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writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, inter alia, challenging the Notification dated 03.7.2006 issued under Section 4 and the Notification dated 18.12.2007 issued under

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 REPORTABLE

 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

 CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

 WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 66 OF 2007

Devender Kumar Tyagi & Ors. .............. Petitioners

 versus

State of U.P. & Ors. ...........Respondents

 WITH

 WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 67 OF 2007

Jai Prakash Tyagi & Ors. .............. Petitioners

 versus

State of U.P. & Ors. ...........Respondents

 J U D G M E N T

H.L. Dattu, J.

1) The petitioners have filed this writ petition under 

 Article 32 of the Constitution of India, inter alia, 

 challenging the Notification dated 03.7.2006 issued under 

 Section 4 and the Notification dated 18.12.2007 issued under 

 Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereinafter 

 referred to as "the LA Act") for acquiring their lands for a 

 planned development of the Leather City Project in order to 

 relocate bone mills and allied industries by invoking the 

 urgency provisions under Section 17(1) and 17(4) of the LA 

 Act.

2) This Court is monitoring the re-location of the bone 

 mills and allied industries in the various parts of State of 

 Uttar Pradesh including the district of Ghaziabad in the 

 public interest proceedings, which were initiated in the year 

 1994. Since then, this Court has time and again issued 

 various orders and directions including inspection of 

 polluting bone industries in Ghaziabad by the U.P. Pollution 

 Control Board (hereinafter referred to as "the UPPCB") and 

 Central Pollution Control Board (hereinafter referred to as 

 "the CPCB"). This Court, vide its Order dated 17.08.2004 in 

 the Civil Appeal No. 3633-3634 of 1999 (U.P. Pollution 

 Control Board v. Anil K. Karnwal & Ors.), which is still 

 pending before us, had directed the respondents to relocate 

 the bone mills and allied industries as per the 

 recommendations of the CPCB and further directed the 

 2

 respondents to identify the definite area suitable for 

 relocation of the said industries. Pursuant to this Order, the 

 respondents had filed an affidavit before this Court in the 

 month of December, 2004, inter alia, proposing the Leather 

 City Project for relocation of the said bone industries.

3) In this backdrop, the respondents had issued a 

 Notification dated 03.7.2006 under Section 4 read with 

 Section 17 (4) of the LA Act for acquisition of 28.804 

 hectares of the land at village Imtori, Chitoli, Sabli of Hapur-

 Pargana in the district of Ghaziabad for the public purpose of 

 planned development of the Leather City Project by 

 invoking the urgency provision under the LA Act, thereby, 

 dispensing with inquiry under Section 5-A of the LA Act. 

 The same was published in two daily Hindi newspapers on 

 04.07.2006. Subsequently, the English version of the said 

 Notification was also published in two daily newspapers 

 dated 24.01.2007. The relevant part of the Notification is 

 extracted below:

 "The Governor is pleased to order the publication 

 of the following English translation of Notification 

 No. 1588/VIII-3-2006-183 LA-2005, dated July 03, 

 2006:

 No. 1588/VIII-3-2006-183 LA-2005

 3

 Dated Lucknow, July 3, 2006

 Under subsection (1) of section 4 of the Land 

 Acquisition Act, 1894 (Act No. 1 of 1894), the 

 Governor is pleased to notify for general 

 information that the land mentioned in the 

 schedule below is needed for the public purpose 

 namely, for construction of Leather City Scheme at 

 Villages-Chitoli, Sabli and Imtori, Pargana-Hapur, 

 district-Ghaziabad by the Hapur-Pilkhuwa 

 Development Authority, Hapur.

 The Governor being of the opinion that provisions 

 of subsection (1) of section 17 of the said Act are 

 applicable to the said land in as much as the said 

 land is urgently required for construction of 

 Leather City Scheme at Villages-Chitoli, Sabli and 

 Imtori, Pargana-Hapur, district-Ghaziabad by the 

 Hapur-Pilkhuwa Development Authority, Hapur 

 under planned development Scheme, it is as well 

 necessary to eliminate to delay likely to be caused 

 by an enquiry under section 5-A of the said Act the 

 Governor is further pleased to direct, under 

 subsection (4) of section 17 of said Act, that the 

 provisions of section 5-A shall not apply."

4) Thereafter, the respondent had issued a Notification 

 dated 18.12.2007 under Section 6 read with Section 17 (1) of 

 the LA Act, whereby, it directed the Collector of Ghaziabad 

 to take possession of the said land on the expiry of 15 days 

 from the date of publication of the Notice under Section 9(1) 

 even though no award has been made under Section 11. The 

 same was published in two newspapers on 05.01.2008. The 

 relevant portion of the Notification is extracted below:

 4

 "The Governor is pleased to order the publication 

 of the following English translation of notification 

 No. 2647/VIII-3-2006-136L.A.-2006, dated 

 September 18, 2006:

 No. 2647/VIII-3-2006-136L.A.-2006

 Dated Lucknow, September 18, 2006

 UNDER, sub-section (1) section 4 of the Land 

 Acquisition Act, 1894 (Act No. 1 of 1894) the 

 Governot is pleased to notify for general 

 information that the land mentioned in the schedule 

 below, is needed for a public purpose namely for 

 construction of planned Leather City scheme at 

 village Rampur, Paragana Hapur, District 

 Ghaziabad by the Hapur Pilkhuwa Development 

 Authority, Hapur.

