Land Acquisition Act matters: Live Updates from Supreme Court [Day 2]

Land Acquisition Act matters: Live Updates from Supreme Court [Day 2]

Bar & Bench

The hearing in the batch of cases pertaining to Section 24 of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (Land Acquisition Act, 2013) is currently underway at the Supreme Court.

A Constitution Bench of Justices Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, MR Shah, and Ravindra Bhat is hearing the cases.

The matters were initially heard on October 15, when the recusal of Justice Arun Mishra from the case was sought for. After hearing arguments on the question of recusal, the Bench reserved its order. On October 24, such questions were put to bed after Justice Mishra passed a judgment refusing to recuse from the matters.

Read a summary of yesterday’s hearing here.

Live updates follow:

Submissions on behalf of the Centre

  • Constitution Bench resumes hearing in the case. Advocate Kanu Agarwal making submissions for the Centre as Solicitor General Tushar Mehta is required before another Bench.
  • On terminology used in the Act: The Legislature used the words like “deposited in account”, “paid”, and omitted the word “bank account” probably realising the exigencies of these matters.
  • Solicitor General Tushar Mehta making submissions now.
  • Justice Bhat: 34 proviso which brought enhanced amendment was brought in 1894 and the same amendment brought in lapsing.
  • In the event of one person accepting and in the event of one person not accepting payment compelling me to deposit; and there’s lapse in one case and not lapsing in another, that is an exigency that Parliament would not have contemplated, Mehta.
  • Mehta: The consequence under 31(2) is I would have to deposit the amount Justice Mishra: your tender under 31(1) is the payment or uour deposit under 32(2) would amount to payment? Mehta: my tendering would be considered payment.
  • Justice Bhat: you’re saying that the event of tendering discharges your duty of payment.
  • Bench rises for lunch. Hearing to resume post lunch.
  • Bench assembles for the post lunch session. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta resumes his arguments.
  • The term “pay” is mandatory but the mode and where to deposit can be directory.
  • Requirement of deposit is mandatory and requirement of mode of deposit may be directory.
  • There are 5 modes of payment: by direct payment, by order on treasury, by money order, by cheque, by deposit in treasury.
  • Justice Mishra: When no reference is sought, deposit should be by deposit in treasury… This is important.
  • Senior Counsel Dinesh Dwivedi intervenes: This is based on the assumption that no reference is made.
  • Justice Mishra: We are interpreting the statutory provisions right now. We are examining various rules laid down by the States, we will examine various situations but we are not deciding any one case right now.
  • Mehta: The intention of legislature was consciously not to give wide retrospectivity to avoid more litigation
  • Bench rises for the day.
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