There Can Be No Lapse Of Acquisition Proceedings Once Award For Possession Is Passed U/s. 16 Of LA Act: SC Reiterates
The Supreme Court has reiterated that once award has been passed on taking possession under Section 16 of the Land Acquisition Act 1894, the land vests in State there is no divesting provided under Section 24(2) of the Land Acquisition Act 2013, as once possession has been taken there is no lapse under Section 24(2).
The bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice MM Sundresh was dealing with an appeal filed by the Delhi Development Authority. The appeal was filed against the Order passed by the Delhi High Court by which the High Court has held that the acquisition with respect to the land in question has lapsed under Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.
Advocate Mishra Saurabh represented the appellant whereas Advocate Sujeeta Srivastava represented the Respondents.
In this case, though the possession of the land in question was already taken over by the Land Acquisition Collector / L& B Department, Government of NCT of Delhi, the acquisition was ordered to be lapsed solely on the ground that the compensation has not been paid to the landowner.
According to the High Court, as the compensation has not been paid to the original writ petitioner – original landowner, Section 24(2) of the Act, 2013 shall be attracted and therefore the acquisition is deemed to have been lapsed.
The Supreme Court observed that the view taken by the High Court was contrary to the Constitution Bench decision of the Court in the case of Indore Development Authority Vs. Manoharlal and Ors. (2020).
In the said case, the Court had held that the deemed lapse of land acquisition proceedings under Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act takes place where due to inaction of authorities for five years or more prior to commencement of the said Act, the possession of land has not been taken nor compensation has been paid. In other words, in case possession has been taken, compensation has not been paid then there is no lapse. Similarly, if compensation has been paid, possession has not been taken then there is no lapse.
Thus the High Court order ordering lapse of the acquisition with respect to the land in question under Section 24(2) of the Act, 2013 was quashed. Consequently, the original writ petition preferred by the original writ petitioner stood dismissed.
Cause Title- Delhi Development Authority v. Krishan Lal Arora & Ors.