The Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Bangalore vs The State of Karnataka

The Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Bangalore vs The State of Karnataka - Supreme Court Case - Judgment 2022

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 1345­1346 OF 2022
The Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee      ..Appellant (S)
Bangalore 
Versus
The State of Karnataka & Ors.                             ..Respondent (S)
With 
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 1347­1374 OF 2022
J U D G M E N T 
M. R. Shah, J.
1. As common question of law and facts arise in this group of
appeals and as such are between the same parties, all
these appeals are decided and disposed of together by this
common judgment and order.    
2. Feeling   aggrieved   and   dissatisfied   with   the   impugned
judgment and order in respective writ appeals preferred by
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the appellant herein – the Agricultural Produce Marketing
Committee,   Bangalore   (hereinafter   referred   to   as   the
“APMC”), by which the Division Bench of the High Court
has dismissed the said writ appeals and confirmed the
common judgment and order passed by the learned Single
Judge passed in respective writ petitions preferred by the
private   respondents   herein   –   original   land   owners   and
declared that the acquisitions of the lands in question has
lapsed   under   Section   24(2)   of   the   Right   to   Fair
Compensation   and   Transparency   in   Land   Acquisition,
Rehabilitation   and   Resettlement   Act,   2013   (hereinafter
referred to as “the Act, 2013”), the APMC, Bangalore has
preferred the present appeals. 
3. The facts leading to the present appeals in a nutshell are
as under: ­ 
3.1 That the lands in question were acquired in three parts.
The first acquisition was in respect of 172 acres 22 guntas
of land owned by respondent No.4 – Jamanlal Bajaj Seva
Trust (for short “Trust”). Second acquisition was in respect
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of 104 acres 5 guntas of land owned by very respondent
No.4 – Trust and the third acquisition was in respect of 3
acres 34 guntas of land (which is not the subject matter of
appeals before this Court). 
3.2 The   relevant   facts   in   respect   of   first   and   second
acquisitions are as under: ­
In respect of 172 acres 22 guntas (First Acquisition)
3.2.1 That a notification was issued under Section 4(1) of the
Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereinafter referred to as “the
Act,   1894”)   on   03.09.1994   in   respect   of   172   acres   22
guntas of land owned by respondent No.4 herein – Trust in
Srigandadakaval Village, Yeshwanthpura Hobli, Bengaluru
for establishing a mega market by the appellant – APMC,
Bangalore.
3.2.2 One   Rajajinagar   House   Building   Co­operative   Society
challenged   the   notification   issued   under   Section   4(1),
before the High Court of Karnataka by way of Writ Petition
No.28988/1994.   It   was   the   case   on   behalf   of   the   said
society that the land should be acquired for them and not
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for APMC. The said writ petition came to be dismissed by
the High Court vide order dated 23.12.1995.
3.3.3 Thereafter a notification/declaration under Section 6 of the
Act, 1894 was issued on 10.10.1996 and published on
13.10.1996. A draft award was prepared in respect of 172
acres 22 guntas of land on 12.08.1998. 
3.3.4 On the instructions given by the Land Acquisition Officer,
the   appellant   –   APMC   deposited   Rs.9,14,14,873/­   on
19.08.1998 towards approximate cost of the acquisition. 
3.3.5 It appears that the aforesaid Rajajinagar House Building
Co­operative Society filed another writ petition being W.P.
No.6880/1997   before   the   High   Court,   before   the
acquisition   of   172.50   acres   of   land   at   Srigandadakaval
Village could be completed.  The High Court granted an exparte order of stay of acquisition proceedings vide interim
order   dated   16.09.1998.   Thereafter   respondent   no.4   –
original   land   owner   filed   Writ   Petition   No.3884/1998
before   the   High   Court,   challenging   the   acquisition
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proceedings.   Vide   interim   order   dated   08.02.1999,   the
High Court ordered stay of dispossession.              
In respect of 104 acres 5 guntas (Second Acquisition)
3.4 That a notification under Section 4(1) read with Section
17(4) of the Act, 1894, dispensing with the requirement of
hearing was issued on 13.04.1999 in respect of 104 acres
5 guntas of land owned by respondent No.4 – Trust in
Herohalli Village, Yeshwanthpura Hobli, Bangalore North
Taluk, for establishing a mega market by the appellant –
APMC. A final notification under Section 6(1) read with
Section 17(1) to 17(4) was issued in respect of 100 acres
11 guntas  out  of  104 acres 5 guntas  which  had  been
notified under Section 4(1) on 13.04.1999, leaving an area
of 3 acres 34 guntas out of acquisition. An enquiry under
Section 5A was dispensed with.
