CHANDRAPRABHABEN NAVINCHANDRA BHARATIYA SMT Vs. STATE OF GUJARAT
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
Chandraprabhaben Navinchandra Bharatiya Smt
STATE OF GUJARAT
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(1.) This is a petition by one citizen in whose favour an award Annexure A under the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act has been made on 27-7-81 in respect of acquisition of her proper- ties bearing Nondh Nos. 198 and 199 situated in Ward No. 7 on the Station Round area in the City of Surat. The petitioners averment in paragraph j of the petition is that she had already handed over possession of the said property after the award was declared by the respondent as per her statement Annexure B but the Special Land Acquisition Officer by his communication Annexure C dated 6-8-81 avoided making payment to her of the amount awarded to her on the spacious plea that her tenants had not delivered de facto possession though she on her part had delivered possession in respect of her title to the property. Being aggrieved by the said communication. Annexure C the petitioner has filed the present petition for a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ order or direction calling upon the respondent No. 2 namely the Special Land Acquisition Officer Branch No. 4 Surat to pay to the petitioner the amount of Rs. 2 2 945 as per the award Annexure A given in her favour.
(2.) Though the petition was admitted as back as on 12-11-81 and has been notified for final hearing on the Board of this court since long neither the Special Land Acquisition Officer nor the acquiring body namely the Surat Municipal Corporation has chosen to file any affidavit-in-reply. Apart from that the communication Annexure C itself shows that as far as the petitioner is concerned she had given over possession to the extent she could but for more than two years she has been kept away from the amount legitimately due to her. We find no justification for the respondent No. 2 in not making the payment.
(3.) In this connection the judgment of the Division Bench of this Court in the Special Civil Application No. 3219 of 1979 decided on 11 was pressed into service. Our Brother G. T. Nanavati J. speaking for the Division Bench consisting of himself and B. J. Divan C. J. (as he then was) has made it clear that payment of the amount of compensation is not dependent on the handing over of vacant possession by the owner of the land and that once an award is made it becomes the duty of the Land Acquisition Officer to make payment of the amount of compensation and it cannot be withheld except in the cases referred to under sub-sec. (2) of sec. 31 of the Act. In that case the respondent No. 2 the similar authority was withholding the payment on the almost identical grounds and that had necessitated the filing of that petition. The facts of this case are on all fours with the facts of the case of that Special Civil Application earlier decided by the Division Bench of this court.;
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