DELHI DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY Vs. RAJAN SOOD
LAWS(SC)-2022-3-88
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: DELHI)
Decided on March 29,2022

DELHI DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY Appellant
VERSUS
Rajan Sood Respondents




JUDGEMENT

M.R.SHAH,J. - (1.)Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned judgment and order dtd. 30/8/2016 passed by the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi in Writ Petition (C) No. 1034/2015, by which the High Court has allowed the said writ petition preferred by the private respondents herein - original writ petitioners and has declared that the acquisition proceedings initiated under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereinafter referred to as the Act, 1894) in respect of the subject lands are deemed to have lapsed under sub-sec. (2) of sec. 24 of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (hereinafter referred to as the Act, 2013), Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and Government of NCT of Delhi have preferred the present appeals.
(2.)Private respondent No.1 and 2 herein ­ original writ petitioners filed the writ petition before the High Court for a declaration that the acquisition proceedings initiated under the Act, 1894 in respect of the subject lands are deemed to have lapsed under sub-sec. (2) of sec. 24 of the Act, 2013. It was the case on behalf of the original writ petitioners before the High Court that as the possession of the land in question is with them and no compensation has been paid, the land acquisition proceedings are deemed to have lapsed. Heavy reliance was placed on the decision of this Court in the case of Pune Municipal Corporation and Anr. Vs. Harakchand Misirimal Solanki and Ors, (2014) 3 SCC 183 .
2.1 The petition was opposed by the appellants herein and others. It was the specific case on behalf of the DDA that as such the compensation was tendered to one Shiv Kumar S/o Devi Chand. Relying upon the decision of this Court in the case of Pune Municipal Corporation (supra), the High Court, by the impugned judgment and order has allowed the said writ petition and has declared that the acquisition proceedings initiated under the Act, 1894 in respect of the subject lands are deemed to have lapsed under sub-sec. (2) of sec. 24 of the Act, 2013.

2.2 Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court, DDA and Government of NCT of Delhi have preferred the present appeals.

(3.)Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the DDA has vehemently submitted that in the facts and circumstances of the case the High Court has materially erred in declaring that the acquisition proceedings have lapsed under sub-sec. (2) of sec. 24 of the Act, 2013.
3.1 It is submitted on behalf of the DDA that in the present case as such the possession was already taken over by the Authority on 23/9/1986 after following the due procedure as required and even a punchnama was also drawn, which was the requirement while taking over possession.

3.2 It is urged that even the compensation was tendered to the recorded owner ­ Shri Shiv Kumar through notice under sec. 12(2) of the Act, 1894 but recorded owner never came forward to accept the same. It is submitted that therefore, the original writ petitioners cannot be permitted to take the benefit under sub-sec. (2) of sec. 24 of the Act, 2013.

3.3 It is further submitted that even the amount of compensation of Rs.2.00 crores was deposited by the DDA with the Land and Building Department towards compensation. Therefore, the original writ petitioners are not entitled to the benefit of deemed lapse.

3.4 It is further contended by learned counsel appearing on behalf of the DDA and the Government of NCT of Delhi that as such the original writ petitioners were not having any locus to file the writ petition as their title to the property is shrouded with fraud and investigation is pending with the Anti-Corruption Branch. It is submitted that as the possession of the land in question was already taken over as far as back on 23/9/1986 and even compensation of Rs.2.00 crores was deposited with the Land and Building Department, in view of the subsequent decision in the case of Indore Development Authority Vs. Manoharlal and Ors., (2020) 8 SCC 129, it cannot be said the acquisition proceedings have lapsed under sub­ sec. (2) of sec. 24 of the Act, 2013.

3.5 It is further submitted on behalf of the appellants that while passing the impugned judgment and order, the High Court has relied on the decision of this Court in the case of Pune Municipal Corporation (supra). That, the said decision has been subsequently overruled by the Constitution bench of this Court in the case of Indore Development Authority (supra).

3.6 In the alternative, it is submitted by the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respective appellants that assuming, without admitting that the possession of the land in question remain with the original writ petitioners, in that case also, as there was an order of stay granted by the High Court in the year 2011, in the writ petition filed by the original writ petitioners and the High Court granted the interim order of taking no coercive action/order qua the land, therefore, in view of the decision of this Court in the case of Indore Development Authority (supra), the period under which the stay was operative is to be excluded. Reliance is placed on para 366.8 of the decision of this Court in the case of Indore Development Authority (supra).

3.7 Making the above submission and relying upon the aforesaid decision, it is prayed to allow the present appeals.

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