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CASE LAW ON LAND ACQUISITION LAWS


By necessary implication the jurisdiction of civil courts in dealing with matters under the L.A.Act is ousted.(AIR 1996 SC 523).

Government land cannot be acquired; nor its interest.(AIR 2004 SC 3491).

Public notice of the substance of the notification shall be given  at convenient places in the locality. This is mandatory.  (AIR 1973 SC 552; AIR 2002 SC 3309).

For all purposes the date of publication of Section 4(1) notification is the last of the dates of the two publications (i.e, notifications in the gazette and newspapers) and the giving of the public notice in the locality. 1995(4) SCC 501;

Erratum notification :- It is not a fresh notification. It relates back to the date of the original notification.(AIR 1996 SC 866).

The title to the land vests in the Government only when possession is taken by it; till then the original owner is free to deal with the land as he likes. (AIR 1987 SC 2421; 1996 (11) SCC 229 & AIR 1995 SC 812).

The Collector gives a public notice so that interested persons may take part in the enquiry for passing an award. This notice is mandatory. All interested parties including the owners etc. of the land and the beneficiary of the acquisition (local authority, company etc.) should be given notice. (AIR 1995 SC 724 ; AIR 2002 SC 817)

The award is in the nature of an offer to the claimants and it becomes binding on them only when it is accepted by them. (AIR 1961 SC 1500; AIR 2003 SC 942)


On taking possession, the property vests in the Government free of all encumbrances (2001 (8) SCC 143; AIR 2002 SC 2532). Easement is an encumbrance (See AIR 1955 SC 298; AIR 2001 SC 5431). But easement of necessity is not extinguished by acquisition (2005(2) SCC 164).

Limitation for filing application (Section 18(2) : If the person making the application was present or represented before the Collector at the time the award was made the reference application should be filed within six weeks from the date of the award   This includes of person who shall be deemed to be present or represented (AIR 2003 SC 942). No court fee is payable on reference applications (1996(1) SCC 289,

A co-owner may file an application on behalf of all the co-owners, in which case all the co-owners are entitled to enhancement (AIR 1991 SC 1966). But if it is not made on behalf of all the co-owners the co-owner who files an application alone will get the benefit ( AIR 1992 SC 974; AIR 1996 SC 1513 & AIR 2003 SC 620).

A person who had not filed an application under Section 18 is entitled to file an application under Section 28A (AIR 2002 SC 3240, AIR 2004 Ker.1).

The limitation starts from the date of the award relied on and not from the date of knowledge of that award (  AIR 2003 SC 2949,  ). But the time requisite for obtaining a copy of the award relied on may be excluded.


The compensation awarded under Section 28A also will carry interest provided in Section 34 of the Act (AIR 1995 SC 2259).

Though no period of limitation has been prescribed for an application U/s.30, it must be filed within a reasonable period. The reasonable time would be the time set out in Section 18(AIR 2004 SC 3491).

Collector is not a court. He cannot condone the delay in filing the reference application 2005(7) SCC 440).

If an award is passed on the basis of the agreement no reference can be made. An agreement takes away the jurisdiction of the court (AIR 1995 S.C. 225; AIR 1996 S.C. 133 & 2005(4) SCC 264).

When the Collector deposits the amount into the court the liability of the State to pay interest ceases (AIR 1996 SC 136; 1996(2) SCC 71).

All the interested parties, and the Collector in appropriate cases shall be issued notice (AIR 1986 S.C.1164; AIR 2002 S.C. 817). If the beneficiary is not heard the judgment is not binding on it (1990 (3) SCC. 617;   The beneficiary may file an appeal or writ petition if it (the beneficiary) is not heard (AIR 1995 S.C. 724).

It is an original proceedings the court does not prove or disprove the reasoning of the L.A.O or correct his error or affirm, modify or reverse the conclusion reached by him. (AIR 1988 S.C. 1652

A certified copy of registered document may be accepted as evidence of the transaction recorded in the document (Sec.51A). It is not necessary to examine anyone to prove the contents. But the court is not bound to accept it as a reliable evidence. (AIR 2001 SC 1117;   AIR 2003 SC 4382;   AIR 2005 SC 3467).

A party may be impleaded to the proceedings in a reference court. The impleadment is not under Order 1 Rule 10 C.P.C. But it is by virtue of the provisions in Section 50(2) L.A.Act (AIR 1996 SC 1513).

The certified copies relied on by the Collector could be regarded acceptable as evidence by court unless it is shown by contra evidence on behalf of the claimants that such document could not have been relied on in making the award by the Collector. The reason is that they would only support his evidence and not establish something independent of the award. In such a case it is not necessary to examine anyone (1995 (2) S.C.C. 305

The court has jurisdiction only to answer the question referred to it by the Collector(2003(5) SCC 561).

The principle of res judicata is applicable to proceedings under the L.A.Act (1995(2) SCC 734; AIR 2004 SC 3491).

The court cannot reduce the compensation awarded by the Collector. But it can award compensation exceeding the claim (AIR 2002 SC 1045).

