Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Top Stories

Court Cannot Grant Additional Time For Acquisition Of Land If Law Does Not Contemplate It: Supreme Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
25 March 2022 5:00 AM GMT
Court Cannot Grant Additional Time For Acquisition Of Land If Law Does Not Contemplate It: Supreme Court
x

The Supreme Court observed that the Court cannot grant additional period for acquisition of land if the law does not contemplate any further period for acquisition."The land owner cannot be deprived of the use of the land for years together. Once an embargo has been put on a land owner not to use the land in a particular manner, the said restriction cannot be kept open-ended for...

The Supreme Court observed that the Court cannot grant additional period for acquisition of land if the law does not contemplate any further period for acquisition.

"The land owner cannot be deprived of the use of the land for years together. Once an embargo has been put on a land owner not to use the land in a particular manner, the said restriction cannot be kept open-ended for indefinite period.", the bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and V. Ramasubramanian observed.

In this case, the Bombay High Court held that the reservation of land in the Development Plan lapsed as no declaration under Section 126 of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966 was published. However, the Planning Authority was given one year time to acquire the land once reserved relying upon a Supreme Court judgment in Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai & Ors. v. Hiraman Sitaram Deorukhar & Ors (2019) 14 SCC 411.

In appeal, the court noted that, in Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (supra), the direction was given under Article 142 of the Constitution of India keeping in view the facts of that case. Such direction and period for acquisition of land is not a law declared by this Court which is to be treated as binding precedent for this Court and the subordinate courts subordinate in terms of Article 141 read with Article 144 of the Constitution, the court said.

In the instant case, the court noted that Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act does not contemplate any further period for acquisition. While allowing the appeal, the bench observed:

"The land was reserved for a public purpose way back in 2002. By such reservation, the land owner could not use the land for any other purpose for ten years. After the expiry of ten years, the land owner had served a notice calling upon the respondents to acquire the land but still the land was not acquired. The land owner cannot be deprived of the use of the land for years together. Once an embargo has been put on a land owner not to use the land in a particular manner, the said restriction cannot be kept open-ended for indefinite period. The Statute has provided a period of ten years to acquire the land under Section 126 of the Act. Additional one year is granted to the land owner to serve a notice for acquisition prior to the amendment by Maharashtra Act No. 42 of 2015. Such time line is sacrosanct and has to be adhered to by the State or by the Authorities under the State. The State or its functionaries cannot be directed to acquire the land as the acquisition is on its satisfaction that the land is required for a public purpose. If the State was inactive for long number of years, the Courts would not issue direction for acquisition of land, which is exercise of power of the State to invoke its rights of eminent domain."

Case details

Laxmikant vs State of Maharashtra | 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 315 | CA 1965 OF 2022 | 23 March 2022

Coram: Justices Hemant Gupta and V. Ramasubramanian

Headnotes

Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966; Section 126  - Once the Act does not contemplate any further period for acquisition - The land owner cannot be deprived of the use of the land for years together. Once an embargo has been put on a land owner not to use the land in a particular manner, the said restriction cannot be kept open-ended for indefinite period. The Statute has provided a period of ten years to acquire the land under Section 126 of the Act. Additional one year is granted to the land owner to serve a notice for acquisition prior to the amendment by Maharashtra Act No. 42 of 2015. Such time line is sacrosanct and has to be adhered to by the State or by the Authorities under the State - The State or its functionaries cannot be directed to acquire the land as the acquisition is on its satisfaction that the land is required for a public purpose. If the State was inactive for long number of years, the Courts would not issue direction for acquisition of land, which is exercise of power of the State to invoke its rights of eminent domain. (Para 7,8)

Summary : Appeal against judgment of Bombay High Court which gave planning Authority one year further time to acquire the land once reserved relying upon a Supreme Court judgment in Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai & Ors. v. Hiraman Sitaram Deorukhar & Ors (2019) 14 SCC 411 - Allowed - The direction to acquire land within a period of one year is in fact contravening the time line fixed under the Statute. Consequently, the direction to acquire the land within one year is set aside.

Click here to Read/Download Judgment



Next Story