SUNITA SAHRAWAT AND ORS. Vs. STATE OF HARYANA AND ORS.
LAWS(P&H)-2015-5-234
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
Decided on May 29,2015

Sunita Sahrawat And Ors. Appellant
VERSUS
State Of Haryana And Ors. Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

JANARDAN REDDY V. THE STATE [REFERRED TO]
KESHAVAN MADHAVA MENON V. THE STATE OF BOMBAY [REFERRED TO]
DAJI SAHEB VS. SHANKAR RAO VITHALRAO MANE [REFERRED TO]
GARIKAPATI VEERAYA VS. N SUBBIAH CHOUDHRY [REFERRED TO]
COMMISSIONER OF INCOME TAX MYSORE TRAVANCORE COCHIN AND COORG BANGALORE COMMISSIONER OF INCOME TAX BANGALORE VS. INDO MERCANTILE BANK LIMITED PANGAL VITTAL NAYAK AND CO LIMITED [REFERRED TO]
BALWANT NARAYAN BHAGDE BALWANT NARAYAN BHAGDE VS. M D BHAGWAT:THE PUNJABRAO KRISHI VIDYAPEETH AKOLA [REFERRED TO]
YUSUFBHAI NOORMOHMED NENDOLIYA VS. STATE OF GUJARAT [REFERRED TO]
HITENDRA VISHNU THAKUR VS. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH VS. RAJIV GUPTA [REFERRED TO]
K S PARIPOORNAN VS. STATE OF KERALA [REFERRED TO]
NAHAR SINGH VS. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH [REFERRED TO]
PREM NATH KAPUR VS. NATIONAL FERTILIZERS CORPN OF INDIA LIMITED [REFERRED TO]
BALMOKAND KHATRI EDUCATIONAL AND INDUSTRIAL TRUST AMRITSAR VS. STATE OF PUNJAB [REFERRED TO]
SHYAM SUNDER VS. RAM KUMAR [REFERRED TO]
PADMASUNDARA RAO DEAD VS. STATE OF TAMIL NADU [REFERRED TO]
NATIONAL THERMAL POWER POWER CORPORATION LTD VS. MAHESH DUTTA [REFERRED TO]
SITA RAM BHANDAR SOCIETY VS. LT GOVERNOR GOVT OF NCT DELHI [REFERRED TO]
OMPRAKASH VERMA VS. STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH [REFERRED TO]
IVO AGNELO SANTIMANO FERNANDES VS. GOVERNMENT OF GOA [REFERRED TO]
BRIJ PAL BHARGAVA VS. STATE OF U P [REFERRED TO]
LAXMAN PANDYA VS. STATE OF U P [REFERRED TO]
BANDA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY VS. MOTI LAL AGARWAL [REFERRED TO]
PRAHLAD SINGH VS. UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED TO]
RAGHBIR SINGH SEHRAWAT VS. STATE OF HARYANA [REFERRED TO]
MARGARIDA GOMES PEREIRA VS. STATE OF GOA [REFERRED TO]
P. K. KALBURQI VS. STATE OF KARNATAKA [REFERRED TO]
PUNE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION VS. HARAKCHAND MISIRIMAL SOLANKI [REFERRED TO]
UNION OF INDIA VS. SHIV RAJ [REFERRED TO]
BALAJI NAGAR RESIDENTIAL ASSOCIATION VS. STATE OF TAMIL NADU [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

S.J. Vazifdar, J. - (1.)SOME of the issues that fall for consideration in these writ petitions are common. The writ petitions are, therefore, disposed of by this common order and judgment.
(2.)THERE are, we are informed, over a thousand similar petitions. We, however, decided to hear only three of them leaving it to the parties to obtain orders in the other petitions in accordance with the directions issued in this judgment. It was agreed before us that a finding on facts as to whether the proceedings have lapsed or not in view of Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (hereafter called "the RFCT Act") ought not to be given in these writ petitions, but that, based on our finding on the various contentions, the authorities would decide each case on its own merits. To enable the authorities to do so the Government has set up High Level Committees by issuing a notification which we will refer to at the end. We have, therefore, decided the above petitions where the issues decided in this judgment arise. The parties may obtain appropriate orders from the other Benches as per the roster in accordance with this judgment.
(3.)THE main question in these petitions is whether the proceedings for the acquisition of land under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereafter referred to as "the L.A. Act") have lapsed in view of the provisions of Section 24(2) of the RFCT Act. The effect of an amendment by the addition of a second proviso to Section 24(2) also arises for consideration.
The respondents contended that the petitions are liable to be dismissed as the petitioners have not sought a declaration that the proceedings under the L.A. Act have lapsed in view of the provisions of Section 24(2) of the RFCT Act. The respondents also contended that some of the petitioners had challenged the acquisition proceedings under the L.A. Act unsuccessfully right up to the Supreme Court. According to them, such petitioners are, therefore, not entitled to seek any reliefs in view of or in accordance with the provisions of Section 24(2) of the RFCT Act. We have not accepted either of these contentions.

The scope and interpretation of Section 24(2) itself falls for consideration in several respects. The first is whether the two contingencies mentioned therein operate independently or jointly. It is also necessary to consider as to when it can be said that physical possession of the land has not been taken. It is further necessary to consider as to when the compensation can be said not to have been paid. The respondents also contended that the period of five years mentioned in Section 24(2) of the RFCT Act must exclude the period during which the respondents were restrained by an order of a Court or Tribunal from taking any steps in furtherance of the acquisition proceedings. Lastly, the effect of the second proviso introduced by clause -6 of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014, falls for consideration. These issues regarding the scope and interpretation of Section 24(2) of the RFCT Act have been answered by the judgments of the Supreme Court in favour of the petitioners.

FACTS.

In all the writ petitions, the petitioners have sought similar reliefs. The petitioners have sought a writ of mandamus directing the respondents not to act upon the notifications issued under Sections 4 and 6 of the L.A. Act in respect of their lands and an order restraining the respondents from interfering with their peaceful possession thereof. The reliefs are sought on the basis that the acquisition proceedings have lapsed in view of Section 24(2) of the RFCT Act. In CWP No. 2126 of 2015, the petitioners have, in the alternative, also sought a writ of certiorari quashing the notifications.

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