-Report by Anjana C

It has been held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in the case of Union of India & Anr. v. Subhash Chander Sehgal & Ors. the writ petition stands dismissed, and the current appeal will be pursued.

Facts of the Case: 

  • Unsatisfied with the decision of the Delhi High Court, the petitioner has appealed. 
  • The possession of the land was taken by the authority in 1987and was utilized as a park by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation. 

In the case of Pune Municipal Corporation and Sree Balaji Nagar Residential Association, the following was said that has been applied to this case: 

  • According to Section 24(1)(a), there is no lapse in proceedings if there is an award on the date of commencement of the 2013 Act. 
  • If the award has been made within 5 years (excluding the period of an interim order of the Court), the proceedings will be according to the 2013 Act under Section 24(1)(b) under the 1894 Act, regarding it as not repealed. 
  • If the possession of land has been taken over and compensation has not been paid, there is no lapse. 
  • If compensation is not paid and possession has not been taken, there is no lapse. 
  • If the compensation has not been deposited in court, all beneficiaries to the landholding will be entitled, as on the date of notification, to compensation under Section 4 of the 2013 Act.  
  • Non-deposit does not result in a lapse of land acquisition proceedings. 
  • If compensation has been tendered under Section 31(1) of the 1894 Act, he cannot state that the acquisition has lapsed under Section 24(2) as a result of non-payment or non-deposit of compensation in Court. 
  • The obligation to pay is complete when the amount due is tendered in accordance with Section 31(1). 
  • Landowners refusing to accept compensation/ who seek reference for a higher compensation are not in the position to claim lapse under Section 24(2) under the 2013 Act. 
  • The method of acquiring land under the 1894 Act under Section 24(2) is by making an inquest report/ memorandum. 
  • Section 24 applies to a proceeding pending on the date of enforcement of the 2013 Act. It does not reopen cases/ proceedings nor allow landowners to question the legality of the mode of possession.

Judgment of the case: 

If there is no lapse in acquisition proceedings under Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act, the land remains in the possession of the appellant. There will be no question of payment of compensation to the petitioners. It was said that the writ petitioners were entitled to compensation according to the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. All of the above taken into consideration, the Court declared the High Court’s order to be quashed and set aside. The writ petition filed before the High Court was dismissed. 

The present appeal was allowed, and no order was given regarding costs incurred by the parties.

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