 2. The Governor, being of the opinion that 

 the proivision of sub-section (1) of section 17 of the 

 said Act are applicable to the said land in as much 

 as the said land is urgently required, for the 

 construction of planned Leather City scheme at 

 village Rampur, Paragna Hapur, District 

 Ghaziabad by the Hapur Pilkhuwa Development 

 Authority, Hapur under planned development 

 scheme, it is as well necessary to eliminate the 

 delay likely to be caused by an inquiry under 

 section 5A of the said Act. The Governor is further 

 pleased to direct under sub-section (4) of section 17 

 of the said Act that the provisions of section 5A of 

 the said Act shall not apply." 

5) Since the Petitioners' land situated at Hapur is included in 

 these Notifications, the petitioners have filed present Writ 

 Petition under Article 32 of the Constitution praying for 

 issuance of appropriate writ or directions to quash these 

 5

 Notifications issued under Section 4 and Section 6 of the LA 

 Act. 

 6) In this Writ Petition, the issues before us are : 

 I. Whether the Notification dated 18.12.2007 issued by the 

 respondents under Section 6 read with Section 17 (1) of the LA 

 Act is within the period of limitation as contemplated by 

 proviso (ii) to Section 6 (1) of the LA Act.

 II. Whether the respondent is justified in invoking the urgency 

 provision under Section 17(1) and excluding the application of 

 Section 5-A in terms of Section 17(4) of the LA Act for 

 acquisition of the land for the development of the Leather City 

 Project.

7) Mrs. Pinky Anand, the learned senior counsel for the 

 petitioners, submits that declaration of Notification dated 

 18.12.2007 under Section 6 is beyond the period of limitation of 

 one year from the date of the publication of Notification under 

 Section 4, as mandated by proviso (ii) to Section 6(1) of the LA 

 Act. In other words, she submits that respondents had failed to 

 make the declaration of Notification under Section 6 within a 

 6

period of one year starting from the last date of publication of 

Notification under Section 4 in two newspapers as contemplated 

by Section 4(1) of the LA Act. The learned senior counsel would 

argue that the publication of Notification under Section 4 in two 

newspapers in the Hindi language on 04.07.2006 was sufficient 

compliance of Section 4(1) of the LA Act in order to commence 

the period of limitation for the purpose of proviso (ii) to Section 

6(1) of the LA Act from the said date. In other words, she 

contends that since the people residing at Hapur, Ghaziabad are 

well conversant and acquainted with the Hindi language, the 

publication of the Notification under Section 4 in two newspapers 

in the Hindi language on 04.07.2006 duly fulfils the requirement 

of the publication of the Notification as contemplated by Section 

4(1) of the LA Act. Therefore, the period of limitation for 

declaration of Notification under Section 6 would commence 

from 04.07.2006 and not from the date of subsequent publication 

of the said Notification under Section 4 on 24.1.2007. She 

submits that the declaration of Notification dated 18.12.2007 

under Section 6 by the respondents is made after the expiry of 

one year and is beyond the period of limitation in terms of the 

proviso to Section 6 (1) of the LA Act. In other words, the period 

of limitation commences from date of completion of the 

 7

 necessary requirement of publication as contemplated by Section 

 4(1) of the LA Act. She further submits that in view of this, the 

 acquisition proceedings are vitiated and should be set aside.

8) Per Contra, Shri. Pallav Sisodia, learned senior counsel for 

 the respondents, submits that the declaration of Notification 

 under Section 6 of the LA Act is well within the period of 

 limitation of one year starting from the date of the last publication 

 of the Notification under Section 4 of the LA Act, as mandated 

 by proviso to Section 6(1) of the LA Act. He further submits that 

 it is amply clear that the last date of publication of the 

 Notification under Section 4 would be treated as the date of 

 publication of the said Notification for all purposes in terms of 

 Section 4(1) of the LA Act. He states that the respondents, after 

 publishing the Notification under Section 4 on 4.07.2006 in the 

 regional language, that is, Hindi, had also published the said 

 Notification in English language on 05.01.2007. In this regard, 

 the learned senior counsel argues that the period of limitation of 

 one year in terms of proviso to Section 6(1) of the LA Act would 

 commence only from 05.01.2007, that is, the date of the last 

 publication of the Notification under Section 4 of the Act. He 

 further submits that the proviso to Section 6(1) refers only to the 

 8

 declaration of the Notification under Section 6 within the period 

 of one year from the date of publication of the Notification under 

 Section 4 of the LA Act and not the publication of the declaration 

 under Section 6 (2). In other words, the proviso to Section 6(1) 

 whilst prescribing the period of limitation, only refers to the 

 declaration under Section 6, which is in the nature of order and 

 excludes the publication of the declaration from its ambit. 

