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Purchaser Of Land Subsequent To Initiation Of Acquisition Proceedings Can’t Challenge It, At Best Can Claim Compensation, Reiterates Allahabad HC

The Allahabad High Court has directed the Additional District Magistrate, Ghazipur, to decide within two months the claim of compensation made by a man whose land had been acquired for the purpose of national highways while reiterating that a person who purchases a land subsequent to initiation of acquisition proceedings has no locus to challenge the said proceedings.

A bench of Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Ajay Bhanot directed the district authorities concerned to decide his case, including a representation within two months.

Advocate Prajal Mehrotra, appearing for the National Highways Authority of India as well as the State, assured the bench that the claim made by the petitioner which is pending before the Additional District Magistrate, Ghazipur, will be considered expeditiously.

In the instant case, petitioner Surendra Singh Nath had approached the high court seeking a writ of mandamus to command the Land Acquisition Officer/Additional District Magistrate, Ghazipur, and decide his claim of compensation for acquisition of land.

He had also sought a decision to be taken on his representation pending before the Magistrate.

His land is situated in village Mahmoodpur Pali, Pargana-Saidpur, Ghazipur.

The petitioner’s land is subject matter of acquisition under the provisions of the National Highways Act, 1956. Notification under Section 3-A of the Act was issued on December 1, 2014, and that under Section 3-D(2) of the Act was published on September 24, 2015.

Surendra Nath had purchased the said land from the erstwhile owner by means of registered sale deed dated July 22, 2016, as per which he is entitled to compensation.

“It is well settled proposition of law by judicial pronouncement of the apex court that purchaser of the land subsequent to initiation of the acquisition proceedings has no locus standi to challenge the acquisition proceedings, but certainly he is a person interested in the compensation,” the bench noted.

It also referred to the Supreme Court decision in case titled V Chandrasekaran v Administrative Officer, wherein it was held that, “… a person who purchases land subsequent to the issuance of a Section 4 notification with respect to it, is not competent to challenge the validity of the acquisition proceedings on any ground whatsoever, for the reason that the sale deed executed in his favour does not confer upon him, any title and at the most he can claim compensation on the basis of his vendor’s title”.

“In view of the settled law on the subject, subsequent purchaser is a person interested only to the extent of making a claim of compensation of the land, subject matter of acquisition … right of compensation being claimed by the petitioner is worthy of being considered,” the court concluded without going into the merits of the case.

It directed the Land Acquisition Officer/Additional District Magistrate (Finance & Revenue), Ghazipur, to consider the representation made by the petitioner pending before him in accordance with law by a reasoned and speaking order after notice and an opportunity of hearing to all concerned, within two months.

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