Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation V.s Ahmedabad Green Belt Khedut Mandal May 2014

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                      CIVIL APPEAL NOs.1542-44 OF 2001

      Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation & Anr.        …Appellants
      Ahmedabad Green Belt Khedut Mandal & Ors.        …Respondent
                      CIVIL APPEAL NOs.1545-50 OF 2001
      State of Gujarat                                          …Appellant
      Ahmedabad Green Belt Khedut Mandal & Ors.        …Respondents
                        CIVIL APPEAL NOs.1551-56 OF 2001
      Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority         …Appellant
      Ahmedabad Green Belt Khedut Mandal & Ors.        …Respondents


                        CIVIL APPEAL NO. 1864 OF 2014
      Vadodara Sheheri Sankulan Khedut Mandal & Ors.       ..Petitioners
      Vadodara Urban Development Authority & Anr.           ..Respondents
            TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NOS. 12-13 OF 2010
      Bhikhubhai Vitthalbhai Patel & Ors. etc.
      The State of Gujarat & Ors.                            …Respondents

                               J U D G M E N T
      Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN, J.
      1.    Civil Appeal Nos.1542-44 of 2001 have been preferred challenging
      the impugned judgment and order dated 24.11.2000,  passed  in  Special
      Civil Application Nos.1189, 4494 and 4659 of 1998 by the High Court of
      Gujarat  at  Ahmedabad,  wherein  the  Writ  Petition  filed  by   the
      respondents has been partly allowed holding that Section  40(3)(jj)(a)
      of  the  Gujarat  Town  Planning  and  Urban  Development  Act,   1976
      (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Act 1976’) would  be   operative  for
      the land other than the land covered by Section 20(2) of the Act 1976,
      though upheld the validity of Section 40(3)(jj) of the Act 1976.
            Civil Appeal Nos.1545-50 of 2001  have  been  preferred  by  the
      State of Gujarat against the same judgment raising  the  grievance  to
      the same extent.
            Civil  Appeal  Nos.1551-56  of  2001  have  been  filed  by  the
      Ahmedabad Urban Development  Authority  (hereinafter  referred  to  as
      `AUDA’) against the same  judgment  passed  in  same  cases  alongwith
      Special Civil Application Nos.4859, 5934, 7476 of  1998  and  4271  of
            Civil Appeal No.  1864  of  2014  has  been  filed  against  the
      impugned judgment and order dated 9.10.2009 passed by the  High  Court
      of Gujarat at Ahmedabad in Special Civil Application No.10912 of 2009,
      wherein the matter stood disposed of in terms of the subject matter in
      appeals referred to above.
           In  Transferred  Case  (C)  Nos.12-13  of  2010,  Writ  Petition
      Nos.2879 and 2880 of 2009  had  been  filed  by  the  tenure  holders/
      petitioners before the High Court of Gujarat and as the  same  factual
      and legal issues are involved therein, the petitions stood transferred
      to this court.
      2.    As similar factual and legal issues  are  involved  in  all  the
      cases for convenience T.P. (C) Nos. 12-13 of  2010  and  Civil  Appeal
      Nos. 1542-44 of 2001 are taken to be the leading cases.
             All  these  matters  relate  to  the  validity  and  issues  of
      interpretation of Section 40(3)(jj)  of the Act 1976  and  application
      of certain statutory provisions of the Gujarat Town Planning and Urban
      Development Rules, 1979 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Rules 1979’).
      The basic question that has been  raised  on  behalf  of  the  tenure-
      holders (Association of land owners) is that  whether  the  provisions
      contained in Sections 40(3)(jj) of the Act  1976  are  ultra-vires  of
      Articles  14,  19  and  300-A  of  the  Constitution  of  India,  1950
      (hereinafter  referred  to  as  the  ‘Constitution’)  and  have   also
      challenged the action  on  the  part  of  the  Municipal  Corporations
      (Ahmedabad and Surat)  for  declaring  the  intention  to  frame  town
      planning schemes by issuing notifications, and further  to  hold  that
      the action of the Municipal Corporations to  take  away  land  of  the
      tenure-holders to the extent of 50%  without paying  any  compensation
      as ultra-vires and further challenged the  respective  resolutions  of
      the State Government in this regard.
            The main contention of the respondents before the High Court was
      that by way of the impugned legislation, the appellants have  designed
      a circuitous method to acquire  land  without  paying  any  amount  of
      compensation.  The ancillary ground urged is that the land  which  was
      not acquired on payment of compensation under Section 20  of  the  Act
      1976 cannot again  be  acquired  indirectly  and  without  payment  of
      compensation  by  introducing  the   impugned   legislation   enabling
      Authority to prepare a town planning scheme and reserve  the  land  to
      the extent of specified percentage for  public  purposes  like  roads,
      parks, play grounds, gardens and open spaces. Further, as per  Section
      40(3)(jj)(a)(iv) of the Act, 1976 the sale of land by the  Appropriate
      Authority  for  raising   money   for   the   purpose   of   providing
      infrastructural facilities  is  beyond  legislative  competence  being
      outside the purview of Entry  18  of  List-II  and  Entry  20  of  the
      concurrent  list  contained  in  7th  Schedule  to  the  Constitution.
      Moreover, compensation payable under Section 82 of the  Act,  1976  in
      respect of property or right injuriously affected by  the  scheme,  on
      the basis of market value calculated on the date of issue of intention
      to frame a scheme, is not an adequate compensation.  Further,  it  was
      not justified under the town planning scheme or the urban  development
      to permit acquisition of certain percentage of properties of  citizens
      for its disposal in the hands of public authorities for the purpose of
      raising its fund, even to be used for further development.  Under  the
      Act 1976, Section  40(3)(j)  as  it  originally  stood,  provided  for
      reserving only 10 per cent in the town planning scheme  for  providing
      housing  accommodation  to  the  members  of  the   weaker   sections.
      Therefore, the amendment by which the said  area  has  been  increased
      from 10% to 15% is not only unwarranted but also illegal.

      3.    Facts and circumstances giving rise  to  these  matters  are  as
      A.    In 1963, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation  (hereinafter  referred
      to as the ‘AMC’) prepared and submitted a development plan  under  the
      Bombay Town Planning Act, 1964 (hereinafter  referred  to  as  “Bombay
      Act”) whereby the  lands of the respondents known as the ‘green  belt’
      were kept for open space  and  recreation.  On  21.8.1965,  the  State
      Government sanctioned the development plan which came  into  force  on
      B.    AMC prepared its revised development plan and  published  it  on
      15.1.1976 whereby lands of the respondents were reserved for   “public
      C.    The Bombay Act was replaced by the Act 1976 under which AUDA was
      alone competent to draft development plan.
      D.     The  State  Government  sanctioned  the  development  plan   on
      2.11.1987 which came into force on 3.12.1987 whereby the area known as
      ‘green belt’ was reserved for “public housing for different government
      E.    The AUDA  prepared draft  revised  development  plan  which  was
      published on 29.11.1997. The land reserved  for  “public  housing  for
      different government organizations” was de-reserved and put under  the
      category as “restricted residential utility services  and  other  uses
      F.    The AUDA in exercise of the powers under Section 21 of  the  Act
      1976 came out with a draft revised development plan in the year  1998.