 Therefore, the subsequent publication of declaration of 

 Notification under Section 6 will not be taken into consideration 

 in order to calculate the period of limitation in terms of proviso to 

 Section 6(1) of the LA Act. The learned senior counsel, in 

 support of his contention, has placed reliance on the decisions of 

 this Court in S.H. Rangappa v. State of Karnataka & Anr., (2002) 

 1 SCC 538 and Sriniwas Ramnath Khatod v. State of 

 Maharashtra & Ors., (2002) 1 SCC 689. 

9) To appreciate the point in issue, it would be appropriate to 

 set out relevant portion of Sections 4(1) and 6 of the LA Act.

 "4. Publication of preliminary notification and 

 powers of officers thereupon.--(1) Whenever it 

 appears to the appropriate Government that land in 

 any locality is needed or is likely to be needed for 

 any public purpose or for a company, a notification 

 to that effect shall be published in the Official 

 Gazette and in two daily newspapers circulating in 

 9

that locality of which at least one shall be in the 

regional language and the Collector shall cause 

public notice of the substance of such notification 

to be given at convenient places in the said locality 

(the last of the dates of such publication and the 

giving of such public notice, being hereinafter 

referred to as the date of the publication of the 

notification).

 * * *

 6. Declaration that land is required for a public 

purpose.--(1) Subject to the provisions of Part VII 

of this Act, when the appropriate Government is 

satisfied, after considering the report, if any, made 

under Section 5-A sub-section (2), that any 

particular land is needed for a public purpose, or 

for a company, a declaration shall be made to that 

effect under the signature of a Secretary to such 

Government or of some officer duly authorised to 

certify its orders and different declarations may be 

made from time to time in respect of different 

parcels of any land covered by the same 

notification under Section 4 sub-section (1), 

irrespective of whether one report or different 

reports has or have been made (wherever required) 

under Section 5-A sub-section (2):

 Provided that no declaration in respect of any 

particular land covered by a notification under 

Section 4 sub-section (1),--

 (i) published after the commencement of the 

Land Acquisition (Amendment and Validation) 

Ordinance, 1967, but before the commencement of 

the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act, 1984, shall 

be made after the expiry of three years from the 

date of the publication of the notification; or

 (ii) published after the commencement of the 

Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act, 1984, shall be 

made after the expiry of one year from the date of 

the publication of the notification:

 10

 Provided further that no such declaration shall be 

 made unless the compensation to be awarded for 

 such property is to be paid by a company, wholly or 

 partly out of public revenues or some fund 

 controlled or managed by a local authority.

 2) Every declaration shall be published in the 

 Official Gazette, and in two daily newspapers 

 circulating in the locality in which the land is 

 situate of which at least one shall be in the regional 

 language, and the Collector shall cause public 

 notice of the substance of such declaration to be 

 given at convenient places in the said locality (the 

 last of the dates of such publication and the giving 

 of such public notice, being hereinafter referred to 

 as the date of the publication of the declaration), 

 and such declaration shall state the district or other 

 territorial division in which the land is situate, the 

 purpose for which it is needed, its approximate 

 area, and, where a plan shall have been made of 

 the land, the place where such plan may be 

 inspected.

 (3) The said declaration shall be conclusive 

 evidence that the land is needed for a public 

 purpose or for a company, as the case may be; and, 

 after making such declaration, the appropriate 

 Government may acquire the land in manner 

 hereinafter appearing."

10) The Notification under Section 4 has to be published in the 

 manner laid down therein. As against this, under Section 6, a 

 declaration has to be first made and that declaration is then to be 

 published in the manner provided in Section 6(2) of the LA Act. 

 Also, the proviso (ii) to Section 6(1) lays down a time-limit 

 within which declaration has to be made. The said proviso (ii) 

 11

 significantly only provides a time-limit for a declaration and not 

 for publication as it has been incorporated in sub-section (1) of 

 Section 6 of the LA Act. 

11) It is not in dispute that the declaration of the Notification 

 under Section 6 was issued on 18.12.2007. It is also not in 

 dispute that the Notification under Section 4 was issued on 

 03.07.2006 and the same was published in two daily newspapers 

 in Hindi language on 04.07.2006 having circulation in the locality 

 where the land is situated. Also, the people at Pargana Hapur in 

 the Ghaziabad district are well conversant with the Hindi 

 language. In our considered view, the publication of the 

 Notification in two newspapers having circulation in the locality 

 where the land is situated and where people are well conversant 

 with Hindi amounts to ample compliance with the requirement of 

 the publication under Section 4(1) of the LA Act. In view of this, 

 the subsequent publication of English translation of the said 

 Notification under Section 4 in two newspapers on 05.01.2007 is 

 unnecessary and will not assist the respondents to extend the 

 period of limitation envisaged in the proviso to Section 6(1) of 

 the LA Act. Hence, the last date of publication for the purpose 

 Section 4(1) of the LA Act, which can be treated as date of 

 12

publication, is the date on which, the second Notification under 

Section 4 was published in the newspaper, that is, 04.07.2006. 

