Civil Appeal No. 973 of 2007 With Civil Appeal No. 974 of 2007. Case: 1. Manohar Lal (D) by Lrs., 2. Ghaziabad Development Authority Vs Ugrasen (D) by Lrs. & Ors.. Supreme Court

Case Number:Civil Appeal No. 973 of 2007 With Civil Appeal No. 974 of 2007
Party Name:1. Manohar Lal (D) by Lrs., 2. Ghaziabad Development Authority Vs Ugrasen (D) by Lrs. & Ors.
Judges:B.S. Chauhan And Swatanter Kumar, JJ.
Issue:Land Acquisition Act, 1894 - Sections 4, 6, 65(A); Bangalore Development Authority Act, 1976 - Section 65; Delhi Development Authority Act, 1957; Bihar and Orissa Co-operative Societies Act, 1935; Constitution of India - Article 166
Judgement Date:June 03, 2010
Court:Supreme Court
 
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Judgment:

B.S. Chauhan, J.

  1. Both these appeals have been preferred by the appellants being aggrieved of the judgment and order of the Allahabad High Court dated 22nd July, 2003 passed in C.M.W.P. No.6644 of 1989 by which the High Court has allowed the Writ Petition filed by respondent No.1-Ugrasen quashing the allotment of land made in favour of appellant-Manohar Lal and further directed to make the allotment of land in favour of the said respondent-Ugrasen.

  2. In these appeals, three substantial questions of law for consideration of this Court are involved, they are, namely:

    (a) As to whether the State Government - a Revisional Authority under the Statute, could take upon itself the task of a lower statutory authority?;

    (b) Whether the order passed or action taken by a statutory authority in contravention of the interim order of the Court is enforceable?; and

    (c) Whether Court can grant relief which had not been asked for?

  3. Facts and circumstances giving rise to these appeals are that lands owned and possessed by predecessor-in-interest of private appellant Manohar Lal and respondent Ugrasen were acquired under the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereinafter referred to as the `Act'). Notification under Section 4 of the Act was issued on 13.08.1962 covering about 32 acres of land in the Revenue Estates of Kaila Pargana Loni Dist. Meerut (now Ghaziabad). Declaration under Section 6 of the Act in respect of the said land was made on 24.05.1965 along with Notification under Section 17(1) invoking the urgency clause. Possession of the land except one acre was taken on 13.07.1965 and award under Section 11 of the Act was made on 11.05.1970.

    The Government of Uttar Pradesh had framed Land Policy dated 30/31.07.1963 to the effect that where a big chunk of land belonging to one person is acquired for planned development, except the land covered by roads, he shall be entitled to the extent of 40% of his total acquired land in a residential area after development in lieu of compensation. The High-Powered Committee dealing with the issue laid down that applications for that purpose be filed within a period of one month from the date of taking the possession of the land which was subsequently changed to within one month from the date of completion of acquisition proceedings.

  4. Both the private parties, i.e. Manohar Lal and Ugrasen claimed that they had made applications to claim the benefit under the said policy within time. Shri Ugrasen claimed that he had submitted the application on 31.12.1966 but no action was taken on the said application. Therefore, he filed another application on 7.9.1971. Manohar Lal-appellant claimed to have filed application for the said purpose on 22.6.1969 and was allotted land bearing plot Nos. 5, 7 to 16 and 25 to 33 in Sector 3N vide order dated 27.12.1979 as per the direction of the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. Shri Ugrasen filed Writ Petition No. 1932 of 1980 before Allahabad High Court challenging the said order dated 27.12.1979. Subsequently, vide order dated 7.3.1980, the land allotted to Manohar Lal was changed to Plot Nos. 25 to 33. At the time of consideration of application of Ugrasen by the State Government, the Ghaziabad Development Authority (hereinafter called GDA) vide letter dated 18.3.1980 pointed out that submission of application by Shri Ugrasen was surrounded by suspicious circumstances as it was the last entry made on 31.12.1966 and signature of the receiving clerk had been made by a person who joined service only in 1979. In the meanwhile, Shri Manohar Lal filed Writ Petition No. 4159 of 1980 and the High Court restrained the authorities from making allotment to anyone else from the land allotted to him as per letter dated 7.3.1980.

