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Jai Gurudev Dharam Pracharak Sangh and ors. Vs. State of U.P. and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Writ Petn. No. 2127 of 1976
Judge
Reported inAIR1985All158
ActsLand Acquisition Act, 1894 - Sections 4, 4(1), 5A, 17 and 17(4); Evidence Act, 1872 - Sections 106 and 114
AppellantJai Gurudev Dharam Pracharak Sangh and ors.
RespondentState of U.P. and ors.
Appellant AdvocateB.D. Mandhyan, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateStanding Counsel
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
civil - acquisition of land - sections 5a and 17 (4) of land acquisition act, 1894 and sections 106 and 114 of evidence act, 1872 - land acquisition act summary in nature - legislature empowered the executive to dispense with filing of objection when land was needed urgently - but normal procedure of giving an individual his right to file objection should not be taken away merely because a decision have been taken to industrially develop a city - invoking of urgency provision must precede existence of circumstances which require the state government to take immediate action. - .....deprive petitioner of its right to file objection under section 5a. 3. enquiry under section 5a of land acquisition act is summary in nature. it has been repeatedly held by hon'ble supreme court and this court that there must be some reason to exclude such enquiry and thereby deprive person concerned of getting his land excluded from acquisition proceedings. narayan govil v. state of maharashtra air 1977 sc 183 and a. p. sarin v. state 1983 all lj 1016. dispensing of procedure section 17 is no doubt in the discretion of the state government. but, on what material the opinion was formed and government exercised this power can be examined by this court to ascertain if the exercise of power was not arbitrary. but rule of law being edifice of our society action of public authority has to be.....
Judgment:

R.M. Sahai, J.

1. The short question that arises for consideration in this petition is if opposite parties were justified in invoking Section 17 of Land Acquisition Act and dispensing with the hearing of objections under Section 5A of the Act.

2. It is not disputed that proceedings for acquisition of land in dispute for planned industrial development were initiated in June 1973 and notification under Section 4 was issued. On that occasion petitioner was not deprived of right of filing objection Under Section 5A obviously because State Government was not of opinion that it was an acquisition to which Section 17(4) should have been applied. The objection resulted in exclusion of one of the plots as it was found to be tank. For remaining plots petitioner came to this court by way of Writ Petition No. 7575 of 1975. It was allowed on 16th Sept. 1975. Both the notifications issued under Sections 4 and 6 were quashed as substance of notification was not published in the locality within 21 days. After nearly seven months another notification under Section 4(i) along with Section 17(4) was issued. That is emergency provision was invoked depriving the petitioners of any right to file objection Under Section 5-A of the Act. The controversy that arises on these facts is very narrow namely, if after 1973 that is when first notification Under Section 4 was issued and 1975 when second notification was issued, specially after lapse of several months from date of order passed by this court, there came into being circumstances which made necessary for State Government to seek shelter under Section 17(4) and deprive petitioner of its right to file objection under Section 5A.

3. Enquiry under Section 5A of Land Acquisition Act is summary in nature. It has been repeatedly held by Hon'ble Supreme Court and this court that there must be some reason to exclude such enquiry and thereby deprive person concerned of getting his land excluded from acquisition proceedings. Narayan Govil v. State of Maharashtra AIR 1977 SC 183 and A. P. Sarin v. State 1983 All LJ 1016. Dispensing of procedure Section 17 is no doubt in the discretion of the State Government. But, on what material the opinion was formed and government exercised this power can be examined by this Court to ascertain if the exercise of power was not arbitrary. But rule of law being edifice of our Society action of public authority has to be inaccordance with law. Legislature has no doubt empowered the executive to dispense with filing of objection if it was of opinion that the land was needed urgently. But use of word urgently itself furnishes guidelines for exercise of the power. Urgency according to dictionary means, 'immediate', 'very important', that which requires immediate attention. From its meaning it is apparent that its applicability has to vary. What may be very important in one set of circumstances may not be so in another. For instance, delay in construction of road or canal as compared to allotment of land for Cinema or shopping complex may be more important and may require immediate attention. Acquiring of land for industrial development in a State or city is not only laudable objective but imperative for economic and social development. But the normal procedure of giving an individual his right to file objection should not be taken away merely because a decision has been taken to industrially develop a city. Invoking of urgency provision must precede existence of circumstances which requires the State Government to take immediate action. If exercise of power under Section 17 is upheld only because a master plan had been prepared for a town or city even though there was no movement and nothing had been done even on neighbouring land acquired earlier it would amount to conferring blanket power on executive to dispense with cherished right of filing objection. Preparing master-plan in 1971 and yet having no map in 1975 for the area which is being acquired, doing nothing on land already taken over negative the underlying concept beneath the word urgency.

4. In paras 25, 26 and 35 of the writ petition it has been averred that there was no urgency as even on neighbouring land acquired in 1974 no planned activity had been started, it was lying vacant and there was no plan as when petitioner approached the Land Acquisition Officer in Dec. 1973 expressed his inability to show any plan as none was there. In two counter-affidavits filed, one on behalf of U.P. State Industrial Development Corporation and other by Land Acquisition Clerk it has not been disclosed if there was any material which compelled government to take extraordinary step of dispensing with procedure of hearing. Even the allegation that there was no plan is not denied. What is stated is that acquisition of land is necessary for proper implementationof master plan. This plan existed in 1973 when first notification was issued. No urgency was felt. Then, there must be some circumstances between 1973 to 1975 which may have led the government to decide if the land was urgently acquired. In Civil Misc. Writ Petn. No. 8522 of 1979 Gaya Prasad v. State decided on 16th May, 1984 notification under Section 4 issued along with Section 17 was quashed because of sluggishness of opposite parties.

5. In the result, this petition succeeds and is allowed and the notification issued under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act is quashed. Further, notification under Section 4 so far it dispenses with enquiry under Section 5(A) is also held to be invalid. It shall be open to opposite parties to permit petitioners to file objections under Section 5(A) and decide the same in accordance with law. The petitioners shall be entitled to their costs.


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