Therefore, the period of limitation commences from 04.07.2006, 

which is the date of publication of the Notification under Section 

4(1) of the LA Act. If the declaration under Section 6 of the LA 

Act is made before the expiry of the period of one year starting 

from 04.07.2006, then, only such declaration will be considered 

as valid for the purpose of the acquisition of land. However, in 

the present case, the declaration under Section 6 was issued on 

18.12.2007 which is clearly beyond the period of limitation of 

one year as mandated by the proviso to Section 6(1) of the LA 

Act. Therefore, the declaration of Notification under Section 6 

and its subsequent publications are clearly beyond the period of 

limitation of one year starting from the date of publication of 

Notification under Section 4 of the LA Act. In our opinion, due 

to the aforesaid reasons, the reliance placed by Shri. Pallav 

Sisodia, learned senior counsel for respondents, on the decisions 

of this Court in S.H. Rangappa v. State of Karnataka & Anr., 

(2002) 1 SCC 538 and Sriniwas Ramnath Khatod v. State of 

Maharashtra & Ors., (2002) 1 SCC 689 in support of his 

contention that the proviso to Section 6(1) whilst prescribing 

time-limit, contemplates and refers only to the date of declaration 

 13

 and not publication under Section 6 of the LA Act will not come 

 to the rescue of the respondents.

12) The second point in issue before us is the invocation of the 

 urgency clause by the respondents to acquire the lands in dispute. 

 Mrs. Pinky Anand, learned senior counsel, submits that this Court 

 has issued direction to relocate the bone industries in Ghaziabad 

 vide its Order dated 17.08.2004, since then, the State Government 

 had not shown any kind of urgency and was only considering the 

 proposal of the Leather City Project in order to relocate the said 

 industries for public purpose as they were located in the dense 

 human habitation and causing environmental pollution and health 

 hazards. It was only in July, 2006 that the State Government had 

 issued the Notification under Section 4 on 3.7.2006, in 

 continuation with this, after the lapse of more than a year, the 

 State Government has issued Notification under Section 6 on 

 18.12.2007 by invoking urgency provision as contemplated by 

 Section 17(1) and 17(4) of the LA Act. In other words, the 

 lackadaisical attitude of the State Government since the direction 

 of this Court in 2004 nearly 2 years ago and in making the 

 declaration under Section 6 after the lapse of more than one year, 

 form the issuance of the Notification under Section 4 of the LA 

 14

Act does not exhibit or depict any kind of urgency but only 

lethargy on their part in acquiring the lands. Therefore, the 

urgency contemplated in the LA Act cannot be equated with 

dereliction of responsibility on the part of the State Government. 

The learned senior counsel contends that the respondents had 

unnecessarily invoked the urgency provisions under 

Section 17 (1) read with 17 (4) for the acquisition of the land for 

construction of the Leather City Project in order to relocate the 

said industries in view of the delay of two years in the issuance of 

the Notification under Section 4 and delay of more than 

seventeen months in making declaration under Section 6 from the 

date of publication of the Notification under Section 4. The 

learned senior counsel argues that the invoking of the urgency 

provision under Section 17(4), which excludes the application of 

the Section 5-A, by the respondents in the absence of any real 

urgency as contemplated by Section 17 amounts to illegal 

deprivation of the right to file objection and hearing of the 

appellants and inquiry under Section 5-A of the LA Act. She 

submits that an expropriatory legislation like the LA Act must be 

given strict construction. She further submits that Section 5-A is a 

substantial right and akin to fundamental right which embodies a 

principle of giving of proper and reasonable opportunity to the 

 15

 land loser to persuade the authorities against the acquisition of 

 their lands which can be dispensed with only in exceptional cases 

 of real urgency and not by side-wind. The learned senior counsel 

 also submits that the entire acquisition proceedings are vitiated as 

 the respondents have failed to obtain the approval of development 

 of the Leather City Project as a sub-regional plan under Section 

 19 of the National Capital Region Planning Board Act, 1985 

 (hereinafter referred to as "NCRPB Act"). She further submits 

 that such approval is mandatory in view of Section 27 of the 

 NCRPB Act, which has overriding effect on any other 

 inconsistent law or instrument. 

13) Per contra, Shri. Pallav Sisodia, learned senior counsel for 

 respondents, submits that the bone mills and allied industries 

 were causing environmental pollution and health hazards to the 

 public at large in the district of Ghaziabad. This Court has issued 

 directions to relocate the said industries in accordance with the 

 recommendation of the CPCB. The State Government, in strict 

 compliance of the Order of this Court dated 17.08.2004, acquired 

 the lands for construction of the Leather City Project by invoking 

 the urgency provisions under Section 17 of the LA Act. He 

 further submits that in view of the said urgency, the State 

 16

Government had issued a Notification dated 3.4.2006 under 

Section 4 of the LA Act for the acquisition of the said land for 

public purpose of urgent construction of the Leather City Project 

by invoking Section 17(4) of the LA Act in order to eliminate 

delay likely to be caused by enquiry under Section 5-A of the LA 

Act. The same was published in Hindi and English in two daily 

newspapers on 4.03.2006 and 24.01.2007, respectively. 

