Lapse of land acquisition due to delay.

Effect of Delay in Land Acquisition Proceedings:

Delay of over two years in publication of declaration:
Under Land Acquisition Act, 1894, notification of declaration must be published within 2 years from date of notification u/s. 4 of the said Act of 1894:

In this case,

(1) Declaration under Section 6 is published in the Gazette on 22/5/2008;

(2) Declaration under Section 6 is published in two local news papers on 10/6/2008 and 13/6/2008. There is no publication in village Chawadi as per the record and

(3) The award is passed on 12/10/2010.

If the aforesaid dates are considered, the award is passed after two years after declaration u/s 6 of the Land Acquisition Act. Nothing is brought on record that at the relevant time, any prohibitory orders were in force.

It was held that in view of Section 11-A of the Act, the acquisition proceedings shall lapse.

Delay in taking possession:

Acquisition in this case was made under Land Acquisition Act, 1893 and award was also made that Act only but the said act was repealed and replaced with Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. Under this Act of 2013, the acquisition shall lapse if the possession is not taken within 5 years from the date of making of award under previous law. Note the following observations:

There is another facet to the said matter that though the award is passed on 12/10/2010, prior to five years, the possession has not yet been taken. Even in the affidavit respondent State accepts that the possession of the land acquired is still with the petitioner. In view of Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, possession is not taken for a period of 5 years after passing of the award, acquisition stands lapsed.

[Source: Balasaheb Sampatrao Kadam vs State of Maharashtra, decided by Bombay High Court on 16 Feb, 2016]

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