SC Sets Aside Order Declaring Lapse Of Land Acquisition On Account Of Non-Satisfaction Of Relevant Conditions
The Supreme Court while deciding two appeals together has set aside the order of the Delhi High Court in which it was held that the acquisition of the land was deemed to have lapsed by virtue of Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.
The Court disagreed with the High Court on the ground that the relevant conditions were not satisfied to declare the aforesaid Order.
A two-Judge Bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice C.T. Ravikumar held, “… the High Court has committed a serious error in entertaining the writ petition at the instance of the respondent No. 1 herein – original writ petitioner and has materially erred in declaring that the acquisition with respect to the land in question is deemed to have lapsed under Section 24(2) of the Act, 2013 in a writ petition filed by the respondent No. 1 herein – original writ petitioner, who is a subsequent purchaser. Under the circumstances and on that ground alone, the impugned common judgment and order passed by the High Court is required to be quashed and set aside.”
The question for consideration before the Bench was whether the original writ petitioner being a subsequent purchaser had the locus to challenge the acquisition and/or lapsing of the acquisition.
Advocate Ashwani Kumar appeared for the appellants while Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan represented the respondents.
In this case, the respondents being the subsequent purchaser acquired the right, title, or interest in the land in the year 2018. They were not the recorded owner at the time when the award with respect to the land in question under the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 was issued.
The respondents claimed the right, title, or interest based on the Assignment Deed of 2015. The High Court allowed the petition of the respondents holding that the acquisition of land was deemed to have lapsed. Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the judgment of the High Court, the appellants approached the Apex Court.
The Supreme Court after considering the question in this case noted, “The aforesaid issue is now not res integra in view of the Three Judge Bench decision of this Court in the case of Shiv Kumar & Anr. (supra), which has been subsequently followed by another Bench of this Court in the cases of Godfrey Phillips (I) Ltd. & Ors. (supra) and Pawan Kumar and Ors. (supra). The decision of this Court in the case of Shiv Kumar & Anr. (supra) is a Three Judge Bench decision by which a contrary view taken by the Two Judge Bench of this Court in the case of Government (NCT of Delhi) Vs. Manav Dharam Trust and Anr., (2017) 6 SCC 751 has not been accepted and is found to be not a good law.”
It was further observed by the Court that it has earlier observed and held that a subsequent purchaser has no locus to challenge the acquisition proceedings/lapsing of the acquisition under the Act, 2013.
The Court, therefore, dismissed the original writ petition filed before the High Court.
Accordingly, the Court allowed the appeals and quashed and set aside the judgment of the High Court.
Cause Title- Delhi Development Authority v. Manpreet Singh & Ors.