3.4.1 That   one   Vishwaneedam   Trust   filed   Writ   Petition
No.708/2000 before the High Court challenging the said
acquisition. The High Court granted stay of dispossession
in   respect   of   35   acres   out   of   the   100   acres   5   guntas
situated in Herohalli Village. 
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3.4.2 Respondent No.4 – Trust – original land owner filed Writ
Petition   No.37140/2000   challenging   the   notifications
dated 13.04.1999 and 26.10.1999 in respect of the lands
at Herohalli Village. 
3.4.3 According   to   the   appellant,   possession   was   taken   and
handed over to the APMC by the Land Acquisition Officer
vide   an   Official   Memorandum   of   Possession   dated
06.10.2000 in respect of 65 acres 19 guntas of the lands at
Herohalli Village.
3.4.4 That an award was made by the State Land Acquisition
Officer (SLAO) on 22.05.2002, referring to a Government
order dated 26.03.2002, in respect of 100 acres 11 guntas
covered by Section 6 notification dated 26.10.1999. The
award   provided   for   payment   of   compensation   to
respondent   No.4   –   Trust   after   excluding   34   acres   14
guntas of acquired land treating the same as Phut Kharab
belonging   to   the   Government   and   further   excluding   35
acres in respect of the writ petition filed Vishwaneedam
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trust in which an order of stay of dispossession had been
passed by the High Court. The said compensation was
accepted by respondent No.4 under protest. Respondent
No.4 – Trust – original land owner filed a Land Acquisition
Case   No.1/2003   seeking   enhancement   of   compensation
which seems to be pending.
3.5 Thus, Writ Petition No.3884/1998 filed by respondent No.4
–   original   land   owner   was   in   respect   of   172   acres   22
guntas of land. Writ Petition Nos.37140­37146/2000 was
in   respect   of   100   acres   of   land   and   Writ   Petition
No.708/2000 was filed by Vishwaneedam Trust in respect
of second acquisition (part). 
3.6 A   common   statement   of   objections   was   filed   by   the
appellant – APMC to all the writ petitions. 
3.7 That   the   APMC   filed   IA   No.01/2007   in   W.P.
No.37140/2000, to permit APMC to hand over 9 acres of
land   out   of   65   acres   11   guntas   to   the   Bangalore
Development Authority (BDA) and 4 acres to the Bangalore
Water  Supply and  Sewerage Board (BWSSB). That  vide
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order dated 21.03.2007, the learned Single Judge allowed
the said IA No.01/2007 and granted permission to the
APMC as prayed. 
3.8 At this stage, it is required to be noted that in respect to
the   lands   in   question   and   other   lands   owned   by
respondent No.4 – Trust, proceedings were pending before
the Land Reforms Tribunal, Bangalore N. Taluk. At this
stage, it is required to be noted that it was the specific case
on   behalf   of   the   State   and   the   APMC   that   unless   the
proceedings under the Karnataka Land Reforms Act (KLR
Act) are disposed of, the compensation is not required to
be   deposited   as,   if   ultimately   it   is   held   that   the   land
acquired is excess vacant land under the provisions of KLR
Act, in that case, the said land would vest with the State
Government   and   therefore,   no   compensation   would   be
payable.   Therefore,   since   the   Government   was   not
proceeding   with   making   of   awards   or   offering
compensation   on   the   ground   that   proceedings   were
pending before the Land Reforms Tribunal, by the same
order dated 21.03.2007 the learned Single Judge directed
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the Tribunal to dispose of application No.LRF 2099/74­75
under Section 66 of the KLR Act, within three months.  
3.9 The   order   passed   by   the   learned   Single   Judge   dated
21.03.2007 granting permission to the APMC to hand over
9 acres of land to BDA and 4 acres of land to BWSSB was
challenged before the Division Bench of the High Court by
way of Writ Appeal No.1011/2007. The Division Bench of
the   High   Court   stayed   the   order   of   the   learned   Single
Judge.   The   said   appeal   along   with   some   companion
appeals came to be disposed of by the Division Bench vide
order dated 28.06.2012, directing learned Single Judge to
decide   all   the   connected   writ   petitions   finally   and
continued the interim stay granted by the Division Bench
until the final disposal of all the petitions.
3.10 Thereafter APMC filed IA No.03/2008 seeking permission
to build a wall around 65 acres of land, which came to be
allowed vide order dated 12.02.2009. It is reported that
thereafter APMC has completed the fencing work. 
Proceedings before the Land Reforms Tribunal
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3.11 That the Land Reforms Tribunal (hereinafter referred to as
“the Tribunal”) passed an order dated 12.01.2010 in the
proceedings under the KLR Act holding that 213 acres 20
guntas of respondent No.4 – Trust’s land was excess land
under the said Act. 
