Huluvadi G. Ramesh and Rmt. Teekaa Raman, JJ. -
(1.)The matter relates to land acquisition. The petitioners in W.P. Nos. 6619, 7340 and 12418 of 2013 and W.P.(MD) No. 4712 of 2014 stands on a similar footing. These writ petitions have been filed challenging the land acquisition proceedings initiated by the issue of G.O. Ms. No. 784, Housing and Urban Development Department, dated 4th August 1989 and the Award 1/2001-2002 dated nil signed on 04.06.2001, by the Special Tahsildar (Land Acquisition), Neighbourhood Scheme, Tirunelveli.
(2.)The common facts involved in these writ petitions are as follows:
The Government of Tamil Nadu, proposed to acquire an extent of 320 acres of land in Kulavanigarpuram Village, in the year 1974 and the same was not processed further and hence dropped in the year 1981. Again, another proposal for an extent of 256.55 acres of land was made during 1992 and the same was also dropped in the year 1993. The lands in S. Nos. 613, 614/2, 615/2 and 617/2 in the same village were also dropped from the acquisition. The present action is based on the Notification issued under Section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 in G.O. Ms. No. 784 dated 04.08.1989. The said Notification ("1st Notification" in short) has been published in TNGG, Part-II, Section 2, dated 30.08.1989 covering an extent of 83.83 acres. An extent of 39.28 acres in the same village was also notified under Section 4(1) by G.O.Ms. No. 794, Housing and Urban Development Department, dated 08.08.1989 ("2nd Notification" in short). The purpose of acquisition was for the formation of Neighbourhood Scheme. The fourth respondent in the writ petitions herein, i.e., the Special Tahsildar (LA), Neighbourhood Scheme, Tirunelveli, was to perform the functions of a District Collector under the Land Acquisition Act. These lands are near Sarah Tucker College, Palayamkottai. The 1st Notification was for 83.83 acres and the same was covered by Section 6 Declaration in G.O.Ms. No. 1191, Housing and Urban Development Department, dated 01.10.1990. The 2nd Notification is covered by Section 6 Declaration in G.O.Ms. No. 1192, Housing and Urban Development Department, dated 01.10.1990. For the 1st Notification, award was passed on 04.06.2001 for an extent of 72.22 acres, leaving an extent of 11.61 acres from the acquisition on the ground of urban land ceiling. No award was made for the said extent of 11.61 acres till date. An extent of 4.55 acres in S. No. 1026 and 3.02 acres in S. No. 572 was excluded in favour of St.Annie's Convent and Rose Mary School, respectively. The extent covered by the approved layout comes to 32.80 acres. It is stated by the petitioners in these writ petitions that an overhead tank has been constructed by Tirunelveli Corporation in the space reserved for park in the layout No. 135/87 and there are 123 pucca residential buildings constructed by the land owners and they are living in the houses. If these extents are excluded, then the balance will be 31.85 acres and with that extent, the Housing Board cannot implement its original proposal for which the scheme was originally devised. It is also stated that the Declaration which was made in G.O.Ms. No. 1192 in respect of the 2nd Notification and the subsequent award which was made on 04.06.2001, have lapsed on account of the orders passed by this Court on the ground that the award was made beyond the statutory period.
(3.)It is stated that the Tamil Nadu Housing Board issued a Public Notice in the local Dhina Thanthi dated 10.10.2010, in which it has been stated that against the questioning of the award, appeals have been filed and hence the public are warned not to deal with the lands. The petitioners herein state that they made enquiries and when enquired about the appeal to one of the writ petitioners (W.P. No. 13485 of 2001) against whom W.A. No. 924 of 2012 has been filed by the Department, viz. Mr. Ayyadurai, he stated that no notice was issued to him in the said appeal filed by the Tamil Nadu Housing Board. The Tamil Nadu Housing Board issued a similar notice in the local Dhinamalar dated 28.05.2011. Again the petitioners herein enquired the said Ayyadurai, for which he replied that he has no knowledge and he has not received any notice. Hence, the petitioners were under the impression that they will receive notice at one point of time, but notice was not sent by the Housing Board. Thus, it is stated by the petitioners that the respondents cannot be allowed to proceed further, since under the stated circumstances, the original scheme itself has been given a go-by.