Improvement Trust, Udaipur Vs. Bheru Lal & Ors  Insc
397 (20 September 2002)
B. Shah & D. M. Dharmadhikari. Shah, J.
Nos.4066-4104, 4106-4118 of 1999, CA Nos.858, 2603, 4344 of 2000, CA Nos. 2410,
5263 of 2001, CA Nos._6060,6055,6059,6057,6062,6056,6058,6061/2002 arising out
of SLP Nos.12817, 12822, 13826, 14907, 14909-12 of 2000 AND CA No. 6054/2002
arising out of SLP No. 2436 OF 2002.
granted in the special leave petitions.
notification under Section 4 (1) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereinafter
referred to as 'the Act') was made by the State of Rajasthan on 21st Februry,
1990 for acquiring approximately 4800 bighas of land situated in Tehsil Girwa,
district Udaipur as it was required by Urban Improvement Trust, Udaipur
(hereinafter referred to as 'the Improvement Trust'), for the public purpose
i.e. Udaipur Bhuwana Extension Scheme, Udaipur. Bhuwana Extension Scheme of the
Improvement Trust is a residential scheme sub-serving the objective of the
planned development and utilization of the notified land. The Improvement
Trust, Udaipur was established under the
provisions of the Rajasthan Urban Development Act, 1959 for the purpose of
carrying out improvement and expansion etc. of urban area of the city Udaipur. It provides for the acquisition of
any land or other property necessary for the execution of the Scheme.
the notification could be published in the official gazette, the Gram Panchayat
Bhuwana filed Civil Writ Petition No.2255 of 1991 on 20.5.1991 challenging the
notification dated 21st
February, 1990. In the
said matter, writ petitioner prayed for interim relief to the effect that the
Improvement Trust should not make any allotment to any person out of the land of Khasra Nos.2661,
2691 and 2835 of village Bhuwana and the notification be quashed. The High
Court passed the following interim order in the writ petition:
the status quo as it exists today with respect to the land in question will be
maintained." That writ petition when came up for hearing on 28.10.1994,
was not pressed and was dismissed as withdrawn.
these matters, following are the relevant dates on which submissions are made:
hearing of the aforesaid writ petition, notification which was prepared on 21st
February, 1990 was published on 31st March, 1990 and Ist April, 1990 in the
4.6.1992 notification under Section 4(1) dated 21.2.1990 was published in the
13.11.1992, substance of the said notification under Section 4 of the Act was
affixed at the conspicuous places.
17/19.5.1993, substance of the said notification was published in the local
17.5.1994, the declaration under Section 6 (1) was made.
24.5.1994, the said declaration made under Section 6(1) was published in the
9/10.10.1994, the declaration under Section 6 (1) was published in local
in some of the matters, awards under Section 12 of the Act were made and in
some of the cases proceedings for making awards were over but awards were not
passed. In the meantime, in all 43 writ petitions were filed, out of which 11
were filed in the year 1995, 30 were filed in the year 1996 and 2 were filed in
the year 1997 challenging the acquisition proceedings. Large number of other
land owners have not challenged the land acquisition proceedings.
learned Single Judge by his judgment and order dated 10.1.1997 in S.B. CWP
No.469 of 1996 etc. dismissed all writ petitions. Against that judgment and
order, Civil Special Appeal No.270 of 1997 etc. were preferred before the
Division Bench of the High Court. The High Court by impugned judgment and order
dated 6th March, 1998 allowed the appeals and quashed the
acquisition proceedings including the awards etc. with a clarification that
judgment would not confer any benefit on any other person who was not a party
before the Court. The Court held that publication of notices in the newspapers
prior to 4.6.1992, which is the date of publication of notification under
Section 4(1) of the Act, cannot be considered for the purpose of determining
the period of limitation for declaration made under Section 6(1). The last date
of publication of the substance of notification under Section 4(1) was
19.5.1993 and as the notification under Section 6 was published in the official
gazette on 24.5.1994, the same was beyond the period of one year and hence all
subsequent proceedings were void.
aforesaid finding cannot be sustained in view of Sections 4 and 6 of the Act as
well as the decision rendered by this Court in S.H. Rangappa v. State of Karnataka and another [(2002) 1 SCC 538] and Khadim
Hussain v. State of U.P. and others [(1976) 1 SCC 843].
would first refer to relevant ingredients of Section 4(1) of the Act, which are
it appears to appropriate Government that land in any locality is needed or
likely to be needed for the public purpose or for a company
notification to that effect shall be published in the Official Gazette; and
is also required to be published in (a) two daily newspapers circulating in
that locality, and (b) the Collector is required to cause public notice of the
substance of such notification at convenient places in the locality;
last date of such publication and giving such public notice is considered as
"the date of publication of the notification".
publication of the notification made or prepared by the Government would be of
no effect till it is published in the Official Gazette. That part of Section 4
is mandatory and is condition precedent for initiation of Land Acquisition
against this, Section 6 inter alia provides that when the appropriate
Government is satisfied after considering the report, if any, made under
Section 5A (2) that the land is needed for a public purpose or for a company
declaration shall be made to that effect under the signatures of a Secretary to
such Government or of some officer duly authorised to certify its order; and,
declarations could be made from time to time in respect of different parcels of
any land covered by the same notification under Section 4(1) of the Act.
Further, under the Ist proviso to the said section, it is inter alia provided
that no declaration in respect of a particular land covered by notification
under Section 4(1) shall be made after the expiry of one year from "the
date of publication of the notification".
