Withdrawal of compensation after expiry of five years of passing of award will not come in the way of attracting the mischief of Section 24 RFCTLARR Act 2013
The question that arose before the Court was whether in the light of Section 24(2) of The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, (Act), the impugned land acquisition proceedings deemed to have lapsed or not?
The Court taking note of the Pune Municipal Corporation Judgment as passed by the Supreme Court, held the same to be squarely applicable in the present case as well.
In the instant case, as observed by the Court, the award was passed in the year 1994 and there was a clear indication in the said award, that the there was a refusal on the part of concerned Appellant to receive the compensation and it was accordingly further stated that the compensation amount would be deposited by invoking Section 31(2) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. The concerned authority without any loss of time, issued a cheque, the amount of which included the compensation amount in respect of award as passed. The cheque was deposited to the credit of “Civil Deposit for works done for public bodies work deposit” in the year 1995; but failed to deposit the compensation amount in respect of award on the file of the then jurisdictional Court by invoking Section 31(2) of the 1894 Act, and only pursuant to the interim order passed in the present writ appeal, the amount was withdrawn from the credit of the above said Account and deposited the same on the file of the present jurisdictional Court in the year 2012, that too after the expiry of the time granted by the present Court.
The Court held that in the light of Section 24(2) of 2013 Act coupled with the Apex Court’s decision in Pune Municipal Corporation case, though the award came to be passed five years or more prior to the commencement of the 2013 Act, the compensation amount was not deposited on the file of the jurisdictional Sub Court on time. Due to the reason, the land acquisition proceedings were held to be treated as deemed to have lapsed.
P. Jayadevan vs. The State Government
(Madras HC, 03.04.2014)