of the fair market value determined in accordance with law to avoid any unfair loss to the claimants suffering from compulsive acquisition. However, this consideration should squarely fall within the parameters of Section 23 while taking care that the negative mandate contained in Section 24 of the Act is not offended. How one or any of the principles afore stated is to be applied by the courts, would depend on the facts and circumstances of a given case.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 23 and 24 — Should there be direct nexus between the potentiality of the acquired land as on the date of the Notification or can any matter which may be consequential or remotely connected with the agricultural activity be the basis for determining the market value of the land? Does the scheme of the Act, particularly with reference to Sections 23 and 24 of the Act permit such an approach? — Held, this question has to be answered in the negative — What is required to be assessed, is the land and its existing potentiality alone as on the date of acquisition — Moreover, the potentiality has to be directly relatable to the capacity of the acquired land to produce agricultural products or, its market value relatable to the known methods of computation of compensation.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 23 and 24 — Computation of compensation — Held, has to be in terms of Sections 23 and 24 of the Act and that too from the date of issuance of the Notification under Section 4 of the Act — It is only the statutory benefits which would be available in terms of Sections 23 (1-A) and 23(2) of the Act.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 23(1-A) and 23(2) — Expression ‘such market value’ — Held, the expression ‘such market value’ used in Sections 23(1-A) and 23(2) respectively obviously would mean and refers to the market value determined in terms of Section 23(1) of the Act — This expression has been well explained by different judicial pronouncements and they have consistently been following what the Privy Council in the case of Municipal Council of Colombo v. Kuna Mana Navanna Suna Pana Letchiman Chettiar [ AIR (34) 1947 PC 118], laid down — There it is stated that “such market value” as used in Section 23 of the Act is the price which a willing vendor might be expected to obtain in the open market from a willing purchaser — It is the price which would be payable to a person after the complete appraisal of land with its peculiar advantages and disadvantages being estimated with reference to commercial value.  

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 23 — Expression ‘shall’ — The expression ‘shall’ can hardly be construed as ‘may’ giving an absolute discretion to the court to take or not to take into consideration the factors stated in Section 23(1) of the Act — The expression ‘shall’ thus would have to be construed as mandatory and not directory — It is more so, keeping in view the language of Section 24 of the Act, which mandates that the court shall not take into consideration the matters indicated in firstly to eighthly of Section 24 of the Act — This legislative intent needs to be noticed for beneficial and proper interpretation of these provisions in the light of the scheme underlining the provisions of the Act.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 23(2) — Expression ‘such market value’ — Held, ‘Such market value’ is an expression which must be read ejusdem generis to the provisions of Section 23(1) of the Act, as they alone would provide meaning and relevancy to the guidelines which are to be taken into consideration by the courts for determining the market value of the land.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 23 and 24 — Held, the power is vested in the Collector to grant compensation; in courts to enhance the same in favour of the claimants whose lands are acquired, in case they are aggrieved — But, this power has to be exercised while keeping in mind the settled guidelines and parameters stated in Sections 23 and 24 of the Act — It will, thus, not be permissible for the authorities to go beyond the scope and purview of the provisions or the pre-requisites stated in these provisions for determination of the fair market value of the land — The statutory law as well as the judgments pronounced by the courts has consistently taken the view that compensation has to be determined strictly in accordance with the provisions of Sections 23 and 24 of the Act — The matters which are to be governed by the terms of Section 24 of the Act cannot be taken into consideration by extending discretion referable to the matters which should be considered by the courts in terms of Section 23 of the Act — To put it in another way, the court should apply the principle of literal or plain construction to these provisions, as the Legislature in its wisdom has not given to the court absolute discretion in matter relating to awarding of compensation but has intended to control the same by enacting these statutory provisions.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 18 — Enhancement of compensation — Held, burden is on the claimants to establish that the amounts awarded to them by the Land Acquisition Officer are inadequate and that they are entitled to more — That burden had to be discharged by the claimants and only if the initial burden in that behalf was discharged, the burden shifted to the State to justify the award — In other words, it cannot be said that there is no onus whatsoever upon the State in such reference proceedings — Gafar v. Moradabad Development Authority [(2007) 7 SCC 614] relied.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 23 and 24 — Determination of market value of the acquired land — Held,  Sections 23 and 24 of the Act provide a complete scheme which can safely be termed as statutory guidelines and factors which are to be considered or not to be considered by the Court while determining the market value of the acquired land — These provisions provide a limitation within which the court has to exercise its judicial discretion while ensuring that the claimants get a fair market value of the acquired land with statutory and permissible benefits.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Compulsive acquisition — Held, the power of compulsive acquisition has an inbuilt element of duty and responsibility upon the State to pay the compensation which is just, fair and without delay.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Keeping in view the scheme of the Act, it will not be appropriate either to apply the rule of strict construction or too liberal construction to its provisions. 

