ASHWAL VADERA Vs. UNION OF INDIA
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
UNION OF INDIA
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Badar Durrez Ahmed, J. -
(1.)THE petitioner seeks a writ of Certiorari essentially declaring the acquisition proceedings which had been initiated by virtue of a notice under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 dated 19.09.1967 as having lapsed in view of the provisions of Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. It is stated in the petition that after the Section 4 notification dated 19.09.1967, the declaration under Section 6 was issued on 12.02.1968 and the award in respect of the land was made on 07.03.1991 under the 1894 Act. The entire award was in respect of the petitioner's land alone.
(2.)IT is the petitioner's case that since the award was made more than 5 years prior to the coming into effect of the said 2013 Act and because no possession of the land was taken nor was any compensation paid, by virtue of the provisions of Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act, the acquisition has lapsed.
The learned counsel appearing on behalf of the Land Acquisition Collector as well as the Land and Building Department submitted that though possession was taken on 26.08.2005, that had been done despite there being an order of status quo having earlier been passed by this court in W.P.(C) No. 1398/1994. The order dated 25.02.2009 passed in the said writ petition was referred to wherein the entire circumstances under which the possession was taken has been related. In conclusion, this court in the said writ petition in its order dated 25.02.2009 observed that in the circumstances there cannot be any question of taking over possession after 25.03.1994 as status quo in respect of possession was directed to be maintained in terms of the said order. The court specifically noted that the consequence of this would be that the possession, if taken over after 25.03.1994, would be in breach of the order of status quo and would not be possession in accordance with law.
(3.)THAT being the position, it can be safely stated that possession of the said land was not taken at all in law. Insofar as payment of compensation is concerned, the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the Land Acquisition Collector and the Land and Building Department of the Government of NCT of Delhi has candidly stated that the same was neither paid to the petitioner nor deposited in court in terms of Section 31 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.
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