SC: No Land Acquisition without Giving Objector Opportunity of Being Heard

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April 27, 2018

Case name: Shiv Singh & Ors. v. State of Himachal Pradesh & ors.

Date of Judgment: April 25, 2018

In this case, the Appellant was aggrieved by order passed by the Division Bench of the High Court, whereby the High Court had dismissed appellant’s petition challenging the land acquisition proceedings initiated by the respondent-State for acquisition of the appellants’ land.

The dispute in the case related to acquisition of land belonging to the appellants, sought to be acquired under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”).

On notification of land acquisition, the appellant had also filed objection within the prescribed time limit. Under the scheme of the Act, once the objections are filed by the affected landowners, the same are required to be decided by the Collector under Section 15(2) of the Act after affording an opportunity of being heard to the landowners. However, as per the facts, no such opportunity of being heard was given by the concerned Collector.

Section 15(2) of the Act provides that every objection shall be made to the Collector in writing, and the Collector shall give the objector an opportunity of being heard and shall, after hearing all such objections and after making such further inquiry, if any, as he thinks necessary, either make a report in respect of the land which has been notified…

Bench’s Verdict

In view of the facts and circumstances of the case, the Two-judge Bench of the Supreme Court accepted the Appellant’s plea and made the following observations in the case:

  • That the Collector neither gave any opportunity to the appellants as contemplated under Section 15(2) of the Act and nor submitted any report as provided under Section 15(2) of the Act to the Government so as to enable the Government to take appropriate decision.
  • That there was non-compliance of Section 15(2) of the Act by the Collector.
  • That it is mandatory on the part of the Collector to comply with the procedure prescribed under Section 15(2) of the Act so as to make the acquisition proceedings legal and in conformity with the provisions of the Act.

Read the entire case here.

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