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1995 (8) TMI 320 - SUPREME COURT

1995 (8) TMI 320 - SUPREME COURT - 1996 AIR 122, 1995 (3) Suppl. SCR 197, 1995 (6) SCC 31, 1995 (6) JT 248, 1995 (5) SCALE 74 - C.A. 7803 OF 1995 WITH CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 7820-21 OF 1995 [Arising out of SLP(C) Nos. 21401-02 of 1993 - Dated:- 31-8-1995 - PARIPOORNAN, K.S. AND RAMASWAMY, K., JJ. JUDGMENT PARIPOORNAN, J. Leave granted. 2. A batch of four writ petitions - CWJC No. 8426/88, CWJC No. 6373/88, CWJC No. 3720/90 and CWJC No.9000/89, was heard and disposed of by the High Court of Patna by a .....

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fficials - the Patna Municipal Corporation, the Patna Regional Development Authority, the District Land Acquisition Officer, Patna, the Buddha Griha Nirman Sahyog Samiti Ltd. and its officials are the respondents in these appeals. 3. The main contesting respondents in the above appeals are - the State of Bihar, the Patna Regional Development Authority, and the Buddha Griha Nirman Sahyog Samiti Ltd. CWJC No. 6373/88 was a writ petition filed by the Buddha Griha Nirman Sahyog Samiti Ltd., praying .....

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h formed the subject matter of the notification. The four writ petitions were disposed of by a common judgment dated 30.7.1993, by a Division Bench of the Patna High Court (S. B. Sinha and D. Sinha, JJ). By the aforesaid judgment the learned Judges directed the land acquisition officer to sign and complete the award in terms of the earlier order of the Court dated 31.7.1984, in Form 15 and to take further steps in terms of Section 12 of the Land Acquisition Act,1894 (hereinafter referred to as t .....

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itioners in CWJC No. 8426/88, the respondents and intervenors in CWJC No. 6373/88 and the petitioners in CWJC No. 3720/90, after obtaining special leave have filed the aforesaid appeals. 4. We heard Mr. Raja Ram Agarwal and Mr. S. B.Sanyal, Senior Counsel who appeared on behalf of the appellants and Mr. P. N. Lekhi, Senior Counsel, Mr. B.B. Singh, Advocate and Mr. A. Sharan, Advocate, who appeared on behalf of the respondents. The subject matter in the appeals relates to land acquisition proceed .....

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Government to acquire land for the purpose of providing it to doctors, lawyers, Government servants and journalists for building purpose. An extent of 25.09 acres of land was acquired under the normal procedure and the acquisition was completed on 11.7.1862. Possession of the land was taken and compensation was also paid. There is no controversy about this part of the acquisition. 6. The Society wanted to acquire another block of 32.48 acres, the land adjacent to the aforesaid 25.09 acres. The e .....

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ority), (hereinafter referred to as the 'Authority'), requested the Government to acquire 64.48 acres of land in Dujra and Rajapur villages for its Boaring Road Development Scheme, Phase-I. The extent of 32.48 acres of land which the Society wanted to acquire and for which proceedings were initiated (under Section 4(1) read with Section 17(4) fell within the area, which the Authority wanted the Government to acquire. A fresh Notification under Section 4 read with Section17(4) of the Act, .....

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was delivered to the Authority on 6.8.1962. Later, the Authority handed over possession of 32.48 acres to the Society. While so, in M.J.C. No. 65/62 the High Court of Patna stayed the land acquisition proceedings. The stay was in force from 23.1.1962 to 1.7.1964 and the M.J.C. was finally withdrawn. It appears that the Society deposited with the Authority a sum of ₹ 1 million on 7.4.1965. By letter No.254, dated 18.1.1972 the Government directed the Collector not to make the award till fil .....

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olution not to acquire the entire lands sought, expect those portions which were required for construction of the road. It is stated that two awards were passed on 13.3.1982 for an extent of 4.47 acres and 3.32 acres only and the amount of compensation due thereunder were also paid. No award was passed in respect of the remaining lands. It is in these state of affairs, on 22.8.1982 the Society filed the writ petition CWJC No. 3241/82, and assailed the resolution of the Authority dated 14.8.1981 .....

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sion of the land had been taken, the Government cannot withdraw from the acquisition. The validity of acquisition was upheld by the High Court which was affirmed by this Court and it was observed that the acquisition cannot be nullified, for not passing an award. The Court also noticed that there was unauthorized construction and encroachments, but since the land vested in the Government and possession was taken over, no rights will acquire by such unauthorized construction and encroachments. It .....

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ent Land Act, 1976 against 207 persons. The Society also filed Title Suit No. 32/87 in the Sub Court I, Patna against 357 persons for restoration of possession by evicting the encroachers. 7. The above events led to the filing of CWJC No. 6373//88 by the Society against the State of Bihar, the Authority and the Land Acquisition officer to give effect to the Judgment rendered in CWJC No. 3241/82 and for other reliefs and complete the acquisition proceedings. The appellants herein filed CWJC No. 8 .....

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igned. (iii) The Society is not entitled to any relief as prayed for in CWJC No. 6373/88, since it has initiated alternate proceedings by way of title suit and application under the Bihar Public Land Encroachment Act, 1956. 8. The sheet-anchor of the appellants plea is that the land acquisition proceedings have lapsed in view of Section 11-A of the Act. In order to understand the scope of the plea it will be useful to extract the relevant provisions of the Acts. [Section 6, Section 11, Section 1 .....