Subsequently, the State Government had issued the Notification 

dated 18.12.2007 under Section 6 read with Section 17(1) of the 

LA Act and published it in the newspapers dated 5.01.2008. The 

learned senior counsel submits that there is no lethargy or 

negligence on the part of the State Government to acquire the 

said land. He contends that the construction of the Leather City 

Project, in view of the pollution of environment caused by these 

industries as observed by this Court, is an urgent matter requiring 

acquisition of the land by invoking the urgency provisions under 

Section 17(1) and Section 17(4), thereby, dispensing with the 

enquiry under Section 5-A of the LA Act. The learned senior 

counsel, by placing reliance on the decision of this Court in Jai 

Narain and Ors. v. Union of India, (1996) 1 SCC 9, would argue 

that the invoking of the urgency provisions is justified in a 

situation where the entire acquisition proceedings are initiated in 

 17

compliance with the series of directions of this Court, which itself 

indicates the existence of urgency in acquiring the land for 

relocating the polluting industries. He further contends that the 

right of the land owner for filing of objections and opportunity of 

hearing under Section 5-A are subject to the provisions of Section 

17 and the same can be legally curtailed in the event of any 

pressing need and urgency for the acquisition of land in order to 

eliminate delay likely to be caused by an enquiry under Section 

5-A of the LA Act. The learned senior counsel further submits 

that the Hapur Pilkhuwa Development Authority (hereinafter 

referred to as "the HPDA") vide its resolution dated 19.04.2005, 

has authorized the National Capital Region Planning Board 

(hereinafter referred to as "the NCRPB") to prepare master plan 

for Hapur containing the Leather City Project termed as Sub-

regional plan. Subsequently, the NCRPB in June, 2009, issued 

draft Sub-regional plan but without indicating the Leather City 

Project. Thereafter, the HPDA has made series of requests dated 

27.08.2009, 18.08.2010 and 22.04.2011 to the NCRPB to include 

the Leather City Project in its Sub-regional plan. The respondents 

are keenly awaiting reply to these requests and hence, the grant of 

approval is still pending. Arguendo, the learned senior counsel 

submits that the Leather City Project pending approval of the 

 18

 NCRPB will not adversely affect the acquisition of the Land in 

 any manner in view of the presence of the Chief Coordinator 

 Planner of the NCR Cell, Ghaziabad in almost all the meetings 

 wherein the Leather City Project has been discussed and 

 deliberated upon as he is a nominated member of the HPDA 

 Board vide the Government Order and the Office Memo dated 

 08.06.2004 and 26.05.2011, respectively, amounts to implied 

 consent or approval of the NCRPB.

14) We have heard the learned counsel for the parties before us. 

 The second point in issue before us is no more res integra as it 

 has already been decided by this Court in Radhy Shyam v. State 

 of U.P. (2011) 5 SCC 553, to which one of us was the party (G.S. 

 Singhvi, J.), wherein this Court has considered the development 

 of the jurisprudence and law, with respect to invoking of the 

 urgency provisions under Section 17 vis-`-vis right of the 

 landowner to file objections and opportunity of hearing and 

 enquiry under Section 5-A, by reference to a plethora of earlier 

 decisions of this Court. This Court had culled out the various 

 principles governing the acquisition of the land for public 

 purpose by invoking urgency thus:

 19

"77. From the analysis of the relevant statutory 

provisions and interpretation thereof by this Court 

in different cases, the following principles can be 

culled out:

(i) Eminent domain is a right inherent in every 

sovereign to take and appropriate property 

belonging to citizens for public use. To put it 

differently, the sovereign is entitled to reassert its 

dominion over any portion of the soil of the State 

including private property without its owner's 

consent provided that such assertion is on account 

of public exigency and for public good -- 

Dwarkadas Shrinivas v. Sholapur Spg. and Wvg. 

Co. Ltd., Charanjit Lal Chowdhury v. Union of 

India and Jilubhai Nanbhai Khachar v. State of 

Gujarat.

(ii) The legislations which provide for compulsory 

acquisition of private property by the State fall in 

the category of expropriatory legislation and such 

legislation must be construed strictly -- DLF 

Qutab Enclave Complex Educational Charitable 

Trust v. State of Haryana, State of Maharashtra v. 

B.E. Billimoria and Dev Sharan v. State of U.P.

(iii) Though, in exercise of the power of eminent 

domain, the Government can acquire the private 

property for public purpose, it must be 

remembered that compulsory taking of one's 

property is a serious matter. If the property 

belongs to economically disadvantaged segment of 

the society or people suffering from other 

handicaps, then the court is not only entitled but is 

duty-bound to scrutinise the LA Action/decision of 

the State with greater vigilance, care and 

circumspection keeping in view the fact that the 

landowner is likely to become landless and 

deprived of the only source of his livelihood and/or 

shelter.

