NOIDA INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY VS RAVINDRA KUMAR & ORS.

NOIDA INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT  AUTHORITY VS RAVINDRA KUMAR & ORS.


Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले


NON­REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO.  3762  OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 5863 of 2020)
NOIDA INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT 
AUTHORITY                                    ..… APPELLANT
v.
RAVINDRA KUMAR & ORS.         ..... RESPONDENTS
WITH
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 3781  OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 15759 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO.    3782  OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 15760 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO.  3783  OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 15761 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO.  3779  OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 8336 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO.  3780  OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 8337 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO.  3778 OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 8335 of 2020)
1
CIVIL APPEAL NO.    3777         OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 8334 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO.        3773     OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 8332 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO.    3774         OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 8333 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO.    3768    OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 8321 of 2020)
CONMT.PET.(C) No. 237/2021 in 
CIVIL APPEAL NO.     3782         OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 15760 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO.   3765   OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 3531 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO.   3772   OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 6761 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO.  3776  OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 6762 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO.   3764   OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 29444 of 2019)
CIVIL APPEAL NO.    3769    OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 721 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO.   3770    OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 6379 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO.   3771    OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 2086 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO.   3775   OF 2022
2
(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 7763 of 2020)
CIVIL APPEAL NO.    3767   OF 2022
[Arising out of SLP (Civil) No.8818 OF 2022]
 (D.No.44718 of 2019)
CIVIL APPEAL NO.   3766     OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 2081 of 2020)
AND 
CIVIL APPEAL NO.       3763      OF 2022
(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 27568 of 2019)
J  U  D  G  M  E  N  T
ABHAY S. OKA, J.
Special Leave Petitions
1. Leave granted.
2. This group of appeals arise out of a common judgment and
order dated 13th September 2019 of a Division Bench of the High
Court of Judicature at Allahabad.  Some of the appeals are filed
by   Noida   Industrial   Development   Authority   (for   short,   ‘the
acquiring body’).  The other appeals are filed by the original writ
3
petitioners before the High Court who are claiming to be the
owners of the acquired lands. 
3. The   State   Government   issued   a   notification   dated   7th
November 2007 under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act,
1894 (for short, ‘the 1894 Act’).   By the said notification, the
State   Government   notified   its   intention   to   acquire   108.233
hectares of lands in Village Begumpur, Pargana Dankaur, Tehsil
Sadar,   District   Gautam   Budh   Nagar.   The   purpose   of   the
acquisition was the planned industrial development through New
Okhla   Industrial   Development   Authority   (NOIDA).     The   State
Government invoked the urgency clause under sub­section (1) of
Section 17 of the 1894 Act and also passed an order under subsection (4) of Section 17 for dispensing with an enquiry under
Section 5A of the 1894 Act.  On 17th March 2008, a declaration
under   Section   6   of   the   1894   Act   was   issued   by   the   State
Government.
  
4. The possession of the area of 7.559 hectares was taken over
by the State Government on 7th June 2008.   The possession of
the remaining area of 100.64 hectares of the acquired lands was
taken over on 15th June 2013.  Two separate awards were made
on   12th  January   2011   and   31st  December   2013   respectively.
4
Under the award dated 12th January 2011, to those who agreed
to accept compensation as per the Uttar Pradesh (Determination
of Compensation and Declaration of Award by Agreement) Rules,
1997   (for   short,   the   ‘Karar   Niyamawali’),   different   rates   were
fixed.     The   normal   tenure   holders   who   accepted   the
compensation   under   the   Karar   Niyamawali   were   paid
compensation at the rate of Rs.870/­ per square meter.  To the
ancestral tenure holders who agreed to accept the compensation
as   per   the   Karar   Niyamawali,   compensation   at   the   rate   of
Rs.1,000/­ per square meter was paid.   For the other tenure
holders who declined to receive the compensation as per the
Karar Niyamawali, market value at the rate of Rs.135.28/­ per
square meter was offered together with 30% solatium under subsection (2) of Section 23 of the 1894 Act and interest at the rate
of 12% under sub­section (1A) of Section 23 of the 1894 Act.
Under the Award dated 31st  December 2013, the same rate of
Rs.135.28/­ per square meter along with solatium and interest
was offered to those who refused to accept the compensation by
agreement in accordance with the Karar Niyamawali.   However,
in   the   case   of   normal   tenure   holders   who   agreed   to   accept
compensation as per the Karar Niyamawali, compensation at the
5
rate of Rs.1,490/­ per square meter was paid.  Similarly, to the
ancestral tenure holders who agreed to accept the compensation
as per the Karar Niyamawali, compensation was paid at the rate
of Rs.1,295/­ per square meter.
5. It appears that from 2011 to 2014, the writ petitions subject
matter of these appeals, were filed before the High Court by the
owners/persons   interested   for   challenging   the   acquisition
proceedings and in particular, the application of urgency clause.
