`Land acquisitions can`t be challenged belatedly`

Land acquisition cannot be challenged in a belated manner, the Supreme Court has ruled.

Last Updated: Apr 27, 2011, 20:06 PM IST

New Delhi: Land acquisition cannot be
challenged in a belated manner, the Supreme Court has ruled
imposing a fine of Rs 1 lakh on a land owner and laid
certain guidelines on determining legality of acquisition
proceedings by the government and its agencies.

A bench of justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly said the
government is deemed to have acquired the land legally even if
mere physical possession is taken in front of five witnesses
and a `panchanama` (document) prepared.

"If the acquired land is vacant, the act of the concerned
state authority to go to the spot and prepare a panchnama will
ordinarily be treated as sufficient to constitute taking of
possession," Justices Ganguly writing the judgement said.

The apex court passed the judgement while setting aside
an Allahabad High Court direction quashing the land acquistion
by UP government on behalf of the Banda Land Development
Authority (BDA) as the award (compensation) was not declared
within two years.

The bench pointed out that the petitioner Moti Lal
Agarwal and others had challenged the acquisition proceedings
of September 1998, more than nine years after they were
acquired, by which time construction of houses and colonies
were completed.

PTI