3.11.1 The order passed by the Tribunal was challenged before
the High Court in Writ Petition No.4311/2010. The High
Court   vide   order   dated   24.03.2014   remitted   the
proceedings to the Tribunal with directions for a fresh
consideration. 
3.11.2 On   remand   the   Tribunal   passed   a   fresh   order   dated
22.09.2015 and declared that 265 acres 24 guntas of
land held by respondent No.4 – Trust was excess land.
That the order passed by the Tribunal dated 22.09.2015
was challenged before the High Court and the High Court
vide order dated 02.05.2017 set aside the order passed
by   the   Tribunal   dated   22.09.2015   and   once   again
remitted the matter to the Tribunal. 
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3.11.3 That the Tribunal passed a fresh order dated 28.11.2017
and declared that 354 acres 10 guntas was excess land.
The order passed by the Tribunal dated 28.11.2017 was
again the subject matter before the High Court by way of
Writ   Petition   No.55344/2017.   By   judgment   and   order
dated 30.06.2021, the learned Single Judge has quashed
and set aside the Tribunal’s order dated 28.11.2017. It is
reported that against the judgment and order passed by
the   learned   Single   Judge   of   the   High   Court   dated
30.06.2021 passed in Writ Petition No.55344/2017, the
State has preferred a writ appeal being W.A. No.1089/21,
which is reported to be pending before the Division Bench
of the High Court. 
3.12 That   all   the   aforesaid   writ   petitions   being   W.P.
No.3884/1998 (in respect of 172 acres of land), W.P. Nos.
37140­37146/2000 (in respect of 100 acres of land) and
others writ petitions being W.P. No.708/2000 and 19579­
19585/2001, were clubbed together. During the pendency
of the aforesaid writ petitions the Act, 2013 came into
force.   Therefore,   the   writ   petitioners   submitted   an
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application dated 24.02.2014 seeking to invoke the benefit
of the Act, 2013 and urged that the benefit of provisions of
the said Act would be available to it. 
3.13 That the learned Single Judge framed the following points
for consideration: ­
a. Whether the disposal of these petitioners should
be   deferred   pending   adjudication   and
determination by the Land Tribunal, Bangalore
North Taluk of the excess holdings or otherwise
under   the   provisions   of   the   Karnataka   Land
Reforms Act, 1961 of the very lands which are
the subject matter herein. 
b. Whether the possession of a portion of the lands
in question having said to have been given to
APMC can be said to be valid and in accordance
with law. 
c. Whether the invocation of Section 17 of the LA
Act in the acquisition of a portion of the lands
for the same purpose was justified. 
d. Whether the acquiring authority could keeping
abeyance   the   mandate   to   pay   or   deposit   the
compensation amount pending disposal of the
proceedings before the Land Tribunal in respect
of the lands. 
e. Whether the acquisition proceedings have lapsed
by virtue of the 2013 Act.    
3.14 That   though   some   observations   were   made   on   the
proceedings   under   the   Act,   1894,   thereafter,   without
further   finally   deciding   any   other   point   framed   for
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consideration,   as   reproduced   hereinabove,   the   learned
Single Judge has allowed the writ petitions by holding that
respective acquisitions have lapsed under Section 24(2) of
the Act, 2013. 
3.15 Feeling   aggrieved   and   dissatisfied   with   the   common
judgment and order passed by the learned Single Judge
dated 24.06.2014 holding that respective acquisitions have
lapsed under Section 24(2) of the Act, 2013, the APMC
preferred   writ   appeals   before   the   High   Court.   By   the
impugned   common   judgment   and   order,   the   Division
Bench of the High Court has dismissed the said appeals
confirming the judgment and order passed by the learned
Single Judge declaring that the acquisition have lapsed
under Section 24(2) of the Act, 2013. 
3.16 Feeling   aggrieved   and   dissatisfied   with   the   impugned
common judgment and order passed by the Division Bench
of the High Court in respective Writ Appeal No.1732/2014
and others along with accompanied appeals, the APMC,
Bangalore, has preferred the present appeals.  
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4 Shri V. Giri, learned Senior Advocate appearing on behalf
of the appellant – APMC has vehemently contended that in
the facts and circumstances of the case the High Court
has erred in holding that the acquisitions in respect of the
lands in question have lapsed under Section 24(2) of the
Act, 2013. 
4.1 It is further contended that in respect of acquisition of 172
acres   land   no   award   was   declared   in   view   of   the   stay
granted by the High Court in various proceedings. It is
submitted that therefore sub­section (2) of Section 24 of
the Act, 2013 shall not be applicable. It is submitted that
therefore the High Court has erred in declaring that the
acquisitions have lapsed under sub­section (2) of Section
24 of the Act, 2013. 