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Acquisition of land — Compensation — It is expected of the State to pay compensation expeditiously.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 23 — Whether, manufacturing or commercial activity carried on by the agriculturist, either himself or through third party, as a continuation of the agricultural activity, that is, using the yield for production of some other final product can be the basis for determining the fair market value of the acquired land, within the parameters specified under Section 23 of the Act, in the facts of the present case? — Held, no — Consequential or remote benefits occurring from an agricultural activity is not a relevant consideration for determination of the fair market value on the date of the Notification issued under Section 4(1) of the Act — It is only the direct agricultural crop produced by the agriculturist from the acquired land or its price in market at best, which is a relevant consideration to be kept in mind by the court while applying any of the known and accepted method of computation of compensation or the fair market value of the acquired land.

 
Monday, May 31, 2010
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 9, 10 and 11 — Irregularity in service of notice — Held, if there is an irregularity in service of notice under sections 9 and 10, it could be a curable irregularity and on account thereof, Award under Section 11 would not become invalid.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 16 — Once land is vested in the State, it cannot be divested even if there has been some irregularity in the acquisition proceedings.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 9 readwith Section 18 — Held, In spite of the fact that Section 9 Notice had not been served upon the person interested, he could still claim the compensation and ask for making the reference under section 18 of the Act.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 9 readwith Section 18 — Held, Section 9 of the Act provides for an opportunity to the “person interested” to file a claim petition with documentary evidence for determining the market value of the land and in case a person does not file a claim under Section 9 even after receiving the notice, he still has a right to make an application for making a reference under Section 18 of the Act.  

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 9(3) — Whether the provisions of Section 9(3) are mandatory in nature and non-compliance thereof, would vitiate the Award and subsequent proceedings under the Act? — Held, no — There is nothing in the Act to show that non-compliance thereof will be fatal or visit any penalty.  

 
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 11 — Award — Held, the award being only an offer on behalf of the Government, there is always a tendency on the part of the Collector to be conservative in making the award, which results in less than the market value being offered.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 18 and 11 — The land loser does not get a right to seek reference to the civil court unless the award is made.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 11 and 26 — Difference between an ‘an award of the collector and ‘an award of the court’ — Held, the decision of the Collector made after an enquiry under section 11 with the previous approval of the appropriate Government or its authorized officer is termed as the ‘award of the Collector’ — The determination by a court under section 26 of the Act in a reference by the Collector is termed as an ‘award of the court’ which shall be deemed to be a decree — Thus there is a difference between an ‘award of the Collector’ which is an offer of compensation by the Collector as the agent of the Government, and ‘an award of the court’ which is a determination of the compensation by a civil court on a reference by the Collector.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 18 and 30 — Order passed by the Collector, whether adjudicatory in nature? — Held,the Collector can either make a reference or refuse to make a reference to the court under section 18 of the Act or under section 30 of the Act, and such orders of the Collector are merely acts of a Statutory Authority in exercise of statutory functions and are not adjudicatory in nature — Such orders are not awards.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 11 and 18 — Proceedings of the Collector under section 11 and section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, whether judicial in nature? — Held, no.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 18, Proviso — Interpretation of — Held, the following position emerges from the interpretation of the proviso to section 18 of the Act :

 

 (i) If the award is made in the presence of the person interested (or his authorised representative), he has to make the application within six weeks from the date of the Collector’s award itself.

 (ii) If the award is not made in the presence of the person interested (or his authorised representative), he has to make the application seeking reference within six weeks of the receipt of the notice from the Collector under section 12(2).