      G.    The  respondents herein filed a Writ Petition before the Gujarat
      High Court challenging the draft  revised  development  plan  and  for
      direction to the appellants herein to acquire their lands as  per  the
      plan of 1987 within a period of 6 months failing which the plan  would
      H.    The Act 1976 was amended on 1.5.1999 and Section  40(3)(jj)  was
      inserted. The writ petition was amended and the vires of  Sections  12
      and 40(3)(jj) of the Act 1976 were also challenged.
      I.    The  AUDA  vide  its  resolution  dated  5.5.1999  approved  the
      proposed revised development plan. Declarations were made in the  year
      2000 for making town planning schemes covering “restricted residential
      utility services and other uses zones”.
      J.    The writ petition was partly allowed  by  the  High  Court  vide
      impugned judgment and order dated 24.11.2000.
            Hence, these appeals.

      4.    We have heard  S/Shri  C.A.  Sundaram,  Shirish  H.  Sanjanwala,
      Suresh Shelat, Huzefa Ahmadi, learned senior counsel for  the  tenure-
      holders or association of farmers and S/Shri  Harish  N.  Salve,  T.R.
      Andhyarujina, learned  senior  counsel  and  Preetesh  Kapur,  learned
      counsel for the State and statutory authorities.

      5.    All the submissions advanced by the counsel for  the  respective
      parties are the same which had been agitated before the High Court and
      reference thereof has already been made.   Learned  counsel  appearing
      for the tenure-holders have submitted that the judgment  of  the  High
      Court as far as the validity of the statutory provision is  concerned,
      does not require any interference whatsoever  but  earmarking  of  the
      land to the extent of 50% without paying any compensation  amounts  to
      expropriation  and  in  all  circumstances  percentage  fixed  by  the
      statutory provisions is excessive.

      6.    On the contrary, learned counsel appearing  for  the  state  and
      statutory authorities have submitted that the judgments impugned  have
      made  the  scheme  unworkable  as  one  tenure  holder  may  get   all
      infrastructure facilities while the adjacent neighbour may not get any
      facility at all. The area which can be taken away by the authority for
      sale to the extent of 15% relates to the total  area  covered  by  the
      scheme and not from each and every plot.

      7.    In order to properly understand the  dispute  herein,  reference
      has to be made to various provisions of the Act 1976.  The Preamble of
      the Act 1976 indicates that the  purpose  of  the  legislation  is  to
      consolidate and amend the law relating to the making and execution  of
      development plans and town planning schemes in the State  of  Gujarat.
      Section 12 of the Act 1976 provides for proposals and reservations  to
      be made in  the  development  plan  for  the  approval  of  the  State

      8.    Clause (x) of Section 2 of the  Act  1976  defines  “development
      plan” while clause (xxvi) thereof defines “scheme”.
            Section  9  of  the  Act  1976  provides  that  the  Development
      Authority shall prepare and submit the development plan to  the  State
      Government for the whole or  any  part  of  the  development  area  in
      accordance with  the  provisions  of  this  Act.  Section  10  thereof
      requires that a copy of draft development plan is to be kept open  for
      public inspection.
           Section 12 provides for the contents of draft  development  plan
      generally providing the manner in which the use of land  in  the  area
      covered by it shall be regulated and also  indicating  the  manner  in
      which the development therein shall be carried out.  In particular, it
      shall provide, so far as may be necessary,  proposal  for  designating
      the  use  of  the  land  for  residential,   industrial,   commercial,
      agricultural and recreational purposes; for the  reservation  of  land
      for public purposes, such as schools, college  and  other  educational
      institutions, medical and public health  institutions;  proposals  for
      designation of areas for  zoological  gardens,  green  belts,  natural
      reserves and sanctuaries; transport and communications, such as roads,
      highways, parkways, railways, waterways, canals and airport, including
      their extension and development; proposals for water supply, drainage,
      sewage disposal, other public utility amenities and service  including
      supply of electricity and  gas;  reservation  of  land  for  community
      facilities and services, etc.
           Section 20 of the Act reads as under:
           “?(1) The area development authority or any other  authority  for
           whose purpose land is designated in the final  development  plan
           for any purpose specified in clause (b), clause (d), clause (f),
           Clause (k), clause (n) or  clause  (0)  of  sub-section  (2)  of
           section 12, may acquire the land either by  agreement  or  under
           the provisions of the land Acquisition Act, 1894.
           (2) If the land referred to in sub-section (1) is  not  acquired
           by agreement within a period of ten years from the date  of  the
           coming  into  force  of  the  final  development  plan   or   if
           proceedings under the Land Acquisition Act,1894 (I of 1894), are
           not commenced within  such  period,  the  owner  or  any  person
           interested in the land may  serve  a  notice  on  the  authority
           concerned requiring it to acquire the land  and  if  within  six
           months from the date of service of such notice the land  is  not
           acquired or no steps are commenced  for  its  acquisitions,  the
           designation of the land as aforesaid shall  be  deemed  to  have

           Section 40(3) (j) & (jj)(a) of the Act reads as under:
           “(j) the reservation of land to the extent of  ten  percent;  or
           such percentage as near thereto as possible of  the  total  area
           covered under the scheme for the purpose  of  providing  housing
           accommodation  to  the  members  of  socially  and  economically
           backward classes of people.
           (jj) (a) the allotment of land from the total area covered under
           the scheme, to the extent of:

           (i) Fifteen percent for roads;

           (ii) Five percent for parks, playgrounds, garden and open space

            (iii) Five percent for social infrastructure such  as  schools,
           dispensary, fire brigade, public utility place as  earmarked  in
           the Draft Town Planning Scheme.

           (iv) Fifteen percent  for  sale  by  appropriate  Authority  for
           residential, commercial or industrial  use  depending  upon  the
           nature of development.

           Provided that the percentage of the allotment of land  specified
           in paragraphs (i) to (iii) may be  altered  depending  upon  the
           nature of development and for the  reasons  to  be  recorded  in

           (b) the proceeds from the Sale of land referred to in para  (iv)
           of sub-clause (a) shall be used for  the  purpose  of  providing
           infrastructural facilities in the area covered under the scheme.

           (c) The land allotted for the purposes referred to in paragraphs
           (ii) and (iii)  of  sub-clause  (a)  shall  not  be  changed  by
           variation of schemes for the purpose other than public purpose.”

           Section 48 of the Act  1976  defines  the  power  of  the  State
      Government to sanction draft scheme.  Further, Section 48-A  reads  as

           “(1) Where a draft scheme  has  been  sanctioned  by  the  State
           Government under sub-section (2) of section 48, (hereinafter  in
           this section, referred to as 'the sanctioned draft scheme'), all
           lands required by the appropriate  authority  for  the  purposes
           specified in clause (c), (f), (g), or (h) of sub-section (3)  of
           section 40 shall vest absolutely in  the  appropriate  authority
           free from all encumbrances.

           (2) Nothing in sub-section (1) shall affect  any  right  of  the
           owner of the land vesting in  the  appropriate  authority  under
           that sub-section.”

