K. Veeraswami, C.J.
1. But for the long delay of nearly three years on the part of the appellants, we should have had no hesitation in quashing the land acquisition proceedings. The proceedings to acquire land to provide house-sites for Harijans were admittedly taken as early as 1960. But the notification under Section 4(1) of the Act was made only on 7-7-1966. At that point of time, suddenly the department thought that there was a grave urgency and on that view dispensed with the application of Section 5-A of the Land Acquisition Act and invoked Section 17. This was wholly an unjustified procedure. This Court has repeatedly pointed out that unless acquisition could not brook a delay of approximately two months or even three months in applying Section 5-A before the declaration under Section 6, there was no power to invoke the urgency provisions. There was evidently no urgency of that kind in this case and the department was not justified in invoking Section 17. We should have, therefore, quashed the notification.
2. But, unfortunately, there have been events which stand in the way of issuing a writ. It is not in every case that this court is bound to grant a writ. The party concerned must approach this court for that remedy with all expedition, at any rate, before the other side has done something which would be unfair to ask him to retrace. The Section 9 notice was issued as early as September, 1966 and in August, 1967, it would appear that one of the appellants before us applied in W. P. 2504 of 1966, which was eventually dismissed, but there no challenge was made to the dispensation with the Section 5-A procedure. No doubt, subsequently, the appellants had been moving the Government on some ground or other. But then, we find from the record that the Government had taken possession of the lands in question on 22-1-1968, and 9-5-1968. No doubt, the appellants, on filing petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution, had obtained injunctions. Apparently, under cover of those injunctions, they had been cultivating the lands. But that does not mean that in the absence of a contradiction of the allegation in the counter-affidavit, we can say that no possession was taken on the dates above mentioned by the Government. The award also had been passed earlier. That being the case, it was too late for the appellants to have applied to this court. That was the view of Palaniswamy J. with whom we agree.
3. The appeals are dismissed. No costs.
4. Appeals dismissed.