4.2 It is further submitted that so far as the acquisition in
respect of 100 acres of land situated at Herohalli Village is
concerned, the award in respect of 65 acres of land was
declared and the possession was also taken over. Further,
the   amount   of   compensation   was   deposited   and   the
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respondent – original land owner withdrew Rs.2.37 crores,
therefore it cannot be said that the acquisition has lapsed
under sub­section (2) of Section 24 of the Act, 2013. 
4.3 It   is   urged   that   the   High   Court   has   not   properly
appreciated the fact that in respect of acquisition of 172
acres and in respect of remaining 35 acres out of the 100
acres of land, the awards could not be declared in view of
the   stay   orders   granted   by   the   High   Court   in   various
proceedings. Therefore, for the purpose of Section 24(1)(a)
of the Act, 2013, being made applicable, the period during
which   the   stay   orders   were   in   operation   have   to   be
excluded. 
4.4 Now so far as the observations made by the High Court
that the appellant was not ready to deposit the amount of
compensation, it is submitted that the High Court ought to
have   appreciated   that   as   such   there   was   a   very   valid
reason and/or justification for the APMC not to deposit the
entire amount of compensation. It is submitted that with
respect to the very land in question the proceedings under
15
the   KLR   Act   were   pending   before   the   Land   Reforms
Tribunal   and   the   Tribunal   had   to   take   a   call   and/or
decision that the respondent­Trust is holding any excess
vacant land or not and therefore, it was thought fit to wait
till   the   outcome   of   the   proceedings   under   the   Land
Reforms   Act.   It   is   submitted   that   the   aforesaid   reason
cannot be ascribed against the appellant on the ground
that   the   appellant   was   not   ready   to   deposit/pay   the
compensation. 
4.5 It   is   further   submitted   that   even   the   High   Court   has
materially erred in holding that possession in respect of 65
acres of  land  was  illegal  which   was  taken  by invoking
urgency clause and not complying with the deposit of 80%
of compensation as required under Section 17 of the Act,
1894. 
4.6 It   is   further   submitted   that   as   such   in   the   impugned
judgment and order the High Court has not at all quashed
and set aside the notifications under Section 4 and 6 of the
Act, 1894 in respect of 172 acres and 100 acres of lands,
16
respectively. It is submitted that after some discussion on
the proceedings under the Act, 1894, the High Court has
straightway considered the applicability of the Act, 2013
and has held that the acquisitions in respect of both the
lands have lapsed under sub­section (2) of Section 24 of
the Act, 2013. 
4.7 Relying upon the decision of the Constitution Bench of this
Court   reported   in   the   case   of  Indore   Development
Authority Vs. Manoharlal & Ors., (2020) 8 SCC 129, it is
submitted that the impugned judgment and order passed
by   the   High   Court   holding   that   the   acquisitions   have
lapsed   under   sub­section   (2)   of   Section   24   of   the   Act,
2013, is not sustainable. 
4.8 A number of submissions are sought to be made by Shri V.
Giri, learned Senior Advocate appearing on behalf of the
appellant – APMC on repeal of the Act, 1894 in view of the
enactment of the Act, 2013 and the effect of the Act, 2013
on the acquisitions under the Act, 1894. However, for the
reasons stated hereinbelow and as the High Court has not
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at all considered any of the submissions/issues on the
validity of the notifications issued under Section 4 and 6
and the High Court having considered and dealt with the
applicability of sub­section (2) of Section 24 of the Act,
2013 and having held that the acquisitions have lapsed
under sub­section (2) of Section 24 of the Act, 2013, we
propose to remand the matter to the High Court to decide
the other issues raised afresh, in accordance with law and
on merits. Therefore, we have not dealt with any of the
submissions made by Shri V. Giri, learned Senior Advocate
and   even   Shri   C.U.   Singh,   learned   Senior   Advocate
appearing on behalf of the respondent – Trust on merits on
other issues. Hence, we have restricted the consideration
of   the   present   appeals   to   the   impugned   judgment   and
order   passed   by   the   High   Court   declaring   that   the
acquisitions have lapsed under sub­section (2) of Section
24 of the Act, 2013.  
5 Shri   V.N.   Raghupathy,   learned   counsel   appearing   on
behalf of the State has supported the appellant – APMC.
He   has   stated   that   the   Writ   Appeal   No.1089/21
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challenging the judgment and order passed by the learned
Single Judge quashing and setting aside the order passed
by the Tribunal, is pending before the Division Bench of
the   High   Court.   Therefore,   it   is   prayed   that   if   this
honourable Court proposes, to remand the matter to the
learned Single Judge, in that case, the aforesaid appeal be
directed to be heard first by the Division Bench of the High
Court.
