& Ors Vs. State of Kerala & Ors  INSC 263 (10 March 1997)
RAMASWAMY, G.T. NANAVATI
O R D
E R This special leave petition arises from the judgment of the Division Bench
of the Kerala High Court, made on February 9, 1996, in O.P. No.5382/83.
admitted position is that Notification under Section 4(1) of the Land
Acquisition Act, 1894 (for short, the "Act"), which is pari materia
with Section 3 of the Kerala Land Acquisition Act, was published on January 10, 1981. The petitioner has initially
challenged the scheme in O.P. No.2436/82 which was dismissed and was confirmed
in Writ Appeal No.223/82, dated April 23, 1982. The petitioner filed another writ petition in the year
1993 and got the further proceeding stayed. The same has been dismissed by the
High Court by the impugned order. Thus this special leave.
contended for the petitioner that when a notification under Section 48 of the
Act withdrawing the earlier notification in respect of some of the lands was
issued, the integrality of the notification stood disturbed and, therefore, the
acquisition has become bad in law. In support thereof, Shri Sukumar, learned
senior counsel, sought to place reliance on the judgments of Andhra Pradesh
High Court and Kerala High Court which are inconsistent with each other. He
states that as there is conflict of opinions the conflict needs to be resolved.
We find no force in the contention since the controversy has already been set
at naught by this court in Chandra Bansi Singh v. State of Bihar [ A.I.R. 1984
SC 1767] and The Spl. Land Acquisition Officer, Bombay v. M/s. Godrej &
Boyce [A.I.R. 1987 SC 2421]. Therefore, merely because some of the lands which
formed part of the same notification were denotified in exercise of the power under
Section 48 of the Act, the integrality of the notification for acquisition has
not become bad in law.
then contended that due to the delay in the disposal of the matters the prices
of the land have escalated and as a consequence, the acquisition has become bad
in law. We find no force in the contention. In support of this contention,
learned counsel relied upon those judgments of this Court where equities have
been worked out in directing payment of higher compensation from the date of
the publication of the declaration under Section 6. In those cases the State
was responsible for the delay. In this case it is not responsible for the delay
in finalisation of the acquisition. On the other hand, the petitioner has
himself put the spokes at every stage and have the matter delayed by agitating
his right in judicial proceedings. The pendency of the judicial proceedings
cannot be made a ground to say that in the process, due to escalation in the
prices, the notification issued under Section 4(1) of the Act has become bad in
law. Under these circumstances, we do not find any illegality in the judgment
of the High Court warranting interference.
Special Leave Petition is dismissed accordingly.