$~33 * IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI % Judgment delivered on: 13.04.2015 + WP(C) No. 8350/2014 & CM 19345/2014 M/S CLEAR WATER & ANR. .... Petitioners versus UNION OF INDIA & ORS. ..... Respondents Advocates who appeared in this case: For the Petitioners : Mr Sumeer Sodhi with Mr Arjun Nanda, Mr Mohit Malhotra. For the Respondent No.1 : Mr Abhay Prakash Sahay. For the Respondent DDA :Mr Pawan Mathur with Mr Himanshu Gupta. For the Respondent Nos. 3&4 : Mr Yeeshu Jain with Ms Jyoti Tyagi. CORAM:- HON'BLE MR JUSTICE BADAR DURREZ AHMED HON'BLE MR JUSTICE SANJEEV SACHDEVA JUDGMENT
BADAR DURREZ AHMED, J (ORAL)
1. The counter affidavit on behalf of respondent nos. 3 & 4 is handed
over by Mr Yeeshu Jain. The same is taken on record. The learned
counsel for the petitioners does not wish to file any rejoinder affidavit
inasmuch as he would be relying on the averments already contained in
the writ petition.
W.P.(C) No. 8350/2014 Page 1 of 5
2. The petitioners seek the benefit of Section 24(2) of the Right to
Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation
and Resettlement Act, 2013 (hereinafter referred to as „the 2013 Act‟)
which came into effect on 01.01.2014. A declaration is sought to the
effect that the acquisition proceeding initiated under the Land Acquisition
Act, 1894 (hereinafter referred to as „the 1894 Act‟) in respect of which
Award No. 14/87-88 dated 26.05.1987 was made, inter alia, in respect of
the petitioners‟ land comprised in Khasra Nos. 777/2 (3-10), 781/1-2/2
(4-03) measuring 7 bighas and 13 biswas in all in village Satbari shall be
deemed to have lapsed.
3. The stand of the respondents is that physical possession of the said
land was taken on 14.07.1987. This is disputed by the petitioners, who
claim to be in actual physical possession of the subject land.
4. In so far as the question of compensation is concerned, the same
has not been paid to the petitioners but according to the respondents, the
same has been deposited in the treasury. Therefore, they seek to invoke
the second Proviso to Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act, which was
introduced by virtue of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency
W.P.(C) No. 8350/2014 Page 2 of 5
in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment)
Ordinance, 2015 (hereinafter referred to as “the said Ordinance”).
5. So far as the applicability of the second Proviso to Section 24(2) of
the 2013 Act is concerned, the same cannot be relied upon by the
respondents inasmuch as a similar provision introduced by the preceding
ordinance of 2014 has been held to be prospective in nature and does not
take away vested rights. This has so been held by the Supreme Court in
M/s Radiance Fincap (P) Ltd. & Ors. Vs. Union of India & Ors.
decided on 12.01.2015 in Civil Appeal No. 4283/2011 wherein the
Supreme Court held as under:-
“The right conferred to the land holders/owners of the
acquired land under Section 24(2) of the Act is the
statutory right and, therefore, the said right cannot be
taken away by an Ordinance by inserting proviso to the
abovesaid sub-section without giving retrospective effect
to the same.”
6. The same has been reinforced by the Supreme Court in Karnail
Kaur & Ors. Vs. State of Punjab & Ors. Civil Appeal No. 7424/2013
decided on 22.01.2015.
W.P.(C) No. 8350/2014 Page 3 of 5
7. From the above decisions, it is evident that the said Ordinance is
prospective in nature and the rights created in favour of the petitioners as
on 01.01.2014 by virtue of the 2013 Act are undisturbed by the second
Proviso to Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act, which has been introduced by
the said Ordinance.
8. Without going into the controversy with regard to the physical
possession, this much is clear that the Award was made more than five
years prior to the commencement of the 2013 Act and the compensation
has also not been paid to the petitioners, but has only been deposited in
the treasury, which does not amount to payment of compensation as
interpreted by the Supreme Court in Pune Municipal Corporation and
Anr v. Harakchand Misirimal Solanki and Ors: (2014) 3 SCC 183.
9. All the necessary ingredients for the application of Section 24(2) of
the 2013 Act as interpreted by the Supreme Court and this Court in the
following cases stand satisfied:-
(1) Union of India and Ors v. Shiv Raj and Ors: (2014) 6
(2) Sree Balaji Nagar Residential Association v. State of
Tamil Nadu and Ors: Civil Appeal No. 8700/2013
decided on 10.09.2014;
W.P.(C) No. 8350/2014 Page 4 of 5
(3) Surender Singh v. Union of India & Others: WP(C)
2294/2014 decided on 12.09.2014 by this Court; and
(4) Girish Chhabra v. Lt. Governor of Delhi and Ors:
WP(C) 2759/2014 decided on 12.09.2014 by this Court.
10. As a result, the petitioners are entitled to a declaration that the said
acquisition proceedings initiated under the 1894 Act in respect of the
subject land are deemed to have lapsed. It is so declared.
11. The writ petition is allowed to the aforesaid extent. There shall be
no order as to costs.
BADAR DURREZ AHMED, J
SANJEEV SACHDEVA, J
APRIL 13, 2015.
W.P.(C) No. 8350/2014 Page 5 of 5