Decided on March 26,1997

Krishan Singh And Ors. Appellant
State of H.P. and Anr. Respondents


M. Srinivasan, C.J. - (1.)THE writ petition is taken up for hearing.
(2.)THE Petitioners have challenged the validity of the award passed under the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act dated 26 -4 -1996, on the short ground that it is barred by limitation contained under the provisions of Section 11A of the Act. The notification under Sections 6 and 7 was issued on 29 -2 -1993 and there was corrigendum dated 27 -4 -1994 by which few more lands were added. The Petitioners challenged the proceedings of the acquisition in C.W.P. No. 733/94 in this Court, by order dated 6 -9 -1995. This Court disposed of the writ petition on the following terms:
Section 31 of the Land Acquisition Act has been amended by the State of Himachal Pradesh and a new Sub -section namely, Sub -section (3A) alongwith Sub -section (4) has been introduced.

In view of the above amendment made, we direct the Collector to consider the case of the Petitioners for alternative land of equivalent value near about the area at the time of passing the award. This shall be done before possession of the land of the Petitioners is taken over.

The writ petition is allowed to the extent indicated above.

The award has been passed subsequently on 26 -4 -1996. It is stated in the reply filed by Respondents that pursuant to the direction of this Court, revenue papers to allot alternative land to the Petitioners have been prepared and the matter has been referred to the District Collector, Shimla Division, Shimla on 22 -4 -1996 for sanction of the land in exchange of the acquired land of the Petitioners. It is also stated that the matter at present is pending before the revenue authority for sanction in favour of the Petitioners. It is categorically stated that till date no possession of the acquired land was taken over by the Respondents and the said land is still in peaceful possession of the Petitioners in view of the order of this Court dated 6 -9 -1996.

(3.)THE contention of the Petitioner that under Section 11A, the period of two years from the date of notification has already expired and the award passed thereafter is invalid cannot be accepted. The explanation to Section 11A states that in computing the period of two years referred to in this section, the period during which any action or proceeding to be taken in pursuance of the said declaration is stayed by an order of a Court shall be excluded.

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