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ations may be made from time to time in respect of different parcels of any land covered by the same notification under section 4, sub-section (1), irrespective of whether one report or different reports has or have been made (wherever required ) under Section 5-A, sub- section (2) Provided that no9 declaration in respect of any particular land covered by a notification under Section 4, sub- section (1),- (i) published after the commencement of the Land Acquisition (Amendment and Validation) Ord .....

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o be paid by a Company, or wholly or partly out of public revenues or some fund controlled or managed by a local authority." "11. Enquiry and award by Collector.- (1) on the day so fixed, or on any other day to which the enquiry has been adjourned, the Collector shall proceed to enquire into the objections (if any) which any person interested has stated pursuant to a notice given under Section 9 to the measurements made under Section 8, and into the value of the land at the date of the .....

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Provided that no award shall be made by the Collector under this sub- section without the previous approval of the appropriate Government or of such officer as the appropriate Government may authorise in this behalf: (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), if at any stage of the proceedings, the Collector is satisfied that all the persons interested in the land who appeared before him have agreed in writing on the matters to be included in the award of the Collector in the fo .....

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de under sub- section (2) shall be liable to registration under that Act." "11-A. Period within which an award shall be made.- The Collector shall make an award under Section 11 within a period of two years from the date of the publication of the declaration and if no award is made within that period, the entire proceedings for the acquisition of the land shall lapse: Provided that in a case where the said declaration has been published before the commencement of the Land Acquisition ( .....

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made, may, on the expiration of fifteen days from the publication of the notice mentioned in Section 9, sub- section (1), take possession of any land needed for public purpose. Such land shall thereupon vest absolutely in the Government, free from all encumbrances. XXX XXX XXX (4) In the case of any land to which, in the opinion of the appropriate Government, the provisions of sub- section (1) or sub-section (32) are applicable, the appropriate Government may direct that the provisions of Secti .....

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quot; It was contended that in view of Section 11-A of the Act the entire land acquisition proceedings lapsed as no award under Section 11 had been made within 2 years from the date of commencement of the Land Acquisition Amendment Act, 1984. We are of the view that the above plea has no force. In this case, the Government had taken possession of the land in question under Section 17(1) of the Act.It is not open to the Government to withdraw from the acquisition (Section 48 of the Act). In such .....

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only after an award of compensation in respect thereof has been made under section 11. Upon the taking of possession, the land vests in the Government, that is to say, the owner of the land loses to the Government the title to it.This is what section 16 states. The provisions of section 11-A are intended to benefit the landowner and ensure that the award is made within a period of two years from the date of the section 6 declaration. In the ordinary case, therefore, when Government fails to make .....

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17(1) states so in unmistakable terms. Clearly, section 11- A can have no application to cases of acquisition under Section 17, because the lands have already vested in the Government and there is no provision in the said Act by which land statutorily vested in the Government can revert to the owner." (Emphasis supplied) We, therefore, hold that the land acquisition proceedings in the instant case did not lapse. 9. We are also of the view that the proceedings dated 31.7.1984 (appearing 82 t .....

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t all requisites of an award are mentioned in the said ordure, and since there is substantial compliance, it should be treated as an award. The High Court was also of the view that even a defective award which has provisions with the directions of the Court and the provisions of law will not invite " the wrath" of Section 11-A of the Act. We are in general agreement with the reasoning and conclusion of the high Court in holding that three proceedings dated 31.7.1984, in the facts and c .....

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ase where otherwise the conduct of the persons called for punishment in contempt, appears to be justified. We hold that the proceedings dated 31.7.1984, is in substance, an award, though it is not in Form 15. 10. Mr. Sanyal, senior counsel, very strongly contended that since the Society filed an application before the Collector under the Bihar Public Land Encroachment Act, 1956, and also title suit No. 32/87, in the Sub Court, Patna for removing the encroachments, the High Court was in error in .....

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is clearly distinguishable. In that case, the appellant before this court prayed for quashing the demand made against him in respect of royalty. His case was that gypsum ore was less than the p[articular percentage of purity. Whereas according to the revenue, it was not so established and the substance contained a higher percentage of purity. The plea of the appellant was not accepted by the statutory authorities. The writ petition filed by the appellant in the High Court was dismissed on the g .....

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arily the above rule should prevail. There may be extraordinarily situations or circumstances, which may even warrant, a different approach, where the orders passed by the Court are sought to be violated or thwarted with impunity. The Court cannot be silent spectator in such extra- ordinary situations. The position obtaining herein is rather a different and unusual one. The writ petition was filed by the Society (CWJC No. 6373/88), praying for a direction to the respondents to give effect to the .....

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relief cannot be withheld or denied. In the Judgment dated 23.9.1984, rendered in CWJC No.3241/82, the Court categorically held that non-passing of the award will not nullify the acquisition, the validity of the acquisition was upheld by the High Court and the Supreme Court, and the encroachments or the unauthorized structures were put up by persons in the property at their own risk, and it was further observed that once possession of the land was taken by the Government the fact that the owner .....

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ed, and relying upon the decision of this Court in Balwant Narayan Bhagde vs. M.D.Bhagwat and others, AIR 1975 SC 1767, it was held that once possession of the land was taken by the Government, even if the owner of the land entered upon the land and resumed possession of it the very next moment, such act does not have the effect of obliterating the consequences of vesting. In allowing the prayer of the Society in CWJC No. 6373/88, by a common judgment dated 30.7.1993, the High Court was only imp .....

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e is no award relating thereto, and the proceedings regarding that portion of the land, had lapsed. This plea is without substance. In our view the proceedings dated 31.7.1984 is in substance an award passed in pursuance of the directions given by this Court in CWJC No. 3421/82. The entire land, for which request for acquisition was made by the Authority, was delivered over to the Authority.Possession was taken of the entire land and the plea that possession of a small portion of the land was no .....

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