            Section 77 of the Act 1976 deals with cost of scheme, which also
      includes all  sums  payable  as  compensation  for  land  reserved  or
      designated for any public purpose or for the purposes  of  appropriate
      authority which is solely beneficial to the  owners  of  the  land  or
      residents within the area of the scheme and also includes  portion  of
      the sums payable as compensation for land reserved or  designated  for
      any public purpose.  It also includes legal expenses incurred  by  the
      appropriate authority in making and in the execution  of  the  scheme.
      Clause (f) thereof reads as under:
           (f) any amount by which the total amount of the  values  of  the
           original plots exceeds the total amount of  the  values  of  the
           plots included in the final scheme, each  of  such  plots  being
           estimated at its market value at the date of the declaration  of
           intention to make a scheme, with all  the  buildings  and  works
           thereon at the said date and without reference  to  improvements
           contemplated in  the  scheme  other  than  improvements  due  to
           alteration of its boundaries.

           Clause (2) of Section 77 reads:

           (2) If in any case the total amount of the values of  the  plots
           included in the final scheme exceeds the  total  amount  of  the
           values of the original plots, each of such plots being estimated
           in the manner provided in clause (f) of  sub-section  (1),  then
           the amount of such excess shall be deducted in arriving  at  the
           costs of the scheme as defined in sub-section (1).

           Section 79 of the Act 1976  provides  for  contribution  towards
      costs of scheme.
           Section 82 of the Act 1976 reads as under:

           Compensation  in  respect  of  property  or  right   injuriously
           affected by scheme.

           The owner of any property or right which is injuriously affected
           by the making of a town planning scheme shall,  if  he  makes  a
           claim before the Town Planning  Officer  within  the  prescribed
           time, be entitled to be compensated in respect  thereof  by  the
           appropriate authority or by any person benefited  or  partly  by
           the appropriate authority and partly by such person as the  Town
           Planning Officer may in each case determine:

                 Provided that the value of such property or rights shall be
           deemed to be its market value at the date of the declaration  of
           intention to make a scheme  or  the  date  of  the  notification
           issued by the State Government under sub-section (1) of  section
           43 without reference to improvements contemplated in the scheme,
           as the case may be.

           Section 84 thereof deals with the cases in which amount  payable
      to owners exceeds amount due from  him.   As  per  the  provisions  of
      Section 84, if the owner of an original plot is not  provided  with  a
      plot in the preliminary scheme or if the  contribution  to  be  levied
      from him under Section 79 is less than the total amount to be deducted
      therefrom, the net amount of his loss, shall be payable to him.
           Section 85 of the Act 1976 deals with the  cases  in  which  the
      value of the developed plot is less than the  amount  payable  by  the
      owners.  In case the amount which would  be  due  to  the  appropriate
      authority under the Act from the owner of a plot to be included in the
      final  scheme  exceeds  the  value  of  such  plot  estimated  on  the
      assumption that till scheme has been completed, the owner of such plot
      has to make payment to authority of the amount of such  excess  within
      the prescribed period.
           Sub-Section (2) of Section 85 provides that on  meeting  certain
      legal requirements, the plot included in  the   final   scheme  “shall
      vest  absolutely  in  the  appropriate   authority   free   from   all
      encumbrances but subject to the provisions of the Act”.

      9.    Rule 22 of the Rules 1979 reads as:
           (1)  The  compensation  payable  under  section  45   shall   be
           difference between the  value  of  the  property  (inclusive  of
           structure) on the basis of the existing  use  and  that  on  the
           basis of permitted use both values being determined  as  on  the
           date of declaration of intention to prepare the scheme.

           (2) In making the valuation  on  the  basis  of  permitted  use,
           allowance shall be made for the expenses that  may  have  to  be
           incurred in so converting the existing  structures  as  to  make
           them suitable for permitted use.

           (3) In case provision is made for continuance  of  the  existing
           use for a number of years taking into consideration  the  future
           life of the structure the compensation payable shall be  limited
           to present  value  of  the  standing  structure  less  value  of
           materials at the end of such period.

           (4)      X                   X                     X

      10.   Form H attached to the Rules 1979 is a Form to be filled by  the
      Town Planning Officer while preparing the draft planning scheme and it
      clearly makes it evident that “any person who is injuriously  affected
      by the above town planning scheme, is entitled to claim the damages in
      accordance with Section 82 of the Act 1976”.

      11.   Form K attached to the said Rules 1979 is also to be  filled  up
      and sent by the Town Planning Officer while preparing the final  draft
      planning scheme as required under Section 52(3) and it  puts him under
      an obligation to determine and record as under:
           “(i)  The compensation payable to you under Section 80
           (ii)  Amount payable by you under Section 80
           (iii) Estimated amount of the increment under Section 78
           (iv)  Amount of incremental contribution under Section 79
           (v)   The compensation under Section 82
           (vi)  Net amount of contribution
           (vii) Net amount payable to you”

      12.   The aforesaid provisions read conjointly gives a  clear  picture
      that the scheme is just like  the  consolidation  proceedings  as  the
      land, belonging to various persons, covered by the scheme first be put
      into a pool and then the land be allocated for different purposes and,
      in such a way, after having all deductions for the purpose  of  either
      by way of acquisition of land under  the  Land  Acquisition  Act  1894
      (hereinafter referred to as `Act 1894’) or the land  taken  under  the
      provisions of Section 40(3)(jj)(a) of  the  Act  1976,  the  loss  and
      profit of  individual  tenure  holder  is  to  be  calculated.   After
      assessing the market value on the date of declaration of the intention
      to frame a scheme and the value of the property after making all these
      deductions, adjustments, improvements etc. and, therefore, if a person
      has suffered any loss, his loss is to be made good from the  funds  of
      the scheme and if a person has gained  an  amount  equivalent  to  net
      gain, is to be recovered from him.

      13.   The main issue involved herein is whether after the lapse of the
      period for reservation as per Section 20(2) of the Act 1976,  can  the
      said land be again acquired by resorting to the provisions of  Section
      40 of the Act 1976.  In the present case,  the  State  Government  had
      sanctioned a development plan on 2.11.1987 which came  into  force  on
      3.12.1987 wherein the area known as the “green belt” was reserved  for
      “public housing for different  government  organizations”.   The  said
      area was deemed to be de-reserved  by  virtue  of  the  provisions  of
      Section 20 after the expiry of a period  of  10  years.   Despite  the
      respondents having served the six months’ notice, the  said  land  was
      still not acquired by the government.  It has been submitted on behalf
      of the respondents that having regard to the provisions of Section  20
      read with Section 40 of the Act 1976, the said land could not  be  re-
      acquired/re-designated by framing a town planning scheme.  Section 48-
      A of the Act 1976 provides for vesting  of  land  in  the  appropriate
      authority.  However, the said section does not cover  the  requirement
      under Section 40(3)(jj)(a) of the Act.  It  has  been  further  argued
      that the other relevant provision is Section 107 of the Act 1976 which
      provides that land needed for a town planning scheme shall  be  deemed
      to be land needed for a public purpose within the meaning of  the  Act
      1894. Therefore, without invoking the provisions of the Act 1894,  the
      said land could not be re-notified under Section 40 of the Act 1976.

