JAGDISH P KHANNA Vs. LT GOVERNOR
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
Jagdish P Khanna
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(1.)The petitioner is seeking the benefit of Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (hereinafter referred to as 'the 2013 Act') which came into effect on 01.01.2014. Consequently, the petitioner seeks a declaration that the acquisition proceedings initiated under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereinafter referred to as 'the 1894 Act') , in respect of which the Award No. 15/87-88 dated 05.06.1987 was made, inter alia, in respect of the petitioner's land comprised in khasra numbers 1752/1(2-08) 1753/1 (2-08) and 1756/1 (2-08) measuring 7 bighas 4 biswas in all in village Chattarpur, shall be deemed to have lapsed.
(2.)While the petitioner contends that the actual physical possession of the subject land is with the petitioner, the respondents contend that the possession was taken on 31.12.2013 in respect of Khasra numbers 1752/1 and 1753/1. They admit that in respect of the other Khasra number, possession has not been taken. The learned counsel for the respondents, however, contend that the compensation was paid to the petitioner by depositing the same in Court pursuant to an order passed by a Vacation Judge of this Court in CM (Main) 1411/2013 passed on 30.12.2013. We may point out that by virtue of that order, the said CM (Main) , amongst others, was disposed of by recording that without prejudice to the rights and contentions of the land holders, the cheque tendered in each petition would be treated as tendered to the court of the learned Additional District Judge, Delhi as of that date, that is, 30.12.2013. According to the respondents, such deposit amounts to payment of compensation.
(3.)Mr. Sahni, appearing on behalf of the petitioner, states that the said deposit cannot be regarded as payment of compensation inasmuch as it is, in any event, not in respect of the subject land. He further submits that the issue, even if the deposit is considered to be in respect of the subject land, has been settled by a decision of this Court in Gyanender Singh & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors. WPC 1393/2014 decided on 23.09.2014, wherein this Court held that unless and until the compensation was tendered to the persons interested, mere deposit of compensation in Court would not be sufficient. The Court further held that compensation cannot be regarded as having been paid merely on the deposit of the same in Court unless and until it has first been offered to the person interested and he has refused to accept the same. In the present case, even if we assume that the compensation, that was deposited in Court pursuant to the order passed in CM (Main) 1411/2013, pertains to the land which forms the subject matter of the present writ petition, it was deposited without first being offered to the petitioner. Without going further into the question as to whether the amount pertains to the petitioner's land, following the decision in Gyanender Singh , the said deposit cannot be regarded as compensation having been paid to the petitioner.
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