 (iii) If the person interested (or his representative) was not present when the award is made, and if he does not receive the notice under Section 12(2) from the Collector, he has to make the application within six months of the date on which he actually or constructively came to know about the contents of the award.

(iv) If a person interested receives a notice under section 12(2) of the Act, after the expiry of six weeks from the date of receipt of such notice, he cannot claim the benefit of the provision for six months for making the application on the ground that the date of receipt of notice under section 12(2) of the Act was the date of knowledge of the contents of the award. 

 

  A person who fails to make an application for reference within the time prescribed is not without remedy — It is open to him to make an application under section 28A of the Act, on the basis of an award of the court in respect of the other lands covered by the same acquisition notification, if there is an increase.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 28-A and Section 18 — Held, a person who fails to make an application for reference within the time prescribed is not without remedy — It is open to him to make an application under section 28A of the Act, on the basis of an award of the court in respect of the other lands covered by the same acquisition notification, if there is an increase.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 18, Proviso — Application for reference seeking the benefit of six months period from the date of knowledge — Held, when a person interested makes an application for reference seeking the benefit of six months period from the date of knowledge, the initial onus is on him to prove that he (or his representative) was not present when the award was made, that he did not receive any notice under Section 12(2) of the Act, and that he did not have the knowledge of the contents of the award during a period of six months prior to the filing the application for reference — This onus is discharged by asserting these facts on oath. He is not expected to prove the negative — Once the initial onus is discharged by the claimant/person interested, it is for the Land Acquisition Collector to establish that the person interested was present either in person or through his representative when the award was made, or that he had received a notice under Section 12(2) of the Act, or that he had knowledge of the contents of the award — Actual or constructive knowledge of the contents of the award can be established by the Collector by proving that the person interested had received or drawn the compensation amount for the acquired land, or had attested the Mahazar/Panchnama/proceedings delivering possession of the acquired land in pursuance of the acquisition, or had filed a case challenging the award or had acknowledged the making of the award in any document or in statement on oath or evidence — The person interested, not being in possession of the acquired land and the name of the state or its transferee being entered in the revenue municipal records coupled with delay, can also lead to an inference of constructive knowledge — In the absence of any such evidence by the Collector, the claim of the person interested that he did not have knowledge earlier will be accepted, unless there are compelling circumstances to not to do so.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 18, proviso (b) — Whether the period of six months under clause (b) of the proviso to section 18 of the Act should be reckoned from the date of knowledge of the award of the Collector or from the date of award itself? — Held,  the words ‘date of the collector’s award’ occurring in proviso (b) to section 18 requires to be read as referring to the date of knowledge of the essential contents of the award, and not the actual date of the Collector’s award.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 18, Proviso — Whether the Collector can condone the delay in filing an application seeking reference, if sufficient cause is shown? — Held, no.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 54 and Section 18(1) — Whether an appeal would lie under Section 54 of the Act against the order of the Collector refusing to make a reference? — Held, no — Section 54 does not provide for appeals against the awards or orders of Land Acquisition Collector — Hence the assumption of the High Court, in the present case, that an order of the Collector refusing to refer a claim for increase in compensation to the civil court under section 18(1) of the Act, is an ‘award of the court’ appealable under section 54 of the Act, is wholly erroneous.

 
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Acquisition of land — Principles to be kept in mind while determining market value of the land — Held, While fixing compensation, it is the duty of the Land Acquisition Collector as well as the Court to take into consideration the nature of the land, its suitability, nature of the use to which the lands are sought to be acquired on the date of notification, income derived or derivable from or any other special distinctive feature which the land is possessed of, the sale transactions in respect of land covered by the same notification are all relevant factors to be taken into consideration in determining the market value — It is equally to consider the suitability of neighbourhood lands as are possessed of similar potentiality or any advantageous features or any special characteristics available — The Land Acquisition Collector as well as the Court should always keep in their mind that the object of assessment is to arrive at a reasonable and adequate market value of the land. While doing so, imagination should be eschewed and mechanical assessment of evidence should be avoided — More attention should be on the bona fide and genuine sale transactions as guiding star in evaluating the evidence — The relevant factor would be that of the hypothetical willing vendor would offer for the land and what a willing purchaser of normal human conduct would be willing to buy as a prudent man in normal market conditions prevailing in the open market in the locality in which the acquired lands are situated as on the date of notification under Section 4(1) of the Act — In other words, the Judge who sits in the armchair of the willing buyer and seek an answer to the question whether in the given set of circumstances as a prudent buyer he would offer the same market value which the court proposed to fix for the acquired lands in the available market conditions — The market value so determined should be just, adequate and reasonable.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Acquisition of land — Determination of market value on the basis of circle rates — Held, market value of a plot cannot be determined solely on the basis of the circle rates — On the other hand, it cannot be ignored in toto — If other materials are available, Government rates can also be considered as corroborative evidence — Further held, the nature of the land plays an important role — Likewise, market conditions prevailing as on the date of notification are also relevant — Sale price in respect of small piece of land cannot be the basis for determination of market value of large stretch of land.

