W.P.(C)--2009/2014. Case: KATHURIA PUBLIC SCHOOL AND ORS. Vs. UNION OF INDIA AND ORS.. High Court of Delhi (India)

Case NumberW.P.(C)--2009/2014
Judgement DateApril 28, 2015
CourtHigh Court of Delhi (India)


Reserved on: Pronounced on:

+ W.P.(C) 2009/2014


Through: Sh. A.S. Chandhiok, Sr. Advocate with Sh. Vikas Mehta, Sh. Ritesh Kumar, Sh. Rajat Sehgal, Ms. Honey Kumari Mayank Bamniyal, Advocates.


UNION OF INDIA AND ORS. ……………..Respondents

Through: Sh. Ripu Daman Bhardwaj, CGSC with Sh. T.P. Advocate, for UOI.

Sh. Ajay Verma, Sr. Standing Counsel with Sh. Amit Advocate, for DDA.

Sh. Sanjay Poddar, Sr. Advocate with Sh. Sanjay Kumar Ms. K. Kaumudi Kiran, Ms. Sunil Kumar Jha, Sh. Govind and Ms. Pavni Poddar, Advocates, for Respondent No.3.

Ms. Shefali Jain, for Sh. Rakesh Kumar Khanna, Advocate, Respondent No.4.




1. By these proceedings under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, Petitioners (hereafter compendiously referred to as “KPS”) seek a that with the enactment and coming into force of the Right to Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation Resettlement Act, 2013, (hereafter “Acquisition & Rehabilitation Act”) lands being occupied by the public school under their management longer subject to acquisition; they also seek an order enjoining or the respondents from taking any action towards dispossessing them.

2. On 23.1.1965 a notification under Section 4, Land Acquisition Act 1894 (“old Act”) was issued and on 26.12.1968 a declaration under Section issued in respect of land measuring 80 bighas 7 biswas comprised in

Nos. 1726 (3-3), 1727 (4-16), 1728 (2-12), 1729 (6-14), 1747 (4-16), 1748

16), 1749 (4-16), 1750 (4-16), 1751 (4-16), 1752 (4-16), 1753 (3-5), 1754

2), 1755 (4-16), 1756/2 (3-4), 1757/2 (3-4), 1875 (4-16), 1876 (4-16) and 1877 (4-3) in village Rangpuri alias Malikpur Kohi (Vasant Kunj) Tehsil The award in respect of these lands (hereafter “the suit lands”) was 30-03-1981. In the meanwhile, late Shri R.P. Kathuria, acting as karta HUF consisting of himself and his sons- by a sale deed dated 18-04-(executed by Smt. Saroopi Devi, Smt. Sarjo and Smt. Bartho in his purchased the suit lands after the Section 4 notification under the old Act issued. Claiming to be aggrieved by the acquisition proceedings, he approached this Court by filing Civil Writ Petition No.586/1981 alleging undue delay in the finalization of acquisition process. While issuing notice on 24.03.81,

status quo regarding possession was made by this Court. The status quo was subsequently confirmed. The writ petition remained pending considerable period; eventually it was dismissed on 14-12-1995 along batch of writ petitions in a Full Bench decision reported as Roshnara Begum vs. Union of India 1996(61) DLT 206. The appeal by special leave, to the Supreme Court, preferred in that regard, was rejected in a reported judgment of Court, i.e. Murari vs. Union of India 1997 (1) SCC 15 where validity acquisition proceeding was upheld.

3. The Supreme Court, even while dismissing the appeal acquisition of the suit lands, permitted a representation to the State withdrawal from acquisition in case the suit land was not required for any other

purpose. Relying on that order R.S. Kathuria and the present represented to the Government of National Capital Territory (NCT) Section 48 of the old Act which was rejected. R.P. Kathuria preferred No. 233/97 challenging the decision of Govt of NCT rejecting representation. Interim orders were made in the said writ petition dispossess Shri Kathuria. During pendency of those proceedings, Shri Kathuria also filed a civil suit, (C.S. (OS) No. 927/2002) before this Court; in that he sought the relief of declaration that he was absolute owner of the suit and that the defendant, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had no whatsoever in it. The suit claim was premised on the assertion that the plaintiff was a Bhumidar under the Delhi Land Reforms Act, 1954. The DDA the suit stating that the Award relating to the suit lands had been made on 30th March, 1981 and possession was taken over on 31-03-1981. The suit were placed at the disposal of the DDA by Notification issued under Section 22 of the Delhi Development Act (“the Development Act”) on 19-05-1981 and 17-06-1983.

