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Land Acquisition done for Larger Public Interest is weighed over Individual Interests: High Court Of Orissa

The petition was filed against the Land authorities for forcible and illegal acquisition. Under the light of all facts and circumstances, the court established that the land was acquired for the larger public good and wasn’t forcible and enough time was granted for objection. The Court hence dismissed the petition. The Hon’ble High Court of Orissa before Justice B.P. Routray in the matter of Kailash Chandra Mohanty and others v. The State of Orissa[Writ Petition (Civil) No. 4382 Of 2008].

The facts of the case were land was acquired which was a part of a Road project. This acquisition invoked provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. The petitioners contended that they hold and own two-third of land and without following any procedures their land was seized and forcibly occupied by the opposite parties. They plead that they shall be conferred consequential benefits. They preferred a first appeal in the Court of Learned Additional District Judge which stood dismissed.                                                      

The State- Opposite Parties stated that they followed the procedure including the invocation of the urgency clause under Section 17. There were 8 landowners out of which 3 are the petitioners. A sum of Rs. 4,094, Rs. 460 and Rs. 3,634 was awarded to each petitioner. After knowing this fact, all the contentions of petitioners were denied as incorrect.

The petitioners further argued that the land was forcibly taken and no time was given to object. Since the land wasn’t used for any purpose to date, it should be returned to the owners. The court mentioned that the urgency clause under Section 17 is invoked and the Right to objection and hearing are stipulated under Section 5(A) is dispensed. The scope of Judicial review is limited.

The Hon’ble High Court of Orissa held,” In the instant case, the land in question has been acquired as part of Basudevpur-Dhamara Road Project and the entire process has already been completed 42 years back from now with vesting and delivery of possession. The purpose of such acquisition and the importance attached to it, itself speaks for the justification and subjective satisfaction of the authority in the matter.” The Court further added,”… As seen from Petitioners’ pleadings that they had the knowledge of the land acquisition proceeding since pendency of the Original Suit before the Addl. Munsif. Given these admitted facts, the Petitioners’ the explanation is not found satisfactory for condoning the delay to approach this Court in the present form.”

The land was utilized by the Gochar Lands for the construction of roads. The land was acquired for cattle of the villagers and status was converted to such immediately after acquisition. So no merit is found in the contention of the Petitioners in this regard. The purpose of the larger public good is apparent from the record. The petition stood dismissed without any order as to costs.

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Judgment Reviewed By Nimisha Dublish

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