      14.   After considering all the submissions of the parties,  the  High
      Court has recorded the following conclusions:
      I)    The contention that  prescribing  of  various  percentage  under
      Section 40(3)(jj)(a) of the Act  1976 amounts to excessive legislation
      is rejected. The unamended clause (jj)  of  Section  40  provided  for
      allotment of 10% of the land in the scheme or such percentage as  near
      thereto  as  possible  for  the  purpose  of  sale  for   residential,
      commercial and industrial use.  The present provision as exists  today
      has now specified various percentage of the land to be set  aside  for
      specific purpose, i.e. 15% for roads, 5% for parks, playgrounds  etc.,
      5%  for  social  infrastructure  and  15%  for  sale   for   providing
      infrastructural facilities.  There has only been an increase of 5%  in
      the percentage of land that  could  be  sold  of  by  the  appropriate
      authority as compared to an  increase  of  30%  as  contended  by  the
      respondents.   The  current  provision  now  only  specifies  specific
      percentage of the land to be set aside for the specified purpose which
      was already provided for in the Act  1976  and  there  is  no  further
      reservation that is provided.
      II)   Entry 18 of List II of the Constitution provides for legislative
      competence with respect to land  i.e.  rights  in  or  over  the  land
      including land improvement.   Entry  20  of  Concurrent  List  of  the
      Constitution deals with economic and social planning.  Therefore,  the
      State Legislature was  well  within  its  competence  to  specify  the
      percentage of areas to be demarcated/used for the  specified  purpose.
      Further, a mere increase of percentage of land to be demarcated for  a
      specific purpose can in no way said to be  an  excessive  legislation.
      Section 91 of the Act 1976 provides for  establishment  of  funds  for
      utilization by the appropriate authority in order to meet expenditures
      for the development of land, administration of the Act and such  other
      purpose as the State Government may direct.  With the increase in cost
      of construction, the requisite funds for development  would  naturally
      increase and therefore, there does not seem to be  any  impediment  in
      prescribing a higher percentage of land that is to be  sold  for  such
      III)  The respondents` claim to the benefit under Article 300-A of the
      Constitution which provides for a constitutional right to property  is
      also stood rejected.  Each and  every  claim  to  property  cannot  be
      termed as a right  to  property  and  any  legislation  prescribing  a
      reasonable restriction over the same is a valid exception to the  said
      IV)   Even the contention of the  respondents  that  the  compensation
      prescribed under Section 82 of the  Act  1976  was  inadequate  stands

      15.    The  aforesaid   findings   have   been   challenged   by   the
      State/statutory authorities as well as  by  the  Association  of  land
      owners to the extent the findings have been recorded against them.

      16.   It is in this backdrop that we  have  to  test  the  submissions
      advanced on behalf of the parties in the light of law declared by this
      Court earlier on the issues involved herein.
           In Jilubhai Nanbhai Khachar etc.etc. v. State of Gujarat & Anr.,
      etc.etc.,  AIR 1995 SC 142, this Court held:
               “…Though  Articles  31  and  19(1)(f)  of  the  Constitution
           accorded to ‘property’ the status as a fundamental right,  there
           emerged conflict between the animation of the  Founding  Fathers
           and the judicial interpretation on the word ‘compensation’  when
           private property was expropriated to subserve common good or  to
           prevent common detriment…..Concomitantly legislature  has  power
           to acquire the property of private person exercising  the  power
           of eminent domain by a law for public purpose. The law  may  fix
           an amount or which may be determined  in  accordance  with  such
           principles as may be laid therein and given in  such  manner  as
           may be specified in such law. However, such  law  shall  not  be
           questioned on the grounds that the amount  so  fixed  or  amount
           determined is  not  adequate.  The  amount  fixed  must  not  be
           illusory. The principles laid to determine the  amount  must  be
           relevant to the determination of the amount….. We are  conscious
           that Parliament omitted Article 31(2) altogether.  However  when
           the State exercises its power of eminent domain and acquires the
           property of private person or deprives him of his  property  for
           public purpose, concomitantly fixation  of  the  amount  or  its
           determination be must in accordance with such principles as laid
           therein and the amount given in such manner as may be  specified
           in such a law…..”

      17.   In Ashutosh Gupta v. State of Rajasthan  &  Ors.,  AIR  2002  SC
      1533, this Court held:
              “There  must  be  proper  pleadings  and  averments  in   the
           substantive petition before the  question  of  denial  of  equal
           protection of infringement of fundamental right can be  decided.
           There is always a presumption in favour of the constitutionality
           of enactment and the burden is upon him who attacks it  to  show
           that there has been a clear transgression of the  constitutional
           principles. The presumption of constitutionality stems from  the
           wide power of classification  which  the  legislature  must,  of
           necessity  possess  in  making  laws  operating  differently  as
           regards different groups of persons in order to give  effect  to
           policies. It must be presumed that the  legislature  understands
           and correctly appreciates the need of its own people,  that  its
           laws are directed to problems made manifest by experience.”

      18.   In Prakash Amichand Shah v. State of Gujarat & Ors., AIR 1986 SC
      468, this Court relied upon the  judgment  of  this  Court  in   Zandu
      Pharmaceutical Works Ltd. v. G.J. Desai, Civil Appeal No. 1034 of 1967
      decided on August 28, 1969 dealing with the  very  provisions  of  the
      Act,  wherein this Court had observed :
              “When the Town Planning Scheme comes into operation the  land
           needed by a local authority vests by virtue of Section 53(a) and
           that vesting for purposes of the guarantee under  Article  31(2)
           is deemed compulsory acquisition for a public purpose. To  lands
           which are subject to the scheme, the provisions of  Sections  53
           and 67 apply, and the compensation is  determined  only  in  the
           manner prescribed by the Act. There are therefore  two  separate
           provisions one for acquisition by the State Government, and  the
           other in  which  the  statutory  vesting  of  land  operates  as
           acquisition for the  purpose  of  town  planning  by  the  local
           authority. The State Government can acquire the land  under  the
           Land Acquisition Act, and the local  authority  only  under  the
           Bombay Town Planning Act.  There  is  no  option  to  the  local
           authority to resort to one  or  the  other  of  the  alternative
           methods which result in acquisition.  Hence  the  provisions  of
           Sections 53 and 67 are not invalid on the ground that they  deny
           equal protection of the  laws  or  equality  before  the  laws.”
                        (Emphasis added)

