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Delhi High CourtIndian Cases

Shri Prem Singh And Ors. vs Delhi Development Authority And Anr. … on 25 August 2005

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Delhi High Court
Shri Prem Singh And Ors. vs Delhi Development Authority And Anr. … on 25 August, 2005
Author: Pradeep Nandrajog
Bench: Pradeep Nandrajog

JUDGMENT

Pradeep Nandrajog, J.

1. With the consent of parties arguments were heard in the writ petition as well as the contempt petition notwithstanding that counter affidavit was not filed in the writ petition as it was agreed that the reply filed in the contempt petition would be treated as response to the writ petition.

2. A notification was issued on 20.1.2004 under Section 4 read with Section 17(1) and 17(4) of the Land Acquisition Act,1894 notifying 6 Bighas of land in the revenue estate of Village Palam for acquisition. Public purpose stated was construction of approach road (probably to a flyover) connecting Dwarka with NH-8. 69 persons filed WP(C) 8672-8740/04 praying that they were petty traders and had purchased small plots about 50 years ago. They had raised commercial-cum-residential structures the said plots. They had no idea as to how much of their built up property would be acquired and what part of the property would be left with them. They prayed that reasonable compensation be paid to them on the lands being acquired and that alternative plots be allotted to them.

3. Respondents in the said writ petitions filed a demarcation report showing what part of the property of the writ petitioners was likely to be taken possession of. The writ petitions were disposed of with the following directions:-

“12. In these circumstances, the writ petitions are disposed of with the following directions:

(I) The respondents shall supply to the petitioners, as stated in para (6) above, demarcation report with proceedings within two weeks from today.

(II)The petitioners themselves shall carry out the demolition, as undertaken by them, of the structures over the land which is acquired vide notification dated 20th January,2004 and submit the cost thereof to the land Acquisition Collector. This exercise, they shall carry out within a period of two months from the date when demarcation report is supplied to their counsel and hand over vacant and peaceful possession of such land to the respondents. In case the exercise is not carried outer completed by the petitioners themselves within the stipulated period, it would be open to the respondents to carry out the necessary demolition and take possession of the acquired land.

(III) The petitioners shall also be at liberty to carry out the repairs necessitated as a result of the demolition exercise of the portion of premises that would still remain with them.

(IV)They shall be at liberty to submit the cost of demolition as well as cost of repairs to the Land Acquisition Collector and it would be for the Land Acquisition Collector to consider the admissibility of such claims at the time of drawing the award.

(V) At the time of taking possession of the land, the respondents shall pay 80% of the estimated compensation to the petitioners in terms of Section 17(3A) of the Act. Thereafter, the Land Acquisition Collector shall try to make the award as expeditiously as possible and in any case within six months from taking possession of the land.

(VI)The respondents shall treat the present writ petitions as representations of the petitioners for allotment of alternative plots and a decision in this respect shall be taken by the appropriate authority, namely, the Delhi Development Authority within a period of six months from today.”

4. On 14.10.2004, present petition was filed. As per the petitioners, they apprehended dispossession at the hands of the respondents for the purpose of completion of the work of approach road in question. According to the petitioners, the site in occupation of the petitioners was not covered by the notification issued under Section 4 of the land Acquisition Act. Petitioners prayed that respondents be restrained from demolishing the properties of the petitioners.

5. On 15.10.2004, while issuing notice to the respondent, following order was passed in the present petition:-

“Present: Mr. Madan Lal Sharma for petitioner Mr. K.K. Buchar for DDA.

Mr. Vineet Bhagat for UOI.

W.P(C)No. 16788-16801/2004 Learned counsel for the petitioner states that when land requirement was envisaged under the project, petitioners of WP(C) No. 8672-8740/2004 were affected. They filed a writ petition in which directions were passed on 28.5.2004 Counsel contends that the implementing the project, further land is required. More people are getting affected. People who are getting affected are the petitioners. Counsel states that petitioners seek parity with writ petitioners of WP(C) No. 8672-8740/2004 Notice. Mr. K.K. Buchar and Mr. Vineet Bhagat accept notice. Let counter affidavit be filed within 4 weeks. In the meanwhile, it is directed that the respondents may proceed to take possession of further areas but the same would be in conformity with the directions issued in WP(C) No. 8672-8740/2004 List on 19.1.2005. dusty.”