6 All these appeals are vehemently opposed by Shri C.U.
Singh, learned Senior Advocate appearing on behalf of the
respondent – Trust – original land owner. It is submitted
that in the present case respondent – Trust is undertaking
various activities and running the ashram in furtherance
of the object of the Trust. It is submitted that respondent –
Trust is not an ordinary individual land owner. That the
Trust was established in the year 1960. It is submitted
that the lands in question was purchased in the year 1960
and   the   same   is   being   used   to   carry   out   Gandhian
activities and in furtherance of the object of the Trust.
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6.1 It is submitted that in the present case the High Court has
rightly observed that the State Government/APMC have no
intention of paying any compensation for the acquisition of
the subject lands and accordingly, chose to abandon the
acquisition of the lands or to allow the same deliberately to
lapse.
6.2 Shri Singh, learned Senior Advocate appearing on behalf of
respondent – Trust has also made elaborate submissions
on   the   legality   and   validity   of   the   notifications   under
section 4 and 6 of Act, 1894 in respect of the acquisitions
of 172 acres and 100 acres lands, respectively. However,
by the impugned judgment and order the High Court has
not declared and set aside the notifications under Section
4 and 6 of the Act, 1894 and has held and declared that
the   acquisitions   have   lapsed   under   sub­section   (2)   of
Section 24 of the Act, 2013 and the High Court has not at
all decided the other issues which were placed before it.
We propose not to deal with any of the submissions on
other issues on which there is no decision by the High
Court and we confine the present appeals to the decision
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of   the   High   Court   declaring   and   holding   that   the
acquisitions have lapsed under sub­section (2) of Section
24 of the Act, 2013 and for the other issues we propose to
remand the matter to the High Court.
6.3 Now so far as the impugned judgment and order passed by
the High Court holding and declaring that the acquisitions
have lapsed under sub­section (2) of Section 24 of the Act,
2013, Shri Singh learned Senior Advocate appearing on
behalf of respondent – Trust has fairly conceded that in
view of the subsequent decision of this Court in the case of
Indore Development Authority (supra), the view taken by
the High Court that the acquisitions have lapsed under
sub­section   (2)   of   Section   24   of   the   Act,   2013   is
unsustainable.   However,   he   has   submitted   that   the
learned Single Judge and even the learned Division Bench
of the High Court were right in holding so, considering the
law prevailing at that time when the learned Single Judge
decided the matters. It is submitted that the learned Single
Judge followed the law prevailing at the relevant time and
the learned Single Judge decided the matters accordingly.
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It is submitted that therefore no fault can be found with
the view taken by the learned Single Judge.  
7 We have heard the learned counsel appearing on behalf of
the respective parties at length. 
8 At the outset it is required to be noted that the proceedings
before the learned Single Judge of the High Court by way
of writ petition No. 3884 of 1998 was with respect to 172
acres 22 guntas of land acquired. In the writ petition No.
3884 of   1998,  the  original   land  owners  prayed  for the
following reliefs: ­
(i) Declare   that   the   entire   acquisition   proceedings
commencing   with   the   issue   of   a   preliminary
notification gazette on 3.9.1994 marked as AnnexureA in the writ petition have lapsed on account of the
award not having been made within a period of two
years in terms of Section 11A of the Land Acquisition
Act.
(ii) Issue a writ of certiorari or any other writ, order or
direction   to   quash   Annexure­A,   the   preliminary
notification   LAQ   (2)   SR/32/94­95   DATED   2.9.1994
PUBLISHE DIN TH Karnataka Gazette dated 3.9.1994
and Annexure the final notification No. RDD 21 LAQ
96   dated   10.10.1996   published   in   the   Karnataka
Gazette dated 31. l 0.1996.
By way of amendment the original writ petitioners – original
land   owners   also   prayed   to   declare   that   the   acquisition
22
proceedings   are   deemed   to   have   lapsed   in   view   of   the
provisions   of   the   Right   to   Fair   Compensation   and
Transparency   in   Land   Acquisition,   Rehabilitation   and
Resettlement Act, 2013. 
8.1 Writ petition Nos. 37140­37146 of 2000 filed by the original
writ petitioners – original land owners was with respect to
100 acres of acquired land. In the said writ petitions original
writ petitioners prayed for the following reliefs: ­ 
(i) Issue a Writ of certiorari or any other writ or order,
quashing   the   impugned   notification   at   Annexure­B
dated 13.04.1999 gazetted on 17.04.1999 in LAC(2) SR
2/99­2000 issued by the second respondent and also
the   notification   at   Annexure­C   dated   26.10.1999
gazetted   on   18.11.1999   in   No.   Kam.E.68.AQ8­99
issued by the first respondent. 
OR
(ii) In   the   alternative   direct   the   respondents   to   pay
compensation   to   the   petitioner   in   terms   of   the
proceedings   of   the   meeting   dated   29.04.1999   Vide
Annexure­D
By   way   of   amendment   the   original   writ   petitioners   also
prayed to declare the acquisition proceedings having been
lapsed under the provisions of the Act, 2013.
