Acquisition proceedings deemed to have lapsed under Right to Fair Compensation Act, 2013 on non-payment of compensation

Delhi High Court: A Division Bench comprising of G.S. Sistani and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, JJ. allowed a writ petition filed for seeking a declaration that the acquisition proceedings under which the land of the petitioner was acquired have lapsed.

A notification was issued under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 for acquisition of the subject land belonging to the petitioner. It was followed by a declaration under Section 6 vide which the subject land was finally acquired. An award of compensation to the petitioner was also rendered in 1985. However, the compensation was not paid till now. The petitioner submitted that since the compensation has not been tendered, the petitioners were entitled to a declaration that the acquisition proceedings have lapsed in terms of Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

The High Court perused the record and considered submissions made by the parties. The Court found that there was no room for doubt that compensation had not been tendered to the petitioners, and thus, one of the two necessary ingredients of Section 24(2) of the Act of 2013 was met. Furthermore, having regard to the fact that the award of compensation was announced more than five years prior to the commencement of the Act of 2013, the case of the petitioners was covered by Section 24(2). Thus, according to the Court, the petitioners were entitled to a declaration that the acquisition proceedings initiated under the Land Acquisition Act were deemed to have lapsed. The order was made accordingly. [Satwant Singh v. Land and Building Department,  2018 SCC OnLine Del 10870, dated 27-08-2018]

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