ALLURE IMPEX PVT. LTD. Vs. UNION OF INDIA AND ORS.
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
Allure Impex Pvt. Ltd.
Union of India And Ors.
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Badar Durrez Ahmed, J. -
(1.)BY way of this writ petition, 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. The petitioner, consequently seeks a declaration that the acquisition proceeding initiated under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereinafter referred to as 'the 1894 Act') and in respect of which the Award No. 15/1987 -88 dated 05.06.1987 was made, inter alia, in respect of the petitioner's land comprised in khasra numbers 1560 min (4 -0), 1559 min (0 -08) and 1522 min (0 -8) measuring 4 bighas 16 biswas in all in village Chattarpur, Delhi, shall be deemed to have lapsed.
(2.)IT is an admitted position that the physical possession of the subject land has not been taken by the land acquiring agency. However, insofar as the compensation is concerned, it is the case of the petitioner that the same has not been paid to them whereas it is the case of the respondents that the said compensation was deposited in respect of khasra no. 1560 in court pursuant to an order passed by a Vacation Judge of this court in C.M.(Main) 1411/2013 passed on 30.12.2013. By virtue of that order, the said C.M.(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 i.e. 30.12.2013. According to the respondents this amounts to payment of compensation. However, this issue has already 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 the compensation in court would not be sufficient. The 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, it is an admitted position that the compensation amount was tendered in this court in the said C.M (Main) 1411/2013 without first being offered to the petitioner herein. Therefore the same, following the decision in Gyanender Singh (supra), cannot be regarded as compensation having been paid to the petitioner.
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. The learned counsel for the respondents submitted that the transfer whereby the original owners are alleged to have transferred their right in favour of the current petitioner would not confer any title upon the petitioner and at the most the petitioner would be entitled only to claim compensation on the basis of the original owner's title. 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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