8.2 That the learned Single Judge framed the following common
points for consideration: ­
a. Whether the disposal of these petitioners should
be   deferred   pending   adjudication   and
determination by the Land Tribunal, Bangalore
North Taluk of the excess holdings or otherwise
23
under   the   provisions   of   the   Karnataka   Land
Reforms Act, 1961 of the very lands which are
the subject matter herein. 
b. Whether the possession of a portion of the lands
in question having said to have been given to
APMC can be said to be valid and in accordance
with law. 
c. Whether the invocation of Section 17 of the LA
Act in the acquisition of a portion of the lands
for the same purpose was justified. 
d. Whether the acquiring authority could keeping
abeyance   the   mandate   to   pay   or   deposit   the
compensation amount pending disposal of the
proceedings before the Land Tribunal in respect
of the lands. 
e. Whether the acquisition proceedings have lapsed
by virtue of the 2013 Act.    
Despite the fact that a number of issues/grounds were
raised before the High Court on the legality and validity of
the   acquisition   proceedings,   the   learned   Single   Judge
decided only one issue, namely, whether the acquisition
proceedings   have   lapsed   by   virtue   of   the   2013   Act.
Whereas a number of issues/grounds were raised and as
such the original reliefs sought (acquisition proceedings
under Act 1894) were the main reliefs which were required
to be dealt with and considered, unfortunately, the learned
Single   Judge   did   not   give   findings   on   the   other
issues/grounds and on the reliefs sought and as observed
24
hereinabove,   disposed   of   the   writ   petitions   considering
only one relief/ground, namely, whether the acquisition
proceedings have lapsed by virtue of the 2013 Act. When a
number   of   submissions   were   made   on   the   other
issues/grounds, we are of the opinion that the High Court
ought to have considered the other issues and ought to
have given the findings on other issues also. Because of
not deciding the other issues and deciding the matter only
on one issue and thereafter when the decision on such one
issue, is held  to  be  bad  in  law for the  reasons  stated
hereinbelow, this Court has no other alternative but to
remand   the   matters   to   the   learned   Single   Judge   for
deciding the Writ Petitions afresh on all other issues.
   
8.3 By way of analogy we observe that while considering Order
14 Rule 2 (as amended w.e.f. 01.02.1977), this Court in
the case of  Nusli  Neville  Wadia  Vs.  Ivory  Properties  &
Ors, (2020) 6 SCC 557, has observed and held that after
the amendment w.e.f. 01.02.1977, though Order 14 Rule
2(2) enables the court to decide the issue of law as a
preliminary issue in case the same relates to (i) jurisdiction
of court or (ii) a bar to suit created by any law for the time
25
being in force, a departure has been made in amended
provision whereby now it mandates the court to pronounce
judgment on all issues notwithstanding that a case may be
disposed of on a preliminary issue. It is further observed
that intendment behind this departure is to avoid remand
in an appealable case for deciding other issues. 
8.4 Therefore, the courts should adjudicate on all the issues
and   give   its   findings   on   all   the   issues   and   not   to
pronounce the judgment only on one of the issues. As
such it is the duty cast upon the courts to adjudicate on
all   the   issues   and   pronounce   the   judgment   on   all   the
issues   rather   than   adopting   a   shortcut   approach   and
pronouncing the judgment on only one issue. By such a
practice, it would increase the burden on the appellate
court   and   in   many   cases   if   the   decision   on   the   issue
decided is found to be erroneous and on other issues there
is no adjudication and no findings recorded by the court,
the appellate court will have no option but to remand the
matter for its fresh decision. Therefore, to avoid such an
eventuality, the courts have to adjudicate on all the issues
26
raised in a case and render findings and the judgment on
all the issues involved.   
9 Now, so far as the impugned common judgment and order
passed by the High Court declaring that the acquisition
proceedings have lapsed under sub­section (2) of Section
24   of   the   Act,   2013,   is   concerned,   the   same   is
unsustainable in view of the decision of the Constitution
bench of this Court in the case of  Indore  Development
Authority (supra). This Court has concluded in paragraph
365 and 366 as under: ­ 
“365. Resultantly,   the   decision   rendered   in Pune
Municipal   Corpn. [Pune   Municipal
Corpn. v. Harakchand Misirimal Solanki, (2014) 3 SCC
183 : (2014) 2 SCC (Civ) 274] is hereby overruled and
all   other   decisions   in   which Pune   Municipal
Corpn. [Pune Municipal Corpn. v. Harakchand Misirimal
Solanki, (2014) 3 SCC 183 : (2014) 2 SCC (Civ) 274]
has been followed, are also overruled. The decision
in Sree   Balaji   Nagar   Residential   Assn. [Sree   Balaji
Nagar Residential Assn. v. State of T.N., (2015) 3 SCC
353 : (2015) 2 SCC (Civ) 298] cannot be said to be
laying down good law, is overruled and other decisions
following   the   same   are   also   overruled.   In Indore
Development   Authority v. Shailendra [Indore
Development Authority v. Shailendra, (2018) 3 SCC 412
: (2018) 2 SCC (Civ) 426] , the aspect with respect to
the proviso to Section 24(2) and whether “or” has to be
read   as   “nor”   or   as   “and”   was   not   placed   for
consideration.   Therefore,   that   decision   too   cannot
prevail, in the light of the discussion in the present
judgment.