(iv) The property of a citizen cannot be acquired by 

the State and/or its agencies/instrumentalities 

without complying with the mandate of Sections 4, 

5-A and 6 of the LA Act. A public purpose, 

however, laudable it may be does not entitle the 

State to invoke the urgency provisions because the 

 20

same have the effect of depriving the owner of his 

right to property without being heard. Only in a 

case of real urgency, the State can invoke the 

urgency provisions and dispense with the 

requirement of hearing the landowner or other 

interested persons.

(
 v
 ) 
 Section 17(1) read with Section 17(4) confers 

extraordinary power upon the State to acquire 

private property without complying with the 

mandate of Section 5-A. These provisions can be 

invoked only when the purpose of acquisition 

cannot brook the delay of even a few weeks or 

months. Therefore, before excluding the 

application of Section 5-A, the authority concerned 

must be fully satisfied that time of few weeks or 

months likely to be taken in conducting inquiry 

under Section 5-A will, in all probability, frustrate 

the public purpose for which land is proposed to be 

acquired.

(vi) The satisfaction of the Government on the 

issue of urgency is subjective but is a condition 

precedent to the exercise of power under Section 

17(1) and the same can be challenged on the 

ground that the purpose for which the private 

property is sought to be acquired is not a public 

purpose at all or that the exercise of power is 

vitiated due to mala fides or that the authorities 

concerned did not apply their mind to the relevant 

factors and the records.

vii) The exercise of power by the Government 

under Section 17(1) does not necessarily result in 

exclusion of Section 5-A of the LA Act in terms of 

which any person interested in land can file 

objection and is entitled to be heard in support of 

his objection. The use of word "may" in sub-

section (4) of Section 17 makes it clear that it 

merely enables the Government to direct that the 

provisions of Section 5-A would not apply to the 

cases covered under sub-section (1) or (2) of 

Section 17. In other words, invoking of Section 

17(4) is not a necessary concomitant of the 

exercise of power under Section 17(1).

 21

 (
 viii
 )
 The acquisition of land for residential, 

 commercial, industrial or institutional purposes 

 can be treated as an acquisition for public 

 purposes within the meaning of Section 4 but that, 

 by itself, does not justify the exercise of power by 

 the Government under Sections 17(1) and/or 17(4). 

 The court can take judicial notice of the fact that 

 planning, execution and implementation of the 

 schemes relating to development of residential, 

 commercial, industrial or institutional areas 

 usually take few years. Therefore, the private 

 property cannot be acquired for such purpose by 

 invoking the urgency provision contained in 

 Section 17(1). In any case, exclusion of the rule of 

 audi alteram partem embodied in Sections 5-A(1) 

 and (2) is not at all warranted in such matters."

15) In view of the above it is well settled that acquisition of land 

 for public purpose by itself shall not justify the exercise of power 

 of eliminating enquiry under Section 5-A in terms of Section 17 

 (1) and Section 17 (4) of the LA Act. The Court should take 

 judicial notice of the fact that certain schemes or projects, such as 

 the construction of the Leather City Project for public purpose, 

 which contemplate the development of residential, commercial, 

 industrial or institutional areas, by their intrinsic nature and 

 character require the investment of time of a few years in their 

 planning, execution and implementation. Therefore, the land 

 acquisition for said public purpose does not justify the invoking 

 of urgency provisions under the LA Act. In Radhy Shyam 

 (Supra), this Court, whilst considering the conduct or attitude of 

 the State Government vis-`-vis urgency for acquisition of the 

 22

 land for the public purpose of planned industrial development in 

 District Gautam Budh Nagar, has observed:

 "82. In this case, the Development Authority sent 

 the proposal sometime in 2006. The authorities up 

 to the level of the Commissioner completed the 

 exercise of survey and preparation of documents by 

 the end of December 2006 but it took one year and 

 almost three months for the State Government to 

 issue notification under Section 4 read with 

 Sections 17(1) and 17(4). If this much time was 

 consumed between the receipt of proposal for the 

 acquisition of land and issue of notification, it is 

 not possible to accept the argument that four to five 

 weeks within which the objections could be filed 

 under sub-section (1) of Section 5-A and the time 

 spent by the Collector in making enquiry under 

 sub-section (2) of Section 5-A would have defeated 

 the object of the acquisition."

16) Moreover, in Dev Sharan & Others v. State of U.P. (2011) 

 4 SCC 769, the acquisition of land for the construction of a new 

 district Jail by invoking urgency provision under Section 17 was 

 quashed on the ground that the government machinery had 

 functioned at very slow pace after issuance of the Notification 

 under Section 4 in processing the acquisition proceedings which 

 clearly evinces that there was no urgency to exclude the 

 application of Section 5-A of the LA Act. This Court observed:

 "35. From the various facts disclosed in the said 

 affidavit it appears that the matter was initiated by 

 23

the Government's Letter dated 4-6-2008 for 

issuance of Section 4(1) and Section 17 

notifications. A meeting for selection of a suitable 

site for construction was held on 27-6-2008, and 

the proposal for such acquisition and construction 

was sent to the Director, Land Acquisition on 2-7-

2008. This was in turn forwarded to the State 

Government by the Director on 22-7-2008. After 

due consideration of the forwarded proposal and 

documents, the State Government issued Section 4 

notification, along with Section 17 notification on 

21-8-2008. These notifications were published in 

local newspapers on 24-9-2008.

