Cannot Claim Same Compensation As Was Awarded For Lands Acquired After 5 Years- SC Reduces Compensation
The Supreme Court recently modified the compensation awarded to the original claimants by the Allahabad High Court and reiterated that the claimants were not entitled to the same compensation as was awarded for the lands acquired after 5 years, under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.
The bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice Hima Kohli observed that "the claimants shall not be entitled to the same compensation as awarded with respect to the lands acquired after 5 years from the date of acquisition in the present case."
In this case, the appeal had been preferred against the impugned judgment and order of Allahabad High Court whereby the High Court had condoned the delay of 16 years in filing the first appeal against the rejection of review applications for raising the compensation awarded, and had enhanced the compensation payable to the land owners to Rs. 297/- per sq. yard for the land acquired in 1982, for the planned development by the NOIDA.
Advocate Binay Kumar Das appearing on behalf of the appellants submitted that the High Court had erred in condoning the delay of 16 years from the date of dismissal of the review application and further referred to the decision of the Apex Court in the case of Asha Ram (Dead) through LRs and Others vs. U.P. Awas Avam Vikas Parishad and Another, (2022) 2 SCC 567 and submitted that the Court with respect to the land acquisition of 1982 had reduced the amount of compensation to Rs.120/ per sq. yard and therefore, the appellants should not be entitled to compensation at the rate of Rs.297/ per sq. yard.
Advocate K.S. Rana appearing on behalf of the respondents (original claimants) submitted that no error had been committed by the High Court in condoning the delay as they were entitled to just compensation and further referred to various judgments wherein with respect to the similar acquisitions, the claimants were awarded enhanced compensation of Rs. 297/-.
The Apex Court, with respect to condonation of delay, refused to interfere with the order passed by the High Court.
The Apex Court expressed that in the case of Narendra and Others vs. State of Uttar Pradesh and Others, (2017) 9 SCC 426 this Court had enhanced the amount of compensation to Rs.297/ per sq.yard with respect to the land acquired for the very same project, but with respect to the acquisition of the years 1986/1988.
However, in this case, the acquisition was of the year 1982 and this Court, in the case of U.P. Awas Avam Vikas Parishad (supra) and after considering the decision of this Court in the case of Narendra and Ors. (supra) had determined the compensation at Rs. 120/- per sq. yard for the acquisition of the year 1982.
Therefore, the Apex Court refused to accept the claim of Rs. 297/- as was awarded in the case of Narendra & Ors. (supra) with respect to the acquisition of 1988, and observed that "the compensation determined on the basis of the Notification 5 years later, cannot be a yardstick for determining the compensation for the land which is acquired five years before."
Accordingly, the appeal was allowed in part and the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court was modified, to the extent that the claimants were entitled to compensation at the rate of Rs. 120/- per sq. yard along with all other statutory benefits and interest allowed under the provisions of Land Acquisition Act, 1894.
Cause Title- New Okhla Industrial Development Authority v. Omvir SIngh