DELHI DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY Vs. SARASWATI DEVI
LAWS(DLH)-2007-5-266
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
Decided on May 31,2007

DELHI DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY Appellant
VERSUS
SARASWATI DEVI Respondents

JUDGEMENT

S.N.AGGARWAL,J. - (1.) THE learned Single Judge vide impugned order has quashed the notification dated 7.3.1962 issued by the Delhi Administration under Sections 4, 6 17 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 for acquiring the land of Village Masjid Morh including the land of respondent no.1 measuring 5 bighas 19 biswas in Khasra No. 368. Aggrieved by the said order, the DDA has preferred this Letter Patent Appeal.
(2.) THE property in question was acquired by the Government under Section 12 of the Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act, 1954 and was thereafter placed in the compensation pool under Section 14 of the Act. The said property was later on notified for sale in public auction on 21.5.1958. The late husband of respondent no.1 had participated in the auction. His bid was highest and was, therefore, accepted by the Government. The Ministry of Rehabilitation, Government of India vide letter dated 31.10.1960 asked the late husband of respondent no.1 to take provisional possession of the property in question purchased by him in public auction. Part auction money was paid by the late husband of respondent no.1 by way of adjustment of his verified claim against property left by him in Pakistan. The late husband of respondent no.1 (auction purchaser) died on 6.6.1970. After his death the Ministry of Rehabilitation, Government of India vide its letter dated 16.6.1980 asked respondent no.1 to deposit the balance sale consideration of Rs. 14,992/-within fifteen days. The balance sale consideration was deposited. Sale certificate was issued on 22.7.1980 and the same was registered on 15.7.1981. Notification under Sections 4, 6 and 17 of the Land Acquisition Act for acquiring the land of village Masjid Moth including the land in question of respondent No. 1 was issued on 07.03.1962 which was followed by an Award No. 1351 dated 30.06.1982. As the possession of respondent No. 1 in respect of land in question was sought to be disturbed, she filed a suit for injunction being Suit No. 526/1992 in the Subordinate Court and the Subordinate Court granted the ad-interim injunction as prayed for but the same was later on vacated. The respondent No. 1 aggrieved by the acquisition of her land in question vide Notification dated 07.03.1962, filed a writ petition in this Court (WP(C) No. 3789/93) and had prayed for quashing of the aforementioned Notification issued by the Delhi Administration and the LAC Case No. 72/85 pending in the Court of ADJ (Land Acquisition Court). The Notification dated 07.03.1962 was sought to be quashed inter alia on the ground that the land in question could not have been acquired by the Government as the said land being an evacuee property belonged to the Government in which title had not yet passed in favour of respondent No. 1 on the date of Notification. The prayer for quashing of Notification was opposed by the appellant (DDA) not only on the ground of delay and laches but also on the ground that the land in question ceased to be Government land w.e.f. 11.12.1960 and, therefore, the rights of respondent No. 1 in the said land could be acquired under the Land Acquisition Act.
(3.) LEARNED Single Judge had framed following two issues for consideration in view of the pleadings of the parties before him: "1. Whether the land in question was an evacuee land on the date of issue of notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act on 07.03.1962?. 2. Whether the land, if it was an evacuee property, could have been acquired under the law?." ;


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