SMT. KAMLA DEVI AND OTHERS Vs. STATE OF HARYANA AND OTHERS
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
Kamla Devi and others
State Of Haryana And Others
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(1.)The present petition has been filed challenging notification dated 17 September 2004 issued under Section 4 read with Section 17 (2) (c) and 17 (4) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 as well as declaration dated 27 October 2004 issued under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (for brevity '1894 Act') acquiring the land of the petitioners.
(2.)The State of Haryana issued a notification under Section 4 of the Act on 17 September 2004 describing its urgent need to acquire land, at public expense, for a public purpose, namely, for setting up of Chaudhary Devi Lal Industrial Model Township Phase-V Manesar to be planned and developed as an integrated complex for Industrial, Institutional, Commercial, Recreational and other public utilities, by Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation Ltd. In the notification, it was stated that the Governor of Haryana was satisfied that the purpose for which the land is required, is urgent and therefore, the provisions of Section 5 A of the said Act shall not apply to the acquisition. This notification was followed by declaration dated 27 October 2004 declaring that the land notified under Section 4, is urgently needed for the purpose stated therein. Thereafter, notice under Section 9 was issued.
(3.)When this matter came up for hearing on 7 March 2006, while issuing notice of motion, by an interim order, dispossession of the petitioners from the land in dispute was stayed by this Court.
Thereafter, award was made on 9 March 2006. Challenge to the acquisition proceedings has been made primarily on the ground that invocation of the urgency provisions was without any basis and that the public purpose disclosed in the notification could not by any stretch of imagination justifies the suspension of the provisions of Section 5-A of the 1894 Act, which is an indefeasible statutory right bestowed upon every landowner. Consequently, it was contended that the respondents had failed to place any material on record even to prima facie establish the existence of any urgency and particularly the kind of urgency which would require suspension of rights under Section 5-A of the 1894 Act and therefore the entire process stood vitiated. In the meanwhile, similar connected writ petition bearing CWP 17108 of 2004 came to be decided on 16 April 2009 and one of the grounds therein for setting aside the land acquisition proceedings was the uncalled for invocation of urgency provisions by the Government and consequent denial of opportunity to landowners to file objections under Section 5-A of the 1894 Act. A bunch of writ petitions were decided together, some allowed, others dismissed however, the present petition remained pending and during interregnum, 'The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013' (for brevity '2013 Act') came into force w.e.f. 1 January 2014. In view of coming into force the 2013 Act, the petitioners filed C.M. No.9607 of 2014 stating therein that the petitioners continue to remain in physical possession of the land in question and that more than five years has elapsed since passing of the Award, hence the entire acquisition stands lapsed; even if, physical possession of the land could not be taken on account of interim order passed in the present case by this Court. It was further stated in the application that the respondents have also not paid compensation nor the same has been deposited in the competent Court. Based on the aforesaid assertions, the petitioners would urge that the acquisition proceedings initiated under the 1894 Act has lapsed because of legal fiction created by dint of Section 24 (2) of the 2013 Act coming into force w.e.f. 01.01.2014.
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