27
366. In view of the aforesaid discussion, we answer
the questions as under:
366.1. Under the provisions of Section 24(1)(a) in case
the award is not made as on 1­1­2014, the date of
commencement of the 2013 Act, there is no lapse of
proceedings.   Compensation   has   to   be   determined
under the provisions of the 2013 Act.
366.2. In case the award has been passed within the
window   period   of   five   years   excluding   the   period
covered   by   an   interim   order   of   the   court,   then
proceedings shall continue as provided under Section
24(1)(b) of the 2013 Act under the 1894 Act as if it has
not been repealed.
366.3. The word “or” used in Section 24(2) between
possession and compensation has to be read as “nor”
or   as   “and”.   The   deemed   lapse   of   land   acquisition
proceedings under Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act takes
place where due to inaction of authorities for five years
or more prior to commencement of the said Act, the
possession   of   land   has   not   been   taken   nor
compensation has been paid. In other words, in case
possession   has   been   taken,   compensation   has   not
been   paid   then   there   is   no   lapse.   Similarly,   if
compensation has been paid, possession has not been
taken then there is no lapse.
366.4. The   expression   “paid”   in   the   main   part   of
Section   24(2)   of   the   2013   Act   does   not   include   a
deposit of compensation in court. The consequence of
non­deposit is provided in the proviso to Section 24(2)
in   case   it   has   not   been   deposited   with   respect   to
majority   of   landholdings   then   all   beneficiaries
(landowners) as on the date of notification for land
acquisition under Section 4 of the 1894 Act shall be
entitled   to   compensation   in   accordance   with   the
provisions   of   the   2013   Act.   In   case   the   obligation
under Section 31 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894
has not been fulfilled, interest under Section 34 of the
said Act can be granted. Non­deposit of compensation
(in   court)   does   not   result   in   the   lapse   of   land
acquisition proceedings. In case of non­deposit with
respect to the majority of holdings for five years or
more, compensation under the 2013 Act has to be paid
28
to the “landowners” as on the date of notification for
land acquisition under Section 4 of the 1894 Act.
366.5. In   case   a   person   has   been   tendered   the
compensation as provided under Section 31(1) of the
1894   Act,   it   is   not   open   to   him   to   claim   that
acquisition has lapsed under Section 24(2) due to nonpayment or non­deposit of compensation in court. The
obligation to pay is complete by tendering the amount
under Section 31(1). The landowners who had refused
to accept compensation or who sought reference for
higher   compensation,   cannot   claim   that   the
acquisition   proceedings   had   lapsed   under   Section
24(2) of the 2013 Act.
366.6. The proviso to Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act is
to   be   treated   as   part   of   Section   24(2),   not   part   of
Section 24(1)(b).
366.7. The mode of taking possession under the 1894
Act and as contemplated under Section 24(2) is by
drawing of inquest report/memorandum. Once award
has been passed on taking possession under Section
16 of the 1894 Act, the land vests in State there is no
divesting provided under Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act,
as once possession has been taken there is no lapse
under Section 24(2).
366.8. The provisions of Section 24(2) providing for a
deemed lapse of proceedings are applicable in case
authorities have failed due to their inaction to take
possession   and   pay   compensation   for   five   years   or
more   before   the   2013   Act   came   into   force,   in   a
proceeding   for   land   acquisition   pending   with   the
authority  concerned   as  on   1­1­2014.   The   period   of
subsistence of interim orders passed by court has to
be excluded in the computation of five years.
366.9. Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act does not give rise
to   new   cause   of   action   to   question   the   legality   of
concluded proceedings of land acquisition. Section 24
applies   to   a   proceeding   pending   on   the   date   of
enforcement of the 2013 Act i.e. 1­1­2014. It does not
revive   stale   and   time­barred   claims   and   does   not
reopen concluded proceedings nor allow landowners to
question the legality of mode of taking possession to
reopen   proceedings   or   mode   of   deposit   of
29
compensation   in   the   treasury   instead   of   court   to
invalidate acquisition.”
