Sahib & Anr Vs. The District Collector & Ors  INSC 1371 (1 November 1996)
1ST DAY OF NOVEMBER, 1996 Present Hon'ble Mr. Justice K.Ramaswamy Hon'ble Mr.
Justice G.B. Pattanaik E.M.S. Anam, Adv. for the appellants. V.R. Reddy,
Additional Solicitor General, G. Negeswar Reddy, C.V.S. Rao, Advs. for Mrs.
Anil Katiyar, and M.T. George, Advs, With him for the Respondents.
O R D
following Order of the Court was delivered:
O R D
have heard learned counsel on both sides. Notification under Section 4(1) of
the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 [for short "The ACT"] was published on
October 16, 1987 proposing to acquire the land for
establishment of a telephone exchange. Declaration under Section 6 was
published in June 1988. It would appear that there was a negotiation between
the parties for settlement by determination of compensation by agreement, but
in the process, tow years Limitation prescribed under Section 11-A introduced
by Act 68 of 1984 in Act, had lapsed on June 16, 1990. As a result, the
notification and declaration by operation of Section 11-A stood lapsed.
Subsequently, the appellant had filed an application under Section 48(2) on September 17, 1990 for determination of compensation
which was rejected on February
18, 1992. The writ
petition was dismissed in O.P. No. 1061/93 on July 9, 1993 by the High Court of Kerala, Thus, this appeal by special
Learned counsel for the appellant, contended that bu statutory operation under
Section 11-A, when the acquisition stood lapsed, it amount, it amounted to
withdraw from acquisition by operation of sub-section (1) of Section 48.
Therefore, sub-section (2) of Section 48 stand attracted. Resultantly, the
Collector shall determine the amount of compensation due for the damages
suffered by the owner in consequence of the notification published under
Section 4(1) of Act and declaration under Section 6 and the proceeding taken
thereafter. The High Court and the Land Acquisition Officer, therefore, were
not right in rejecting the claim of the appellant. Having regard to contention,
we think that the contention of the learned counsel is not well-founded.
11-A was brought on statute by Amendment Act 68 of 1984. It was notorious that
the State, After Publication of declaration under Section 6 went on delaying
for years, to pass the awards putting obstruction to the owner of the land for
enjoyment; resultantly, loss and undue disadvantage ensued to the owner of the
land. To mitigate such hardship, the Parliament introduced Section 11-A and
directed the Land Acquisition officer to make the award within two years from
the date of publication of last of the step under Section 6(2) publishing the
declaration under Section 6. As a consequence, the Land Acquisition Officer is
statutorily under an obligation, at the pain of invalidation of the acquisition
itself, to make the award within two years unless it falls within one of the
provisions or the Explanation added thereto. In this case, neither the proviso
not the Explanation stards attracted to the facts.
since the Land Acquisition Officer did not make the award within two years from
the date of the declaration, viz., June 17, 1988, the entire acquisition shall stand
48 (1) of the Act provides that "[E]xcept in the case provided for a
Section 36, the Government shall be at liberty to withdraw from the acquisition
of any land of which possession has not been taken. " Consequently, due to
any notification Issued under Section 4(1) of the declaration published under
Section 6, if the owner is subjected to any detriment in enjoyment of the
property, Though the notification is withdrawn by the Government by exercising
the power under Section 48(1), since possession of the land was not taken, to
statute envisages payment of compensation for the loss suffered by the
owners/tenant. The right to claim compensaiton and the manner of determination
has been provided in sub-section (2) of Section (48) of the Act which reads as
Whenever the Government withdraws from any such acquisition, the collector
shall determine the amount of compensation due for the damage suffered by the
owner in consequence of the notice or of any proceeding thereunder, and shall
pay such amount to the person interested, together with all costs reasonably
incurred by him in the prosecution of the proceedings under this Act relating
to the said land." The word 'withdraws' would indicate that the Government
by its own action voluntarily withdraws from the acquisition; the Government
has necessarily to withdraw from the acquisition, in other words, there should
be publication of the withdrawal of the notification published under Section
4(1) and the declaration published under Section 6 by exercising the power
under Section 48(1). sub-Section (2) of Section 48 would then apply. In this
case, admittedly, the Government had not exercised the power under Section
48(1) withdrawing from the notification under Section 4(1) or the declaration
under Section 6. The statutory lapse under Section 11-A is distinct different
from voluntary act on the part of the Government. Therefore, it must be by
withdrawal of the notification by voluntary act on the part of the Stat under
Section 48(1). Under these circumstances, the appellant is not entitled to
avail of the remedy of sub- section (2) of 48 Section 48.
appeal is accordingly dismissed. No costs.