Nilesh Nagawade
Asked May 06, 2017

Delay in Land Acquisition

  • 1 Answer

Dear sir,my land was to be acquired under Land Acquisition Act 1894 under section 4 &6 in 1980 but at at a time of final award my land number 130 was not included .Recently the Divisional Commissioner pune instructed in Lokshahi din to complete the process of land acquisition by private negotiation under maharashtra government circular 25 jan 2017 within 2 months. The executive engineer is not paying much attention to the time limit given and is delaying the land acquisition. Since 1980 my land has a minor irrigation tank of wrd department maharashtra government. I have filed a complaint on but havn't received any response from Collector pune. Please help me for a fast land acquisition of my land. I want to apply in high court under article 226 for fast completion of land acquisition process but i dont have idea regards this so please help me regards this case.

Answer 1

Firstly, Was your land surveyed or investigated by any government official?  Because when a government intends to occupy a land in any locality it has to issue a notification under Section 4 in the official gazette, newspaper and give a public notice which entitles anyone on behalf of the government to enter the land for the purposes of digging, taking level, set out boundaries etc. The notification puts forward the intention of the government to acquire and entitles government officials to investigate and ascertain whether the land is suitable for the purpose. The officer or person authorised by the government gives a notice of seven days signifying his intention to enter any or building or enclosed court in any locality. This is a mandatory provision of the process of land acquisition.

Secondly, was your land marked by the Government either by cutting trenches or fixing marks as posts to facilitate measurement and preparation of acquisition plan? Land Acquisition is not complete until the government pays the owner fair compensation for his land and until then government can back out anytime by citing any valid reason.

According to you, your land no. 130 was not included at the time of award. Also, I am not sure what award are you talking about. If your land is not yet acquired or the process of acquisition has not yet initiated  you are not eligible for any award or compensation against it.

Thirdly, you should have given the proper citation of Maharashtra Government Circular dated 25th January 2017, it would have been supportive in drafting a proper and a more useful response to you.

Anyway, If you want to apply in Hon'ble High Court under article 226 for fast completion of land acquisition process and if acquisition of your land is directed by Collector, Pune  but it is being delayed you can definitely file a writ petition Under Article 226 before Hon'ble Bombay High Court. There are series of Judgment in favour of expeditious acquisition process.

In the case of State of Gujarat v. Patel Raghav Natha, it was considered whether in a statute, if for exercise of the power, no time-limit has been fixed, the authority, who has to exercise such power, can exercise the same at any time. It was said: "The question arises whether the Commissioner can revise an order made under Section 65 at any time. It is true that there is no period of limitation prescribed under Section 21 (1), but it seems to us plain that this power must be exercised in reasonable time and the length of the reasonable time must be determined by the facts of the case and the nature of the order which is being revised."  Same view was reiterated in the case of Mansaram v. S.P. Pathak. It was said: "But as stated earlier, where power is conferred to effectuate a purpose, it has to be exercised in a reasonable manner and the reasonable exercise of power inheres its exercise within a reasonable time."

In connection with a land acquisition proceeding itself, in the case of State of M.P. v. Vishnu Prasad Sharma, where a grievance had been made in respect of delay in issuance of the declaration under Section 6 of the Act, after issuance of notification under Section 4(1) of the Act, it was pointed out: "It is clear from this intimate connection between Sections 4, 5-A and 6 that as soon as the Government has made up its mind what particular land out of the locality it requires, it has to issue a declaration under Section 6 to that effect."

This must be followed by expeditious conclusion of the acquisition proceedings culminating in the awards and payment of compensation. Apex Court in the case of Ambalal Purshottam v. Ahmedabad Municipal Corpn., said:  "We are not hereby to be understood as suggesting that after issue of the notifications under Sections 4 and 6 the appropriate Government would be justified in allowing the matters to drift and to take in hand the proceeding for assessment of compensation whenever they think it proper to do. It is intended by the scheme of the Act that the notification under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act must be followed by a proceeding for determination of compensation without any unreasonable delay."

In the case of Khadim Hussain v. State of U.P., the Apex Court again said: As indicated by the Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court, the amendment of 1967, was the result of a decision of this Court in the State of M.P. v. Vishnu Prasad Sharma holding successive notifications, under Section 6, with excessive intervening delay between a notification under Section 4(2) and a declaration under Section 6, keeping the owner or other person entitled to compensation in suspense all the time, to be illegal. It may be that, if an unreasonable delay between a declaration and its notification is shown to exist, it may raise a suspicion about the existence of the declaration itself or about the bona fides of acquisition proceedings."

1969 AIR 1297; 1969 SCC  (2) 187 (SCC p. 193, para 11)


1984 SCC  (1) 125, (SCC p. 136, para 12)  

1966 AIR 1593  

1968 AIR 1223  

1976 SCC (1) 843; (SCC p. 85 1, para 27) 1 (1969) 2 SCC 187: AIR 1969 SC 1297: (1970) 1 SCR 335 2 (1984) 1 SCC 125 3 (1966) 3 SCR 557: AIR 1966 SC 1593 4 (1968) 3 SCR 207: AIR 1968 SC 1223 5 (1976) 1 SCC 843: (1976) 3 SCR 1: AIR 1976 SC 417 "

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