 
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Release of land from acquisition — Rejected by the State Goverment of Haryana on the basis of the policy dated October 26, 2007 — Held, the policy dated October 26, 2007 is erroneous and unsustainable in law.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 48 — Power to withdraw from the acquisition — Held, section 48 of the Act empowers the Government to withdraw from the acquisition of the land provided possession has not been taken — The said power is given to the Government by a statutory provision and is not restricted by any condition except that such power must be exercised before possession is taken.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 48 — Procedure for withdrawal from acquisition — Held, the statutory provision contained in Section 48 does not provide for any particular procedure for withdrawal from acquisition.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 48 — Release of land from acquisition —  In the present case, it is an admitted case of the respondents that prior to October 26, 2007, the State of Haryana had no uniform policy governing the release of land from acquisition under Section 48 of the Act — As regards the guidelines provided in the letter dated June 26, 1991, this Court in Sube Singh (2001) 7 SCC 545, has already held that classification on the basis of nature of construction cannot be validly made and such policy is not based on intelligible differentia and a rational basis germane to the purpose.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 48 — Constitution of India, 1950, Article 14 — Withdrawal from acquisition — Where the State Government exercises its power under Section 48 of the Act for withdrawal from acquisition in respect of a particular land, the landowners who are similarly situated have right of similar treatment by the State Government — Equality of citizens’ rights is one of the fundamental pillars on which edifice of rule of law rests. All actions of the State have to be fair and for legitimate reasons — The Government has obligation of acting with substantial fairness and consistency in considering the representations of the landowners for withdrawal from acquisition whose lands have been acquired under the same acquisition proceedings — The State Government cannot pick and choose some landowners and release their land from acquisition and deny the same benefit to other landowners by creating artificial distinction.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 48 — Constitution of India, 1950, Article 14 — Passing different orders in exercise of its power under Section 48 of the Act in respect of persons similarly situated relating to same acquisition proceedings and for same public purpose is definitely violative of Article 14 of the Constitution and must be held to be discriminatory. 

 
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 4, 5 and 6 — Punjab Scheduled Roads & Controlled Areas (Restriction of Unregulated Development) Act, 1963, Section 3 — Release of land from acquisition — High Court, in the present case,  ordered the release of the land belonging to respondent no. 1 on the condition that they will maintain the green belt as desired by the Department which is essentially required to lay the infrastructure — Appeal against — The respondents have argued against the validity of the condition to maintain a green belt on their land up to 50 meters on two grounds. First, they relied on a judgment of this Court in the case of Raju S. Jethmalani v. State of Maharastra [(2005) 11 SCC 222] wherein it was held that the burden to make available green area cannot be put on the citizens. Secondly, it was argued that the condition of maintaining 50 meters green belt is not supported by any law in force, and also that even under Section 3 of the Punjab Scheduled Roads & Controlled Areas (Restriction of Unregulated  Development) Act, 1963, there is no condition of maintaining green belt — Held, mere fact that Section 3 of the Punjab Scheduled Roads & Controlled Areas (Restriction of Unregulated Development) Act, 1963 does not explicitly require the maintenance of 50 meters green belt, cannot be allowed to frustrate the attempt to meet the ever increasing economic needs of rapid industrialisation — The nodal agency is in the best position to decide how much is needed for the maintenance of 50 meters green belt, there is nothing wrong in requiring the same in the given case — However, so far as the question of maintaining a green belt imposed by the High Court in the impugned order is concerned, we are not in a position to agree with such directions of the High Court — Leaving the land for the HSIDC to develop a green belt is different from that of requiring the private person to maintain the green belt since that will be an unnecessary burden on that person — Accordingly, affirming the judgment of the High Court, we only modify the conditions for fulfilment on the part of the respondents so that their land is released from acquisition. These are:-

 (i) They will release the land which is needed by the HSIDC for maintaining the green belt, undisturbed and such land shall be not more than the 50 meters prescribed for the Green Belt.