36. Thereafter, over a period of 9 months, the State 

Government deposited 10% of compensation 

payable to the landowners, along with 10% of 

acquisition expenses and 70% of cost of 

acquisition was deposited, and the proposal for 

issuance of Section 6 declaration was sent to the 

Director, Land Acquisition on 19-6-2009. The 

Director in turn forwarded all these to the State 

Government on 17-7-2009, and the State 

Government finally issued the Section 6 

declaration on 10-8-2009. This declaration was 

published in the local dailies on 17-8-2009.

37. Thus the time which elapsed between 

publication of Section 4(1) and Section 17 

notifications, and Section 6 declaration in the local 

newspapers is 11 months and 23 days i.e. almost 

one year. This slow pace at which the government 

machinery had functioned in processing the 

acquisition, clearly evinces that there was no 

urgency for acquiring the land so as to warrant 

invoking Section 17(4) of the LA Act.

38. In Para 15 of the writ petition, it has been 

clearly stated that there was a time gap of more 

than 11 months between Section 4 and Section 6 

notifications, which demonstrates that there was no 

urgency in the State action which could deny the 

petitioners their right under Section 5-A. In the 

counter which was filed in this case by the State 

 24

 before the High Court, it was not disputed that the 

 time gap between Section 4 notification read with 

 Section 17, and Section 6 notification was about 11 

 months.

17) In the facts and circumstances of the present case, it is clear 

 that this Court, vide its Order dated 17.08.2004, has issued a 

 direction to the respondents to relocate the bone mills and allied 

 industries causing environment pollution and health hazards as 

 per the recommendations of the CPCB and, inter alia, 

 respondents were also directed to identify the area for relocation. 

 Pursuant to this, respondents have filed an affidavit in the month 

 of December, 2004 specifying the construction of the Leather 

 City Project at Hapur in Ghaziabad. Subsequently, it was only 

 after the lapse of two years, the State Government had issued a 

 Notification under Section 4 on 03.07.2006 and the same was 

 published on 04.7.2006. Thereafter, the State Government took 

 more than 17 months in order to make a declaration of the 

 Notification under Section 6 from the date of publication of the 

 Notification under Section 4 of the LA Act. In view of the above 

 circumstances, it is crystal clear that the government functionary 

 has proceeded at very slow pace at two levels, that is, prior to the 

 issuance of the Notification under Section 4 and post the issuance 

 25

 of the Notification under Section 4, for acquisition of the land for 

 construction of the Leather City Project, which undoubtedly is a 

 public purpose. Therefore, the above series of the events amply 

 exhibit the lethargical and lackadaisical attitude of the State 

 Government. In the light of the above circumstances, the 

 respondents are not justified in invoking the urgency provisions 

 under Section 17 of the LA Act, thereby, depriving the appellants 

 of their valuable right to raise objections and opportunity of 

 hearing before the authorities in order to persuade them that their 

 property may not be acquired. 

18) Shri. Pallav Sisodia, learned senior counsel for 

 respondents, heavily relied on Jai Narain and Ors. v. Union of 

 India (Supra) in support of his contention that the acquisition 

 proceedings were initiated under the directions of this Court 

 which itself recognized the existence of urgent situation to 

 relocate polluting industries. We are afraid that this decision will 

 not come to the rescue of the respondents. In that case, this Court 

 had monitored the setting up of sewage treatment plant and also 

 directed the Delhi Administration to acquire land on war footing 

 mentioning urgent situation of supply of pure water and avoiding 

 any health hazards. The said urgency pointed out by this Court 

 26

 was duly reciprocated by the Delhi Administration by issuing a 

 Notification under Section 4 and subsequently, a Notification 

 under Section 6 of the LA Act within a time period of 2 months.

19) The directions or orders issued by this Court must be abided 

 by within the four corners of the legal framework and statutory 

 provisions. The State Government is not allowed to transgress the 

 express legal provisions and procedure thereunder in the garb or 

 guise of implementing our guidelines or directions. The 

 directions of this Court are issued with a purpose and the said 

 purpose is supposed to be followed in the realm of legal structure 

 and principles. Therefore, the respondents are not justified in 

 invoking the urgency provisions of the LA Act in an arbitrary 

 manner by referring to our earlier directions as a defense for their 

 illegal and arbitrary act of acquiring land without giving an 

 opportunity of raising objections and hearing to the petitioners in 

 terms of Section 5-A of the LA Act. 

20) Admittedly, the respondents had not obtained the approval of 

 the NCRPB for construction of the Leather City Project as Sub-

 regional plan in terms of Section 19 (2) of the NCRPB Act. The 

 purpose or aim of the NCRPB Act is to provide for co-ordinated, 

 harmonized and common plan development of the National 

 27

Capital Region at the central level in order to avoid haphazard 

development of infrastructure and land uses in the said region, 

which includes the district of Ghaziabad in the Uttar Pradesh. 

