I (1995) 2 Supreme Court Cases 736 Val & Am Vs Pradeep Kumari & Ors

Land Acquisition Act, 1894--Section 28-A-Awards made after insertion 0f S.88-A--Period of 3 months not to be counted from the earliest award-To be counted from award on which claim is based-interest can be granted by the Collector on additional compensation.

The lands of the respondents were acquired for Beas Dam Project vide various Notifications under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act and awards were made by the Collector. Certain other persons whose lands were also acquired under the same notification sought reference under Section 18 of the Act and on such reference, the Court awarded additional amounts to such persons. Few of such references to the Court were disposed of by the Court after 24.9.1984, that is, after the enactment of the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act, 1984 by which Section 28-A was introduced in the Act The earliest award after the amendment was made by the Court on 27.12.1984.

The respondent No. 1 fled an application before the Collector claiming the benefit of additional amount of compensation under Section 28-A. The Collector awarded additional amount of compensation oh the basis of one such award of the Court dated 21.2.1987. The writ petition filed by the petitioners against the order of the Collector was dismissed.

Respondent No. 2 on the other hand, filed an application under Section 28-A of the Act for enhancement of compensation claiming the benefit of the decision of the High Court in R.FA.166 of 1977. The Collector dismissed the application on the ground that the benefit of Section 28-A is available only on the basis of an award of the reference court under the Act and not on the basis of any judgment of the High Curt. Respondent No. 2 filed a writ petition against the order of the Collector in the High Court contending that if she is not entitled to the benefit of the Judgment of the High Court, she may be given the benefit of the award of the reference

Court under Section 28-A. The writ petition was disposed of alongwith the writ petition of Respondent No. 1 and the High Court allowed the writ petition of Respondent No, 2. The petitioners filed appeals against the aforesaid orders of the High Court which were dismissed. Thereupon they filed these Review Petitions.

The petitioners contended that (1) the benefit of Section 28-A could be extended only if the application is made within three months from the date of the first award made by the reference court after the Amendment Act. As the applications by the respondents were made more than three months after the date of the first award i.e. 27.12.1984, the applications were barred by limitation. Reliance was placed upon decisions of two Judge bench of this court in Babua Ram and Ors. v. State of U.P. and Anr., JT [1994] 7 SC 377 and Union of India v. Karnail Singh, [1995] 7 SCALE 21. (2) The Collector was not competent to award interest on the additional amount of compensation and only the Court is competent to do so under Section 28 of the Act.


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