(1.)Leave granted. These Appeals were originally filed seeking relief on the basis of provisions in the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. Subsequently, upon the enactment of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (in short "the New Act"), the Appeal grounds herein metamorphosed into proceedings Under Section 24(2) of the New Act, seeking lapse of the acquisition proceedings thereunder.
(2.)Similar positioned Appeals i.e. Civil Appeal No. 5054 of 2008 and other connected Appeals, i.e. Civil Appeal Nos. 5100, 5283, 5105-5124, 5101-5104, 5053, 5050, 5052 of 2008, 3279, 3280 of 2012, 5127-5129, 5125, 5051 of 2008 and 3278 of 2012, have been disposed of with these observations and directions, which seem to us to remain the commendable approach-
"All of these Appeals were admitted before the commencement of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. After commencement thereof, the Appellants changed the tack of their challenge-originally framed under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 - and impugned the acquisition proceedings in toto, by evoking the deemed lapse of proceedings Under Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act. Any determination under this provision must proceed sequentially. First, the factum of an Award Under Section 11 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, must be clearly established. The said Award must predate the commencement of the Act, i.e., 01.01.2014, by at least five years (or more), i.e., the Award must have been passed on or before 01.01.2009. This having been established, if possession is found to not have been taken, or compensation not paid, then the proceedings shall be deemed to have lapsed. Thereafter, the appropriate Government, if it so chooses, may reinitiate acquisition proceedings in respect of the same land, but under the 2013 Act's regime."
(3.)Each and every deeming operation Under Section 24(2) of the New Act requires unambiguously and unvaryingly that a factual conclusion be drawn about the passing of the Award Under Section 11 of the 1894 Act, on or before 01.01.2009; further, the absence of compensation having been paid or the absence of possession having been taken by the acquirer, either of these, must be a proven point of fact, as a threshold requirement attracting the lapse.