–Report by Umang Kanwat
The recent case of Government of NCT of Delhi v Krishan Kumar was based on the Statement of Objectives and Reasons of the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act, 1984, which discussed the “sacrifices” of the affected individuals who were “unavoidably” losing their property rights for the greater good of society. The Land Acquisition Act of 2013 aims to correct this unbalanced paradigm of development by making the land acquisition process more collaborative and facilitating.
Affirming that the acquisition of the disputed lands was deemed to have terminated in accordance with Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement Act, 2013, the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi and the petitioner felt wronged and dissatisfied with the impugned judgement and order issued by the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi in a Writ Petition.
It was argued that since the petitioners did not assert that they had possession of the subject land in their writ petition but rather that the government was obligated to return the property to them, it was implied that they were admitting that the government had taken actual vacant physical possession of the land. The petitioners had complained about the lack of remuneration.
The High Court had granted the writ petition and stated that the acquisition with regard to the subject land is assumed to have expired under Section 24(2) of the Act, 2013, on the grounds that the compensation has not been paid.Regarding the action brought on behalf of the Act, the High Court made no findings, including that the beneficiary department was awarded immediate ownership of the disputed lands in question. As the entire land acquisition processes are regarded to have expired, it was the contention on behalf of the respondents that possession of the land is liable to be returned to the petitioners.
Indore Development Authority:
The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement Act, 2013 (the “2013 Act”), which governs State land purchase, rehabilitation, and resettlement, was unclear in this case, but a five-judge Supreme Court bench had clarified it.The question in front of the court was whether land acquisition procedures may be terminated if the State failed to compensate landowners was a key concern. The Land Acquisition Act, 1894, was repealed in 2013, and the Court had to decide how that act interacts with it. This created complications.
In Indore Development Authority v. Manohar Lal, the landowners argued that acquisitions undertaken in accordance with the Land Acquisition Act of 1894 had expired and that new procedures in accordance with the Land Acquisition Act of 2013 were necessary.In this landmark ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that cases still pending under the 2013 Act would have to be renewed and would expire under two circumstances.
The five-judge panel also held that landowners who rejected the offered compensation or asked for more money may not pursue compensation under Section 24(2) of the Act. However, if compensation is not given in accordance with Section 24(1)(a) of the Act, the proceedings will not be regarded as having ended, and compensation must be given in line with the Act of 2013’s rules.
The impugned judgement and order issued by the High Court declaring that the acquisition with respect to the lands in question was deemed to have lapsed under Section 24(2) of the Act, 2013 as it was observed to be unsustainable and so it deserved to be quashed set aside as a result of applying the law established by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Indore Development Authority to the facts of the case at hand.
As a result, the appeal was accepted. However, the court decided that given the facts and circumstances of the case, there would be no judgement regarding costs, and any pending applications would likewise be dismissed.
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