SH. RAM CHANDER (DEAD) THR LRS VS UNION OF INDIA

SH. RAM CHANDER (DEAD) THR LRS VS UNION OF INDIA

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले



REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION`
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2926­2927 OF 2022
SH. RAM CHANDER (DEAD) THR LRS            ..Appellant (S)
Versus
UNION OF INDIA                             ..Respondent (S)
With 
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2928 OF 2022
J U D G M E N T 
M. R. Shah, J.
1. Feeling   aggrieved   and   dissatisfied   with   the   impugned
judgment   and   order   dated   07.07.2017   in   CMA   No.
23091/2017   and   order(s)   dated   12.05.2017   in   Review
Petition Nos. 309/2008 & 310/2008, passed by the High
Court of Delhi at New Delhi, the original land owners –
appellants herein have preferred the present appeals.  
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2. The present proceedings have a  checkered history. The
facts leading to the present appeals in a nutshell are as
under: ­
2.1 A notification under section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act,
1894, was issued for acquiring land of the original land
owners   in   village   Jasola,   Delhi.   The   Land   Acquisition
Officer   declared   award   dated   29.01.1981,   awarding
compensation at Rs. 3500/­ per bigha. The reference court
enhanced the compensation to Rs. 22000/­ per bigha vide
judgment   and   order   dated   03.05.1986.   Thereafter,   the
High   Court   vide   judgment   and   order   dated   19.10.2001
enhanced the amount of compensation to Rs. 2240/­ per
sq. yard relying upon its own decision in the case of one
Bhola Nath and others Vs. Union of India. At this stage, it
is required to be noted that at the time when the High
Court enhanced the amount of compensation in the year
2001 relying upon the decision in the case of Bhola Nath
(supra), the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by the Union
of India against the judgment in the case of Bhola Nath
(supra)   was   already   dismissed   by   this   Court   on
12.04.1999.   However,   the   SLP   filed   by   the   Delhi
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Development Authority (DDA) – beneficiary in the Bhola
Nath acquisition case came to be allowed subsequently by
this   Court   vide   judgment   and   order   dated   08.12.2010
[DDA   v.   Bhola   Nath   Sharma;   (2011)   2   SCC   54].  The
matter was remanded to the reference court. On remand,
the reference court determined the compensation at Rs.
250/­ per sq. yard, which was subsequently enhanced to
Rs. 2000/­ per sq. yard by the High Court vide subsequent
judgment and order dated 23.03.2016. The SLP against
the   subsequent   judgment   and   order   dated   23.03.2016
passed by the High Court in the case of Bhola Nath (supra)
came   to   be   dismissed   by   this   Court   vide   order   dated
06.04.2017.
2.2 Before that and at the relevant time, when the SLP in the
case of Bhola Nath (supra) against the original judgment
and order was pending before this Court, the Union of
India   filed   the   SLP   before   this   Court   challenging   the
judgment and order dated 19.10.2001 passed by the High
Court in the case of present land owners, which was filed
in   the   year   2007.   There   was   a   delay   of   2316   days   in
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preferring the SLP. This Court dismissed the SLP arising
from the judgment and order dated 19.10.2001 passed by
the   High   Court   in   Regular   First   Appeal   (RFA)   No.
416/1986   and   other   allied   first   appeals.   Despite   the
dismissal of the SLP on the ground of delay, on the very
ground that the decision in the case of Bhola Nath (supra)
which was relied upon while passing the judgment and
order dated 19.10.2001 in RFA No. 416/1986 and other
allied first appeals and determined the compensation at
Rs. 2000/­ per sq. yard was pending, the Union of India
filed the present review application, which was also after a
period of six months of the dismissal of SLP. As observed
herein   above,   during   the   pendency   of   the   review
application and on remand to the reference court by this
Court in the case of Bhola Nath (supra), the High Court
again determined the compensation at Rs. 2000/­ per sq.
yard vide judgment and order dated 23.03.2016 and even
the SLP preferred by the DDA against the judgment and
order dated 23.03.2016 filed in the case of Bhola Nath
(supra) came to  be dismissed by this Court vide order
dated   06.04.2017.   By   the   impugned   ex­parte   judgment
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and order, the High Court has allowed the review petitions
and recalled the judgment and order dated 19.10.2001 in
RFA   No.   416/1986   and   other   allied   first   appeals,
determining the compensation at Rs. 2000/­ per sq. yard
relying   upon   the   decision   in   the   case   of   Bhola   Nath
(supra), solely on the ground that the decision in the case
of Bhola Nath (supra), which has been relied upon by the
High Court while passing the judgment and order in RFA
No. 416/1986 was set aside by this Court vide order dated
08.12.2010. The appellants herein having come to know
about   the   impugned   order   dated   12.05.2017,   allowing
review   and   recalling   judgment   and   order   dated
19.10.2001,   immediately   preferred   a   recall   application
being CMA No. 23091/2017. It was brought to the notice
of the Division Bench that on remand again the High Court
had enhanced the compensation at Rs. 2000/­ per sq.
yard in the case of Bhola Nath (supra) and the SLP against
the said judgment and order has been dismissed by the
Supreme Court. However, by the impugned order dated
07.07.2017   though   the   High   Court   has   noted   that   the
aforesaid facts were not brought to the notice of the Court
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when it heard and allowed the review petition, the Division
Bench of the High Court refused to recall the order dated
12.05.2017 allowing Review Petition (R.P.) No. 309/2008
by observing that as the appeal itself was listed before the
Roster Bench, it will be open to the original land owners –
appellants to place the above facts before the Roster Bench
for its consideration.
2.3 Feeling   aggrieved   and   dissatisfied   with   impugned   order
