Vs. The State of Tamil Nadu & Ors  INSC 391 (4 April 1997)
RAMASWAMY, G.B. PATTANAIK
O R D
E R These special leave petitions arise from the judgment of the Division Bench
of the madras High Court, made on July 19, 1996 in W. M.P. No. 5231/88.
Notification under Section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act was published on
under Section 6 was published on March 3, 1978.
petitioner filed W.P. No. 7645/86 an obtained stay of dispossession. Since the
award was not made within two years under Section 11-A, he filed another writ
petition, viz., W.P. No. 3450/88. The High Court holding that the bar of
proviso does not attracts the operation of the stay obtained by the petitioner
in the earlier writ petition. Therefore, the acquisition dows not stand lapsed.
Learned counsel for the petitioner contends that the interim stay granted was
"not to dispossess" the petitioner and there is no impediment for
authorities to proceed further in passing the award. We find no force in the
11-A of the Act which reads as follows:
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:
that in a case where the said declaration has been published before the
commencement of the land Acquisition (Amendment) Act, 1984, the award shall be
made within a period of two years from such commencement.
In computing the period of two years referred to in this section, the period
during which any action or proceeding to be taken in pursuance of the said
declaration is stayed by an order of a Court shall be excluded." The
principle laid down by this Court in Yusufbhai Noormohamed Nendoliya v. State
of Gujarat [AIR 1991 SC 2153] is that the owner of the land or a person, who is
interested in the land and wants to take advantage of Section 11-A of the Act,
must not have obtained an interim order, against the Land Acquisition officer,
of whatsoever nature. The relevant portion of the Said judgment, which is
contained in paragraph 8 is as follows:- "The said explanation is in the
widest possible terms and, in our opinion, there is no warrant for limiting the
action or proceedings referred to in the Explanation to actions or proceedings,
proceeding the making of the award under Section 11 of the said Act. In the
first place, as held by the learned single judge himself where the case is
covered by Section 17, the possession can be taken before an award is made and
we see no reason why the aforesaid expression in the Explanation should be
given a different meaning depending upon whether the case is covered by Section
17 or otherwise. On the other hand, it appears to us that the Explanation is
intended to confer a benefit on a land-holder whose land is acquired after the
declaration under. Section is made in cases covered by the explanation. The
benefit is that the award must be made within a period of two years of
declaration, failing which the acquisition proceedings would lapse and the land
would revert to the Land- holder. In order to get the benefit of the said
provision, what is required, is that the land-holder who seeks the benefit must
not have obtained any order from a court restraining any action or proceeding
in pursuance of the declaration under Section 6 of the said Act so that the
Explanation covers only the cases of those land-holders who do not obtain any
order from a court which would delay or prevent the making of the award or
taking possession of the land acquired. In our opinion, the Gujarat High Court
was right tin taking a similar view in the impugned judgment." It is not
in dispute in this case that the petitioner filed W.P. No.10351/1982, seeking
quashing of the acquisition proceedings in question, in respect of the
remaining area of 6 acres comprised in S.No. 232/1C in Kottivakkam Village, Saidapet
Taluk and obtained an interim order which disabled the Land Acquisition
Officer, even though it related to a portion of the survey number in question,
to proceed in the matter, much less to pass an Award. The said writ petition
was allowed on 8.1.1988.
in so far as it related to the extent of 6 acres, comprised in the survey No.
referred to above was quashed. Even during the pendency of W.P. No. 10351/1982,
petitioner had filed another writ petition, viz., W.P. No. 7645/1986 and
obtained an interim order. W.P. No. 7645/1986 related to the remaining portion
of 4-33 acres and that writ petition is heard along with this writ petition.
However, we pass a separate order in that writ petition. The interim order
obtained in W.P. No. 7645/1986 disabling the land Acquisition officer to obtain
possession of the land in question, is still in operation. Therefore, from the
year 1982 till today, there has been an interim order passed in one of the writ
petitions referred to above, operating against the Land Acquisition officer,
disabling him to take possession of the land.
the circumstances, declaration under Section 6 does not get lapsed and
consequently notification under section 4(1) also does not lapse.
special leave petitions are accordingly dismissed.