Decided on July 24,2015

Pt. Ravishanker Shukla University Appellant
Arun Kumar Agrawal S/O Late Harishanker Agrawal Respondents


NAVIN SINHA,CJ AND P.SAM KOSHY,J. - (1.)The present appeals arise from a common order dated 15.6.2015 passed in three separate writ petitions at the behest of the persons whose lands were sought to be acquired.
(2.)Learned Senior Counsel for the Appellants submits that notification under Section 4 was published on 20.1.2006. Section 6 notification was published on 14.3.2006. The challenge to non-compliance with the requirement for hearing objections was raised belatedly. The Award had been prepared and final compensation amount deposited by the University with the State authorities. There was an interim order passed by the Court subsequently. In the meantime, the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (hereinafter called 'the Act') came into effect. Delay in acquisition on account of the stay order of the Court cannot be taken into consideration to hold applicability of the aforesaid Act. That period has to be excluded. If the compensation deposited has not been paid to the Respondents or collected by them and the fault lies with the State Government, the Appellant cannot be penalised for the same. The interest of the University, a public institution has to be kept in mind along with the nature of the public purpose of the acquisition. The fact that possession may not have been taken by the State Government despite payment of compensation by the University cannot act to its prejudice as the University has done everything that it was required to do for acquisition.
(3.)Interpreting Section 24(1)(a) and (b) of the Act, it was submitted that Award had already been published before coming into force of the new Act. The proceedings were therefore required to be continued. The stay order of the Court cannot be taken into consideration. The proceedings cannot be deemed to have lapsed under Section 24(2) of the Act merely for the reason that the State did not take possession for five long years especially when compensation had been deposited by the University. It cannot be said that it was a case where no compensation had been paid to the persons whose lands were to be acquired. It was reiterated that the University had done all that it was required to do by deposit of the amount with the State Government. The last submission was that in the facts of the case, acquisition proceedings would be saved by Section 114 of the Act providing for savings clause.

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