Mansimran Kaur

New Delhi, May 24, 2022: Placing reliance on its judgment in Indore Development Authority vs. Manoharlal and Others and considering that the amount of compensation was deposited with the Treasury and the possession was already taken over on September 7, 2005, the Supreme Court has set aside the order of the Allahabad High Court which held that the land acquisition proceedings with respect to the lands in question were deemed to have been lapsed.

In this case relating to the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, the Division Bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice B.V. Nagarathna observed that the High Court was incorrect to observe that the acquisition proceedings were lapsed under sub- section (2) of Section 24 of the Act, 2013 solely on the ground that the amount of compensation was not paid to the Court but to the Treasury.

The Ayodhya Faizabad Development Authority had preferred the present appeal after feeling dissatisfied with the impugned judgment passed by the Allahabad High Court whereby the the writ petition preferred by the original petitioners was allowed and it was held that the acquisition proceedings in respect to the three plots in question pertaining to original writ petitioners stood lapsed under Section 24(2) solely on the ground that, though the deposit was made in the Treasury, but the same was not deposited in the Court and consequently the payment of compensation of amount was not made to the land owners. 

To refute the findings of the High Court, the Apex Court relied on its judgment in Indore Development Authority Case (Supra) wherein it was observed that the expression paid in the main part of Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act does not include a deposit of compensation in court. The consequence of non-deposit is provided in the proviso to Section 24(2) in case it has not been deposited with respect to majority of landholdings then all beneficiaries (landowners) as on the date of notification for land acquisition under Section 4 of the 1894 Act shall be entitled to compensation in accordance with the provisions of the 2013 Act. It was also held therein that if a person has been tendered the compensation as provided under Section 31(1) of the 1894 Act, then it is not open to him to claim that acquisition had lapsed under Section 24(2) due to non-payment or non-deposit of compensation in court. 

Thus, applying the law laid in the aforesaid precedent, the Court opined that in the instant case the compensation amount was deposited with the Treasury and even the possession was already taken over. Therefore, the observation made by the High Court stating that the acquisition proceedings were deemed to have been lapsed, were quashed and set aside by this Court. Accordingly, the appeal was allowed. 

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