Shirdi Nagar Panchayat, Shirdi Versus Appasaheb Narayan Chaudhari & Others

Shirdi Nagar Panchayat, Shirdi Versus Appasaheb Narayan Chaudhari & Others

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले



NON-REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5017 OF 2022
Shirdi Nagar Panchayat, Shirdi …Appellant
Versus
Appasaheb Narayan Chaudhari & Others …Respondents
J U D G M E N T
M.R. SHAH, J.
1. Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned judgment
and order dated 09.09.2021 passed by the High Court of Judicature of
Bombay, Bench at Aurangabad in Writ Petition No. 5591/2018, by which
the High Court has allowed the said writ petition and has directed the
appellant herein – original respondent No.4 – Shirdi Nagar Panchayat,
Shirdi to prepare the proposal for acquisition of the land in question,
original respondent No. 4 – Shirdi Nagar Panchayat, Shirdi has preferred
the present appeal.
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2. At the outset, it is required to be noted that the private respondents
herein filed a writ petition before the High Court and prayed for the
following reliefs:
“(B) to direct respondents No. 1 to 4 to initiate acquisition proceedings
in respect of land Gut No. 8 to the extent of 86 Are, Gut No. 217 to the
extent of 54 Are and land Gut No. 218 to the extent of 66 Are situated at
village Nandurki (Bk) Ta. Rahata, District Ahmednagar by issuing
appropriate writ of appropriate writ, order or direction in the nature of writ
or as the case may be.
(C) to direct respondent No. 1 to 4 to initiate acquisition proceedings
and complete the same by passing award and grant compensation in
respect of land Gut No. 8 to the extent of 86 Are, Gut No. 217 to the extent
of 54 Are and land Gut No. 218 to the extent of 66 Are situated at village
Nandurki (Bk) Ta. Rahata, District Ahmednagar by issuing appropriate writ
of appropriate writ, order or direction in the nature of writ or as the case
may be.”
2.1 It was the case on behalf of the private respondents herein –
original writ petitioners before the High Court that the then Shirdi Gram
Panchayat took possession of the land of the original writ petitioners for
construction of a water storage tank so as to supply water to the
residents of the said area. However, original respondent No. 5 laid down
the pipeline and then handed over the entire completed project to the
Gram Panchayat, the same was done without acquiring the land under
the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereinafter referred to
as the ‘Act’) and/or without paying any compensation under the Act.
2.2. That thereafter, the original writ petitioners filed the writ petition for
the aforesaid reliefs in the year 2018. At this stage it is required to be
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noted that the possession of the land in question was taken over and a
tank was constructed and the pipeline was laid down as far back as in
the year 1983 and the writ petition for the aforesaid reliefs came to be
filed in the year 2018, i.e., after a period of 35 years.
2.3 By the impugned judgment and order and after following the
decision of this Court in the case of Vidaya Devi v. State of Himachal
Pradesh, reported in (2020) 2 SCC 569, the High Court has allowed the
said writ petition and has directed the appellant herein to prepare the
proposal for acquisition.
3. An Additional Affidavit on behalf of the appellant herein – original
respondent No.4 has been filed before this Court , by which it is now the
case on behalf of Municipal Council (subsequently the Gram Panchayat
has been converted into Municipal Council) that the possession of the
land in question was taken for the purpose of construction of a tank by
private negotiations and the agreed amount of compensation was paid,
for which the extract of the cash book dated 12.11.1981 and the cash
book for the month of May, 1983 and other documents are produced to
show that approximately Rs. 1,21,000/- was paid to the original writ
petitioners – respondent Nos. 1 & 2 herein and they received the amount
of compensation.
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4. Shri Neeraj Kishan Kaul, learned Senior Advocate appearing on
behalf of the original writ petitioners has vehemently submitted that the
documents which are now placed on record before this Court by way of
an additional affidavit were not before the High Court and therefore the
High Court had no opportunity to consider the same. Shri Kaul has
submitted that the original writ petitioners are disputing having received
any amount of compensation and that the land in question was acquired
under the private negotiations. It is submitted that except the production
of cash book, no other documentary evidence has been produced to
show that the said amount of compensation was received by the original
writ petitioners and/or any proceedings under the Act were initiated
and/or any award/consent award was declared. It is therefore submitted
that the original writ petitioners – private respondents herein had no
opportunity to rebut the case now sought to be made out that the land in
question was acquired under the private negotiations and that the
original writ petitioners were paid the amount of compensation and/or the
same was received by them.
5. Having heard Shri Sanjay Kharde, learned counsel for the
appellant, Shri Neeraj Kishan Kaul, learned Senior Advocate appearing
on behalf of the original writ petitioners and Shri Sachin Patil, learned
counsel for the State and considering the additional affidavit filed on
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behalf of the appellant and as it is the specific case on behalf of the
appellant – Nagar Panchayat that the possession of the land in question
was taken over and the land in question was acquired by private
negotiations and the amount of compensation was already paid and for
which some documents are produced on record, we are of the opinion
that one opportunity ought to be given to the appellant herein – original
respondent No. 4. This is in order to submit the case before the High
Court as now sought to be made out and/or canvassed which is that the
land in question was acquired by private negotiations and possession
was taken over by private negotiations and further that the amount of
compensation was paid as far back as in the year 1981/1983. As the
documents which are now produced on record by way of additional
affidavit and now the stand taken on behalf of the appellant in the
additional affidavit goes into the root of the matter, we deem it
appropriate and proper to remand the matter to the High Court to
consider the writ petition afresh and after giving an opportunity to the
original respondent No.4 – appellant herein to file additional counter
affidavit along with supporting documents and thereafter to give the
opportunity to the original writ petitioners to rebut the same.
6. In view of the above and for the reasons stated above, without
further entering into the merits of the case and without expressing
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anything on merits in favour of either of the parties on the stand now
taken by the appellant – original respondent No. 4, the impugned
judgment and order passed by the High Court is set aside. The matter is
remanded to the High Court to consider Writ Petition No. 5591/2018
afresh in accordance with law and on its own merits and after giving an
opportunity to original respondent No. 4 to file an additional counter
affidavit with supporting documents and thereafter further giving an
opportunity to the original writ petitioners to deal with the additional
counter affidavit to be filed on behalf of original respondent No. 4. All
contentions/defences which may be available to all the parties are kept
open, to be considered by the High Court in accordance with law and on
its own merits and on the basis of the mater that may be produced on
record.
7. The present appeal is accordingly allowed/disposed of to the
aforesaid extent.
However, in the facts and circumstances of the case, there shall be
no order as to costs.
………………………………J.
[M.R. SHAH]
NEW DELHI; ………………………………..J.
AUGUST 05, 2022. [B.V. NAGARATHNA]
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