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Residential Welfare Association, Utsav Vihaar v. Delhi Development Authority & Ors. - (High Court of Delhi) (03 Jan 2017)

Effect of Enactment can be determined by Competent Court only when approached by owner in accordance with law


Land Acquisition

Prayer in present writ petition is for an order restraining Respondent No. 1 from making any encroachment on Petitioner’s colony and from dispossessing any member of Petitioner-association from his land in colony as well as for a direction directing Respondent Nos. 2 and 3 to decide Petitioner’s representation dated 22nd September, 2012 and to proceed under Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013/ Act, 2013 in case any land of Petitioner-Association was required for public purpose like construction of a road. Land in question was acquired pursuant to a Notification dated 21st March, 2003 under Section 4 of Land Acquisition Act, 1894/Act, 1894 as well as Declaration dated 19th March, 2004 under Section 6 of Act, 1894 and Award issued in 2005. On 21st February, 2007, possession was taken over by Respondent-DDA after effecting some demolition. It is also admitted position that part of alleged Petitioner’s colony falls within the alignment of roads proposed by Respondent/DDA.

High Court opined that, effect of the Act, 2013, if any, can be determined by Competent Court only when it is approached by an owner in accordance with law after setting out detailed facts with regard to his ownership, possession and non-receipt of compensation, which will have to be tested on touchstone of law. In fact, if members of Petitioner-Association seek to rely on Act, 2013, they would have to file individual writ petitions like other similar situated persons who have already sought a declaration that, acquisition under the Act, 1894, had lapsed under Act, 2013. Till the time, appropriate Court does not declare that, acquisition proceeding has lapsed, High Court is of view that, right of DDA to the land cannot be questioned.

If members of Petitioner-Association can file petitions for release of their lands in their individual capacity, they should also file individual petitions with respect to their respective lands for relief sought in present writ petition. Upon a detailed reading of writ petition, it is apparent that, gravamen of petition is that Petitioner’s representation dated 22nd September, 2012 should be disposed of by Respondent No.2 before any coercive action is taken by Respondents. It is pertinent to mention that Petitioner in petition submits that petitioner had made various representations resting with the representation dated 22nd September, 2012 seeking regularisation of colony. With rejection of representation dated 22nd September, 2012 and same having not been impugned by Petitioner or any or its members for more than two years, this Court is of view that, it is not open for Petitioner to seek any relief in relation thereto. Consequently, prayers in present writ petition cannot be granted in relation to 2013 Act.

Relevant : Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013


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