Kumar & Ors Vs. State of Haryana & Anr  Insc 65 (23 January 2007)
Sinha & Markandey Katju [Arising out of S.L.P. (Civil) Nos. 233-234 of 2005] S.B.
herein are owners of lands appurtenant to Khasra Nos.
3830 and 3831. They acquired the said lands in 1993 and allegedly raised
certain construction thereupon. A notification under Section 4(1) of the Land
Acquisition Act, 1894 (for short, 'the Act') was issued on 20.12.1996 for
acquisition of the said lands. A suit was filed by the appellants herein in the
Court of the Civil Judge, Senior Division, Panipat, questioning the validity of
the said notification, inter alia, on the premise that the said proceeding was
illegal and in any event the constructions raised by them cannot be demolished
in view of a policy decision taken by the State. On an application for grant of
injunction filed by the appellants, an order of interim injunction was passed
on 30.08.1997 in the following terms :
written statement, no reply to injunction application and arguments on the
same, to come up on 23.9.1997. In the meantime, the defendants are restrained
from demolishing the construction and initiating further action on the memo in
dispute as according to the Jamabandi disputed property is in the shape of Gair
Mumkin Plots and it is arguable point as to whether the provisions of Punjab
Scheduled Roads Act are applicable to the Gair Mumkin plots or not."
Indisputably, the said interim order was extended from time to time, as would
be noticed hereinafter. By an order dated 24.09.1997 while adjourning the suit
to 29.11.1997, the order of stay dated 30.08.1997 was extended. On 29.11.1997,
the following order was passed :
case is adjourned to 09.01.1998 for filing of written statement and reply to
the injunction application.
then stay order dated 30.8.98 is extended." [Emphasis supplied] Yet again
by an order dated 09.01.1998, the stay order was extended till 23.03.1998.
Similar order was passed on 23.03.1998. The matter was, however, placed on
28.07.1998 on the ground that the Presiding Officer was to remain on leave on
29.07.1998. The matter was adjourned to 09.09.1998.
the order of injunction was not extended.
some adjournments, the suit was dismissed for default on 19.08.2000.
declaration under Section 6 of the Act was issued on 29.11.2000.
petition was filed questioning the legality and/or validity of the said
direction before the Punjab & Haryana High Court, which was registered as C.W.P.
No. 11329 of 2002. By reason of the impugned judgment the said writ petition
has been dismissed by a Division Bench of the High Court, inter alia, opining :
position, as explained in the written statement, appears to be correct. Simply
because, while adjourning the case the Presiding Officer was not holding the
Court, a day earlier to the date fixed, where orders with regard to stay are
silent, would not mean that stay was vacated.
case, case remained pending after the adjourned date, as mentioned above, as
well and it is the positive case of respondents that stay was operative till
such time suit was dismissed in default on 19.8.2000. Even otherwise, we are of
the firm view that if once stay is granted and same is not specifically vacated
and the case is simply adjourned, it cannot be interpreted to mean that stay
was operative only upto a date when case was adjourned without passing any
order with regard to extension or otherwise of stay. The petitioners, it
appears, have intentionally withheld the orders passed after the case was
adjourned to 9.9.1998" A review application filed there against was also
of Mr. M.N. Krishnamani, learned Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of the
appellants, is that having regard to the fact that the order of injunction was
operative only for the period between 24.09.1997 and 09.09.1998, the High Court
went wrong in dismissing the writ petition filed by the appellants herein
inasmuch as the declaration made under Section 6 of the Act on 29.11.2000 was
clearly beyond the period of one year from the date of issuance of notification
issued under sub-section (1) of Section 4 of the Act, as enshrine d under
Section 6 thereof.
Shrivastava, learned Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of the respondents, on
the other hand, would submit that having regard to the nature of the order of
injunction passed on 30.08.1997, it must be held to have remained operative
till 19.08.2000 when the suit was dismissed for default.
short question which arises for consideration in this appeal is as to whether
the order of ad interim injunction granted by the learned Civil Judge, Senior
Division, Panipat, was operative till 09.09.1998 or 19.08.2000. We have noticed
hereinbefore the nature of the orders passed by the learned Civil Judge.
Although in its order dated 30.08.1997, the learned Civil Judge, used the term
"In the meantime", which was repeated in its order dated 24.09.1997,
but in the subsequent orders beginning from 29.11.1997, the expression used was
term of the order of the learned Judge, in our opinion, does not leave any
manner of doubt whatsoever that the interim order was only extended from time
to time. The interim order having been extended till a particular date, the
contention raised by the respondents herein that they were under a bona fide
belief that the injunction order would continue till it was vacated cannot be
considered opinion, the purport of the order passed by the learned Civil Judge,
Senior Division, Panipat, in extending the order of injunction is absolutely
clear and explicit. It may be true that the date was preponed to 28.07.1998,
but from a bare perusal of the order passed by the learned Civil Judge, Senior
Division, it is evident that the order of injunction was not extended. Even on
the subsequent dates, the order of injunction was not extended. In fact, no
order extending the period was passed nor any fresh order of injunction was
passed by the learned Civil Judge, Senior Division, subsequent thereto.
(ii) appended to sub-section (1) of Section 6 of the Act clearly debars making
of any declaration in respect of any particular land covered by a notification
issued under sub-section (1) of Section 4 after the expiry of one year from the
date of publication thereof. Explanation (1) appended to the said proviso,
however, stipulates that in computing any of the periods referred to in the
first proviso, the period during which any action or proceeding to be taken in
pursuance of the notification issued under Section, 4(1), is stayed by an order
of a Court, shall be excluded. On a plain reading of the aforementioned
provisions, there cannot be any doubt whatsoever that the period which is
required to be excluded would be one, during which the action or proceeding
taken was subjected to any order of stay passed by a competent court of law.
of the Act should be construed having regard to the purport and intent thereof.
Section 6 of the Act is beneficent to the land owners.
Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. v. Darius Shapur Chenai and Others [(2005)
7 SCC 622], it was held :
Act is an expropriatory legislation. This Court in State of M.P. v. Vishnu Prasad Sharma observed that in such a case
the provisions of the statute should be strictly construed as it deprives a
person of his land without consent. [See also Khub Chand v. State of Rajasthan and CCE v. Orient Fabrics (P)
Ltd." We have noticed hereinbefore that the proviso appended to sub-
section (1) of Section 6 is in the negative term. It is, therefore, mandatory
in nature. Any declaration made after the expiry of one year from the date of
the publication of the notification under sub-section (1) of Section 4 would be
void and of no effect. An enabling provision has been made by reason of the
explanation appended thereto, but the same was done only for the purpose of
extending the period of limitation and not for any other purpose.
purport and object of the provisions of the Act and in particular the proviso
which had been inserted by act 68 of 1984 and which came into force w.e.f.
24.09.1984 must be given its full effect. The said provision was inserted for
the benefit of the owners of land. Such a statutory benefit, thus, cannot be
taken away by a purported construction of an order of a court which, in our
opinion, is absolutely clear and explicit.
is no warrant for the proposition, as was stated by the High Court that unless
an order of stay passed once even for the limited period is vacated by an
express order or otherwise; the same would continue to operate.
therefore, are of the opinion that the judgment of the High Court cannot be
sustained, which is set aside accordingly. The appeal is allowed.
facts and circumstances, there shall, however, be no order as to costs.