The Court held that the applicability of the second Proviso to Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act could not be relied upon as it is prospective in nature and does not take away vested rights
Delhi High Court relied upon the Apex Court decision the legal position to hold in the instant matter that effect of Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014 in respect of Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 is prospective in nature.
In the above mentioned writ petition, the Petitioners sought the benefit of Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act whereby seeking a declaration that the acquisition proceeding initiated under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 and in respect of which relevant Award was made would be deemed to have lapsed, as the physical possession of the subject land was not taken by the land acquiring agencies and the Petitioners continued to be in physical possession. This fact was however disputed by State stating that the possession has already been taken over way back and the compensation was also deposited in the treasury.
The Court held that the applicability of the second Proviso to Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act could not be relied upon as it is prospective in nature and does not take away vested rights by following the legal position clarified by the Supreme Court in its recent decision in M/s. Radiance Fincap (P) Ltd. & Ors. vs. Union of India & Ors. in Civil Appeal No. 4283/2011 and later also in Karnail Kaur & Ors. vs. State of Punjab & Ors. in Civil Appeal No. 7424/2013. The Supreme Court in the said matter had held that the right conferred to the land holders/owners of the acquired land under Section 24(2) of the Act is the statutory right which cannot be taken away by an Ordinance by inserting proviso to the above said sub-section without giving retrospective effect to the same.
In the instant petition, the Court accordingly held the Petitioners to be entitled to a declaration that the acquisition proceedings initiated under the 1894 Act in respect of the subject land were deemed to have lapsed.
[AAS Mohammad and Ors. vs. GNCT of Delhi and Ors.]
(Delhi HC, 09.02.2015)
[W.P. (C) 8704/2014 and CM 20025/2014]