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Subsequent Purchasers Have No Locus To Challenge Already-completed Acquisition: Allahabad HC [Read Judgment]

Ashok K.M
18 July 2017 9:52 AM GMT
Subsequent Purchasers Have No Locus To Challenge Already-completed Acquisition: Allahabad HC [Read Judgment]
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While dismissing pleas challenging the acquisition of farm land which was completed in the year 1950, by some persons who claimed to have purchased the land later, the Allahabad High Court has observed that purchasers, subsequent to notifications u/s 4(1) & 6 of the Land Acquisition Act, have no locus to challenge acquisition initiated and completed.

The first bench comprising Chief Justice Dilip B Bhosale and Justice Yashwant Varma also allowed a public interest litigation seeking action against encroachers of the Defence land.

Observing that the subsequent purchasers have no locus to make a grievance that no procedure contemplated under the provisions of the Act was complied with or the acquisition was not complete, the bench remarked: “If the courts start entertaining such submissions after 65 years of the acquisition, then the acquisition proceedings would never conclude and no acquiring body would ever succeed in enjoying the property for the purposes for which it was acquired.”

The court summarised its reasons to dismiss the plea challenging 1950 acquisitions as follows:

  • The petitioners, being purchasers subsequent to the notifications under Section 4(1) and declaration under Section 6 of the Act, have no locus standi to challenge the acquisition that was initiated and completed in the year 1950 itself.

  • The petitioners cannot be treated or termed as persons aggrieved so as to maintain a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution. In other words, the petitioners do not have locus to maintain writ petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution challenging the acquisition proceedings after about 60 years.

  • The petitioners, being trespassers/encroachers over the land forming part of the land in question, are not entitled for any relief, as prayed in the instant writ petitions.

  • The petitions are liable to be dismissed on the ground of laches.

  • The land in question vested absolutely in the Government in 1950 itself free from all encumbrances and as a result thereof, interest, right and title of the original landowners to the land stood extinguished.

The court also issued directives to the district administration for getting back the possession of the encroached portion of the land, out of the acquired land, from the encroachers/ trespassers.

Read the Judgment Here

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