 (ii) They will pay the proportionate external and internal charges to the HSIDC as and when it is required by the authorities.

 
Monday, October 12, 2009
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 15 read with Sections 23 and 24 — Held, Section 15 of the Act mandates that in determining the amount of compensation, the Collector shall be guided by the provisions contained in Sections 23 and 24 of the Act.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Acquisition of land — Compensation — Determination of market value — Held, one of the principles for determination of the market value of the acquired land would be the price that a willing purchaser would be willing to pay if it is sold in the open market at the time of issue of Notification under Section 4 of the Act — But finding direct evidence in this behalf is not an easy task and, therefore, the Court has to take recourse to other known methods for arriving at the market value of the land acquired — One of the preferred and well accepted methods adopted for ascertaining the market value of the land in acquisition cases is the sale transactions on or about the date of issue of Notification under Section 4 of the Act — But here again finding a transaction of sale on or a few days before the said Notification is not an easy exercise — In the absence of such evidence contemporaneous transactions in respect of the lands, which have similar advantages and disadvantages is considered as a good piece of evidence for determining the market value of the acquired land — It needs little emphasis that the contemporaneous transactions or the comparable sales have to be in respect of lands which are contiguous to the acquired land and are similar in nature and potentiality — Again, in the absence of sale deeds, the judgments and awards passed in respect of acquisition of lands, made in the same village and/or neighbouring villages can be accepted as valid piece of evidence and provide a sound basis to work out the market value of the land after suitable adjustments with regard to positive and negative factors enumerated in Sections 23 and 24 of the Act — Undoubtedly, an element of some guess work is involved in the entire exercise, yet the authority charged with the duty to award compensation is bound to make an estimate judged by an objective standard.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Acquisition of land — Compensation — Determination of market value — Comparable sales instances — Held, Comparable sales instances of similar lands in the neighbourhood at or about the date of Notification under Section 4(1) of the Act, are considered to be the best evidence for determining the market value of the acquired land to arrive at a fair estimate of the amount of compensation payable to a land owner — Nevertheless, while ascertaining compensation, it is the duty of the Court to see that the compensation so determined is just and fair not only to the individual whose property has been acquired but also to the public which is to pay for it.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Acquisition of land — Compensation — Deduction towards development charges — Held, it is well settled that it is not in every case that deduction towards development charges has to be made when a big chunk of land is acquired for housing colonies etc. — Where the acquired land falls in the midst of an already developed land with amenities of roads, electricity etc. deduction on this account may not be warranted — At the same time, where all civic and other amenities are to be provided to make it suitable for building purposes or under the local building regulations setting apart of some portion of the lands for providing common facilities is mandatory, an appropriate deduction may be justified. 

 
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 17(4) and 5A — Sub-section (4) of Section 17 of the Act, held, is an exception to Section 5A of the Act.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 17(4) — Exercise of emergency power — Held, an opinion of the government in this behalf is required to be formed if there exists an emergency — Existence of the foundational fact for invoking the aforementioned provision is, therefore, a sine qua non for formation of opinion — Such an subjective satisfaction must be based on an objective criteria — Ipse dixit on the part of the State would not serve the purpose.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 17(4) — Road connection is one of the purposes mentioned in Sub-section (2) of Section 17 of the Act in respect whereof Sub-section (4) thereof would apply — But the same would not mean that for the purpose of road connection irrespective of the nature of cases and/ or irrespective of the nature of the road to be constructed; Sub-section (4) of Section 17 of the Act could be invoked.