Even if the claimant remains absent or fails to adduce evidence, the court has to answer the question referred to it. It cannot dismiss the reference for default AIR 2002 S.C. 726).

The burden to prove the market value of an acquired property is always on the State (AIR 2001 S.C. 1117 ; AIR 2003 SC 4382). But the burden to prove that he is entitled to enhance compensation is on the claimant (AIR 1994 S.C.1142).

Order 6 Rule 17 C.P.C. is applicable and a reference application may be amended (AIR 2003 SC 1004; 2005 (12) SCC 1).

The court has power to decide whether the reference made by the Collector is valid and the court gets jurisdiction to answer the reference only if it is valid. If the reference is invalid the court shall reject it. If the Collector has referred a time barred application, it is not a valid reference (AIR 1979 SC 404; AIR 1996 SC 1513; 1997(9) SCC 710,  AIR 2003 Ker.263; AIR 2003 SC 942).

Executing Court cannot go behind the decree. It cannot examine the correctness of the decree and grant reliefs the Reference Court has omitted to grant (1996(4) SCC 533

Market value is the “price a willing purchaser would pay to a willing seller having due regard to its existing condition with all its existing advantages and its potential possibilities when laid down in the most advantageous manner” (AIR1977 SC 1560).

Oral evidence as to market value is not acceptable (AIR 1998 SC 2470).

Separate compensation cannot be awarded for fruit bearing trees standing on the land acquired (AIR 2002 S.C. 1423; AIR 1991 S.C.2027). Either market value of the land including trees treating them as timber, or annual net income of fruit bearing trees multiplied by a proper multiplier should be given. When market value is determined on the basis of the yield from the trees or a plantation the multiplier shall be 8 and in the case of agricultural properties it shall be 12 (maximum) (AIR 2002 SC 1423;

Tree growth cannot be valued with reference to its horticultural value or value of yield. Timber value should be given (AIR 1988 S.C. 943).



A certified copy of registered document may be accepted as evidence of the transaction recorded in the document (Sec.51A). It is not necessary to examine anyone to prove the contents. But the court is not bound to accept it as a reliable evidence. (AIR 2001 SC 1117;   AIR 2003 SC 4382;   AIR 2005 SC 3467).




·         A party may be impleaded to the proceedings in a reference court. The impleadment is not under Order 1 Rule 10 C.P.C. But it is by virtue of the provisions in Section 50(2) L.A.Act (AIR 1996 SC 1513).

·         The certified copies relied on by the Collector could be regarded acceptable as evidence by court unless it is shown by contra evidence on behalf of the claimants that such document could not have been relied on in making the award by the Collector. The reason is that they would only support his evidence and not establish something independent of the award. In such a case it is not necessary to examine anyone (1995 (2) S.C.C. 305

·         The court has jurisdiction only to answer the question referred to it by the Collector(2003(5) SCC 561).

The principle of res judicata is applicable to proceedings under the L.A.Act (1995(2) SCC 734; AIR 2004 SC 3491).

·         The court cannot reduce the compensation awarded by the Collector. But it can award compensation exceeding the claim (AIR 2002 SC 1045).

·         Even if the claimant remains absent or fails to adduce evidence, the court has to answer the question referred to it. It cannot dismiss the reference for default AIR 2002 S.C. 726).

·         The burden to prove the market value of an acquired property is always on the State (AIR 2001 S.C. 1117 ; AIR 2003 SC 4382). But the burden to prove that he is entitled to enhance compensation is on the claimant (AIR 1994 S.C.1142).

·         Order 6 Rule 17 C.P.C. is applicable and a reference application may be amended (AIR 2003 SC 1004; 2005 (12) SCC 1).

·         The court has power to decide whether the reference made by the Collector is valid and the court gets jurisdiction to answer the reference only if it is valid. If the reference is invalid the court shall reject it. If the Collector has referred a time barred application, it is not a valid reference (AIR 1979 SC 404; AIR 1996 SC 1513; 1997(9) SCC 710,  AIR 2003 Ker.263; AIR 2003 SC 942).

·         Executing Court cannot go behind the decree. It cannot examine the correctness of the decree and grant reliefs the Reference Court has omitted to grant (1996(4) SCC 533

·         Market value is the “price a willing purchaser would pay to a willing seller having due regard to its existing condition with all its existing advantages and its potential possibilities when laid down in the most advantageous manner” (AIR1977 SC 1560).

·         Oral evidence as to market value is not acceptable (AIR 1998 SC 2470).

·         Separate compensation cannot be awarded for fruit bearing trees standing on the land acquired (AIR 2002 S.C. 1423; AIR 1991 S.C.2027). Either market value of the land including trees treating them as timber, or annual net income of fruit bearing trees multiplied by a proper multiplier should be given. When market value is determined on the basis of the yield from the trees or a plantation the multiplier shall be 8 and in the case of agricultural properties it shall be 12 (maximum) (AIR 2002 SC 1423;

·         Tree growth cannot be valued with reference to its horticultural value or value of yield. Timber value should be given (AIR 1988 S.C. 943).

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CASE LAW ON LAND LAWS

KARNATAKA LAND LAWS