Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 5-A — Land acquisition

August 23rd, 2013

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Section 5-A — Land acquisition — Non-consideration of material objections — Objection rejected mechanically — Held, objections were dismissed mechanically without application of mind and accepted superior officers of Chandigarh Administration — Therefore, notification under Section 6 and acquisition proceedings in this belated stage after 11 years of notification under Section 4.

Lajja Ram and others v. Union Territory, Chandigarh and others,Civil Appeal No. 1964/2013, Referred.

Padma Sundara Rao v. State of Tamil Nadu (2002) 3 SCC 533, Followed.

HELD: We also agree with the learned counsel for the appellants that the report of the Land Acquisition Officer was vitiated due to total non-application of mind by the concerned officer to large number of substantive objections raised by the appellants under Section 5A(1). He mechanically rejected the objections and senior officers of the Chandigarh Administration accepted the report of the Land Acquisition Officer despite the fact that the same had been prepared in violation of Section 5A(2).

(Section 9)

Notification dated 1.10.2002 cannot be saved at this belated stage and the Competent Authority cannot issue declaration under Section 6(1) of the Act after 11 years of the issue of notification under Section 4(1). We may add that in view of the law laid down by the Constitution Bench in Padma Sundara Rao v. State of Tamil Nadu (2002) 3 SCC 533, which was followed in a large number of judgments, the Chandigarh Administration cannot now issue a declaration under Section 6(1) after rectifying the illegalities committed in the preparation of report under Section 5A(2) and issue of the earlier declaration.

(Para 10)

In the result, the appeals are allowed, the impugned order is set aside and Notifications dated 1.10.2002 and 29.9.2003 are quashed insofar as the same relate to the lands of the appellants.

(Para 11).

Gurbinder Kaur Brar v. Union of India[Bench Strength 2], Civil Appeal No. 5885/2013 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 27221/2011)(22/07/2013), 2013(9) SCALE 529: 2013(5) Supreme 369 [G.S. Singhvi, J.: V. Gopala Gowda, J.]

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