We wish to emphasise that this Court has opined that
all judgments rendered on the basis of  Pune  Municipal
Corporation Vs. Harakchand Misirimal Solanki [(2014)
3   SCC   183]  are overruled in view of the interpretation
made   to   Section   24(2)   of   the   Act,   2013,   in  Indore
Development Authority (supra). There has been a trend
of   land   owners   filing   fresh   cases   seeking   lapse   of
acquisition on the basis of Section 24(2) of the Act, 2013,
although   such   land   owners   may   have   earlier
unsuccessfully   filed   writ   petitions   challenging   the
acquisition notifications. Such land owners may have had
the benefit of interim orders of stay of further proceedings
in the acquisition process or dispossession resulting in a
delay in the making of the award and payment/deposit of
the   compensation   and   consequently   in   taking   over
possession of the acquired land. There being a delay in the
passing of the award owing to interim orders granted by
the High Court or even by the civil courts, where suits may
30
have been filed against acquiring bodies, the land owners
cannot now take advantage of the same so as to contend
that no award has been made and consequently there has
been no payment or deposit of the compensation and that
possession of the acquired land continues with them. The
land   owners   having   had   the   benefit   of   interim   orders
granted in their favour in proceedings initiated by them
against the acquisition cannot take benefit under Section
24(2) of the Act, 2013. The High Court or the civil courts
which may have granted interim orders in favour of the
land owners, ought to consider the aforesaid aspect before
applying Section 24(2) of the Act, 2013 in favour of the
land owners. 
10 Applying the law laid down by this Court in the case of
Indore Development Authority (supra) to the facts of the
case on hand, the view taken by the High Court while
declaring the acquisition proceedings have lapsed under
sub­section   (2)   of   section   24   of   the   Act,   2013,   is
unsustainable and is just contrary to the law laid down by
this Court in the case  Indore   Development   Authority
31
(supra). Even the same is also not disputed by Shri C. U.
Singh, learned Senior Advocate appearing on behalf of the
original writ petitioners – original land owners. Therefore,
the common judgment and order passed by the High Court
allowing   the   writ   petitions   and   declaring   that   the
acquisition   proceedings   with   respect   to   the   lands   in
question have lapsed under sub­section (2) of section 24 of
the Act, 2013 cannot stand and the same deserve to be
quashed and set aside. 
11 As observed hereinabove, though a number of other issues
were raised on the legality of the acquisition proceedings
under   the   Act,   1894   and   though   other   points   for
consideration   were   raised/framed   by   the   High   Court
reproduced   hereinabove,   since   none   of   the   issues   are
adjudicated by the High Court on merits, we have no other
alternative but to remand the matter to the learned Single
Judge   for   deciding   the   writ   petitions   afresh   and   to
adjudicate on all the other issues, other than the lapse of
acquisitions under sub­section (2) of section 24 of the Act,
2013. At the cost of repetition, we observe that the High
32
Court ought to have adjudicated on all the issues raised
and ought not to have decided and disposed of the writ
petitions, adjudicating only on one issue which has been
found to be erroneous. The Division Bench has also not
applied   its  mind   to   this   aspect   of  the   matter   and   has
simply dismissed the appeals filed by the appellant herein.
12 In view of the above discussion and for the reasons stated
above,   all   these   appeals   are   allowed.   The   impugned
common judgment and order passed by the Division Bench
of the High Court as well as the common judgment and
order   passed   by   the   High   Court   in   writ   petition(s)   No.
3884/1998   and   Nos.   37140­37146/2000   are   hereby
quashed and set aside.  The matters are remitted back to
the   learned   Single   Judge   to   decide   and   dispose   of   the
aforesaid writ petitions afresh and in accordance with law
and   on   their   own   merits.   The   learned   Single   Judge   to
adjudicate all other issues which were framed reproduced
hereinabove and pronounce the judgment on all the points
framed for consideration. The aforesaid exercise shall be
33
completed within a period of twelve months from the date
of receipt of the present order. 
It is made clear that we have not expressed anything
on the merits of these cases, in favour of either of the
parties on other issues and it is ultimately for the learned
Single   Judge   to   deal   with   and   consider   the   same   in
accordance with law and on their own merits. It is also
made clear that on remand the learned Single Judge to
adjudicate and pronounce the judgment on all other issues
except the issue with respect to the lapse of the acquisition
proceedings by virtue of the Act, 2013. All the appeals are
allowed accordingly.  
We also observe and direct that Writ Appeal No.1089 of
2021 be heard first and to be decided and disposed of on
or before 31.12.2022.  There shall be no order as to costs.  
…………………………………J.
                (M. R. SHAH)
…………………………………J.
 (B.V. NAGARATHNA)
New Delhi, 
March 22, 2022.
34

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