(2) of Section 6 thereafter provides that every such declaration is required to
be published in the official gazette and in two daily newspapers circulated in
the locality and also the Collector is required to cause public notice of the
substance of such declaration at the convenient places in the said locality.
the different phraseology used in Sections 4(1) and 6(1), it is apparent that
under Section 4(1) publication in the official gazette is a condition precedent
for acquiring the land.
against this, Section 6(1) provides that if the appropriate Government is
satisfied that any particular land is needed for a public purpose or for a
company, a declaration is to be made to that effect under the signature of the
Secretary of such Government or of some officer duly authorised to certify its
order. Further, such declaration is to be made within a period of one year from
the date of publication of the notification under Section 4(1) of the Act.
Hence, Section 6(1) does not require that such declaration could not be
published in the official gazette after expiry of one year from the date of
publication of the notification under Section 4(1). Time limit of one year is
prescribed to a declaration to be made that land is needed for a public purpose
under the signature of a Secretary or authorised officer to such Government.
this view of the matter, in the present case, the relevant dates for
consideration would be 17/19.5.1993 when the substance of the notification
under Section 4 was published in the local newspapers and 17.5.1994 which is
the date on which declaration under Section 6 was made. The date 24.5.1994 when
such declaration was published in the official gazette is not required to be
considered. The notification under Section 6(1) is made within prescribed
the impugned order passed by the High Court considering the relevant date as
24.5.1994 for setting at naught the land acquisition proceeding cannot be
the aforesaid question is concluded by three Judge Bench decision of this Court
in S.H. Rangappa's case (supra), wherein it is held that Sub-section (2) of
Section 6 does not prescribe any time limit within which the declaration made
under Section 6(1) is to be published in official gazette. The time limit being
within one year of the publication of Notification under Section 4 is only for
the declaration which is required to be made under Section 6(1) of the Act. For
this purpose, the Court referred to the earlier decision in Khadim Hussain's
case (supra). The same view is taken in the case of Sriniwas Ramnath Khatod v.
State of Maharashtra and others [(2002) 1 SCC 689].
learned senior counsel Mr. R.P. Bhatt appearing for the respondents submitted
that the notices which were published in the daily newspapers on 31st March,
1990 and Ist April, 1990 are required to be taken into consideration for
computing the period of limitation of one year for the purpose of making of
declaration under Section 6(1). It is his contention that the notices were
published in the daily newspapers in March/April 1990 and, therefore, there was
no question of publishing the notices again in the newspapers on 17/19.5.1993.
subsequent publication of notices is required to be ignored.
view, the aforesaid submission is rightly rejected by the High Court. It has to
be stated that for the purpose of acquiring the lands, publication of the
notification under Section 4(1) in the official gazette is mandatory. If the
decision taken by the Government to acquire the land is not notified in the
official gazette, the said decision will be of no effect. As stated above,
Section 4 of the Act mandates that whenever it appears to the appropriate
Government that land in any locality is needed or is likely to be needed for
any public purpose or for a company, a notification to that effect shall be
published in the official gazette and acquisition process starts after
publication of the notification in the official gazette under Section 4(1).
[Re: Collector (District Magistrate), Allahabad and another v. Raja Ram Jaiswal [(1985) 3 SCC 1] and State of Haryana
and another v. Raghubir Dayal [(1995) 1 SCC 133]. Therefore, publication of the
Notification under Section 4(1) being a condition precedent for acquisition of
land, said date is required to be taken into consideration for counting the
period of limitation of one year and the previous publication of notices in the
newspapers were rightly ignored by the High Court.
also contended by Mr. Bhatt, learned senior counsel that taking 17th or 19th
May as the date of publication of substance of the Notification under Section 4
in the local newspapers, then there is delay in its publication. Therefore
also, the land acquisition proceedings are required to be quashed.
apparent that the Notification under Section 4 was first published in the
official gazette in June 1992. Thereafter substance was published in November
1992 at the conspicuous places and subsequently it was published in the local
newspapers. Considering this sequence of publication, even if there is some
delay, it would not mean that on this ground the land acquisition proceedings
under Section 4 require to be set aside. Similar view is expressed by this
Court in State of Haryana and another v. Raghubir Dayal and others [(1995) 1
SCC 133 para 7].
learned counsel for the appellant rightly submitted that on the ground of delay
and laches in filing the writ petitions, the Court ought to have dismissed the
same. In the present case, as stated above, the Notification under section 6
was published in the Official Gazette on 24.5.1994. The writ petitions are
virtually filed after two years. In a case where land is needed for a public
purpose, that too for a scheme framed under the Urban Development Act, the
Court ought to have taken care in not entertaining the same on the ground of
delay as it is likely to cause serious prejudice to the persons for whose
benefit the Housing Scheme is framed under the Urban Development Act and also
in having planned development of the area. The law on this point is well
settled. [Re. Reliance Petroleum Ltd. v. Zaver Chand Popatlal Sumaria and
others [(1996) 4 SCC 579] and Hari Singh and others v. State of U.P. and others
[(1984) 3 SCR 417].
result, the appeals filed by the Urban Improvement Trust are allowed. The
impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court in D.B. Civil Special
Appeal Nos.270-277/97 etc. allowing the appeals and quashing the land
acquisition proceedings is set aside.
judgment and order passed by the learned Single Judge is restored.
Appeal No.5263/2001 filed by J.K. Udaipur Udyog Ltd. is also dismissed.
shall be no order as to costs.