In the impugned judgment and order, the High Court recorded a
finding that the action of the State Government of invoking the
urgency clause under Section 17 of the 1894 Act was illegal.
However,   the   High   Court   did   not   quash   and   set   aside   the
declaration   made   under   Section   6   of   the   1894   Act   and   the
awards.  The High Court held that for balancing individual rights
with the public interest, the relief should be moulded for the
reason that substantial development work was carried out on the
acquired lands. Therefore, the High Court held that those land
owners/persons   interested   who   have   not   accepted   the
compensation   as   per   Karar   Niyamawali   should   be   paid
compensation payable in accordance with the provisions of the
6
Right   to   Fair   Compensation   and   Transparency   in   Land
Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (for short
‘the 2013 Act’).  The High Court further directed that the market
value as per the provisions of the 2013 Act shall be determined
on the date of the judgment.  However, the High Court held that
those  who   have  accepted  the  compensation  by  an   agreement
under the Karar Niyamawali were not entitled to any relief.  
6. In support of the petitions filed by the acquiring body, it was
submitted by Shri Ravindra Kumar, the learned senior counsel
that the writ petitions suffered from gross delay and laches.  It
was submitted that though after invoking the urgency clause
under Section 17, the declaration under Section 6 of the 1894
Act was issued in 2008, the petitions were belatedly filed by the
land owners from 2011 to 2014.   The learned senior counsel
submitted   that   in   none   of   the   writ   petitions,   there   was   any
explanation for such a long delay.  He submitted that it was too
late in the day for the writ petitioners who had challenged the
urgency clause to invoke the jurisdiction of the High Court under
Article 226 of the Constitution.   He pointed out the reasons given
by the High Court for holding that the urgency clause could not
have been invoked.   He would argue that the said reasons are
7
erroneous.   He submitted that the reliance placed by the High
Court on the decision of this Court in the case of Radhey Shyam
(Dead)  thru  LRs.  and  others  v.  State  of  U.P.  and  others1
, is
completely misplaced as in that case, the land owners were able
to establish the prejudice caused to them as a result of the
failure to hold an enquiry under Section 5A of the 1894 Act.  He
submitted   that   most   of   the   land   owners   had   accepted   the
compensation and only few of the land owners had filed writ
petitions very belatedly.  He submitted that issuing a direction to
pay compensation as per the 2013 Act by taking the market
value   as   on   the   date   of   the   judgment   of   the   High   Court   is
completely illegal. He would, therefore, submit that the impugned
judgment deserves to be set aside. 
7. The land owners who had not received compensation under
the Karar Niyamawali have supported the impugned judgment by
submitting   that   the   order   passed   by   the   High   Court   is   very
equitable which balances the rights of the land owners with the
rights of the acquiring body. The land owners who have accepted
compensation under the Karar Niyamawali, in support of their
appeals, submitted that the High Court ought not to have made a
1 (2011) 5 SCC 553
8
distinction between those who have accepted the compensation
and those who have not accepted the compensation especially
after recording a finding that the invocation of the urgency clause
and the order dispensing with enquiry under Section 5A was
illegal.  Their submission is that such arbitrary distinction ought
not to have been made by the High Court. 
8. A submission was made on behalf of the land owners by
relying upon a decision of this Court in the case of  Radhey
Shyam1
  by contending that once it is held that the action of
invoking sub­section (1) read with sub­section (4) of Section 17 of
1894 Act is illegal, the acquisition cannot be sustained at all.  It
is pointed out that the view taken in the case of Radhey Shyam1
was followed by this Court in the case of Garg Woollen Private
Ltd. v. State of U.P. & Ors.2
9. The  learned  counsel  appearing for the land  owners  also
relied upon a decision of Bench of three Judges of this Court in
the case of Savitri Devi etc. v. State of U.P. & Ors.3
 by which a
direction was issued to enhance the market value by 64.7%.
Moreover, directions were issued to make allotment of developed
2 (2012) 11 SCC 784
3 (2015) 7 SCC 21
9
land to the extent of 10% of the land acquired to each land
owners.
10. We have given careful consideration to the submissions.  We
have   already   referred   to   the   factual   position   which   is   not
disputed.   Though the declaration under Section 6 of the 1894
Act was made on 17th March 2008, the writ petitions were filed in
the year 2011 and thereafter.  As narrated earlier, the possession
of a part of the acquired land was taken over on 7th June 2008
and the possession of the remaining land was taken over on 15th
June 2013.  There is a finding of fact recorded by the High Court
that many land owners agreed to accept the compensation under
the   Karar   Niyamawali.     Moreover,   substantial   work   of
development   was   carried   out   by   the   acquiring   body   on   the
acquired lands. 