      19.   In Prakash Amichand Shah (Supra) this Court held:

               “…..All his functions are parts of the social  and  economic
           planning  undertaken  and  executed  for  the  benefit  of   the
           community at large and they cannot be done  in  isolation.  When
           such functions happen to be integral  parts  of  a  single  plan
           which in this case happens to be an urban development plan, they
           have to be viewed in their totality and not as  individual  acts
           directed against a single person or a few persons. It  is  quite
           possible that  when  statutory  provisions  are  made  for  that
           purpose, there would be some difference between their impact  on
           rights of individuals at one stage and their impact  at  another
           stage. As we have seen in this very Act there are three types of
           taking over of lands - first under Section  11,  secondly  under
           Section 53 and thirdly under Section 84 of the Act, each being a
           part of a single scheme but each one having  a  specific  object
           and  public  purpose  to  be  achieved.  While  as  regards  the
           determination of compensation it may be possible  to  apply  the
           provisions  of  the  Land  Acquisition  Act,  1894   with   some
           modification as provided in the Schedule to the Act in the  case
           of lands acquired either under Section 11 or under Section 84 of
           the Act, in the case of lands which are  needed  for  the  local
           authority  under  the  Town  Planning  Scheme  which  authorises
           allotment of reconstituted plots to persons from  whom  original
           plots are taken, it is difficult to apply the provisions of  the
           Land Acquisition Act, 1894. The provisions of Section 32 and the
           other  financial  provisions  of  the  Act   provide   for   the
           determination of the cost of the scheme, the development charges
           to be levied and contribution to be made by the local  authority
           etc. It is only after all that exercise is done the  money  will
           be paid to or demanded from the owners  of  the  original  plots
           depending on the circumstances governing each case.  If  in  the
           above context the Act has made special provisions under Sections
           67 to 71 of the Act for determining compensation payable to  the
           owners of original plots who do not get the reconstituted  plots
           it cannot be said that there has been any violation  of  Article
           14 of the Constitution. It is seen that even  there  the  market
           value of the land taken is not lost sight of. The effect of  the
           provisions in Sections 67 to 71 of the Act has been explained by
           this Court in Maneklal Chhotalal v. M.G. Makwana,  AIR  1967  SC
           1373,  and in State of Gujarat v. Shantilal Mangaldas, AIR  1969
           SC 634.

                  Thus it is seen that all the arguments based  on  Article
           14 and Article 31(2) of the Constitution against  the  Act  were
           repelled by the Constitution Bench in  the  Shantilal  Mangaldas
           (supra). With great respect, we approve of the decision  of  the
           court in this case…….We do not therefore find any  substance  in
           the contention that  the  Act  violated  Article  31(2)  of  the
           Constitution as it stood at the time when the Act was enacted or
           at              any              time               thereafter.”
              (Emphasis added)

      20.   This Court in the said case also explained the decision of  this
      Court in Nagpur Improvement Trust & Anr. v. Vithal  Rao  &  Ors.,  AIR
      1973 SC 689, wherein the High Court had held that as  the  acquisition
      was by the State, in all cases where the property was required  to  be
      acquired for the purposes of a scheme framed by  the  Trust  and  such
      being the position, it was not  open  to  the  State  to  acquire  any
      property under the provisions of  the  Act  1894  as  amended  by  the
      Improvement  Trust  Act  without  paying  compensation  on  the   same
      parameters and the solatium also. It was, therefore, held by the  High
      Court that the paras 10(2) and 10(3)  insofar  as  they  added  a  new
      clause 3(a) to Section 23 and a proviso to sub-section (2) of  Section
      23 of the Act 1894 were ultra vires  as  violating  the  guarantee  of
      Article 14 of the Constitution.
           This Court further held:
              “…..The development and planning carried out under the Act is
           primarily for the benefit of  public.  The  local  authority  is
           under an obligation to function according to the Act. The  local
           authority has to bear a part of the expenses of development.  It
           is in one sense a package deal. The proceedings relating to  the
           scheme are not  like  acquisition  proceedings  under  the  Land
           Acquisition Act, 1894.  Nor  are  the  provisions  of  the  Land
           Acquisition Act, 1894 made applicable  either  without  or  with
           modifications as in the case of  the  Nagpur  Improvement  Trust
           Act,  1936.  We  do  not  understand  the  decision  in   Nagpur
           Improvement Trust case (supra) as  laying  down  generally  that
           wherever land is taken away by the government under  a  separate
           statute compensation should be paid under the  Land  Acquisition
           Act, 1894 only and  if  there  is  any  difference  between  the
           compensation payable under the Land Acquisition  Act,  1894  and
           the  compensation  payable  under  the  statute  concerned   the
           acquisition under the statute would be discriminatory…..”

      21.   In Bhavnagar University v. Palitana Sugar Mill Pvt. Ltd. & Ors.,
      AIR 2003 SC 511, this Court held:
              “37.     The words “so far as may be” indicate the  intention
           of the Legislature to the effect that by providing  revision  of
           final development plan from time to time and at  least  once  in
           ten years, only the procedure or preparation thereof as provided
           therein,  is  required   to   be   followed.   Such   procedural
           requirements must  be  followed  so  far  as  it  is  reasonably
           possible. Section 21 of the Act, in our opinion,  does  not  and
           cannot mean that the substantial right conferred upon the  owner
           of the land or the person  interested  therein  shall  be  taken
           away. It is not and cannot be the intention of  the  Legislature
           that which is given by one hand should  be  taken  away  by  the
              38.  Section 21 does not envisage that despite the fact  that
           in terms of sub-section (2) of S. 20, the  designation  of  land
           shall lapse, the same, only because  a  draft  revised  plan  is
           made, would automatically give rise to revival thereof.  Section
           20 does not manifest a legislative intent  to  curtail  or  take
           away the right acquired by a land owner under S. 22  of  getting
           the land defreezed. In the event the submission of  the  learned
           Solicitor General is accepted the same would  completely  render
           the provisions of S. 20(2) otiose and redundant.
              39. Sub-section  (1)  of  S.  20,  as  noticed  hereinbefore,
           provides for an enabling provision in terms  whereof  the  State
           become entitled to acquire  the  land  either  by  agreement  or
           taking recourse to the provisions of the Land  Acquisition  Act.
           If by reason of a revised plan, any other area is sought  to  be
           brought within the purview of the development plan, evidently in
           relation thereto the State will  be  entitled  to  exercise  its
           jurisdiction under sub-section (1) of S. 20  but  it  will  bear
           repetition to state that the same would not confer any other  or
           further power upon the State to get the duration of  designation
           of land, which has been lapsed, extended. What  is  contemplated
           under S. 21 is to meet the changed situation  and  contingencies
           which might not have been contemplated while preparing the first
           final development plan. The power of the State enumerated  under
           sub-section (1) of S. 20 does not become ipso  facto  applicable
           in the event of issuance of a revised plan as the said provision
           has been specifically mentioned therein so that  the  State  may
           use the same power in a changed situation.”

      (See also: Chairman, Indore Vikas Pradhikaran v. M/s. Pure  Industrial
      Cock & Chem. Ltd. & Ors., AIR 2007 SC 2458; and  Shrirampur  Municipal
      Council, Shrirampur v. Satyabhamabai Bhimaji Dawkher & Ors., (2013)  5
      SCC 627)

      22.   In view of the provisions  of  the  Act  1976  and  particularly
      Section 40 (3)(jj)(a)(iv), the  question  does  arise  as  to  whether
      selling of land provided therein maximum  to  the  extent  of  15%  is
      illegal; and whether on lapsing of designation under  the  development
      plan under Section 20, can there be any fresh  reservation/designation
      under the town planning scheme for the same land which  is  designated
      and whether such land if acquired, can only be acquired  independently
      under the Act 1894.

