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Whether the respondent be entitled to compensation w.r.t lands acquired after 5 years. (Whether the condonation of delay w.r.t 16/26 years is sustainable.)

COURT NAME – Hon’ble Supreme court

JUDGEMENT NAME – 

New Okhla Industrial Development Authority  v. Omvir Singh & Ors.   

CIVIL APPEAL NO.9085 of 2022  (@ Special Leave Petition (C) No.9558 of 2020)

DATEDecember 15, 2022

JUDGES NAMEBench of Hon’ble J. M.R. Shah and Hon’ble J. Hima Kohli

 

 FACTS OF THE CASE

The government had acquired Land under Land Acquisition Act, 1894 of the respondents vide Notification issued under Section 4, dated 22.11.1982. The possession was taken over by the state on 22.02.1983. The award was declared dated 05.09.1983 and determined the compensation at Rs 30000 per bigha. The father of the respondents had agreed to the compensation. But then at the instance of the original owners – father of the contesting Respondents, a Reference was made under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 raising objections against the Award was made. The respondents (original claimants) were claiming for compensation of Rs. 60000/- per bigha. The reference court dismissed the said reference. Then, review applications were filed which were also dismissed in the year 1998. Then after a period of 16 years of the dismissal of review applications in the year 2014/15, the respondents filed the present first appeal before the High Court, relying upon the judgement of some other first appeals. The high court of Allahabad enhanced the compensation to 297/- per sq. yard from Rs 120/- per sq. yard. The High Court had also condoned the delay of 16years but had denied the interest during the period of delay. 

And for enhancement of the compensation present appeal has been filed at the instance of NOIDA. 

 

CONTENTIONS OF APPEALLANT

The learned counsel submits that High Court the materially erred in entertaining the appeal; after a period of 16 years from the dismissal of the review application and more so after 26 years from the order of the Reference Court.

The Learned Counsel has taken the reference of the case of Asha Ram (Dead) through   LRs   and   Others   vs.   U.P.   Awas  Avam Vikas Parishad and Another, (2022) 2 SCC  567 where the Hon’ble court had reduced the compensation to Rs 120/- per sq. yard and so he submits that the Claimants must not be entitled to the compensation at the rate of Rs 297/- per sq. yard.

The Learned Counsel also quotes a case of U.P. Awas Avam Vikas Parishad (supra), where this Court had considered its earlier decision in the case of Narendra and Others vs.  State of Uttar Pradesh and Others, (2017) 9 SCC 4 426, where the court had allowed the compensation of Rs 297/- per sq. yard, however it was due to the development that took place between the year 1982-1987. And so, the court did not accept the case U.P.   Awas   Avam   Vikas Parishad (supra), compensation of Rs 297/- per sq yard and determined it at Rs 120/- per sq. yard.

 

CONTENTIONS OF THE RESPONDENT

The respondents learned counsel submitted that the High court had not made any error in condoning the delay of 16/26 years by stating that claimants are entitled to just compensation. 

Another contention made was that the learned counsel relies upon various judgements passed w.r.t similar acquisitions with respect to nearby villages where the amount of compensation was awarded @ Rs 297/- per sq. yard and so High Court has not committed any error.

Learned counsel appearing on behalf of original claimants has relied upon various decisions of the High court some of which are F.A.   No.   910/2000 in re:  GDA v.  Kashi Ram.  [DoJ: 13.11.2014]. SLP (C) No. 5815 of 2015, GDA v. Kashi Ram   &   Ors., here the compensation was fixed at Rs 297/- per sq. yard. NOIDA   v.   Surendra Singh, awarding compensation @ Rs. 135/ for Makanpur, was set aside by this Court and compensation of Rs. 297/- per sq. yard was awarded. And various other case laws were relied upon and so he prayed for dismissal of the present appeal.

 

PRINCIPLES AND OBSERVATIONS OF THE COURT

  1. It is observed by the submissions made by the appellant that the high court has erred in condoning the delay but it must be seen that even after enhancing the amount the court has denied the payment of interest for the period of delay. 
  2. The court observes that the cases relied upon by the original claimant’s counsel are of the year 1986/87 while the acquisition was made in the year 1982.
  3. All those cases where the amount determined Rs297/- per Sq. yards are of 1986/87 and w.r.t the villages Makanpur and other nearby villages that were acquired for the development of NOIDA/ Ghaziabad. 
  4. Subsequently in the case of U.P.   Awas Avam Vikas Parishad (supra) the court has determined the compensation at Rs 120/- per sq yard, it was decide giving the reference of the case Narendra & Ors. (supra).
  5. The court has observed that claimants must not be entitled to the same compensation as that are awarded w.r.t to the lands acquired after 5 years of the date of acquisition.

 

JUDGEMENT

The apex court modified the order passed by the high court. It ordered that respondents will be entitled to compensation @ Rs 120/- per sq. yard along with all statutory benefits and interest allowable under the provisions of Land Acquisition Act, 1894.

However, claimants must not be allowed to statutory benefits including the interest under act 1894 on enhanced amount of compensation for the period delayed due to preferring the appeal before the High Court from the rejection of the review application till the first appeal.

 

OPINION 

In my opinion the apex court has passed fair judgement as the cases cited by the counsel have well established the fact that the enhanced compensation is due to development work happened in between years 1982-1987 and so its fair they are compensated Rs 120/- per sq yard.

Writer’s Name – Anisha Dad

From College – Balaji Law College, Pune (6th semester, 3 year LLB)

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