K MASTHAN RAO Vs. LAND ACQUISITION OFFICER CUM REVENUE
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
LAND ACQUISITION OFFICER-CUM-REVENUE DIVISIONAL OFFICER, ONGOLE, PRAKASAM DISTRICT
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(1.)A hopelessly belated claim made by the petitioners for reference of a purported dispute under Section 18 of the land Acquisition Act, 1894 (for short, 'the act'), having not been responded to by the respondents, the present writ petition is filed, wherein the petitioners have sought for a writ of mandamus to declare the inaction of the respondents in referring the dispute under Section 18 of the Act.
(2.)THIS writ petition is concerned with an extent of Ac. 1. 91 cents in Sy. No. 94/5 of annavarappadu Village, Ongole, Prakasam district. Wholly vague and inaccurate pleadings contained in the affidavit of the petitioners, notwithstanding, it could be culled out from the contents of the counter-affidavit of respondent No. l that following the notification issued under Section 4 (1)and declaration made under Section 6 of the Act, an award enquiry was conducted on 28. 2. 1976. It is admitted by the petitioners in their additional affidavit that their father, late Sri K. Nagaiah, received the compensation amount under protest. Though the petitioners and the respondents are silent on the time around which the amount was received, it is reasonable to presume that the father of the petitioners would have received compensation in the year 1976 itself. Thereafter, the petitioners' father died. It is not known when his death took place. The petitioners allowed years to pass by. After more than a quarter century of their father receiving the compensation amount, the petitioners have got legal notice dated 17. 11. 2003 issued to respondent No. l, wherein it is claimed that award was passed in the name of Kommuri nagaiah, that neither the notice of award under Section 12 (2) of the Act nor a copy of the award was furnished either to the petitioners or to the original awardees, that the petitioners were requesting respondent no. l to refer the matter to the civil Court and that in spite of such repeated requests, respondent No. l has not chosen to refer the dispute to the civil Court. As is their wont, respondents were indifferent in replying to the said notice and that obviously made the petitioners bold to file this writ petition more than 1 1/2 years later.
(3.)AT the hearing, learned Counsel for the petitioners argued with conviction that no award notice was served on the petitioners under Section 12 (2) of the act and therefore limitation for seeking reference under Section 18 has not started running and that therefore the inaction of the respondents in referring the dispute to the civil Court is arbitrary. He submitted that the petitioners cannot be denied their valuable statutory right vested under Section 18.
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