      23.    As we have explained hereinabove that the town planning  scheme
      provides for pooling  the  entire  land  covered  by  the  scheme  and
      thereafter re-shuffling and reconstituting of plots, the market  value
      of the original plots and final plots is to be assessed and  authority
      has to determine as to whether a land owner has suffered  some  injury
      or  has  gained  from  such  process.  Re-constitution  of  plots   is
      permissible as provided under the scheme of the Act as is evident from
      cogent reading of Section 45(2)(a)(b)(c)  and  Section  52(1)(iii)  in
      accordance with Section 81 of the Act 1976. By re-constitution of  the
      plots, if anybody suffers injury, the statutory provisions provide for
      compensation under Section 67(b) read with Section 80 of the Act 1976.
       By this re-constitution  and  readjustment  of  plots,  there  is  no
      vesting of land in the local authority and therefore, the Act provides
      for payment of non-monetary compensation and  such  a  mode  has  been
      approved  by  the  Constitution  Bench  of  this  Court  in  Shantilal
      Mangaldas (supra), wherein this Court has held that  when  the  scheme
      comes into force all rights in the original  plots  are  extinguished,
      and simultaneously therewith ownership springs in  the  re-constituted
      plots. It does not predicate ownership  of  the  plots  in  the  local
      authority, and no process -  actual  or  notional  -  of  transfer  is
      contemplated in that appropriation. Under clause (a)  of  Section  53,
      vesting of land in local authority takes place only on commencement of
      scheme into force. The concept that lands vest in  a  local  authority
      when the intention to make a scheme is notified, is against the  plain
      intendment of the Act. Even steps taken by the State  do  not  involve
      application of the doctrine of eminent domain.

      24.   In Maneklal Chhotalal (supra), re-adjustment of plots  has  been
      approved by this Court observing as under:
           “Even if, an original plot owner is allotted smaller  extent  of
           land in the  final  plot  and  has  to  pay  certain  amount  as
           contribution, having regard to the scheme and its objects,  this
           is inevitable and is not deprivation.”

      25.   Thus, it is evident that in case a land owner  is  not  provided
      with a final plot, amount of his loss  would  be  payable  to  him  as
      required under Section 84 of the Act 1976. (It is  agreed  by  learned
      counsel for the parties that there is not  a  single  instance  herein
      where the land owner is deprived of his land completely  and  has  not
      been given a re-constituted plot). However, it is suggested by learned
      counsel for the State that in such an event, such tenure holder  would
      be entitled for market value of the land to be  determined  under  the
      Act 1976 and the provisions of the Act 1894 would not be applicable in
      view of the judgment of this Court in Prakash Amichand  Shah  (supra).
      Be that as it may, as there is no such instance where the  land  owner
      is deprived completely of his land  and  does  not  get  reconstituted
      plots, we do not want to proceed further with an academic question.

      26.   In Shantilal Mangaldas (supra), this Court held:
           “The provisions relating to payment of compensation and recovery
           of contributions are vital to the successful  implementation  of
           the scheme. The owner of the re-constituted plot  who  gets  the
           benefit  of  the  scheme  must  make  contribution  towards  the
           expenses of the scheme; the owner who loses  his  property  must
           similarly be compensated.”

           The aforesaid judgment is still a good law on this aspect.

      27.   In view of  the  commencement  of  the  44th  Amendment  of  the
      Constitution w.e.f. 20.6.1979, whereby  Articles  31(2)  and  19(1)(g)
      have been deleted, we do not  propose  to  go  into  the  enquiry  and
      consider the judgments in State of West Bengal v. Mrs. Bella  Banerjee
      & Ors., AIR 1954 SC 170; and Rustom Cavasjee Cooper v. Union of India,
      AIR 1970 SC 564. More so, the judgments in P.  Vajravelu  Mudaliar  v.
      The Special Deputy Collector for Land Acquisition, West Madras & Anr.,
      AIR 1965 SC 1017; and Union of India v. The Metal Corporation of India
      & Anr., AIR 1967 SC  637,  have  been  over-ruled  by  this  Court  in
      subsequent  judgment.  (See:  Ishwari  Khetan  Sugar  Mills  (P)  Ltd.
      etc.etc. v. The State of U.P. & Ors., AIR 1980 SC 1955).
           Thus, there is no fundamental right to hold  property.  But  the
      right to compensation on compulsory  acquisition  is  still  available
      under the second proviso to Article 31A subject to the  limitation  as
      specified therein. However, we need not elaborate the same as the said
      averment is not argued before us.

      28.   Article 300-A of the Constitution though creates a  human  right
      being a constitutional provision, but  is  not  a  fundamental  right.
      Article 300-A provides that no person can be deprived of his  property
      except by authority of law. The Town Planning  Act  is  definitely  an
      authority of law by which a person is deprived of his property  if  we
      assume that  the  town  planning  scheme  deprives  a  person  of  his
      property, though it is not so in view of the judgments of  this  Court
      in Shantilal Mangaldas (supra) and Prakash Amichand Shah (supra).

      29.   So far as the question that upon lapsing  of  designation  under
      the  development  plan  under  Section  20   there   cannot   be   any
      reservation/designation under a town  planning  scheme  for  the  same
      land, is to be understood reading  the  provisions  of  the  Act  1976
      cogently. The development plan is prepared under Chapter II  and  town
      planning scheme is made under Chapter  V.   Therefore,  they  are  two
      different things. The development plan is a macro plan for a vast area
      wherein a town planning  scheme  is  minor  scheme  within  the  town.
      Section 40(1) simply provides that in  the  making  of  town  planning
      scheme the authority has to have regard to the  final  development  of
      the plan, if any. Thus, the words “having regard  to  the  development
      plan” in Section 40 means that town planning scheme  cannot  disregard
      or ignore the designation/reservation made in the development plan.
           Under Section  20  of  the  Act,  it  is  provided  that  if  an
      acquisition does not take place by agreement or under the Act 1894, in
      respect of certain lands designated in the final development plan  for
      the six purposes mentioned in sub-section (2) of Section 12  within  a
      period of 10 years from the coming into force of the final development
      plan, the designation of the land under these clauses shall be  deemed
      to  have  lapsed.  Therefore,  the  provision  for  lapsing   of   the
      designation of the land does not take it out of the  purview  of  town
      planning scheme and such a provision does not prevent the making of  a
      provision in a town planning scheme for any reservation  specified  in
      Section 40(3).  If the judgment of the High Court  on  this  issue  is
      approved, the town planning scheme would be impermissible.  Thus, even
      after the lapse of designation of the land under Section  20,  a  town
      planning scheme will have to include the land for roads, open  spaces,
      gardens under Section 40(3)(e), reservation of land for  accommodation
      to members of socially and economically  backward  classes  of  people
      under  Clause  40(3)(j)  but  not  for  items  mentioned  in   Section
      40(3)(jj)(a) would lead to absurdity.

      30.    Section  40(3)(jj)  only  regulates  discretion  of  the   Area
      Development Authority (ADA) while making the draft  development  plan.
      The land acquired under Section 20 read with Section  12  of  the  Act
      1976 would need infrastructural facility and the original  plot  which
      is acquired would require to be re-constituted as a final plot and  to
      make a building site. The settled  legal  proposition  in  respect  of
      interpretation of statute is that the provisions of the Act have to be
      read  as  a   whole   and   therefore   the   provision   of   Section
      40(3)(jj)(a)(iv) for sale has to be read inconsonance/conjointly  with
      the other statutory provisions and not in isolation. The sale upto the
      extent of 15% is from the total area covered under the scheme and  not
      in respect of every plot of  land.  In  order  to  generate  financial
      resources for the development of infrastructure, the saleable plot for
      residential,  commercial  and  industrial  use  are  allotted  by  the
      appropriate authority.  Similarly, while  re-constituting  the  plots,
      final plot is offered to the original owner for its beneficial use.

