Decided on May 07,2014

Sudha And Others Appellant


- (1.)THE short facts of the case are as follows: - The writ petitioners submit that one Mr.V.M.Ramasamy was the owner of the land of an extent of 0.97.0 hectares comprised in S.F.No.527/1D situated at Vellaikinaru Village in Coimbatore District. The said V.M.Ramasamy (Late) was the father of the petitioners. He died intestate on 25.12.1994 leaving behind the petitioners and their mother viz, Mrs.R.Mani as his only legal -heirs to succeed his property. Till his life time, he was in possession and enjoyment of the lands. After his demise, the petitioners and their mother were in possession and enjoyment of the property. The said R.Mani died intestate on 19.12.2013 leaving behind the petitioners as her only legal -heirs. The revenue records is still standing in the name of said Ramasamy. Now, the petitioners being the absolute owners of the property, are in possession and enjoyment of the property. Originally, the above said lands were subjected to land acquisition proceedings along with other lands in that locality under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, herein after called "the Old Act", by the first respondent, viz., the Secretary to Government, Housing and Urban Development for the purpose of Neighbourhood Scheme sponsored by the second and third respondents herein, viz., the Tamil Nadu Housing Board, represented by its Chairman & Managing Director and the Executive Engineer / Administrative Officer, who is attached to the Tamil Nadu Housing Board Unit, Coimbatore.
(2.)THE respondent issued a notification under Section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act through its Government Order in G.O.Ms.No.235 (Housing and Urban Development Department), on 22.06.1998. The declaration under Section 6 of the Act came to be made in G.O.Ms.No.288 (Housing and Urban Development Department) on 12.07.1999. The said acquisition proceedings culminated in passing of an award in Award No.3 of 2001, dated 29.06.2001. Though the award came to be passed on 29.06.2001, the petitioners were neither intimated about the passing of the award nor served with any notice under Section 12(2) of the said Act, so as to enable them to know about the award and to receive the compensation payable to them. In fact, the compensation payable to them was neither paid to the said R.Mani or the petitioners nor deposited before any competent civil Court till date.
(3.)THE writ petitioners additionally added that the award was passed in the year 2001 and the respondents 4 and 5 never took possession of the lands from the petitioners. But, when the petitioners sought for information under Right to Information Act regarding the taking of possession and the payment of compensation, the Public Information Officer attached to the office of the fifth respondent by letter dated 28.11.2013, had informed that there are no records for taking possession of the land from the petitioners. The fifth respondent also informed the petitioners that the compensation was not paid to the petitioners. The Public Information Officer, while replying to a question for handing over of possession, has replied that except S.F.No.527/1D, other lands were handed over. Further, with regard to question for deposit of compensation amount payable to the petitioners, it was replied that it was deposited before the civil Court and also furnished a letter to that effect dated 11.07.2002. In that letter, it is stated that a reference under Section 30 and 31(2) of the Old Act was made to Sub -Court. But there is nothing in that letter to show that the award in respect of the subject land was deposited before the concerned Court. It was also replied that the compensation amount was not disbursed to land owners. Neither the petitioners nor the said R.Mani have challenged the said acquisition proceedings.
The petitioners additionally added that in such circumstances, now, the Government of India brought in new Land Acquisition Act, in the place of "Old Act", viz., the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013 (Act 30 / 2013), now onwards called the "New Act" and the same came into effect from 01.01.2014. As per the New Act, if the physical possession of the lands are not taken or the compensation is not paid, in respect of the proceedings initiated under the Old Act, the entire proceedings initiated under the Old Act shall be deemed to have been lapsed in view of Section 24(2) of the Act 30 of 2013.


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