Decided on April 23,2021

Indrakala Agrawal Appellant


V.K.Shukla,J. - (1.) The present petition has been filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for quashing and setting aside of the award dated 01-06-2020 and for restoration of the original award dated 07-03-2019.
(2.) The facts of the case are that the industrial lands belonging to the petitioners and the industrial unit appurtenant thereto have been acquired by the respondents and an award granting compensation was passed on 07-03-2019. It is submitted that the compensation for the land has been assessed @ Rs.2700/- per square meter. This rate was based on relevant market value guidelines. After more than one year from the date of passing of the award, the respondent no.2 issued a notice to the petitioners on 18-03-2020. By the said notice, three days time was granted to the petitioners to submit their reply with regard to review of the award. The petitioners filed a detailed reply inter alia pointing out that there is no error in the award and that the respondent no.2 has become functus officio and thus he has no jurisdiction to review the award that too after lapse of more than a year. The respondent no.2 has reviewed the award and passed the impugned award and reduced the amount of compensation awarded to the petitioners by applying rate on the basis of measurement of lands acquired as per hectare basis, whereas initially the compensation was computed at per square meter.
(3.) Learned counsel for the petitioners submitted that admittedly the lands of the petitioners are industrial and thus in the original award compensation was rightly computed on the basis of per square meter. It is submitted that the impugned award passed in exercise of the review jurisdiction is without jurisdiction. In absence of the statutory power of review, the respondent no.2 could not have reviewed the award. The correction which has been sought by the respondent no.2 would not fall within the ambit of correction of clerical error under Section 33 of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (hereinafter referred to as Act,2013). It is submitted that the aforesaid provision permits correction of award of clerical error within a period of six months and not beyond that. The sole question which crops up for consideration is as follows :- "Whether the SDO cum Land Acquisition Officer cum Competent Authority ( who after passing of award becomes functus officio) can review the award passed by it in absence of statutory powers of review under the National Highways Act, 1956 that too after a lapse of more than one year.";

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