 
Friday, August 14, 2009
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 23(1A) — The additional amount payable under Section 23(1A) of the 1894 Act is neither interest nor solatium — It is an additional compensation designed to compensate the owner of the land, for the rise in price during the pendency of the land acquisition proceedings — It is a measure to offset the effect of inflation and the continuous rise in the value of properties — Therefore, the amount payable under Section 23(1A) of the 1894 Act is an additional compensation in respect to the acquisition and has to be reckoned as part of the market value of the land.    

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 23(2) — Award of Solatium, held, is mandatory.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 28 — The award of interest under Section 28 of the 1894 Act, held, is discretionary — Section 28 applies when the amount originally awarded has been paid or deposited and when the Court awards excess amount — In such cases interest on that excess alone is payable — Section 28 empowers the Court to award interest on the excess amount of compensation awarded by it over the amount awarded by the Collector — The compensation awarded by the Court includes the additional compensation awarded under Section 23(1A) and the solatium under Section 23(2) of the said Act — This award of interest is not mandatory but is left to the discretion of the Court — Section 28 is applicable only in respect of the excess amount, which is determined by the Court after a reference under Section 18 of the 1894 Act — Section 28 does not apply to cases of undue delay in making award for compensation.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 28 and 34 — Difference between — Held, interest under Section 28 is part of the amount of compensation whereas interest under Section 34 is only for delay in making payment after the compensation amount is determined — Interest under Section 28 is a part of enhanced value of the land which is not the case in the matter of payment of interest under Section 34.   

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 23(1A), 23(2) and 28 — Held, it is clear from reading of Sections 23(1A), 23(2) as also Section 28 of the 1894 Act that additional benefits are available on the market value of the acquired lands under Section 23(1A) and 23(2) whereas Section 28 is available in respect of the entire compensation. 

 
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Acquisition of Land — Application for enhancement of compensation — Whether can be rejected on the ground of non-payment of court fees? — Held, no — Once the court has taken the view that the claimants (appellants in the present case) were entitled to enhance compensation they should not be denied the same on the mere technical ground of non payment of the court fees and an opportunity must be given for payment of the same — Decision of the Constitution Bench in Buta Singh’s case [(1995) 5 SCC 283] had not rendered the law laid down in Bhag Singh’s case [(1985) 3 SCC 737] null & void.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Acqusition of Land — Market value — Determination of — Whether a judgment of a court in a land acquisition case determining the market value of a land in the vicinity of acquired lands, even though not inter-parties, was admissible in evidence in a subsequent case, either as an instance or one from which the market value of the acquired land could be deduced or inferred? — Held, no doubt, a judgment of a court in a land acquisition case determining the market value of a land in the vicinity of the acquired lands, even though not inter Partes, could be admitted in evidence either as an instance or one from which the market value of the acquired land could be deduced or inferred — But what cannot be overlooked is, that for a judgment relating to value of land to be admitted in evidence either as an instance or as one from which the market value of the acquired land could be inferred or deduced, must have been a previous judgment of Court and as an instance, it must have been proved by the person relying upon such judgment by adducing evidence aliunde that due regard being given to all attendant facts and circumstances, it could furnish the basis for determining the market value of the acquired land — Pal Singh v. UT of Chandigarh [AIR 1993 SC 225] relied. 

 
Friday, June 12, 2009
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 15, 23 and 24 — Acquisition of land — Compensation — Held, section 15 of the Act mandates that in determining the amount of compensation, the Collector shall be guided by the provisions contained in Sections 23 and 24 of the Act.   

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Acquisition of land — Compensation — Determination of market value of land — Held, comparable sale instances of similar lands in the neighbourhood at or about the date of Notification under Section 4(1) of the Act are the best guide for determination of the market value of the land to arrive at a fair estimate of the amount of compensation payable to a land owner.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Acquisition of land — Compensation — While ascertaining compensation, it is the duty of the Court to see that the compensation so determined is just and fair not merely to the individual whose property has been acquired but also to the public which is to pay for it.

 
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Indian Penal Code, 1860, Sections 19 and 77 — Whether the immunity under Section 77 IPC is available to a Collector/Land Acquisition Officer/Special Officer who makes an award, by way of settlement or otherwise, under the provisions of Land Acquisition Act, 1894 ? — Held, no — Only Judges (as defined in section 19 IPC) acting judicially are entitled to the protection under Section 77 IPC — The Collector is neither a Judge as defined under Section 19 nor does he act judicially, when discharging any of the functions under the Act — Therefore he is not entitled to the protection under Section 77 IPC.

