Kerala & Ors Vs. M. Bhaskaran Pillai
& ANR  INSC 501 (5 May 1997)
RAMASWAMY, D.P. WADHWA
O R D
E R Leave granted.
appeal by special leave arises from the judgment of the Division Bench of the Kerala
High Court, made on July 24,1991 Writ Appeal No.86 of 1990.
admitted position is that an extent of 1.94 acres of land was acquired way back
in 1952 for construction of national highway. The construction was completed in
the extent of 1.94 acres, 80 cents of land were used and the balance land
remained unused. When respondent No.1 had applied for sale of the property by
dated December 21,1979, the property was sought to be sold
to him at the same rate at which compensation was awarded under Section 11,
that was interdicted by way of writ petitions. The sheet-anchor of the
Government to sustain the action is the executive order issued by the
Government for permission for alienation of the land. The High Court has
declared the executive action as invalid in the light of the Kerala Land
Assignment Act, 1960 (Act 30 of 1960) (for short, the `Act'). The high court
has pointed out that the assignment is in contravention of the Act. Thus, this
appeal by special leave.
view of admitted section that the land in question was acquired under the Land
Acquisition Act, it stood vested in the State free from all encumbrances. The
question emerges: whether the Government can assign the land to the erstwhile
owners? It is settled law that land is acquired for a public purpose was achieved,
the rest of the land could be used for any other purpose. In case there is no
other public purpose for which the land is needed, then instead of disposal by
way of sale to the erstwhile owner, the land should be put to public auction
and the amount Fetched in the public auction can be better utilised for the
public purpose envisaged in the Directive Principles of Constitution. In the
present case, what we find is that the executive order is not in consonance
with the provision of the Act and is, therefore, invalid. under these
circumstances, the Division Bench is well justified in declaring the executive
order as invalid. whatever assignment is made, should be for a public purpose.
the land of the Government should be sold only through the public actions so
that the public also gets benefited by getting higher value.
appeal is accordingly dismissed. No costs.