Decided on August 10,2016

State of Uttarakhand and Ors. Appellant
Rajiv Berry And Ors. Respondents


- (1.) The Civil Appeals arise out of two separate orders passed by the High Court of Uttarakhand in the matter of acquisition of land for the purpose of expansion of the Uttaranchal Secretariat. While Civil Appeal No.6901 of 2009 arises out of the judgment and order dated 23rd December, 2005 of the High Court dismissing the challenge to the acquisition made by the appellant land-owner on grounds to be noticed herein below, Civil Appeal No.6900 of 2009 arises out of another judgment and order dated 1st March, 2007 by which the impugned acquisition has been interfered with by the High Court.
(2.) A brief conspectus of the relevant facts may now be set out.
(3.) By notification dated 4th May, 2004 issued under Section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereinafter referred to as "the L.A. Act") the land mentioned in the schedule thereto was notified for acquisition for the purpose of expansion of secretariat on both sides (North/South) of the existing secretariat in Dehradun. By means of the aforesaid notification the urgency clause under Section 17(1) of the L.A. Act was invoked and furthermore enquiry under Section 5A of the L.A. Act was dispensed with in exercise of power under Section 17(4) of the L.A. Act. The acquisition was subjected to a challenge before the High Court of Uttarakhand in Writ Petition No.469 of 2004 which was disposed of by the order of High Court dated 30th October, 2004 in the following term: "In these three writ petitions, particularly in writ petition No.469 of 2004 (M/B) 874 of 2004 (M/B) the notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act has been challenged. So also challenge is to the notification under Section 17(4) of the Land Acquisition Act by applying the urgency clause. In writ Petition No.840 of 2004 (M/B) there is a common challenge to the notification which provides for the acquisition of the land for extension of the Secretariat as also for the expansion of the road. These notifications are different. Mr. Sudhanshu Dhulia, Senior Advocate, in his usual fairness has shown readiness to hear the petitioners or as the case may be the persons interested. Instead of going ahead with the urgency clause and more particularly dispensing with the enquiry under Section 5-A. In view of the statement made, Mr. Naithani, Senior Advocate appearing on behalf of the petitioners withdraws the writ petitions, so far as challenge to the notification dated 5.5.2004 is concerned. In view of the urgency felt, we feel that it will be better for us to fix the programme. Public notice shall, therefore, be given within seven days from today inviting the objections. The concerned Land Acquisition Officer, who is to hear the objection, shall hear them within fifteen days. All the objections shall be filed before the Land Acquisition and the Land Acquisition Officer shall dispose of the matter one way or the other after giving full opportunity of hearing, etc. by December, 2004 or as the case may be earlier thereto. With this, we dispose of the Writ Petition No.469 of 2004.";

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