 
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1898 — Section 18 — Civil Procedure Code, 1908, Order 1, Rule 10 — Provisions of Order 1, Rule 10, held, has no application in a proceeding under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1898 — Ambey Devi vs. State of Bihar and Anr., 1996 (9) SCC 84 relied.                

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1898 — Section 19 — Reference — Held, the Act being a self-contained code, the manner in which the reference is to be made and the statement required to be made by the Collector has been specified in Section 19 of the Act — The lis between the parties to the reference meaning thereby a person interested and the State is with regard to the quantum of compensation — No other question can be raised therein — The reference court exercises a limited jurisdiction — It derives its jurisdiction from the terms of reference.

 
Monday, March 16, 2009
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 48(1) and Section 11-A — Whether in view of the decision of the government in not approving the award proposed by the Collector, the award could not be made within the period of two years from the date of publication of declaration (final notification under Section 6) and the acquisition of land lapsed, would such lapse of acquisition proceedings amount to withdrawal from the acquisition by the State Government under Section 48(1) of the Act ? — Held, no.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 48(1) — Whether the decision of the State Government for withdrawal from the acquisition under Section 48 (1) is mandatorily required to be published in the official gazette ? — Held, yes.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 11 and 11-A — Held, From the perusal of Section 11, particularly first proviso thereto, it is apparent that the approval of the appropriate government to the award proposed by the Collector is mandatory — In other words, it is imperative for the Collector to seek previous approval of the appropriate government to the award that he proposes to make unless the case is covered by Section 11(2) — If an award under Section 11 is not made by the Collector within a period of two years from the date of the publication of the declaration, the entire proceedings for the acquisition of the land shall lapse under Section 11-A — Section 11-A provides maximum period within which the award from the date of the publication of the declaration has to be made — In default, the consequence is that the entire proceedings for the acquisition would lapse.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 11-A and Section 48(1) — Section 11A and the consequence provided therein i.e., lapse of acquisition proceedings in the event of the award having not been made within a period of two years from the date of publication of the declaration under Section 6 is entirely distinct and different than the decision that the government may take for withdrawal from the acquisition under Section 48(1), provided possession has not been taken. 

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 48(1) and Section 48(2) — Held, it is only in a case where the Government withdraws from the acquisition under Section 48(1), that by virtue of Section 48(2), the claim for compensation for the damage suffered by the owner in consequence of the acquisition proceedings together with costs could be made. 

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 11-A, 48(1) and 48(2) — The statutory lapse of acquisition proceedings under Section 11-A as a result of non-grant of approval of proposed award by the State Government or for any other reason would not tantamount to withdrawal from acquisition by the State Government as contemplated under Section 48(1) — As a necessary corollary, no claim for compensation could be made under Section 48(2) of the Act.  

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 48 — Word “withdraw” — In the context of Section 48, the word “withdraw” is indicative of the voluntary and conscious decision of the government for withdrawal from the acquisition.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 11-A — Object — Held, the object of Section 11-A is to arrest delay in making award — An obligation is cast on the Collector under Section 11-A to make the award within the time prescribed therein failing which statutory consequence follows namely, acquisition proceedings lapse automatically.

 
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Acquisition of land — Compensation — Prices fetched in auction sales — Whether can form the basis for determining the compensation payable? — Held, no — The element of competition in auction sales make them not safeguides.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Acquisition of land — Argument that when a compact piece of land is acquired there cannot be adoption of separate rates, held, cannot be accepted in the light of the decision of Supreme Court in Union of India & others vs. Mangatu Ram, etc. [AIR 1997 S.C. 2704].    

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Award — Normally, Supreme Court interferes with the award made under the Act by the High Court only if any error in principle is involved in the adjudging of the compensation — After all, every award involves some guess work.  

