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Non-mention of handing over of land

Facts: 

  1. Land was transferred to DDA by LAC. 
  2. Compensation has not been tendered to the original writ petitioners of the High Court.
  3. There was no mention of transfer of land by LAC to DDA but handing over of possession by the Tehsil staff to the Land and Building Department.
  4. The HC does believe in taking over of the land by LAC, but due to non-payment of compensation the acquisition was deemed to have been lapsed.

Argument by Petitioner: 

  1. The land in question was handed over to DDA
  2. Therefore, the acquisition is complete and the lands vest in the Government and free from any encumbrances.

Argument of respondent: 

  1. In possession certificate, there is no reference of “taking over of the possession of the subject land” by the LAC.
  2. as per Section 16 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 only the Collector was empowered to take possession and possession taken by his subordinate cannot be said to be lawful.
  3. Therefore, the acquisition is unlawful.

Observation: 

  1. Mere non-mention of taking over of possession cannot be a ground not to believe the possession certificate in which it is specifically mentioned that the possession of the land in question is handed over to the DDA. What is relevant is handing over of the possession to  the DDA. 
  2. In the case of Indore Development Authority Vs. Manoharlal and Ors. (2020) 8 SCC 129. Paragraph 366 was observed in this case. From paragraph 366.1 to 366.9.

Judgement:  

The appeal was allowed.

Original Judgment: https://main.sci.gov.in/supremecourt/2022/22292/22292_2022_5_1504_40618_Judgement_15-Dec-2022.pdf

Written by: Anchal Pagar, New Law College, Bharati Vidhyapeeth, Pune

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