Subsequent Purchasers/Successors Entitled To Seek Declaration That Land Acquisition Proceedings Have Lapsed: SC [Read Judgment]
It is a declaration qua the land wherein indisputably they have an interest and they are affected by such acquisition, the bench said.
The Supreme Court, in GNCTD vs Manav Dharam Trust, has held that subsequent purchaser, assignee, successor in interest, power of attorney, etc., are all persons who are interested in compensation/land owners/affected persons in terms of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RFCTLARR) Act, 2013, and such persons are entitled to file a case for a declaration that the land acquisition proceedings have lapsed by virtue of operation of Section 24(2) of the Act.
A bench comprising of Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice R Banumathi disposed of over 180 appeals preferred by the Delhi Government against the orders passed by Delhi High Court in favour of several persons in their respective pleas seeking declaration that the acquisition proceedings have lapsed.
The court observed that though it is settled position that subsequent purchasers do not have locus standi to challenge the acquisition proceedings, but that does not mean that they cannot seek a declaration that the acquisition proceedings have lapsed in view of the operation of Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act.
“It is one thing to say that there is a challenge to the legality or propriety or validity of the acquisition proceedings and yet another thing to say that by virtue of operation of a subsequent legislation, the acquisition proceedings have lapsed,” the bench said.
Referring to provisions of the 2013 Act, it said the Act proposes to protect the interest of those persons, among others who are affected by the acquisition and therefore, the subsequent purchasers/successors, are all people affected by the acquisition, and they are entitled to seek a declaration on lapse under the 2013 Act.
“It is a declaration qua the land wherein indisputably they have an interest and they are affected by such acquisition. For such a declaration, it cannot be said that the respondents/writ petitioners do not have any locus standi,” the bench observed.
Read the Judgment here.