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CASE LAW DIGEST ON NEW LAND ACQUISITION ACT

Hon'ble Apex Court reported in (2014) 3 SCC 183: 2014 AIR SCW 787 (PUNE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION AND ANOTHER V. HARAKCHAND MISIRIMAL SOLANKI AND OTHERS)
"Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (30 of 2013), Section 24(2) - Land Acquisition At, 1894 (2 of 1894), Section 31 - Lapse of Land Acquisition Proceedings initiated under 1894 Act by virtue of Section 24(2) of RCTE Act 2013 - Acquisition Proceedings were initiated under 1894 Act and Award was passed - Landowners filed writ petition challenging Acquisition on ground that Award was made more than five years prior to commencement of 2013 Act and no compensation has been paid to owners nor amount of Compensation has been deposited in Court - Section 24(2) of 2013 Act, contemplates that where an award has been made five years or more prior to commencement of 2013 Act, but physical possession of land has not been taken or compensation has not been paid, such acquisition proceedings still stand lapsed - Award was made on 31.01.2008 and compensation amount was deposited in Government Treasury, since landowners did not receive compensation - Expression "compensation has not been paid" occurred in 2013 Act - Compensation shall be regarded as "paid" if Compensation has been offered to person interested and such compensation has been deposited in Court - Mere deposit of compensation amount in Government Treasury is of no avail and Land Acquisition proceedings deemed to have lapsed for non-compliance of Section 24(2) of 2013 Act." ………………… The argument on behalf of the Corporation that the subject land acquisition proceedings have been concluded in all respects under the 1894 Act and that they are not affected at all in view of Section 114(2) of the 2013 Act, has no merit at all, and is noted to be rejected. Section 114(1) of the 2013 Act repeals 1894 Act. Sub-section (2) of Section 114, however, makes Section 6 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 applicable with regard to the effect of repeal but this is subject to the provisions in the 2013 Act. Under Section 24(2) land acquisition proceedings initiated under the 1894 Act, by legal fiction, are deemed to have lapsed where award has been made five years or more prior to the commencement of 2013 Act and possession of the land is not taken or compensation has not been paid. The legal fiction under Section 24(2) comes into operation as soon as conditions stated therein are satisfied. The applicability of Section 6 of the General Clauses Act being subject to Section 24(2), there is no merit in the contention of the Corporation.

In a comparatively recent decision, this Court in Ivo Agnelo Santimano Fernandes and Ors. v. State of Goa and Anr. (2011) 11 SCC 506, relying upon the earlier decision in Prem Nath Kapur v. National Fertilizers Corpn. of India Ltd. (1996) 2 SCC 71, has held that the deposit of the amount of the compensation in the state's revenue account is of no avail and the liability of the state to pay interest subsists till the amount has not been deposited in Court.

Union of India and Ors v. Shiv Raj and Ors (2014) 6 SCC 564; In order to clarify the statutory provisions of the Act 2013 with respect to such lapsing, the Government of India, Ministry of Urban Development, Delhi Division, came up with a circular dated 14.3.2014 wherein on the basis of the legal opinion of the Solicitor General of India, it has been clarified as under:
“3. Interpretation of five years period:
“With regard to this issue viz., interpretation of five years period two situations have been envisaged in cases where the acquisition has been initiated under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 viz., (1) parties whose lands have been acquired have refused to accept the compensation and (2) parties whose lands have been acquired having just parted with physical possession of the land. However, in both the above situations, as on 1.1.2014, the period of 5 years would not have ended and in such cases, the advisory seeks to clarify that the new law shall apply only if the situation of pendency continues unchanged for a period that equals to or exceeds five years. In my view, it should be further clarified that in none of the cases the period of five years would have elapsed pursuant to an award made under Section 11 from the date of commencement of the Act and that the benefit of Section 24(2) will be available to those cases which are pending and where during pendency, the situation has remained unchanged with physical possession not being handed over or compensation not having been accepted and the period equals to or exceeds five years.
4. Limitation:
As regards this item relating to the period spent during litigation would also be accounted for the purpose of determining whether the period of five years has to be counted or not, it should be clarified that it will apply only to cases where awards were passed under Section 11 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, 5 years or more prior to 1.1.2014 as specified in Section 24(2) of the Act, to avoid any ambiguity.
Since this legislation has been passed with the objective of benefiting the land-losers, this interpretation is consistent with that objective and also added as a matter of abundant caution that the period spent in litigation challenging an award cannot be excluded for the purpose of determining whether the period of five years has elapsed or not. If the possession has not been taken or compensation has not been paid due to the challenge to the land acquisition proceedings, the pendente lite period will be included to determine the five year period and including such period if the award was made five years or more prior to the commencement of the Act, then the said acquisition proceedings will be deemed to have elapsed and fresh proceedings, if so desired, will have to be initiated in accordance with the new Act.”
Court in the case of Sree Balaji Nagar Residential Association v. State of Tamil Nadu & Ors. 2014 (10) SCALE 388 held that Section 24(2) of the Act of 2013 does not exclude any period during which the land acquisition proceedings might have remained stayed on account of stay or injunction granted by any court. It was conclusively held that the Legislature has consciously omitted to extend the period of five years indicated in Section 24(2) of the Act of 2013 for grant of relief in favour of land owners even if the proceedings had been delayed on account of an order of stay or injunction granted by a court of law or for any reason.

Rajiv Choudhrie Huf vs Union Of India & Ors Civil Appeal No.8785 of 2013 decided on 10.12.2014 The plain wordings used by the Legislature under the provisions of Section 24(2) are made very clear and do not create any ambiguity or conflict. In such a situation, the court is not required to depart from the literal rule of interpretation, as held by this Court in the case of C.I.T., Mysore v. The Indo Mercantile Bank Ltd. AIR 1959 SC 713.

Bhargava & Associates Pvt.Ltd.& ... vs Union Of India & Ors Decided on 10 March, 2015 - CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5126 of 2008. In the event that there is no ambiguity that (a) the Award is over five years old and (b) that compensation has not been paid or (c) that possession of the land has not been taken, the acquisition is liable to be quashed.
Radiance Fincap (P) Ltd. v. Union of India & Ors. [Civil Appeal No. 4283 of 2011 decided on 12.01.2015] that the Ordinance shall have prospective operation only. This Court therein held as under: "The right conferred to the land holders/owners of the acquired land under Section 24(2) of the Act is the statutory right and, therefore, the said right cannot be taken away by an Ordinance by inserting proviso to the abovesaid sub-Section without giving retrospective effect to the same."

CASE LAW ON LAND LAWS

KARNATAKA LAND LAWS