This Appeal stands disposed of by HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH AT INDORE in the case of SMT. GODAVARI V. NARMADA VALLY DEVELOPOMENT AUTHORIOTY through HON’BLE JUSTICE SUBODH ABHYANKAR
FACTS OF THE CASE
The facts of the case are that the father of the appellants late Shri Ranchod Patidar was the owner of an agricultural land situated at Survey No.86/1 ad-measuring 1.206 hectare at Gram Nisarpur, Tehsil Kukshi, District – Dhar. On 09.02.2002 the aforesaid land was acquired by the respondents for the purpose of rehabilitation of oustees of Sardar Sarovar Project and an award in case No.21/A82/2000-01 was passed under Section 11 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. It is alleged that on 21.10.2002, a notice under Section 12 was issued to the father of the appellants, however, it was never served on him and subsequently Shri Ranchod Patidar, the predecessor in title executed a Will and bequeathed the land in question to the appellants on 29.11.2022, thus, the appellants have become the owners of the land. It is further the case of the appellants that on 01.01.2014, the Right to Fair Compensation Act, 2013 was enforced, and Section 24 of which provides for lapse of land acquisition proceedings under certain circumstances. As per sub-section (2) of s.24, the land acquisition proceedings shall lapse in the circumstances when neither possession was taken over nor compensation was paid in pursuance of the award passed under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 and according to the appellants, despite acquisition of the land on 09.02.2002, within the period of five years therefrom, neither compensation was paid to the appellants nor the possession was taken over from them, hence, a right has accrued to them regarding lapse of acquisition proceedings and since the respondents were trying to take over the possession of the land forcefully, hence, W.P. No.3921 of 2017 was filed before this Court in which on 04.04.2019, a reply was also filed by the State and it was admitted that neither the possession has been taken over nor compensation has been paid.
In this case, this court is of the opinion that merely because the deceased Ranchod Patidar has mentioned it in his Will that the appellants can get the land or the compensation of the acquisition proceedings, in the absence of any other material on record, it cannot be presumed that he also received the notice u/s.12 of the Act of 1894. So far as the compensation received by the other 54 Agriculturists are concerned, it also does not give rise to a legal presumption that Ranchod had also received the notice of compensation u/s.12 of the Act of 1894. When the respondents have failed to prove that the compensation was paid to the petitioners (their predecessor in title Ranchod Patidar) as provided u/s.31 of the Act of 1894, and there is an admission in that they have still not taken the possession of the land in question, as according to them the petitioners are not handing over the physical possession of the land in question to the respondent, this court is unable to agree with the findings recorded by the learned single judge of the writ court. Resultantly, the impugned order is set aside, the appeal stands allowed and the land acquisition proceedings with regard to the land acquisition case No.21-A/8/2000-1 are hereby quashed and respondents are directed not to interfere with the appellant’s possession of the land bearing Survey No.86/1 ad-measuring 1.206 Hectare. Appeal stands disposed of, accordingly.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY SHREYA NIDHI