11. The   first   question   which   arises   for   our   consideration   is
whether the High Court committed an error by not setting aside
the acquisition after recording a finding that the orders by which
sub­section (1) and sub­section (4) of Section 17 of the 1894 Act
were invoked were illegal.  We may note here that after invoking
the urgency clause and dispensing with an enquiry under Section
10
5A of the 1894 Act, Section 6 declaration was issued on 17th
March 2008.   All the writ petitions filed by the owners were
belatedly filed after more than 3 to 4 years from the date of
declaration under Section 6.  It is true that the High Court was
right in holding that the urgency clause could not have been
invoked in the facts of the case.  However, a finding of fact has
been recorded by the High Court that after the possession of the
acquired land was handed over to the acquiring body, the same
has been developed and allotted to third parties.   A very large
area of 108.233 hectares owned by the various individuals was
acquired.   However, only 11 persons claiming to be the land
owners belatedly filed writ petitions.  Taking note of these facts,
the High Court, for balancing the private interests of the land
owners with the public interest, declined to quash the acquisition
proceedings.  The High Court passed an order directing that the
compensation payable shall be in terms of the provisions of the
2013 Act on the date of its judgment.   Writ jurisdiction under
Article 226 of the Constitution of India is always discretionary.  It
is an equitable remedy. It is not necessary for the High Court to
correct each and every illegality.  If the correction of illegality is
likely to have unjust results, High Court would normally refuse to
11
exercise its jurisdiction under Article 226.     While maintaining
the acquisition proceedings, the High Court granted a substantial
relief to the land owners by directing payment of compensation
under   the   2013   Act   which   is   higher   than   the   compensation
payable under the 1894 Act.  This approach cannot be faulted.
12.   The  second   question   which   arises   is   whether   the  High
Court ought to have granted relief of higher market value and
allotment of developed land in accordance with the decision of
this Court in the case of Savitri Devi3
.  In paragraph 50 of the
said decision, this Court observed thus:
“50.   Keeping   in   view   all   these   peculiar
circumstances, we are of the opinion that these
are   not   the   cases   where   this   Court   should
interfere under Article 136 of the Constitution.
However, we make it clear that directions of
the   High   Court   are   given   in   the   aforesaid
unique and peculiar/specific background and,
therefore,   it   would   not   form   precedent   for
future cases.”
                     (emphasis added)
It appears from the facts of the said case that in the three
villages subject matter of the appeals, no development had taken
place on the acquired lands.  In the cases in hand, we are dealing
with a completely different fact scenario and therefore, reliance
12
on the said decision will not help the land owners.  The decision
in  the case of  Savitri   Devi3
  was limited to the  peculiar fact
situation of the case.
13. In   the   case   of  Sahara   India   Commercial   Corporation
Limited and Others v. State of Uttar Pradesh and Others4
, this
Court found that invocation of urgency clause under Section 17
was   invalid   and   illegal.     This   Court   moulded   the   relief   and
directed payment of compensation in terms of the 2013 Act by
treating the relevant date as the date of its judgment.  Therefore,
we find no error in the approach of the High Court when it
directed payment of market value computed as per the 2013 Act
to those land owners who have not accepted the compensation
under Karar Niyamawali by taking the date of the judgment as a
deemed date after following the 2013 Act.  The High Court has
done the balancing act by saving the acquisition proceedings
while granting the aforesaid monetary relief to the land owners.
14. The   third   question   is   whether   the   relief   of   the   grant   of
market value in terms of the 2013 Act could have been denied to
the   land   owners   who   had   accepted   the   compensation   by
4 (2017) 11 SCC 339
13
agreement in terms of the Karar Niyamawali.  The High Court has
given reasons for adopting the said approach.  The main reason
is   that   without   any   grievance,   the   land   owners   voluntarily
accepted   the   compensation   by   an   agreement   in   terms   of   the
Karar Niyamawali.   After lapse of considerable time thereafter,
the land owners chose to file writ petitions in the High Court.
After   having   acquiesced   to   the   action   of   the   Government   by
accepting   the   compensation   under   an   agreement,   the   land
owners were not justified in making a grievance at a belated
stage.   Therefore, we find no error with the view taken by the
High Court in relation to those land owners who had accepted
compensation under Karar Niyamawali.
Contempt Petition (C) No.237 of 2021
15. In the Contempt Petition (Civil) No.237 of 2021 filed by the
appellants in Civil Appeal arising out of Special Leave Petition
(Civil) No. 15760 of 2020, the appellants have alleged that in
violation of interim order passed by this Court on 28th January
2021, the acquiring body started construction.   In the counter
filed by the acquiring body, the allegations made in the contempt
petition have been denied.  In any case, now we are confirming
14
the   impugned   judgment.     Therefore,   there   is   no   necessity   of
initiating any action on the basis of the contempt petition.
All the matters
16. We,   therefore,   find   no   error   in   the   impugned   judgment.
Accordingly, the appeals are dismissed. The contempt petition is
disposed of.  
…………..…………………J
(AJAY RASTOGI)
…………..…………………J
(ABHAY S. OKA)
New Delhi;
May 09, 2022. 
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