      31.    The  High  Court  has  committed  an  error  interpreting   the
      provisions under  challenge  as  it  failed  to  appreciate  that  the
      provisions of the Town Planning Scheme in Chapter-V, no where indicate
      that the lands under Section 20 cannot be subject matter of  the  Town
      Planning  Scheme.  The  interpretation  given  by   the   High   Court
      tantamounts to rewriting the provisions of the Act 1976  as  the  High
      Court has held that the land under Section 20 cannot be the subject of
      Section 40(3)(jj). Section 40(3)(jj)(a) only illustrates and  provides
      the guidance to the authority.

      32.   So far as the  observation  made  by  this  Court  in  Bhavnagar
      University (supra) is concerned, the court held that  the  land  which
      has been de-reserved under Section 20  cannot  be  subject  matter  of
      revised development plan  under  Section  20(1).  However,  the  issue
      involved in that case was in respect of applicability  of  Section  40
      while framing the scheme, and  this  court  had  not  dealt  with  the
      provisions of the scheme under Chapter-V of the Act.

      33.   A Constitution Bench of this Court in K.L. Gupta & Ors.  v.  The
      Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay & Ors.,  AIR 1968 SC  303  had
      examined the validity of the provisions of Sections 9, 10, 11, 12  and
      13 of the Bombay Town Planning Act, 1954 (hereinafter referred  to  as
      the `Act 1954’) and held as under:
              “With regard to the complaint that the period  of  ten  years
           fixed  under  s.  11(3)  of  the  Act  was  too  long,  and   an
           unreasonable restriction on the rights of a land owner  to  deal
           with his land as he pleased, it is enough to say that in view of
           the immensity of the task of the local authorities to find funds
           for the acquisition of lands for public purposes,  a  period  of
           ten years was not too long.
              …………..No one can be heard to say that local  authority  after
           making up its mind to acquire land for a public purpose must  do
           so within as short a period of time as possible. It would not be
           reasonable to place such a restriction on the power of the local
           authority which is out to create better  living  conditions  for
           millions of people in a vast  area.  The  finances  of  a  local
           authority are not unlimited nor have they the power  to  execute
           all schemes of proper utilisation of land set apart  for  public
           purposes as expeditiously as one would like. They  can  only  do
           this by proceeding with their  scheme  gradually,  by  improving
           portions of the area at a time,  obtaining  money  from  persons
           whose lands had been improved and augmenting the same with their
           own resources so as to be able to take up the  improvement  work
           with regard to another area  marked  out  for  development.  The
           period of ten years fixed at first cannot therefore be taken  to
           be the ultimate length of time within which they had to complete
           their work. The legislature fixed upon this period  as  being  a
           reasonable one in the circumstances obtaining at the  time  when
           the statute was enacted. We cannot  further  overlook  the  fact
           that modifications to the final development plan were not beyond
           the range of possibility. We  cannot  therefore  hold  that  the
           limit of time fixed under s. 4  read  with  s.  11(3)  forms  an
           unreasonable restriction on the rights of a person to  hold  his
           property.”                                             (Emphasis

      34.   In Shantilal Mangaldas (supra), a  Constitution  Bench  of  this
      Court examined the scheme under the  Act  1954  which  was  applicable
      earlier to the State of Gujarat  wherein  with  respect  of  the  land
      situated therein, the Borough Municipality of Ahmedabad  declared  its
      intention of making a  town  planning  scheme  vide  resolution  dated
      18.4.1927 under the Bombay Town Planning Act, 1915, wherein  the  High
      Court of Gujarat had allowed the writ petition filed  by  the  tenure-
      holders. This Court reversed the said judgment observing as under:
              “22. The following principles  emerge  from  an  analysis  of
           Clauses (2) and (2A): compulsory acquisition or requisition  may
           be made for  a  public  purpose  alone,  and  must  be  made  by
           authority of law. Law which deprives a person  of  property  but
           does  not  transfer  ownership  of  the  property  or  right  to
           possession of the  property to the State or a corporation  owned
           or  controlled  by  the  State  is  not  a  law  for  compulsory
           acquisition or requisition. The  law,  under  the  authority  of
           which property is compulsorily acquired or  requisitioned,  must
           either fix the amount of compensation or specify the  principles
           on which, and the manner in which, the  compensation  is  to  be
           determined and given. If  these  conditions  are  fulfilled  the
           validity of the law cannot be questioned on  the  plea  that  it
           does not provide adequate compensation to the owner…………….
              The first contention urged by Mr. Bindra  cannot,  therefore,
           be accepted……….
              The principal argument which found favour with the High Court
           in holding Section 53  ultra  vires  is  that  when  a  plot  is
           reconstituted and out of that plot a smaller area  is  given  to
           the owner and the remaining area is utilised for public purpose,
           the area so utilised vests in the local authority for  a  public
           purpose,  and  since  the  Act  does  not  provide  for   giving
           compensation which is a just equivalent of the land expropriated
           at the date of extinction  of  interest,  the  guaranteed  right
           under Article 31(2) is infringed…………….
              There is no vesting  of  the  original  plots  in  the  local
           authority nor transfer of the rights of the local  authority  in
           the reconstituted plots. A part or even the whole plot belonging
           to an owner may go to form a reconstituted  plot  which  may  be
           allotted to another person, or may  be  appropriated  to  public
           purposes  under  the  scheme.  The  source  of  the   power   to
           appropriate the whole or a part of the original plot in  forming
           a  reconstituted  plot  is  statutory.  It  does  not  predicate
           ownership of the plot in the local authority,  and  no  process-
           actual  or  notional-of  transfer  is   contemplated   in   that
           appropriation. The lands covered by the scheme are subjected  by
           the Act to the power of the local authority to readjust  titles,
           but no reconstituted plot  vests  at  any  stage  in  the  local
           authority unless it is needed for a purpose  of  the  authority.
           Even Under Clause (a) of Section  53  the  vesting  in  a  local
           authority of land required by it is on the coming into force  of
           the scheme. The concept that lands vest in the  local  authority
           when the intention to make a scheme is notified is  against  the
           plain intendment of the Act…………….
              The question that falls then to be considered is whether  the
           scheme of the Act which provides for adjustment  of  the  market
           value of land at the date of the  declaration  of  intention  of
           making a scheme against market value of the land which  goes  to
           form the reconstituted plot, if any, specifies a  principle  for
           determination of compensation to be given within the meaning  of
           Article 31(2) ………….
              On the second branch of the argument  it  was  urged  that  a
           provision for giving the value of  land,  not  on  the  date  of
           extinction of interest of the owner, but on the footing  of  the
           value prevailing at the date of the declaration of the intention
           to  make  a  scheme,  is  not  a  provision   for   payment   of
              ……………The method of determining  compensation  in  respect  of
           lands  which  are  subject  to  the  town-planning  schemes   is
           prescribed in the Town Planning Act. There is  no  option  under
           that Act to acquire the land either under the  Land  Acquisition
           Act or under the Town Planning Act. Once the draft town-planning
           scheme is sanctioned, the land becomes subject to the provisions
           of the Town Planning Act, and  the  final  town-planning  scheme
           being sanctioned,  by  statutory  operation  the  title  of  the
           various owners is readjusted and the lands needed for  a  public
           purpose vest in the local authority. Land required  for  any  of
           the purposes  of  a  town-planning  scheme  cannot  be  acquired
           otherwise than  under  the  Act,  for  it  is  settled  rule  of
           interpretation of statutes that when  power  is  given  under  a
           statute to do a certain thing in a certain way the thing must be
           done in that way or not at all………………”    (Emphasis added)

