A Supreme Court Bench of Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice V Ramasubramanian heard an appeal whereby an order passed by the Delhi High Court was challenged. The High Court had held that the concerned acquisition proceedings stood lapsed in view of Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

The Court while upholding the acquisition proceedings placed reliance on Indore Development Authority v. Manoharlal and Others, where the Apex Court had held that the twin conditions of failure to take possession or payment of compensation alone can lead to the lapse of notification under Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act.

Mr. Bansal appeared on behalf of the Respondents.

The land of the Respondents was notified under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, as required for planned development through a notification issued in 1980.

The process of acquisition was challenged in a number of Writ Petitions before the High Court and an interim order of stay of dispossession was granted.

The Apex Court noted that in the Writ Petiton filed by landowners the notification under Section 6 of the Act were quashed which became effective only after the order of the Supreme Court in the cases of Brig. Gurdip Singh Uban v. Union of India, and Delhi Administration v. Gurdip Singh Uban & Ors.

The landowners placed reliance on a precedent and contended before the Supreme Court that once the acquisition proceedings were quashed in a writ petition, the entire proceedings fall through.

The Supreme Court analyzed the different bunches of Writ Petitions that had been decided by the Court regarding the same issue.

Through the analysis of the decisions passed in the aforementioned Petitions, the Court noted that the orders and interim orders passed by various Courts prevented the Appellant from taking possession of the land.

The Bench also noted that the Appellant was prevented by the interim orders in a number of Writ Petitions to take possession. possession. Therefore, prior to the commencement of 2013 Act, there was no stay free period of 5 years which could lead to a declaration that the proceedings stand lapsed.

The Court held that on account of setting aside the notification under Section 6 of the Act, the State could not take possession in view of the orders passed by the High Court.

Setting aside the order of the High Court, the Supreme Court allowed the appeal.

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