Under Section 24(2) land acquisition proceedings initiated under the 1894 Act, by legal fiction, are deemed to have lapsed where award has been made five years or more prior to the commencement of 2013 Act and possession of the land is not taken or compensation has not been paid.
Notification issued under Sections 4 and 17 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (Act) and another notification issued under Sections 6 and 17 of the Act was the subject matter of challenge in the present Writ Petition. A declaration was also sought to the effect that the land acquisition proceedings with respect to the land stands lapsed in view of Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (2013 Act) and for release of plot of the Petitioner and not to interfere in his peaceful possession over the same.
Facts about the dates of release of notifications, passing of award in the year 2008 and non-payment of award was not in dispute. Under identical and similar circumstance the Hon’ble Supreme Court has already held that land acquisition proceedings taken up under the Old Act shall be deemed to have lapsed under S. 24 (2) of the 2013 Act.
It was held that the 2013 Act had come into effect from 01.01.2014 and award in the present case was given on 21.10.2008. The period of five years prior to commencement of 2013 Act expired on 21.10.2013 and hence the award was made under the Old Act more than five years prior to the commencement of 2013 Act. The compensation was admittedly not paid.
Court rejected the contention on behalf of the authority that the subject land acquisition proceedings were concluded in all respects under the 1894 Act and hence they are not affected in view of the provision of Section 114(2) of the 2013 Act. It was observed that Section 114(1) of the 2013 Act repeals 1894 Act and sub-section (2) of Section 114 which makes Section 6 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 applicable with regard to the effect of repeal but this is subject to the provisions of 2013 Act.
Under Section 24(2) land acquisition proceedings initiated under the 1894 Act, by legal fiction, are deemed to have lapsed where award has been made five years or more prior to the commencement of 2013 Act and possession of the land is not taken or compensation has not been paid. This legal fiction comes into operation as soon as conditions stated therein are satisfied. The applicability of Section 6 of the General Clauses Act is subject to Section 24(2) of 2013 Act. The subject notifications were quashed.
[Bhusai vs. State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors.]
(Allahabad HC, 05.09.2014)