KRISHEN K SETH Vs. UNION OF INDIA
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
Krishen K Seth
UNION OF INDIA
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(1.)THE counter affidavit handed over on behalf of the respondent Nos.4 & 5 filed by Mr Yeeshu Jain, Advocate is taken on record. The learned counsel for the petitioners does not wish to file any rejoinder in view of the averments already contained in the writ petition.
(2.)BY way of this writ petition the petitioners are 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 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.15/87 -88 dated 05.06.1987 was made, inter alia, in respect of the petitioners' land comprised in Khasra Nos. 1628/2 (2 -0), 1628/1/1 (0 -8), 1629/2 (4 -1), 1625/1 (0 -7), 1625/2 (1 -16), 1626 (4 -16), 1627/1(3 -18), 1627/2 (0 -18) and 1628/1 (1 -13) measuring 19 bighas 16 biswas in Village Chattarpur shall be deemed to have lapsed.
(3.)IT is an admitted position that neither physical possession of the subject lands has been taken by the land acquiring agency, nor has any compensation been paid to the petitioners. The award was made more than five years prior to the commencement of the 2013 Act. All the ingredients of section 24(2) of the 2013 Act as interpreted by the Supreme Court and this Court in the following decisions stand satisfied: -
(i) Pune Municipal Corporation and Anr v. Harakchand Misirimal Solanki and Ors., 2014 3 SCC 183;
(ii) Union of India and Ors v. Shiv Raj and Ors., 2014 6 SCC 564;
(iii) Sree Balaji Nagar Residential Association v. State of Tamil Nadu and Ors: Civil Appeal No. 8700/2013 decided on 10.09.2014;
(iv) Surinder Singh vs. Union of India and Ors.: W.P.(C) 2294/2014 decided 12.09.2014 by this Court.
The learned counsel for the respondent seeks to rely on the second Proviso to Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act which was introduced by virtue of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014 which came into effect on 31.12.2014. However, such reliance cannot be placed by the respondent in view of the fact that the said Ordinance has been held to be prospective in nature and does not take way the vested rights. This has so been held by the Supreme Court in a recent decision in M/s Radiance Fincap (P) and Ors. v. Union of India and Ors. decided on 12.1.2015 in Civil Appeal No.4283/2011 wherein the Supreme Court has held as under:
"The right conferred to the land holders/owners of the acquired land under Section 24(2) of the Act is the statutory right and, therefore, the said right cannot be taken away by an Ordinance by inserting proviso to the abovesaid subsection without giving retrospective effect to the same."
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