Indrapuri Griha Nirman Sahakari Samiti
Ltd. Vs. The State of Rajasthan & Ors  INSC 178 (17 September 1974)
RAY, A.N. (CJ) RAY, A.N. (CJ) MATHEW, KUTTYIL
KURIEN CHANDRACHUD, Y.V.
CITATION: 1974 AIR 2085 1975 SCR (2) 68 1975
SCC (4) 296
CITATOR INFO :
F 1979 SC1713 (11)
Rajasthan Land Acquisition Act, 1953-Delay in
challenging acquisition proceedings-Effect of.
A notice under s. 4 of the Rajasthan Land
Acquisition Act, 1953 was issued by the State Government in May, 1960. It was
published in the gazette in June, 1960. A notice under s. 6 was issued in May,
1961 and under s. 9 in July, 1961.
In January 1970 the appellants challenged the
validity of these notifications. The High Court dismissed the writ petitions on
the ground that the petitioners were guilty of inordinate delay.
Dismissing the appeals to this Court.
HELD : The High Court rightly dismissed the
petitions on the ground of delay. Any challenge to the notifications should be
made within a reasonable time. [70B; A] If persons allowed the Government to
complete the acquisition proceedings on the basis that the notification under
s. 4 and the declaration under s. 6 were valid and then attacked the
notification on grounds which were available to them at the time when the
notification was published it would be putting a premium on dilatory tactics.
[69E-F] Aflatoon & Ors. v. Lt. Governor
of Delhi & Ors.  1 SCR 802 followed.
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeals
Nos. 943 and 980 to 989 of 1973.
Appeals by Special Leave from the Judgment
& Order dated the 12th April, 1973 of the Rajasthan High Court in D.B.
Civil Appeals Nos. 311, 310, 313, 316, 317,
320 to 325 of 1971.
A. K. Sen and M. M. Kshatriya for the
Niren De Attorney General and L. M. Singhvi,
S. M. Jain and S. K. Tewari, for the respondents.
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
RAY, C.J. These appeals are by special leave from the judgment dated 12 April,
1973 of the Rajasthan High Court.
The State of Rajasthan proposed to acquire
land for the planned development of the city of Jaipur.
On 13 May, 1960 a notice was issued under
section 4 of the Rajasthan Land Acquisition Act, 1953 (hereinafter referred to
as the Act) which was published in the Rajasthan Gazette on 9 June, 1960. No
objection was made under section 5A of the Act, A notice under section 6 of the
Act was published on 11 May, 1961. On 18 July, 1961 notices under section 9 of
the Act were issued, 69 63 persons including the predecessor-in-title of the
appellant in Civil Appeal No. 943 of 1973 filed claims.
An award under the Act was made on 9 January,
1964. On 9 July, 1964 the award was amended because of certain transactions of
sale of portions of the land.
Writ Petitions were filed on 23 January,
1970. The appellants challenged the validity of the notifications dated 13 May,
1960 and 3 May, 1961 issued under sections 4 and 6 of the, Act. The appellants
also challenged the notices dated 18 July, 1961 under section 9 of the Act.
The High Court held that the appellants were
guilty of inordinate delay. The appellants failed on that ground.
The High Court also dealt with the challenge
to the land acquisition proceedings on the ground of discrimination and the
further plea that the land was being acquired at negligible price and the same
would be sold at exorbitant price by the Improvement Trust to the public. The
High Court did not accept any of the grounds on the merits.
The Attorney General said at the threshold
that if the appellants, would fail on the ground of delay it was not necessary
to go into the rest of the contentions in the judgment.
This Court in the recent decision in Aflatoon
& Ors. v. Lt. Governor of Delhi & Ors.(1) held that if persons allowed
the Government to complete the acquisition proceedings on the basis that the
notification under section 4 and the declaration under 6 were valid and then
attacked the notification on grounds which were available to them at the time
when the notification was published it would be putting a premium on dilatory
The facts in A flatoon's case (supra) were
these. On 13 November, 1959 notification under section 4 of the Land
Acquisition Act was issued between 1959 and 1961 objections were filed under
section 5A of the Act. On 18 March, 1966 declaration under section 6 of the Act
was published. In 1970 notices under section 9 of the Act were issued. Writ
Petitions were filed in 1972. The petitioners did not move after the
declaration under section 6 of the Act. The petitioners came to the court after
the issue of notice under section 9 of the Act.
In the present case the facts show in bold
relief that the appellants came to Court nine years after the declaration under
section 6 of the Act.
Land Acquisition proceedings commence with
the notification under section 4 of the Act. Objections are invited under
section 5A of the Act. Thereafter a declaration under section 6, of the Act is
(1) (1975 1 S.C.R. 802.
70 made. Any challenge to a notification
under section 4 and a declaration under section 6 of the Act should be made
within a reasonable time there-after. The length of the delay is an important
circumstance because of the nature of the acts done during the Interval on the
basis of the notification and the declaration.
The High Court rightly dismissed the
applications on the ground of delay.
The appeals are dismissed with costs. There
will be one set of costs.
P.B.R Appeals dismissed.