Land Acquisition Proceedings Shall Not Lapse On Ground Of Non-Payment Of Compensation– Supreme Court
A two-judge Bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice BV Nagarathna has held that the acquisition proceedings of the land in question shall not be deemed to have lapsed on the ground that the amount of compensation was not actually paid to the landowners.
In this case, the appellant, Agra development authority, had taken over the possession of land but the Respondents were illegally occupying the land despite the fact that the land was under the name of the appellant and the entire compensation had already been deposited with the Special Land Acquisition Officer. The respondents deliberately did not take the compensation for the remaining 6 Biswa and 15 Biswansi measuring plot. An appeal was filed before the Allahabad High Court wherein the Court held that the acquisition proceedings with respect to the land in question were deemed to have lapsed under Sub-section(2) of Section 24 of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisitions, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.
Aggrieved with the order of the High Court, an appeal was preferred before the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court relied on the judgment made by the Constitutional Bench in the case of Indore Development Authority V. Manoharlal & Ors, 2020 , Where the Court clarified the correct interpretation of Section 24(2) of the 2013 Land Acquisition Act And held that land acquisition proceedings cannot lapse merely because State could not deposit the compensation in a landowner's account. The Court also held that the term "paid" under Section 24(2) did not include a deposit of compensation in the Court.
The Supreme Court opined that taking into consideration the decision of the Apex Court in the case of Indore Development Authority and the facts and circumstances of this case the land acquisition proceedings cannot be considered to have been lapsed.
The Court noted, "In view of the decision of this court in the case of Indore Development Authority and considering the facts and circumstances narrated here in above, it cannot be said that the acquisition proceedings with respect to the land in question is deemed to have been lapsed under the provisions of the act, 2013."
The Supreme Court thus allowed the Appeal and quashed and set aside the order by the High Court.