Land acquisition notice can’t be challenged: HC

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, Dec 29: In a landmark judgment, High Court today held that land acquisition notice cannot be challenged by way of writ petition before High Court as it is in the larger public interest.
Hearing an appeal filed by one Hajra against the award passed for her land acquisition for public purpose, the Division Bench of Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice M K Hanjura dismissed the appeal with the finding that no writ petition can be filed to challenge the acquisition notice.
“It is trite to say that after the award is passed, no writ petition can be filed to challenge the acquisition notice or against any proceedings there under. It is within the power and the authority of the Government to decide whether the acquisition is, or is not, required for public purpose”, DB said.
Upholding the judgment of the writ Court, DB said, it is clear and vivid and cannot be interfered with. “It is based on the sound foundations of the law and reason. The judgments and the law cited and relied upon by the writ Court to decide and determine the petition of the petitioner are suited to the purpose propounded under it”, DB said.
Underscoring that smaller public interest has to give way to the larger public interest Court said, these are pertinent to the facts and the circumstances of the case.
DB also said that the interest of justice and the public purpose grow together and these are the indispensable conditions embedded in the matter of the land acquisitions.
To address her grievances, Court said, she has an alternative remedy available to her under Section 18 of the Jammu & Kashmir Land Acquisition Act. “To this it may, however, be added that the appeal of the appellant is ineffective, incomplete, incompetent and defective”, Court said.
It is pertinent to mention here, Court said, that it is for the Government to decide that a particular acquisition was required for public purpose and once the Government arrives at such a conclusion it would be a conclusive proof about the purpose.
The other principle, Court mentioned, that has been ingrained is that if a project is beneficial for the larger public, inconvenience to smaller number of people is to be accepted and it has to be respectfully accepted as a proposition of law that individual interest or, for that matter, smaller public interest must yield to the larger public interest. “Inconvenience of some should be bypassed for a larger interest or cause of the society.”
“In the given circumstances and on the application of the law by the writ Court in the impugned judgment, buttressed with the judicial pronouncements, the appellant cannot be allowed to take an oblique course impermissible under law”, DB concluded and dismissed the appeal with the observation that the appellant shall, in case she opts to do so, be at liberty to agitate her claim before the appropriate forum as envisaged under the law.