KANIJAN AND ORS. Vs. UNION OF INDIA AND ORS.
LAWS(DLH)-2015-4-163
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
Decided on April 21,2015

Kanijan And Ors. Appellant
VERSUS
Union of India And Ors. Respondents




JUDGEMENT

Badar Durrez Ahmed, J. - (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, consequently, seek 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 Award No. 15/1987 -88 dated 05.06.1987 was made, inter alia, in respect of the petitioners' land, comprised in Khasra Nos. 1893/1 (4 -04) and 1893/2 (0 -12) measuring 4 bighas and 16 biswas in all, in Village Chattarpur, New Delhi, shall be deemed to have lapsed.
(2.)IN this case, it has been admitted by the concerned Land Acquisition Collector that physical possession of the subject land has not been taken. This is evident from the counter -affidavit filed on behalf of the concerned Land Acquisition Collector. It is, however, contended by the learned counsel for the respondents that the amount of compensation in respect of the same was deposited in the treasury, though the same has not been paid to the land owner nor was it offered to the land owner. The learned counsel for the respondents placed reliance on the second proviso to Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act, which has been introduced by virtue of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015 (hereinafter referred to as the "said Ordinance"). The newly added proviso reads as under: -
"Provided further that in computing the period referred to in this sub -section, any period or periods during which the proceedings for acquisition of the land were held up on account of any stay or injunction issued by any court or the period specified in the award of a Tribunal for taking possession or such period where possession has been taken but the compensation lying deposited in a court or in any designated account maintained for this purpose shall be excluded."

(underlining added)

(3.)ON a plain reading of the proviso, it is evident that its purpose is to compute the period of five years referred to in Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act. Certain periods are to be excluded in computing the said period referred to in Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act. The periods to be excluded are:
(1) the period or periods during which the proceedings for acquisition of the land were held up on account of any stay or injunction issued by any court; or

(2) the period specified in the Award of a Tribunal for taking possession; or

(3) such period where possession has been taken but the compensation is lying deposited in a court or in any designated account maintained for this purpose.

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