M/S. Steel Authority Of India Ltd vs S.U.T.N.I. Sangam and Others [ ]

Country India
Category Right to Land
Date of Judgment 29-07-2009
Link / Attachment https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1013800/
  • Description

    SUTNI Sangam – an association for protecting the legal rights of the agriculturists, whose lands were acquired.

    Ms Steel Authority of India Ltd., acquired 3651 acres of land under a notification of Section 4(1) of Land Acquisition Act of 1894, for the establishment of a steel plant at Salem commonly known as Salem Steel Plant.

    In 1971 proceedings for preparation of awards were initiated and 305 awards were made from 1971 to 1975.

    Large number of the land owners being satisfied of the quantum of compensation awarded, some land owners not being satisfied with the amount awarded in their favour not only received the compensation filed application referring to the Land Acquisition Court in terms of Section 18 of the Act. Enhanced amount of compensation as determined by the Land Acquisition Judge was also paid.

    Applications filed by some land owners, although they had not accepted the amount of compensation was rejected by the Land Acquisition Officer. Some applications were made after the prescribed period and they too were rejected.

    Applications were filed by the awardees referring to  Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act in the following manner :

    •  who received the compensation with protest and submitted their application requesting reference to the Land Acquisition Act after the expiry of the stipulated time.
    •  Who received the compensation without protest but submitted the applications
    • Who received the compensation without protest but failed to submit the application

    Respondent Association filed a writ petition before the High Court of Madras in 1983 for the following reliefs:

    •  A writ of Mandamus – for grant of enhanced compensation in respect of the lands acquired from them for the purpose of the Salem Steel Project.
    • Source:https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1517117/
  • Judgment

    As per Land Acquisition Act, proceedings are carried out by an Officer appointed by the government knows as Land Acquisition Collector. Proceeding under Land Acquisition Collector are administrative and not judicial procedures. When government intends to occupy a land it has to issue notice under Sec. 4 in the government gazette, newspaper and give public notice which entitles everyone on behalf of the government to enter into the land.  Under Section 5 (a) any person interested in land  which is notified under Section 5(a) any person interested in land notified under Section 4 – who is entitled to claim an interest in compensation, can raise an objection, in writing and in person. Collector makes inquiries of objection and submits  report to the Government whose decision in this respect would be final. On studying the report Government may issue a declaration within one year of the notification under Sec. 4 to acquire the land for public purpose or company and this declaration is mandatory.

    Section 11 makes it obligatory on the part of the collector to safeguard the interests of all persons interested, even though they might not have appeared before him. The awards should be made within a period of two years. The Collector acts as a statutory authority.

    Source: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1517117/