IGATE GLOBAL SOLUTIONS LIMITED Vs. STATE OF TAMIL NADU
LAWS(MAD)-2014-7-60
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
Decided on July 02,2014

iGATE Global Solutions Limited Appellant
VERSUS
THE STATE OF TAMIL NADU Respondents





Cited Judgements :-

B. RAJAGOPALAN VS. THE STATE OF TAMIL NADU AND ORS. [LAWS(MAD)-2015-9-197] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

- (1.)The present writ petition has been filed challenging the impugned letter No.33023/LA(1)/2005-22 dated 9.3.2009 issued by the Secretary to Government, Housing and Urban Development Department, Chennai, the first respondent herein, wherein the request of the petitioner for re-conveyance of the land in question was rejected, to quash the same with a further direction to the respondents to re-convey the property measuring 4.33 acres comprised in Survey Nos.612/5, 612/7, 612/8, 612/9, 612/10 at Sholinganallur Village from acquisition proceedings with one another direction to transfer the property to the petitioner herein. During the pendency of the writ petition, on the arrival of the new Act, namely, The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, which came into force on 1.1.2014, M.P.No.1 of 2014 was filed seeking to amend the prayer, as follows:-
"To issue a Writ of Declaration, declaring that the land acquisition proceedings in respect of the land comprised in S.Nos.612/5, 612/7, 612/8, 612/9, 612/10 and 612/12A of Shozhinganallur Village, Shozhinganallur Taluk, Kancheepuram District as having lapsed as per Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.''

Similarly, M.P.No.2 of 2012 was filed seeking to raise additional grounds, as follows:-

''(i) No compensation has so far been paid for the lands acquired by an award that was passed in the year 1997 even after the lapse of almost of 17 years. Therefore, on coming into force of the Act 30 of 2013, the land acquisition proceedings in respect of the petitioner's land shall be deemed to have lapsed as provided under Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

(ii) The physical possession of the petitioner's property has not been taken by the respondents though the award was passed in the year 1997 as this Hon'ble Court has held that the petitioner is in possession of the property. Therefore, on coming into force of the Act 30 of 2013, the land acquisition proceedings in respect of the petitioner's land shall be deemed to have lapsed as provided under Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

(iii) The entire land acquisition proceedings by which the land acquisition proceedings were initiated as against the petitioner's land has been quashed by an order passed in W.P.No.6432 of 1998 and affirmed by the Division Bench as well by the Hon'ble Supreme Court. Therefore, the title of property is vested with the petitioner company consequent upon the quashing of entire notification.''

(2.)Mr.R.Muthukumarasamy, learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioner placed four arguments in support of the prayer. The petitioner, originally known as Mascot Systems Limited, had subsequently changed the name of the company as iGATE Global Solutions Limited with effect from 23.6.2003 and has been engaged in the business of information technology and information technology enables services. With an intention to set up a software unit in the State of Tamil Nadu, the petitioner purchased land admeasuring 4.98 acres comprised in S.Nos.612/5, 612/7, 612/8, 612/9, 612/10 & 612/12 at Sholinganallur village, Tambaram Taluk, Kancheepuram District from Mr.Sujith Cherian and others under sale deeds dated 1.6.2001. Even before purchasing the property, an agreement was reached between the petitioner and the vendor Mr.Sujith Cherian and others for getting NOC from the appropriate authority, Income Tax Department under chapter XX-C of the Income Tax Act by filing Form 37-I on 26.2.2001. Only after accepting the petitioner's request, an order was passed under Section 269 UL(1) of the Income Tax Act granting no objection to the transfer of the property in terms of the agreement for sale. Again since the owner had a minor son who also had a share in the property, O.P.No.267 of 2001 was filed in the competent court under the Guardian and Wards Act, 1925 and obtained permission for the sale of the minor's share in the property and an order dated 30.4.2001 was passed granting permission in favour of the petitioner to purchase the property. Only thereafter, the sale deeds dated 1.6.2001 pertaining to the property were executed by the owner in favour of the petitioner. While so, they received a notice dated 30.9.2005 from the Tamil Nadu Housing Board asking them to vacate and hand over possession, since the property belonged to the Housing Board. Only from the said notice, the petitioner came to know that the land in question became the subject matter of land acquisition proceedings in Award No.1 of 1997 dated 23.4.97. However, a reply was given to the Tamil Nadu Housing Board on 4.10.2005 informing that they were not aware of the Award No.1 of 1997 and made a representation making it clear therein that the petitioner company intended to set up a software park which would generate lot of employment and export orders and also generate lot of foreign exchange that is also in public interest. On this basis, he prayed for transfer of the land under Section 48-B of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. However, apprehending forcible eviction, the petitioner came to this Court by filing W.P.Nos.33042, 34471 to 34474 of 2005 challenging the notice issued by the Tamil Nadu Housing Board and this Court, by disposing off the writ petitions by order dated 11.8.2008, issued a direction to the first respondent to consider the petitioner's representation dated 5.10.2005 as per Section 48-B of the Land Acquisition Act and pass appropriate orders on merits and in accordance with law after affording a personal hearing to the petitioner to present their case while considering the representation under Section 48-B of the Act. While doing so, the respondents were also directed not to interfere with the possession of the petitioner till final orders are passed.
(3.)In the meanwhile, when the second respondent made an attempt to erect a notice board and to fence the property in the month of October, 2010, the petitioner was again constrained to approach this Court by fling W.P.No.23743 of 2010 praying for an interim injunction restraining the second respondent-Housing Board from disturbing the petitioner's possession of the property till the disposal of the representation by the first respondent. However, the counsel appearing for the first respondent informed the Court that the representation dated 5.10.2005 was disposed off by the first respondent by order dated 9.3.2009 and a copy thereof was handed over to the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner in the Court, wherein the first respondent rejected the request of the petitioner for re-conveyance on the ground that since the petitioner being a subsequent purchaser, had no right to seek for re-conveyance of the said property under Section 48-B of the Land Acquisition Act. The said order has been put to challenge in this writ petition. In the meanwhile, when the very same notification issued under Section 4(1) dated 14.5.90, Section 6 declaration dated 7.6.91 and the award dated 30.8.98 were challenged by one Mr.Kuppan in W.P.No.6432 of 1998 on the sole ground that the award passed under Section 11-A of the Act was beyond the limitation period of two years, violating the mandatory provisions contained in Section 11-A of the Act, this Court by order dated 28.1.2002 allowed the writ petition by quashing the G.O.Ms.No.433, Housing and Urban Development Department dated 14.5.90 published in Supplement Part-II under Section 4(1) of the Act and Section 6 declaration contained in G.O.Ms.No.948, Housing and Urban Development Department dated 7.6.91 and the award proceedings bearing Roc.No.8696.89.71 dated 30.8.98. Therefore, when the very same Section 4(1) notification, Section 6 declaration and the award were quashed, the benefit of the quashing of Section 4(1) notification would enure to the benefit of the petitioner as well, he pleaded.
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