LAJJAWATI Vs. UNION OF INDIA
LAWS(DLH)-2015-1-58
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
Decided on January 12,2015

Lajjawati Appellant
VERSUS
UNION OF INDIA Respondents




JUDGEMENT

Badar Durrez Ahmed, J. - (1.)BY way of this writ petition the petitioner seeks 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 Award No. 15/1987 -88 dated 06.06.1987 was made, inter alia, in respect of the petitioner's land comprised in Khasra Nos. 1814/2 min (1 -14) and 1815/2 min (1 -08) measuring 3 bighas and 2 biswas in all in Village Chattarpur shall be deemed to have lapsed.
(2.)IN this case, it has been admitted by the respondent No. 2 [Land Acquisition Collector (South)] that physical possession of the subject land has not been taken. This is evident from paragraph 14 of the counter -affidavit filed on behalf of the respondent No. 2. It is, however, contended by the learned counsel for the respondent No. 2 that the amount for 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 2013 Act, which has been introduced by virtue of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014 (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 account maintained for this purpose shall be excluded."

(underlining added)

(3.)ON a plain reading of the proviso, it is evident that the purpose of the proviso is for computing 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 account maintained for this purpose.

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