GYANENDER SINGH Vs. UNION OF INDIA
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
UNION OF INDIA
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(1.)By way of this writ petition, the petitioners seek 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 petitioners urged that possession of the subject lands have not been taken nor has the compensation been paid to them. They also state that the awards made in respect of the subject lands were made more than five years prior to the commencement of the 2013 Act. Consequently, it is contended that all the ingredients necessary for invoking the provisions of Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act has been satisfied.
(2.)The learned counsel for the respondents contend that possession of the subject lands were taken on 05.07.2013 and 17.07.2013 and this fact was informed to this court in W.P.(C) No. 7057/2005 (Court On Its Own Motion). Insofar as compensation is concerned, it was contended on behalf of the respondents that the amount of compensation was deposited in this court in CM Main Nos. 1403/2013 and 1411/2013 on 30.12.2013. It was contended that as the District Courts were closed for the vacation, the same could not be deposited there and, therefore, the cheques representing the amount of compensation were deposited in this court in the above CM Main Nos. 1403/2013 and 1411/2013. Therefore, according to the respondents, the compensation had been paid to the petitioners prior to the commencement of the 2013 Act. Consequently, it was submitted that the acquisition had been completed under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 as possession had been taken and compensation had also been paid.
(3.)It has been made clear by the Supreme Court decisions in Pune Municipal Corporation and Anr v. Harakchand Misirimal Solanki and Ors, 2014 3 SCC 183; Union of India and Ors v. Shiv Raj and Ors, 2014 6 SCC 564; and Sree Balaji Nagar Residential Association v. State of Tamil Nadu and Ors: Civil Appeal No. 8700/2013 decided on 10.09.2014 that in the context of Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act, where an award has been made five years or more prior to the commencement of the 2013 Act and where either of the two contingencies is satisfied, that is, (i) physical possession of the land has not been taken, or (ii) compensation has not been paid, the acquisition proceedings shall be deemed to have lapsed. In the present case, as the question of physical possession is disputed, we are not entering into that arena of controversy. Insofar as the question of compensation is concerned, we are of the view that the manner in which the respondents state that compensation has been paid is not in accord with the law as settled by the Supreme Court in Pune Municipal Corporation . But before we examine the position as stated in Pune Municipal Corporation it would be relevant to refer to the order passed by a Vacation Judge of this court on 30.12.2013 in, inter alia, CM Main Nos. 1403/2013 and 1411/2013. The same reads as under:-
"1. As pleaded in the petitions the necessity to file the same is the promulgation of 'The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (Act No. 30 of 2013)' stated to be effective from January 01, 2014.
2. As vaguely pleaded in para 10 and as orally explained, the urgency to file these petitions is that if compensation assessed is not paid or deposited the proceedings under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 lapse.
3. It is pleaded in paragraph 4 that the concerned Court is presently closed during winter vacations and shall reopen on January 02, 2014.
4. Enclosed with the petitions as Annexure-2 are cheques drawn in the name of 'ADJ, Delhi'.
5. A meaningful reading of the petition would reveal that the intentment is to tender the amounts on or before December 31, 2013.
6. The petitions stand disposed of recording that without prejudice to the rights and contentions of the land holders the cheques tendered in each petition (being Annexure P-2) would be treated as a tender to the Court of the learned Additional District Judge Delhi as of today i.e. December 30, 2013.
7. The Registry is directed to remove the cheques annexed as Annexure 2 and keep them in safe custody till reopening of the Court. On the reopening the cheques shall be sent to the Court of the concerned Additional District Judge Delhi and for which the following tabular chart shall guide the Registry:-
COURT OF LD. ADDITIONAL DISTRICT JUDGE (SOUTH), SAKET COURTS, NEW DELHI
COURT OF LD. ADDITIONAL DISTRICT JUDGE (SHAHDARA), KARKARDOOMA COURTS, DELHI
DISTRICT: NORTH WEST
COURT OF LD. ADDITIONAL DISTRICT JUDGE (NORTH WEST), ROHINI COURTS, DELHI
COURT OF ADDITIONAL DISTRICT JUDGE (CENTRAL), TIS HAZARI COURTS, DELHI
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