Decided on April 28,2015

Kathuria Public School And Ors. Appellant
Union of India And Ors. Respondents

Cited Judgements :-



- (1.)By these proceedings under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the Petitioners (hereafter compendiously referred to as "KPS") seek a declaration that with the enactment and coming into force of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, (hereafter "Acquisition & Rehabilitation Act") the lands being occupied by the public school under their management were no longer subject to acquisition; they also seek an order enjoining or prohibiting the respondents from taking any action towards dispossessing them.
(2.)On 23.1.1965 a notification under Section 4, Land Acquisition Act 1894 ("old Act") was issued and on 26.12.1968 a declaration under Section 6 was issued in respect of land measuring 80 bighas 7 biswas comprised in Khasra Nos. 1726 (3-3), 1727 (4-16), 1728 (2-12), 1729 (6-14), 1747 (4-16), 1748 (4- 16), 1749 (4-16), 1750 (4-16), 1751 (4-16), 1752 (4-16), 1753 (3-5), 1754 (6- 2), 1755 (4-16), 1756/2 (3-4), 1757/2 (3-4), 1875 (4-16), 1876 (4-16) and 1877 (4-3) in village Rangpuri alias Malikpur Kohi (Vasant Kunj) Tehsil Mehrauli.
The award in respect of these lands (hereafter "the suit lands") was made on 30-03-1981. In the meanwhile, late Shri R.P. Kathuria, acting as karta of a HUF consisting of himself and his sons- by a sale deed dated 18-04-1967- (executed by Smt. Saroopi Devi, Smt. Sarjo and Smt. Bartho in his favour) purchased the suit lands after the Section 4 notification under the old Act was issued. Claiming to be aggrieved by the acquisition proceedings, he approached this Court by filing Civil Writ Petition No.586/1981 alleging undue delay in the finalization of acquisition process. While issuing notice on 24.03.81, orders of status quo regarding possession was made by this Court. The status quo order was subsequently confirmed. The writ petition remained pending for a considerable period; eventually it was dismissed on 14-12-1995 along with a batch of writ petitions in a Full Bench decision Roshnara Begum vs. Union of India, 1996 61 DLT 206. The appeal by special leave, to the Supreme Court, preferred in that regard, was rejected in a reported judgment of that Court, i.e. Murari vs. Union of India, 1997 1 SCC 15 where validity of the acquisition proceeding was upheld.

(3.)The Supreme Court, even while dismissing the appeal against acquisition of the suit lands, permitted a representation to the State for withdrawal from acquisition in case the suit land was not required for any other purpose. Relying on that order R.S. Kathuria and the present petitioners represented to the Government of National Capital Territory (NCT) under Section 48 of the old Act which was rejected. R.P. Kathuria preferred WP(C) No. 233/97 challenging the decision of Govt of NCT rejecting the representation. Interim orders were made in the said writ petition not to dispossess Shri Kathuria. During pendency of those proceedings, Shri Kathuria also filed a civil suit, (C.S. (OS) No. 927/2002) before this Court; in that suit, he sought the relief of declaration that he was absolute owner of the suit lands and that the defendant, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had no interest whatsoever in it. The suit claim was premised on the assertion that the plaintiff was a Bhumidar under the Delhi Land Reforms Act, 1954. The DDA resisted the suit stating that the Award relating to the suit lands had been made on 30th March, 1981 and possession was taken over on 31-03-1981. The suit lands were placed at the disposal of the DDA by Notification issued under Section 22 of the Delhi Development Act ("the Development Act") on 19-05-1981 and 17- 06-1983.

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