Allahabad High Court: Recently, an issue arose before the Court as to whether a person interested, who has not accepted the award made under Section 11 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, and has filed an application before the Collector under Section 18 of the Act, can file an application under Section 28-A of the Act for redetermination of the amount of compensation. The Additional District Magistrate answered it in negative stating that the remedy under Section 18 of the Act had earlier been invoked by the predecessor in interest of the petitioners by filing a reference application.
Counsel for the petitioner contended that Section 28-A of the Act does not contemplate that if a reference application is filed under Section 18 of the Act, a tenure holder cannot invoke the provisions of Section 28-A of the Act and submitted that the first appeal by his predecessor was not decided on merits, but was dismissed under O VII, R 11 of CPC. The counsel for respondent supported the view adopted by ADM.
On hearing both the parties, the Court discussed the relevant provisions highlighting that the award is made by the Collector under Section 11 of the Act. Section 18 provides that any person interested who has not accepted the award may, by written application to the Collector, require that the matter may be referred by the Collector for the determination of the amount of compensation by the Court and Section 28-A of the Act deals with re-determination of the amount of compensation on the basis of the award of the Reference Court.
The Division Bench referred to Scheduled Castes Co-operative Land Owning Society Limited, Bhatinda v. Union of India, (1991) 1 SCC 174 in which the Supreme Court had held that Section 28-A of the Act applies only to those claimants who had failed to seek a reference under Section 18 of the Act and would, therefore, not apply to a case where the claimant had sought and secured a reference under Section 18 of the Act. The Court held that there was no illegality in the order passed by the ADM in rejecting the application filed by the petitioners under Section 28-A of the Act as the same is not maintainable. [Dheer Singh v. State of UP, 2017 SCC OnLine All 596 , decided on 20.02.2017]