Decided on December 15,2014

B.K. Uppal Appellant
UNION OF INDIA Respondents


Badar Durrez Ahmed, J. - (1.)THE learned counsel for the respondent no. 5 has handed over the counter affidavit. The same is taken on record. Mr. Vasisht, the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner does not wish to file any rejoinder affidavit as he would be placing reliance on the averments made in the writ petition.
(2.)THE petitioner seeks 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. The petitioner claims that neither possession of the subject land has been taken nor has any compensation been paid and, therefore, 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 Award No. 15/87 -88 dated 05.06.1987 was made, inter alia, in respect of the petitioner's land comprised in Khasra Nos.1230/2 (4 -3) , 1234/2 (4 -7) , 1235/1 (1 -0) , 1237/1/2 (3 -4) and 1238 (4 -16) measuring 17 bighas and 10 bishwas in all in village -Chatterpur, shall be deemed to have lapsed.
It is an admitted position that neither physical possession of the subject land has been taken by the land acquiring agency, nor has any compensation been paid to the petitioner. The award has, as noted above, also been made more than five years prior to the commencement of the 2013 Act. However, the learned counsel for the respondents contend that this petition is not maintainable by the present petitioner in view of the fact that he is a subsequent purchaser. The learned counsel for the respondents submitted that it is settled law that a subsequent purchaser cannot challenge the acquisition proceedings and he is only entitled to seek compensation. They placed reliance on the Supreme Court decision in the case of KN Aswathnarayana Setty (D) Tr.LRs & Ors. Vs. State of Karnataka & Ors.: : AIR 2014 SC 279. A reference in this connection was also made to the Supreme Court decision in the case of Meera Sahni v. Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and Ors.: : (2008) 9 SCC 177.

(3.)THERE is no doubt that in the context of the 1894 Act, the Supreme Court clearly held that a subsequent purchaser would not have a right to challenge the acquisition and would only have a right to seek compensation. But the position obtaining at present is different. This is a petition which does not seek to challenge the acquisition proceedings but seeks a declaration of a right which has enured to the benefit of the petitioner by virtue of the operation of Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act. Once the acquisition is deemed to have lapsed because of the operation of the deeming provision of Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act, the benefit of the same cannot be denied to the petitioner on the ground that the petitioner is a subsequent purchaser. This is, of course, provided that the conditions precedent for the application of the deeming provision contained in Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act are satisfied.

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