dated 12.05.2017 passed by the High Court in R.P. No.
309/2008   allowing   the   said   review   application/petition
and recalling the judgment and order dated 19.10.2001
passed in RFA No. 416/1986 and dismissing the recall
application being CMA No. 23091/2017 by order dated
07.07.2017, the original land owners – appellants before
the High Court in RFA No. 416/1986, have preferred the
present appeals being Civil Appeal Nos. 2926 and 2927 of
2022. 
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2.4 Similar order has been passed by the High Court in R.P.
No.   310/2008   in   Regular   First   Appeal   No.   453/1986,
which is the subject matter of Civil Appeal No. 2928/2022.
3. We have heard Shri Yashraj Singh Deora and Ms. Nidhi
Mohan Parashar, learned counsel appearing on behalf of
the   respective   appellants   and   Shri   Nachiketa   Joshi,
learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent –
Union of India.  
4. We have gone through the impugned judgment and order
passed   by   the   High   Court   in   Review   Petition   Nos.
309/2008   and   310/2008   in   respective   Regular   First
Appeal   Nos.   416/1986   &   453/1986.   From   the   orders
passed by the High Court allowing the review applications
and   recalling   the   earlier   judgment   and   order   dated
19.10.2001 passed in RFA Nos. 416/1986 & 453/1986, it
appears that the High Court has recalled the judgment
and   order   dated   19.10.2001   passed   in   the   aforesaid
regular   first   appeals   solely   on   the   ground   that   the
judgment in the case of Bhola Nath (supra), which was
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relied   upon   while   passing   judgment   and   order   dated
19.10.2001   in   Regular   First   Appeal   No.   416/1986   and
other allied first appeals was set aside by this Court vide
judgment and order dated 08.12.2010 and the matter was
remanded. However, it is required to be noted that during
the pendency of the review petitions, on remand again the
High Court decided the first appeals in the case of Bhola
Nath (supra) vide judgment and order dated 23.03.2016
and again determined the compensation at Rs. 2000/­ per
sq. yard. Even against the subsequent judgment and order
dated 23.03.2016, the SLP preferred by the DDA has been
dismissed   by   this   Court   vide   order   dated   06.04.2017.
Therefore, when review applications/petitions were allowed
on   12.05.2017   on   the   ground   that   pursuant   to   the
decision of this Court in the case of DDA Vs. Bhola Nath
Sharma (supra) dated 08.12.2010, the first appeals are
remanded   and   pending,   in   fact   there   was   already   a
decision   on   remand   vide   judgment   and   order   dated
23.03.2016 and even the SLP was dismissed. Therefore,
the   ground   on   which   the   High   Court   had   allowed   the
review applications was thereafter not available. Under the
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circumstances,   and   in   view   of   the   subsequent
development,   which   was   even   pointed   out   to   the   High
Court while filing the recall application being CMA No.
23091/2017, the order(s) passed by the High Court in
Review Petition Nos. 309/2008 and 310/2008 deserve(s) to
be quashed and set aside. 
4.1 Even otherwise, it is required to be noted that earlier also
while passing judgment and order dated 19.10.2001 and
allowing RFA Nos. 416/1986 and 453/1986, enhancing
the compensation at Rs. 2240/­ per sq. yard, the High
Court relied upon the decision in the case of Bhola Nath
(supra). It is true that subsequently vide judgment and
order dated 08.12.2010, the decision in the case of Bhola
Nath   (supra)   (First)   was   set   aside   and   the   matter   was
remanded. However, again on remand, the High Court has
enhanced the compensation to Rs. 2000/­ per sq. yard
and the said judgment dated 23.03.2016 in the case of
Bhola Nath (supra) (second) has been confirmed by this
Court as the SLP has been dismissed. Therefore, even if
the first appeals preferred by the original land owners are
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heard again pursuant to the impugned order passed by the
High Court in the review petitions, recalling judgment and
order dated 19.10.2001, in that case also again the court
will have to consider and rely upon the judgment in the
case of Bhola Nath (supra) (second), which was earlier also
relied upon. Therefore, the same will be nothing but an
exercise in futility. In any case, the cause and the reasons
on which the High Court has allowed the review petitions
and recalled judgment and order dated 19.10.2001 in RFA
Nos. 416/1986 and 453/1986, did not exist in view of the
subsequent   development   narrated   hereinabove.   The
impugned judgment(s) and order(s) passed by the High
Court   allowing   review   petitions   hence   deserve   to   be
quashed and set aside and the judgment(s) and order(s)
passed by the High Court given in RFA Nos. 416/1986 and
453/1986 are required to be restored. 
5. In view of the above and for the reasons stated above, all
these appeals are allowed. Impugned judgment and order
dated   12.05.2017   in   R.P.   No.   309/2008   in   RFA   No.
416/1986 and the order dated 07.07.2017 in CMA No.
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23091/2017 in R.P. No. 309/2008 in RFA No. 416/1986
and impugned judgment and order in R.P. No. 310/2008
in   RFA   No.   453/1986,   allowing   review   petition   and
recalling judgment and order dated 19.10.2001 in  RFA
Nos. 416/1986 and 453/1986, are hereby quashed and
set   aside.   Consequently,   common   judgment   and   order
passed by the High Court dated 19.10.2001 in RFA Nos.
416/1986 and 453/1986, are ordered to be restored. Now
the   original   claimants   shall   have   to   be   paid   the
compensation determined pursuant to the judgment and
order dated 19.10.2001 passed in RFA Nos. 416/1986 and
453/1986 along with all other statutory benefits which
may be available under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 to
be   paid   within   a   period   of   Twelve   weeks   from   today.
Present appeals are accordingly allowed. In the facts of the
case, there shall be no order as to costs.
…………………………………J.
                (M. R. SHAH)
…………………………………J.
 (B.V. NAGARATHNA)
New Delhi, 
April 20, 2022.
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