Decided on October 14,2015

M.M. Jeevan And Ors. Appellant
STATE OF KERALA And ORS. Respondents


Ashok Bhushan, J. - (1.)THIS Writ Appeal has been filed by the Writ Petitioners against the judgment dated 29.07.2015 by which judgment, the Writ Petition filed by the petitioners challenging the proceedings under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereinafter referred to as "the 1894 Act") has been dismissed. Parties shall be referred to as described in the Writ Petition.
(2.)BRIEF facts giving rise to the Writ Petition are: Petitioners, who are husband and wife, are owners of 7 cents and 1.16 Ares of lands in Perumbavyikkad Village, Kottayam District. In the property a factory building and a workshop was existing. Notification under Section 4(1) of the 1894 Act dated 05.02.2011 was issued proposing to acquire land of the petitioners for public purpose, namely, for construction of the Vattamoodu bridge. Section 17(4) of the 1894 Act was invoked dispensing the enquiry under Section 5A. Declaration under Section 6 was issued which was published in the Official Gazette on 13.10.2011. Petitioners filed the Writ Petition immediately after the issuance of the Notification under Section 4(1) and this Court vide its interim order dated 08.04.2011 stayed dispossession of the petitioners. Award under Section 11 of the 1894 Act was also passed on 10.12.2012. Although petitioners filed Interlocutory Application in the Writ Petition for staying the entire land acquisition proceedings, no order was passed by the learned Single Judge. Petitioners' case in the Writ Petition is that there were other existing nearby bypass roads and it was not necessary to acquire petitioners' lands. Referring to plan Ext. P3, it was pleaded that other alternative alignments have not been chosen to benefit private persons. It was further pleaded that there was no such urgency so as to invoke Section 17(4) dispensing with the enquiry under Section 5A.
Counter affidavit was filed on behalf of the respondents in the Writ Petition pleading that since lands were to be acquired for constructing the bridge and the approach roads connecting the Medical College Road and Eranjal Thiruvanchoor Road, urgency clause was invoked under orders of the Land Revenue Commissioner. Vattamoodu being in a remote area the proposed bridge was a long standing demand of the local people, the bridge was to reduce the traffic congestion in Kottayam town considerably. It was further pleaded that three proposals were examined by the PWD authorities in detail, namely, ABCD, LMND and PQRD. The first and second alignments involved acquisition of large number of buildings and structures, hence the Chief Engineer approved the third alignment which is most feasible one having least disturbance and loss. Learned Single Judge by interim order dated 24.07.2014 directed the respondents to grant opportunity to the petitioners to raise their objection and allow them to put forth their suggestions in the matter of alignment. In pursuance of the order of the learned Single Judge, petitioners submitted representation with alternative proposals for change of alignment. Request submitted by the petitioners along with plan was considered and it was not approved since it involved formation of a sharp curve at immediate approach and is not allowable as per the IRC standards. Report dated 12.08.2014 was submitted in the Writ Petition by the Assistant Executive Engineer bringing on record the proposed alternative proposals submitted by the petitioners and reasons for not accepting the said proposals. Award dated 10.12.2012 was also produced before the learned Single Judge along with affidavit dated 21.02.2014. The learned Single Judge after considering the submissions of the learned counsel for the petitioners and respondents dismissed the Writ Petition by judgment dated 29.07.2015. Aggrieved by the said judgment, petitioners have come up in the Writ Appeal.

(3.)WE heard Shri K. Jagadeesachandan Nair, learned counsel appearing for the petitioners. Shri C.S. Manilal, learned Senior Government Pleader appeared for the respondents.

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