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Satish Kumar Gupta v. State of Haryana & Ors. - (Supreme Court) (21 Feb 2017)

Post-acquisition Allottee has no Locus to be Heard in the Matter and is Neither a Necessary Nor a Proper Party


Land Acquisition

Instant appeals have been preferred against judgment and order passed by High Court of Punjab and Haryana. Question for consideration is whether a post-acquisition allottee of land is necessary or proper party or has any locus to be heard in the matter of determination of compensation under the scheme of Land Acquisition Act, 1894 and if not, whether impugned order permitting additional evidence and directing remand is sustainable.

Acquisition may either be for a “public purpose” as defined under Section 3(f) of Act or for a company under Part-VII of the Act. If acquisition is for a public purpose (as present case), land vests in State after Collector makes an award and the possession is taken. Till award is made, no person other than State comes into the picture. Once land vests in State, acquisition is complete. Any transferee from State is not concerned with the process of acquisition. State may transfer land by public auction or by allotment at any price with which the person whose land is acquired has no concern. Mere fact that Government chooses to determine the allotment price with reference to compensation price determined by the Court does not provide any locus to an allottee to contest the claim for enhancement of compensation.

Post-acquisition allottee cannot by any stretch of imagination be treated at par with beneficiary for whom the land was acquired. Accordingly, Supreme Court held that, post-acquisition allottee has no locus to be heard in the matter and is neither a necessary nor a proper party. The other part of the impugned order permitting additional evidence and remanding the case for fresh decision is uncalled for. No case was made out for permitting additional evidence on settled principles under Order XLI Rule 27 of CPC.

It is clear that neither the Trial Court has refused to receive the evidence nor it could be said that the evidence sought to be adduced was not available despite the exercise of due diligence nor it could be held to necessary to pronounce the judgment. Additional evidence cannot be permitted to fill-in the lacunae or to patch-up weak points in the case. Supreme Court allowed the appeals and set aside the impugned order and remand the matter to the High Court once again for fresh decision in accordance with law.

Relevant : Hindu Kanya Maha Vidyalaya, Jind and Anr. v. Municipal Committee, Jind and Ors. : 1988 (Supp) SCC 719; MANU/SC/0186/1988  Peerappa Hanmantha Harijan (Dead) by legal representatives and Ors. v. State of Karnataka and Anr. : (2015) 10 SCC 469; MANU/SC/0828/2015


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