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Land reacquired under land acquisition act

By Shivendra Pratap Singh

Our land was acquired by the government in the 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 they were acquired. Now the government again published notification for land acquisition in the year 2014 and acquired our land.

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

Land acquisition is an executive act and it is performed by the government. According to the land acquisition act, the 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. The court is empowered to judge the 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 land after the 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 the legitimate acquisition of land for the 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 the government can reacquire your land which was once released in your favour. If the government has a 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 the larger public interest. It cannot be split into different components and to consider whether every component will serve the 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 separately for the accommodation of works of the companies. It is part and parcel of the public interest that living standard of the workmen 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 the present scenario, your case is weak and no probability to get appropriate relief from appellate authority.

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