      35.   Thus, we do not find any force in the submissions made on behalf
      of the tenure-holders for the simple reason that after the judgment in
      Bhikhubhai Vithalbhai Patel v. State of Gujarat & Anr.,  AIR  2008  SC
      1771, it was not permissible for the statutory  authorities  to  bring
      any scheme whatsoever for the reason that as per that  judgment  also,
      land could be used for residential purposes and the authority’s  draft
      scheme also provides for residential purposes. That does not mean that
      it would be used exclusively for residential  purpose  and  it  cannot
      have even small marketing place or a small dispensary.
      36.   Section 40 of the Act 1976 contains the words “regard being had”
      and thus it suggests that while the condition specified therein are to
      be taken into consideration they are only a guide and not fetters upon
      the exercise of power.

      37.   It is a settled legal proposition that hardship of an individual
      cannot be a ground to strike down a statutory provision for the reason
      that a result flowing from a statutory provision is never an evil.  It
      is the duty of  the  court  to  give  full  effect  to  the  statutory
      provisions under all circumstances. Merely because  a  person  suffers
      from hardship  cannot  be  a  ground  for  not  giving  effective  and
      grammatical meaning to every word of the provisions  if  the  language
      used therein is  unequivocal.  (See:  The  Martin  Burn  Ltd.  v.  The
      Corporation of Calcutta, AIR 1966 SC 529; Tata Power Company  Ltd.  v.
      Reliance Energy Limited & Ors., (2009) 16 SCC 659; and Rohitash  Kumar
      & Ors. v. Om Prakash Sharma & Ors., AIR 2013 SC 30).

      38.   The interpretation given by the High Court runs contrary to  the
      intention under the scheme and may frustrate the scheme itself  as  in
      the pockets left out in the scheme the  basic  amenities  may  not  be
      available. The result would be that a portion of  the  land  would  be
      left  without  infrastructural  facility  while  the   adjacent   area
      belonging to neighbours would be provided infrastructural facility.
      39.   In view thereof, we are of the considered opinion that the  High
      Court has recorded an erroneous finding that if a  designation  lapses
      under Section 20, the land cannot be again reserved in a town planning
      scheme, and further if the land cannot be acquired  under  Section  20
      for want of capacity to pay any compensation under the  Act  1894,  it
      cannot be allowed to be  acquired  indirectly  on  lesser  payment  of
      compensation as provided under the Act 1976. Thus, the judgment of the
      High Court to that extent is not sustainable in the eyes of law.
      40.    In  the  transferred  cases,  the  resolution  dated  16.5.2008
      providing the  extent  of  taking  over  the  land  to  50%  has  been
      challenged on the ground that in other similar  schemes  in  Vadodara,
      the maximum land taken by the State/Authority had been only upto  30%.
      Therefore, the deduction to the extent of  50% of the total land of  a
      tenure-holder is illegal acquisition or amounts to  expropriation  and
      not acquisition. It  is  further  submitted  by  Shri  Huzefa  Ahmadi,
      learned senior counsel appearing for the  petitioners  in  transferred
      cases that in case of non-agricultural land, the deduction may be upto
      20% and for agricultural land it may be  upto  30%.  Shri  Ahmadi  has
      placed a very heavy reliance on a chart filed by him showing  that  in
      other similar cases, a very lesser  area  had  been  deducted  by  the
      State/Authority and in the instant case 15% area had been proposed for
      sale without drawing the balance sheet. In such a fact-situation,  the
      cases have to be allowed.
      41.    On  the  contrary,  Shri  Preetesh  Kapur  appearing  for   the
      respondents has submitted that  it  is  pre-mature  to  challenge  the
      resolution dated 16.5.2008 as it is  a  first  step  to  initiate  the
      proceedings under the Act and the Rules. The draft scheme issued under
      Section 48 of the Act 1976 empowers the State Government to sanction a
      draft scheme and  clause  (3)  thereof  provides  that  if  the  State
      Government sanctions  the  scheme,  a  notification  shall  be  issued
      stating at what place and time the draft scheme shall be open for  the
      inspection of the public after which the  procedure  prescribed  under
      Sections 50 and 51 would be followed. At  that  stage  Rule  26  which
      provides that for the purpose of preparing the preliminary scheme  and
      final scheme, the Town Planning Officer shall give notice in Form  ‘H’
      of the date on which he will commence his duties and shall  state  the
      time as provided in Rule 37 within which the owner of any property  or
      right which is injuriously affected by the making of a scheme would be
      entitled under Section 82 to make a  claim  before  him.  Such  notice
      should be published in the official gazette also and the  law  further
      requires the filing of the objections and the personal hearing to such
      person who would be adversely affected.
      42.   In the instant  Transferred  Case,  as  the  authority  is  only
      dealing with the issues at a draft stage and the applicants have ample
      opportunity to file their objections  and  are  entitled  to  personal
      hearing as required under Rule  26  clause  (4),  the  matter  can  be
      adjudicated before the statutory authority.
            Therefore, in view of  the  above,  we  are  of  the  considered
      opinion that the apprehensions raised by the applicants at this  stage
      are  pre-mature.   Admittedly,  the  applicants   have   filed   their
      objections raising their grievance and they had also  been  given  the
      personal hearing by the  statutory  authorities  on  all  permissible,
      factual and legal grounds.  The  learned  counsel  appearing  for  the
      State/Authorities has submitted that in case the  applicants  are  not
      satisfied and make fresh objections within 30 days  from  today,  they
      would be provided a fresh opportunity of hearing.  However, it is  too
      early to anticipate as what order would be passed on their objections.
       In case, they are aggrieved by the order passed after  hearing  their
      objections, they have a statutory right to  approach  the  appropriate
      forum challenging the same.
      43.   In view of the above, we do not think it proper  to  decide  the
      cases on merits at such a premature  stage.   More  so,  there  is  no
      reason to believe that the authorities would act arbitrarily and would
      not take into consideration the grievance raised by the applicants.
      44.   In view of the above, Civil Appeal Nos.1542-44 of 2001,  1545-50
      of 2001 and 1551-56  of  2001  are  allowed.   The  judgment  impugned
      therein are set aside to the extent hereinabove.  Civil Appeal No.1864
      of 2014 and Transferred Case (C)  Nos.12-13  of  2010  are  dismissed.
      However, it is clarified that  any  observation  made  herein  in  the
      transferred cases would not adversely affect either  of  the  parties.
      No order as to costs.
                                      (Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN)

                                                   (J. CHELAMESWAR)

    New Delhi,                                      (M.Y. EQBAL)
    May 9, 2014

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