Land reacquired under land acquisition act

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Question asked on: 01/05/2016

Our land was acquired by the government in year 2000 and compensation was also paid. But after 4 years we regained our land by the order of the court, acquired lands were not utilised by the government for the purpose it were acquired. Now the government again published notification for land acquisition in year 2014 and acquired our land.

We got permission from the government towards use of land. We are cultivating our lands. Can government again acquire our land which were released in our favour ? some parts of the land are taken separate for buildings and accommodation for companies. It is purely private use instead of public use. Our case had dismissed in lower court against this acquisition. Can we get relief from the high court ?

Advised by: Shivendra Pratap Singh,

Land acquisition is an executive act and it is performed by the government. According to the land acquisition act, land shall be acquired for the larger public interest only. What is the larger public interest shall be decided by the government. This is the subject of judicial review. Court is empowered to judge purpose of the land acquisition in the larger public interest. This is  called judicial review.

In State of Haryana vs Vinod Oil and General Mills (2014) 15 SCC, it is held by the Supreme court that the permission of change of land use has no relevance while considering the validity of acquisition. There is no bar to the subsequent acquisition of a land after land was released from earlier acquisition.

In Monnet Ispat and Energy Ltd. vs Union of India (2012) 11 SCC, it is held by the Supreme court that doctrine of promissory estoppel does not apply on legitimate acquisition of land for the purpose of larger public interest. Means court cannot stop re acquisition of land on the doctrine of promissory estoppel.

Thus it is clear from the above discussion that government can reacquire your land which was once released in your favour. If government has valid purpose behind the land acquisition then it can reacquire that land nevertheless that use of land is changed.

In Sooraram Pratap Reddy vs District Collector Ranga Reddy District (2008) 9 SCC, it is held by the Supreme court that the project for which land is acquired should be taken as whole and mist be judged whether it is in larger public interest. It cannot be split into different components and to consider whether each and every component will serve public good. A holistic approach has to be adopted in such matter.

So it does not matter that some parts of the land have taken separate for the accommodation of worksmen of the companies. It is part and parcel of the public interest that living standard of the worksmen must be maintained and basic amenities must be provided by the government.

Your case is dismissed by the district court so you can file an appeal before the High Court. But in present scenario your case is weak and no probability to get appropriate relief from appellate authority.

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Shivendra Pratap Singh

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