 
Monday, November 12, 2007
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Acquisition — Where large area is the subject matter of acquisition, rate at which small plots are sold, held, cannot be said to be a safe criteria — Further held, it cannot, however, be laid down as an absolute proposition that the rates fixed for the small plots cannot be the basis for fixation of the rate — For example, where there is no other material it may in appropriate cases be open to the adjudicating Court to make comparison of the prices paid for small plots of land. However, in such cases necessary deductions/adjustments have to be made while determining the prices.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Comparable sales — Element of speculation is reduced to minimum if the underlying principles of fixation of market value with reference to comparable sales are made : 

 (i) when sale is within a reasonable time of the date of notification under Section 4(1);

 (ii) it should be a bona fide transaction;

 (iii) it should be of the land acquired or of the land adjacent to the land acquired; and 

 (iv) it should possess similar advantages.

It is only when these factors are present, it can merit a consideration as a comparable case.  

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Acquisition — Deduction to be made towards development charges — Held, the deduction to be made towards development charges cannot be proved in any strait-jacket formula. It would depend upon the facts of each case.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Acquisition of land — A claimant who claims that his land is fully developed and nothing more is required to be done for developmental purposes, must show on the basis of evidence that it is such a land and it is so located — In the absence of such evidence, merely saying that the area adjoining his land is a developed area, is not enough particularly when the extent of the acquired land is large and even if a small portion of the land is abutting the main road in the developed area, does not give the land the character of a developed area.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Acquisition of land — The fact that an area is developed or adjacent to a developed area will not ipso facto make every land situated in the area also developed to be valued as a building site or plot, particularly, when vast tracts are acquired, as in this case, for development purpose.   

 
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 11-A and Section 6 — Award — In view of Section 11A an award has to be made within two years from the date of publication of the declaration under Section 6 — Failure to adhere to this time frame is fatal to the award, as the provision is mandatory — Further held, publication of any subsequent corrigendum to the said declaration cannot be made a ground to extend time for passing of award.

 
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Acquisition of land — Possession must be obtained under a valid notification.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 25 (as amended by Amendment Act 68 of 1984 w.e.f 24.9.1984) — Held, section 25 being a substantive provision will have no retrospective effect.  

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 25 (as amended by Amendment Act 68 of 1984 w.e.f 24.9.1984) — Held, section 25 which has undergone an amendment in the year 1984, merely lays down that the amount of compensation awarded by the reference court shall not be less than the amount awarded by the Collector, and in no circumstances the amount awarded by the Collector can be reduced — What is an award is a total sum and not the ingredients contained therein — An award made by the Collector is in the form of an offer — It is in that sense only that the amount contained therein cannot be reduced.

 
Monday, June 11, 2007
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 18 and 30 — Reference under Section 18 — When the only objection taken is to the amount of compensation and that alone is the matter referred — The Court, held, has no jurisdiction to determine or consider anything beyond it — Adjudicating also the inter se dispute relating to apportionment under section 30 of the Act, held, was impermissible. 

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 18 — Reference — The reference Court derive jurisdiction from the reference made.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 18 and 30 — References under Section 18 and Section 30 are conceptually different from each other — The decree in terms of Section 18 is different from the one in terms of Section 30. 

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 30 — Time limit for seeking reference — Held, there is no time limit for seeking reference under Section 30 of the Act, though it should always be done within a reasonable time — The reasonableness of time flows from the need for a finality to judicial proceedings.

 
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Acquisition of land — Compensation — The question as to whether the compensation offered was accepted without protest is essentially a question of fact to be determined on the basis of the evidence on record. 

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 6 and 4 — Issuance of a fresh declaration under Section 6 of the Act after withdrawing the earlier one issued under Section 6 of the Act did not have the effect of rendering the Notification under Section 4 ineffective and infructuous.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 6 and 48 — Where a Notification under Section 6 is invalid, the government may treat it as ineffective and issue in its place a fresh Notification under Section 6 and that there is nothing in Section 48 of the Act to preclude the government from doing so.

 
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 6 — In principle there is no distinction between a case where a declaration under Section 6 is declared invalid by the Court and a case in which the government itself withdraws the declaration under Section 6 when some obvious illegality is pointed out.

 
Monday, May 08, 2006
Land Acquisition Act, 1894

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Sections 4, 16 and 18 — Maintainability of writ — High Court, held, should not entertain writ petitions when there is delayed challenge to notification under Section 4(1) and declaration under Section 6 of the Act — Futher, held, writ petition should also not be entertained where a reference under Section 18 of the Act is pending — Appeal allowed.

 
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