  5. In spite of the said interim order in force, the State Government vide order dated 12.12.1980 directed GDA to make the allotment of land in favour of Shri Ugrasen and thus, in compliance of the same, GDA issued letter of allotment dated 22.12.1980 in his favour. Shri Ugrasen submitted letter dated 1.1.1981 to GDA to give an alternative land as the land covered by Plot Nos. 5 to 16 had been subject matter of the interim order of the High Court in a writ petition filed by Shri Manohar Lal.

  6. Shri Ugrasen withdrew his Writ Petition No.1932 of 1980 on 6.3.1981 and deposited the compensation amount, i.e. Rs.32,010.60 on 3.3.1981. GDA allotted the land to Shri Ugrasen in Plot Nos. 36, 38, 39, 44, 46 and 47 vide order dated 02.01.1985, though it was also the land in dispute i.e. covered by the interim order passed by the High Court. Shri Ugrasen refused to take those plots as is evident from letter dated 7.1.1985 as certain encroachment had been made upon the said lands. GDA, vide letter dated 27.3.1989, allotted Plot Nos. 5, 7 to 16 to Shri Manohar Lal. Thus, being aggrieved, Shri Ugrasen filed Writ Petition No. 6644 of 1989 before the High Court for quashing of the said allotment in favour of Shri Manohar Lal.

  7. Parties exchanged the affidavits and after hearing the parties and considering the material on record, the High Court allowed the said Writ Petition vide judgment and order dated 22nd July, 2003. Hence, these appeals.

  8. Shri P.S. Patwalia, learned Senior counsel appearing for the appellant-Manohar Lal and Shri Vijay Hansaria, learned Senior counsel appearing for GDA have contended that Shri Ugrasen had never filed application for allotment in time. There had been manipulation in registration of the said application and it has been surrounded with suspicious circumstances. The application of Shri Ugrasen had been considered directly by the State Government-the revisional authority, though the State Government could not take the task of GDA upon itself. Land of Shri Ugrasen had been acquired for roads, thus, as per the Land Policy he was not entitled for any benefit of the same. Shri Ugrasen in his writ petition had asked only for quashing the allotment in favour of Manohar Lal and there was no prayer that the said land be allotted to him. Therefore, while issuing a direction for making the allotment in favour of Ugrasen, the High Court has exceeded its jurisdiction. Thus, appeals deserve to be allowed.

  9. On the other hand, Shri Debal Banerji, learned Senior counsel appearing for the respondent-Ugrasen and Shri Pramod Swarup, learned Senior counsel appearing for the State of U.P. have vehemently opposed the appeals contending that once a decision has been taken as per the entitlement of the respondent-Ugrasen and the High Court has examined each and every fact, question of re- appreciation of evidence etc. is not permissible in exercise of the discretionary jurisdiction by this Court. Manohar Lal had also been allotted the land by the Chief Minister and not by GDA, thus no fault can be found with allotment in favour of Shri Ugrasen. Appeals lack merit and are liable to be dismissed.

  10. We have considered the rival submissions made by learned counsel for the parties and perused the records.

  11. In Rakesh Ranjan Verma & Ors. Vs. State of Bihar & Ors., AIR 1992 SC 1348, the question arose as to whether the State Government, in exercise of its statutory powers could issue any direction to the Electricity Board in respect of appointment of its officers and employees. After examining the statutory provisions, the Court came to the conclusion that the State Government could only take the policy decisions as how the Board will carry out its functions under the Act. So far as the directions issued in respect of appointment of its officers was concerned, it fell within the exclusive domain of the Board and the State Government had no competence to issue any such direction. The said judgment has been approved and followed by this Court in U.P. State Electricity Board Vs. Ram Autar and Anr. (1996) 8 SCC 506.

  12. In Bangalore Development Authority and Ors. Vs. R. Hanumaiah and Ors. (2005) 12 SCC 508, this...

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