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Jag Jiwan Cooperative Group Housing Society Ltd. & Ors. Vs. Lt. Governor, NCT of Delhi & Ors.

[Civil Appeal No. 3278 of 2012]

[C.A. No. 3279 of 2012]

[C.A. No. 3280 of 2012]

ARUN MISHRA, J.

1. The appeals have been filed against the impugned judgment and order dated 3.2.2005 passed by a Division Bench of the High Court of Delhi. The case pertains to land acquisition proceedings initiated by way of issuance of notification under section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (the Act). It was proposed to acquire the land for Vasant Kunj residential scheme. Enquiry under section 5A was dispensed with as section 17(1) was invoked. The society filed a representation for withdrawal of the notification and thereafter filed a writ petition on 6.12.1999. The society claimed the ownership of the land admeasuring 42 bighas 16 biswas situated in village Mehrauli, New Delhi. The Government of India has policy to ensure shelter to the citizens and cooperative sector is to be given preference for allotting housing sites to encourage housing. The appellantsociety was not under liquidation at the time of issuance of the notification. On 29.9.2000 the declaration under section 6 of the Act was issued. The High Court allowed the writ petition in part, maintaining the notification dated 11.11.1999 under section 4 of the Act and quashed the same with respect to invoking the provision of section 17(4) of the Act.

2. The appeals were earlier heard by a Division Bench of this Court and decided vide order dated 26.2.2015. At the time of hearing of the appeal, it was submitted that in view of the provisions contained in section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (the 2013 Act). The acquisition has lapsed. This Court disposed of the appeals and permitted the landholders to initiate appropriate proceedings before the proper forum/court claiming the benefit of section 4 of the 2013 Act, and in case orders under section 24 of the 2013 Act are adverse to their interest, they may apply for reviving the appeal within 90 days of the passing of the order.

3. It is submitted in the Miscellaneous Applications which have been filed for revival of the appeals that the writ petition was filed in the High Court of Delhi. The writ petitions were allowed by the High Court. However, the D.D.A. has challenged the judgment and order passed by the High Court in the civil appeals. Appels have been allowed vide judgment and order dated 16.2.2018 hence the applications have been filed for revival of the appeals.

4. We have revived the appeals and heard them on merits. Shri Maninder Singh, learned senior counsel appearing on behalf of the appellants, urged that the need of the Cooperative Housing Society is for housing and the Government may be directed to release the land to the appellants. He has further submitted that the area is no more required and as per the policy of the Government, land should be denotified. Learned counsel appearing for the respondents has pointed out that the prayer for denotifying the land has already been rejected and there is no question of denotification of the acquired land. Correct facts have not been placed before this Court.

5. We find that no case for interference is made out in the appeals filed at the instance of the appellants. There is no rhyme or reason to direct denotification of the land and a prayer in that regard has already been rejected by the appropriate Government. Merely by the fact that one of the appellants is Cooperative Society, the complexion of the case does not change and this fact was duly taken note of at the time of land acquisition under the Act. Thus, no advantage can be derived from the policy of the State Government, the land acquisition could not be said to be illegal in any manner. There is no room for making indulgence to quash the land acquisition proceedings. Resultantly, the appeals being devoid of merits, are hereby dismissed.

..............................J. (Arun Mishra)

..............................J. (S. Ravindra Bhat)

New Delhi;

October 24, 2019.


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