NATESAN AGENCIES Vs. STATE
LAWS(SC)-2020-2-6
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on February 05,2020

Natesan Agencies Appellant
VERSUS
STATE Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.)Delay Condoned.
(2.)Put in a nutshell, the relevant background aspects of this matter are as follows: The appellant firm had taken the land in question on lease for a period of 5 years (from 01.07.1972 to 30.06.1977) from its owner, Sri Nanamamalai Jeer Mutt, Nanguneri, for plantation and co-related purposes. By the notification dated 06.03.1976 issued under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, the land in question was proposed to be included in the wild life sanctuary. However, a fresh long-term lease for a period of 25 years (from 01.07.1977 to 30.06.2002) was made in favour of the appellant. The appellant and the Mutt attempted to get the land in question excluded from the sanctuary but remained unsuccessful. On the other hand, proceedings for award of compensation in relation to the land in question remained under contemplation. However, instead of making any award, the collector issued the order dated 19.11.1993, excluding the land in question from the limits of wild life sanctuary. Being aggrieved by such exclusion, the Mutt and the appellant filed a writ petition before the High Court, which was allowed by the Single Judge but then, the Division Bench of High Court, in its judgment dated 18.09.1997, did not approve the order so passed by the Single Judge and, while acknowledging the power of the Government to withdraw from the notification, dismissed the writ petition but left it open for the appellant and the Mutt to approach the appropriate forum in relation to their claim for damages. Thereafter, on 08.06.1998, the appellant instituted the civil suit for damages against the State while alleging that it had been prevented from using the land in question from the year 1976 to the year 1993.
(3.)The civil suit so filed by the appellant was decreed by the learned Single Judge of the High Court but, the Division Bench reversed the decree and dismissed the suit by way of its judgment and decree dated 26.02.2007 in OSA Nos. 193 of 2002 and 178 of 2003.
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