6. It is alleged in the contempt petition that on 5.11.2004, a notification was issued under Section 4, 6 and 17 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. Notification pertained to land comprised in Khasra No. 65/1/1/2 Min (0-01) and 68/25/3 Min. (0-06) in the revenue estate of Village Palam. It is alleged that on 14.12.2004, respondents came to the site with buldozers and demolished the structures causing loss to the petitioners. It is alleged that had the respondents complied with the order dated 15.10.2004 passed in WP(C) No. 16788-16801/04, petitioners would have salvaged their belongings and would have effected demolition of the portion of the building which stood constructed on the land to be acquired, in a manner that remainder could be saved. It is further alleged in the contempt petition that 80% compensation was not tendered. It is further alleged that a list of persons affected nor site plan showing area to be taken possession of was supplied to the petitioners.

7. In response to the contempt petition, respondents have stated that after issuance of notification dated 20.1.2004, survey was carried out. It revealed that another 7 biswa of land was required. Accordingly, notification under Section 4 of the land Acquisition Act,1894 was issued on 5.11.2004 It was followed by a declaration under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act on 25.11.2004 It is stated in the reply that the list of 19 properties which were identified when survey was carried out as being the ones which fell in the 7 biswa of land required, were listed in a list prepared. Said list was handed over to 19 persons claiming to be the owners of the properties on 8.10.2004 It is stated that some of the persons out of the list of 19, removed their goods. For the reasons best known to them, petitioners did not remove their belongings.

8. As regards non-tender of 80% of the compensation assessed, Shri Sanjay Poddar, learned counsel appearing for the Land Acquisition Collector produced the file in Court. The file shows that certain persons other than 19 persons whose structures came on the 7 biswa of land, staked claim for compensation. The Land Acquisition Collector noted that in the revenue record, the petitioners had not obtained the mutation in their favor. Accordingly, compensation as per award in the sum of Rs,.1,9,058.32 was forwarded to the Court of District judge, Delhi when reference under Section 30-31 of the land Acquisition Act, 1894 was made.

9. Petitioners have themselves filed (at page 77 of the writ petition) a list of structures stated to be coming in the alignment of flyover, left hand side. Names of the petitioners are included in the said list of 19 persons. In para 7 of the writ petition, petitioners have averred as under :

“7.That the officers of Delhi Development Authority on or about 08.10.2004 supplied to the petitioners herein a list/communication wherein the names of the petitioners and details of the area of their respective properties was mentioned. The petitioners were orally communicated to remove their goods and belongings from their respective properties as the same were to be demolished because the portions of the properties were required for the flyover project. A copy of the list/communication is filed herewith as Annexure P-4 (colly).”

10. It is obvious that the petitioners were informed on 8.10.2004 that part of their buildings would be acquired and, therefore, they should remove their goods.

11. Perusal of page 77 of the writ petition shows that list prepared by the respondents indicates to the 19 persons listed in the list as to what area would be required. Width and depth, in meters, has been indicated.

12. Petitioners have also filed the demarcation carried out by the Revenue Authorities. The same is at page 76 of the writ petition.

13. Order dated 28.5.2004 passed in WP(C) 8172-8740/04, compliance whereof was directed to be made vide order dated 15.10.2004 passed in the present writ petition, requires the respondents to supply to the petitioners the demarcation report. Twomoths time was granted to the persons affected by the acquisition to remove their belongings. Further, 80% of the compensation had to be paid at the time of taking possession.

14. Facts noted above show that substantial compliance has been made by the respondents qua the writ petitioners herein.

15. On 8.10.2004, list (page 77 of the writ petition) was made known to the petitioners. As noted above, the list details the area required by indicating the width and depth in meters. Petitioners admit in para 7 of the petition that on 8.10.2004 they were orally informed to vacate the area needed.

16. Land was acquired, post notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act followed by a declaration under Section 6 on 25.11.2005. Possession was taken over on 15.12.2004 i.e. after more than two months reckoned from 8.10.2004 when the list in question was supplied.

17. Respondents have shown good cause for not paying 80% of the compensation assessed for the reason third parties staked claim for compensation. Petitioners did not get the land in question mutated in their name. Accordingly, there is good justification for the Land Acquisition Collector under section 30-31 of the Land Acquisition Act,1894. The only technical violation I find is that the Land Acquisition Collector made the reference a little late. However, I do not find the same deliberate, intentional and contemptuous.

18. At the time when the writ petition was filed, petitioners had a grievance that their land could not be acquired for the reason, the procedure under the Land Acquisition Act,1894 was not complied with. However, as noted above, after issuing the necessary notifications/ declarations, land in question has been acquired.

19. The writ petitions are accordingly dismissed. However direction VI in the order passed in WP(C) No. 8672-8740/2004 shall be read as a direction in the present petition.

29. Notice of contempt is discharge. Cont.Case(C) No. 74/05 is dismissed.