ANDHRA PRADESH INDUSTRIAL INFRASTRUCTURE CORPORATION LTD Vs. CHALASANI VIJAYA LAKSHMI
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
ANDHRA PRADESH INDUSTRIAL INFRASTRUCTURE CORPORATION LIMITED
CHALASANI VIJAYA LAKSHMI
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M.N.Rao, J. -
(1.)Commonality of law and facts are the reasons that induce us to dispose of all these matters by this common judgment. Writ Appeal No. 1033 of 1988 was filed by the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation Limited, Hyderabad, (for short 'the APPIC'), a State Government concern, against the judgment of a learned single Judge in Writ Petition No. 1700 of 1987 allowing the writ petition filed by twenty-six land-owners claiming themselves to be small farmers challenging the legality of the notification issued under section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act on 16-12-1985 in GO Rt. No. 1281 published in the Gaxette on 3-1-1986 proposing to acquire Acs. 148.34 of land situate in Pera-maluru Mandal, Krishna District, for the purpose of extension of the Auto Nagar, near Vijayawada. The legality of the 4(1) notification was challenged on grounds inter alia that the substance of the notification was not published in the locality, the draft declaration under section 6 was not issued within one year from the date of the notification issued under section 4(1), the Land Acquisition Officer who conducted the enquiry under section 5-A had not passed a reasoned order, the lands belonging to small farmers could not be acquired and the very acquisition itself was not bona fide. No counter was filed by the State Government when the writ petition came up for hearing before the learned Judge. Therefore, treating one of the grounds, namely, non-publication of the substance of the notification in the locality under section 4(1) as uncontroverted, the writ petition was allowed and section 4(1) notification was quashed. The APPIIC, which was the beneficiary under the acquisition proceedings as the land proposed to be acquired was to be entrusted to it for the purpose of allotment to individual members of the Automobile Technicians' Association, Vijayawada, filed Writ Appeal No. 1033 of 1988 after obtaining leave of the Court as it was not a party to the writ proceedings. A counter-affidavit was filed at the stage of the writ appeal denying the pleas taken in the writ petition. A specific plea was taken in the counter-affidavit that on 3-2-1986 the notification issued under Section 4(1) was published in the newspapers and the substnce of the same was also published in the locality. At the time of the hearing the record was produced before us by Shri R. Subba Rao, the learned counsel for the appellant, which substantiates the assertion as regards the publication of the notification in the locality under section 4(1) within the prescribed period of forty days. In the normal course, the writ appeal should be allowed and the matter remitted to a learned single judge for disposal on merits in accordance with law but in the particular circumstances we have not done so. Shri V. V. S. Rao, learned counsel for the writ petitioners, has submitted that the conclusion reached by the learned single judge as to the invalidity of the notification issued under section 4(1) can also be supported on other grounds which he seeks to urge and, therefore, no remand is necessary. Other writ petitions challenging the legality of the same notification also are listed for disposal before us along with the writ appeal. We are, therefore, inclined to consider the contentions raised by both sides as to the legality of S. 4(1) notifiction.
(2.)Out of the total extent of Acs. 148.34 cents, an extent of Acs. 39.18 cents was withdrawn from the acquisition proceedings at the request of the Requisitioning Department and this was specifically mentioned by the Land Acquisition Officer in the award. Five writ petitions were filed in this Court --- Writ Petitions Nos. 1700 of 1987, 2370, 3073 and 4665 of 1988 and 1553 of 1989 -- by the land owners affected by the notification challenging the legality of the acquisition proceedings. The total extent of the land covered by these five writ petitions is Acs. 94.31 cents. Interim orders were issued by this Court in these five writ petitions directing the Land Acquisition Officer not to dispossess the petitioners therein if they were not already dispossessed. The Land Acquisition Officer, therefore, passed the award on 6-3-1989 only in respect of Acs. 14.85 cents of land. Till now no award has been passed in respect of the lands covered by these writ petitions.
(3.)Shri M. V. Rarnana Reddy and Shri V. V. S. Rao, learned counsel for the writ petitioners have urged the following points in support of their plea that S. 4(1) notification is invalid : (1) The declaration under Sec. 6(1) was not published within one year from the date of S. 4(1) notification. (2) The Land Acquisition Officer who conducted the enquiry under Sec. 5-A has acted mechanically without applying his mind and without giving any reasons. (3) The land belonging to the petitioners was not liable to be acquired as the petitioners are small farmers. (4) The action of the Government in withdrawing the land acquisition proposals in regard to certain extent and allowing the proceedings to continue in respect of the remaining land is arbitrary and discriminatory. (5) The entire proceedings have lapsed by virtue of Sec. 11.A as no award has been made within two years from the date of the publication of the declartion under Sec. 6. Re. (1):-- Section 4 of the Act concerns itself with publication of preliminary notification and the procedure to be followed pursuant to the notification. Section 5-A confers power on persons interested in the land notified under Sec. 4(1) to put forward objections to the acquisition of the land. Section 6 lays down that when the appropriate Government is satisfied after considering the objections raised under Sec. 5-A as to whether the notified land is needed for a public purpose, it has to make a declartion to that effect under subsection (1). The period of limitation within which the declaration under Sec. 6(1) should be issued is incorporated in the proviso. Clause (ii) to the proviso to sub-section (I) says that no declaration shall be made after the expiry of one year from the date of the publication of the 4(1) notification. Sub-section (2) of Sec. 6 says that every declaration shall be published in the official gazette and in two daily newspapers circulating in the locality in which the land is situate and the Collector shall also cause public notice of the substance of such declaration in the said locality and the date on which the last of the publication of public notice was given shall be construed as the "date of the publication of the declaration."
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