Decided on September 02,2015

Union Territory Of Lakshadweep And Ors. Appellant
Attakoya And Ors. Respondents


Ashok Bhushan, C. J. - (1.)This Writ Appeal has been filed against the judgment dated 18/06/2015 in WP (C) No. 18893 of 2014 filed by the respondents herein, which has been disposed of by the learned Single Judge. Brief facts necessary to be noted for deciding this Writ Appeal are:
The appellants initiated proceedings under S.4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereinafter referred to as 'the 1894 Act) for acquisition of land for construction of C. C. Road on 22/12/2010. Urgency clause under S.17(4) of the Act was also invoked. The Land Acquisition Collector made payment of 80% of the estimated compensation to the petitioners. The petitioners received the amount in March / February, 2012. After making payment of 80% of the estimated compensation, possession was taken in the month of March, 2012. Declaration under S.6 was issued on 31/1/2012. Notices under S.9 of the Land Acquisition Act were issued. Construction of the road was completed in September, 2012 itself. However, no award under S.11 could be declared by the Land Acquisition Officer. In the meantime, the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (hereinafter referred to as 'the 2013 Act') was enforced with effect from 01/01/2014. 20% of the balance compensation was also not paid to the petitioners. The petitioners filed the present Writ Petition praying for the following reliefs:

"i) To call for the records relating to Exts. P1 to P6 and issue a writ of mandamus or other appropriate writ or direction, directing the 2nd respondent to pay the balance 20% amount as per ext. P1 to the petitioners within a period of one month and pass an award on their acquired properties as per the provisions of the New Land Acquisition Act, 2013 as expeditiously as possible, within a time frame fixed by this Hon'ble Court;

or To issue appropriate writ or direction, directing the 2nd respondent to restore the possession of the acquired properties to the petitioners;"

(2.)Counter - affidavit was filed by the respondents in the Writ Petition, wherein it was stated that the 20% balance amount of compensation has not so far been paid to the parties due to unavoidable administrative reasons, which shall be released as early as possible. It was pleaded in the counter - affidavit that 80% of the compensation has already been paid and the only entitlement is to get 20% of the balance compensation. S.24 is silent on the emergency provision of acquisition of land under the old Act. Implementation of the completed projects under the new Act is impracticable and against the principles of law.
(3.)The learned Single Judge held that the award having not been passed under S.11 of the Act, 1894, by virtue of S.24 of the Act, 2013, the award is to be passed under the 2013 Act. The learned Single Judge however held that the amount of 20% of compensation will be disbursed and the award be passed under the new Act.

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