4. A preliminary issue was framed by the learned single judge who the suit filed before the court; by a reasoned order dated 5-06-2007, it was held that the suit was maintainable and that the question of possession was decided by the court. Both the DDA and Govt. of NCT of Delhi appeals against that decision, being FAO (OS) 313/2007 and 27/2008. On 28-11-2008, by a common judgment a Division Bench the appeals (of DDA and Govt. of NCT of Delhi).

5. In the pending writ petition, WP(C) 233/1997, the petitioners that a school (called “Kathuria Public School”) had been established and functioning on the land in question since 1988. It was alleged that

constructed a school building along with staff quarters and boundary the suit land. By a representation dated 01.01.1996, they had again release of the land from acquisition seeking parity with the case of Public School land of which was de-notified by the Government. represented again on 11.11.1996 for release of their land on the par Xavier Society’s land (which was released from acquisition on 06.9.1996)

at par with the case of Hamdard Public School. A direction for de-notification of the suit lands at par with the other’s case, and a further direction to DDA and Govt. of NCT not to demolish any part of the building constructed on the lands and not to take physical possession, was sought. By judgment and dated 09-11-2011, a Division Bench of this court rejected WP(C) 233/1997. review proceeding, being R.P. 716/2011 was disposed of by the Bench on 02-12-2011.

6. A special leave petition (SLP (C) 20893/2011) was preferred before Supreme Court against the said judgment dismissing WP(C) 233/1997 review petition. By order dated 09-12-2011, the Supreme Court rejected writ petition, recording as follows:

“no ground is made out for our interference with a well reasoned judgment of the High Court. Accordingly, the Special Leave Petitions are dismissed.

At this stage, Mr. Rohatgi submits that since more than 600 students are studying in the school, being run in the building constructed on the subject land, petitioners may be granted some reasonable time to shift the school. He, however, fairly states that insofar as the portion of land allotted the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre is concerned, the petitioners will have no objection if its possession is delivered by the DDA to the said institute.

Keeping in view the interest of the students, we accede to the prayer and direct that, except for the piece of land allotted to the aforesaid institute, all the parties shall maintain status quo in respect of nature, title and possession of the subject land till 30th April, 2013, subject to the petitioners and all others who claim to be in possession of the subject land, furnishing an undertaking to this Court to the effect that they will deliver vacant and peaceful possession of the land under their occupation on or before the said date. The time so granted shall not be extended under any circumstances. The requisite undertaking shall be filed within four weeks from today, failing which, it will be open to the DDA

take possession of the land forthwith. Insofar as the land allotted to the aforesaid institute is concerned, its possession may be delivered to them as and when the DDA decides to do so.

We further direct that no construction activity of any kind shall be undertaken on the entire land, subject matter of this petition.”

In furtherance of the above order, Shri. Sunil Kathuria, son of R.S. affirmed an affidavit (dated 06-01-2012 which was filed before the Court) undertaking to vacate the suit land in terms of the order dated 2011 and inter alia, stated:

“..The present undertaking is given in terms of the Order dated 9th December 2011 passed in the aforesaid SLP without prejudice to any rights of the Petitioner in terms of the policies of the Government.”

7. The undertaking (to vacate the suit property) was not complied the time indicated, i.e 30-04-2013. The present writ petition was filed 03-2014, alleging, inter alia, that the DDA was planning to take over the lands; it was also importantly contended that in view of Section 24 (2) newly enacted Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in

Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, (hereafter “Acquisition & Rehabilitation Act”) the lands had to be released in their favour. The present writ petition was listed for admission on 27-03-2014, when, after noticing the background facts, the Court also recorded the submission of that it had preferred a contempt petition before the Supreme Court for compliance with the order dated 09-12-2011 and the undertaking given failure to vacate the suit lands by 30-04-2013). The court then disposed writ petition, stating as follows:

“11. As noted above, the petitioners have miserably failed to abide by the aforesaid undertaking furnished by them to the Supreme Court and instead, they have held on to the subject land by the skin of their teeth, under the flimsy pretext of submitting representations to the respondent/DDA for releasing the same and curiously, for reasons best known to the respondent No.2/DDA, even after expiry of the time granted by the Supreme Court to the petitioners, it has elected not to take any steps for dispossessing them from the subject land. However, having regard to the fact that now the respondent No.2/DDA has finally decided to exert itself and has approached the Supreme Court for initiating contempt proceedings against the petitioners for breach of the undertaking given by them in terms of the order dated 9.12.2011 and this Court has been given an assurance that the said petition is likely to be listed in a couple of weeks, it is not inclined to entertain the...

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