Supreme Court High Court Judgment updates| taxation GST laws| NRI help

Land acquisition in Pondicherry, Government appeal dismissed by Supreme Court.

February 7, 2018



Pondicherry Land Acquisition, Government Appeal dismissed

A Bench of Supreme Court Judges, Justice R. K Agrawal and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre passed Judgment in Union of India & Anr v. Pushpavathi & Ors. Etc, CA No. 1632-1641 of 2018 and 1643-1643 of 2018.


The facts of the case are Union of India through Secretary, Revenue Department, Pondicherry and the second appellant is the Revenue Officer-cum-Land Acquisition Officer. The appellants were respondents whereas the respondents, who are the landowners, were writ petitioners in the writ petitions before the High Court.

In exercise of the powers conferred under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, the Government of Pondicherry on 22.12.1986 issued a Notification seeking to acquire land bearing Survey No.2 Pt. of an extent of 3 Hec. 83 Ares 50 Cen situated in village Pillaichavadi, Pondicherry for public purpose, namely, establishment of Central University (Phase-V). This was followed by a declaration issued under Section 6 of the Act on 12.03.1987. The acquired land included the lands belonging to the respondents.

The Land Acquisition Officer (LAO) passed an Award (No.2/1987) under Section 11 of the Act on 01.06.1987 and determined the compensation for the land acquired at the rate of Rs.318/- per Are. One landowner- Govindammal, whose land was also acquired under the same notification, dissatisfied with the rate of compensation awarded by the LAO, sought reference under Section 18 of the Act to the Civil Court for re-determination of the rate of compensation for his acquired land. The Reference Court, by its award dated 09.05.1989 in reference case No. L.A.O.P. No.337/88 enhanced the rate of compensation of the acquired land from Rs.318/- per are to Rs.1000/- per Kuzhi (Rs. 1868/- per Are).

The landowners having come to know of the passing of the award by the Reference Court enhancing the compensation referred above filed applications under Section 28A of the Act to the Collector (LAO) on 08.08.1991 for re- determination of compensation payable to them for their acquired land in the aforementioned acquisition proceedings. Though the Collector made an enquiry, as contemplated under Section 28A of the Act, on the applications made by the respondents but no final orders were passed. The respondents, therefore, filed writ petitions in the High Court at Madras.

The High Court, by order dated 19.08.1998 allowed the writ petitions in part and directed the Collector to dispose of the applications filed by the respondents under Section 28A of the Act. The Collector accordingly disposed of the applications by passing orders on different dates between 15.11.1994 and 22.11.1994 and re-determined the compensation payable to the respondents.

The respondents, having noticed that the Collector though re-determined the compensation but had failed to award interest on compensation under Section 28 or Section 34 of the Act, felt aggrieved of the orders of the Collector and filed a representation to the Collector praying therein for award of interest on the compensation. By order dated 14.12.1998, the Collector rejected the respondents' representation. Felt aggrieved, the respondents filed writ petitions in the High Court and challenged therein the legality and correctness of the order dated 14.12.1998 of the Collector declining to award interest on the compensation determined by him under Section 28-A proceedings. The appellants herein, who were the respondents in the said writ petitions, raised a preliminary objection about the maintainability of the writ petitions filed by the respondents. Their main contention was that the remedy of the respondents herein in such case lies in applying for making a reference to the Civil Court as provided under Section 28A (3) read with Section 18 of the Act. It was contended that if the respondents (landowners) were aggrieved by the order of the Collector, which declined to award the interest on the compensation, their appropriate remedy was to seek a reference to the Civil Court as provided under Section 28A(3) of the Act, it being a statutory remedy available to them under the Act but not in filing the writ petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution. The Single Judge by order dated 13.04.1999, overruled the preliminary objection, allowed the writ petitions on merits and awarded the interest as claimed by the respondents. The Union of India, being aggrieved by the order of the Single Judge, filed intra court appeals before the Division Bench. By impugned judgment, the Division Bench dismissed the writ appeals and affirmed the order of the Single Judge (Writ Court). The Union of India has filed these appeals by way of special leave before Supreme Court.



The court said that "Having heard the learned counsel for the parties and on perusal of the record of the case, we find no merit in the appeals. In our view, the reasoning and the conclusion arrived at by the High Court appears to be legal and proper. The short question, which arises for consideration in these appeals is, if the Collector declines to award interest on the compensation under Section 28A proceedings to the landowners, which is the legal remedy available to the landowners against such order–the landowners should approach the Civil Court in reference under Section 28A(3) read with Section 18 of the Act or should file writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution."

The court up hled the decision of the High Court and dismissed the petition.





Read the Judgment of Supreme Court of India in Union of India & Anr v. Pushpavathi & Ors. Etc dated 6.2.2018



About Us | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Sitemap