Under this Act, the NCRPB has been constituted with the Union 

Minister for Urban Development as the Chairperson and the 

Chief Ministers of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and Lt. 

Governor of Delhi as its members in order to undertake the task 

of development of the National Capital Region. The object of the 

NCRPB is to prepare, modify, revise and review a regional and 

functional plan for the development of said region and, further, to 

co-ordinate and monitor its implementation. Section 19(1) 

mandates the State government or Union Territory to submit their 

sub-regional plan to the NCRPB for examination in order to 

ensure that it is in conformity with the regional plan. Once the 

NCRPB affirms the conformity of the said plan with regional 

plan, only then the State government can finalize it. Thereafter, 

the State Government is entitled to implement the Sub-regional 

plan by virtue of Section 20 of the NCRPB Act. In M.C. Mehta 

v. Union of India, (2004) 6 SCC 588, this Court has discussed the 

purpose and overriding effect of the NRCPB Act thus:

 "27. The National Capital Region Planning Board 

 Act, 1985 (for short "the NCR Act") was enacted to 

 28

 provide for the constitution of a Planning Board for 

 the preparation of a plan for the development of the 

 National Capital Region and for coordinating and 

 monitoring the implementation of such plan and for 

 evolving harmonised policies for the control of land 

 uses and development of infrastructure in the 

 National Capital Region so as to avoid any 

 haphazard development of that region and for 

 matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. 

 The areas within the National Capital Region are 

 specified in the Schedule to the NCR Act. The 

 National Capital Region comprises the area of 

 entire Delhi, certain districts of Haryana, Uttar 

 Pradesh and Rajasthan as provided in the 

 Schedule. "Regional plan" as provided in Section 

 2(j) means the plan prepared under the NCR Act 

 for development of the National Capital Region and 

 for the control of land uses and the development of 

 infrastructure in the National Capital Region. What 

 the regional plan shall contain is provided in 

 Section 10. Section 10(2) provides that the regional 

 plan shall indicate the manner in which the land in 

 the National Capital Region shall be used, whether 

 by carrying out development thereon or by 

 conservation or otherwise, and such other matters 

 as are likely to have any important influence on the 

 development of the National Capital Region..."

 28. Section 27 provides that the provisions of the 

 NCR Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything 

 inconsistent therewith contained in any other law 

 for the time being in force or in any instrument 

 having effect by virtue of any law other than the 

 NCR Act; or in any decree or order of any court, 

 tribunal or other authority."

21) In Ghaziabad Development Authority v. Delhi Auto & 

 General Finance (P) Ltd., (1994) 4 SCC 42, this Court has 

 considered the overriding effect of the NCRPB Act over the UP 

 29

Urban Planning and Development Act, 1973, in relation to the 

conversion of land user by State of UP which was not in 

consonance with the Regional Plan approved by the NCRPB for 

the National Capital Region, by virtue of Section 27 read with 

Section 29 of the NCRPB Act. This Court, after referring to 

various provisions and analysing the scheme of the NCRPB Act, 

has observed thus:

 "16. The four villages in question in which the 

 lands of Delhi Auto and Maha Maya are situate 

 form part of the U.P. Sub-Region of the National 

 Capital Region. In the master plan of 1986 

 operative till 2001 A.D. (Annexure I) the lands of 

 Delhi Auto and Maha Maya are included in the 

 area set apart for `recreational' use only. On this 

 basis the Regional Plan was prepared and 

 approved under the NCR Act on 3-11-1988 and 

 finally published thereunder on 23-1-1989 

 according to which the area in question was set 

 apart for `recreational' use only. Admittedly no 

 change in this Regional Plan to alter the land use 

 of that area to `residential' purpose was made any 

 time thereafter in accordance with the provisions of 

 NCR Act. The overriding effect of the NCR Act by 

 virtue of Section 27 therein and the prohibition 

 against violation of Regional Plan contained in 

 Section 29 of the Act, totally excludes the land use 

 of that area for any purpose inconsistent with that 

 shown in the published Regional Plan. Obviously, 

 the permissible land use according to the published 

 Regional Plan in operation throughout, of the area 

 in question, was only `recreational' and not 

 residential since no change was ever made in the 

 published Regional Plan of the original land use 

 shown therein as `recreational'. This being the 

 situation by virtue of the overriding effect of the 

 30

 provisions of NCR Act, the amendment of land use 

 in the master plan under U.P. Act from 

 `recreational' to `residential' at an intermediate 

 stage, which is the main foundation of the 

 respondents' claim, cannot confer any enforceable 

 right in them. However, if the first amendment in 

 the master plan under the U.P. Act altering the 

 land use for the area from `recreational' to 

 `residential' be valid, so also is the next amendment 

 reverting to the original land use, i.e., 

 `recreational'. Intervening facts relating to the 

 private colonisers described as planning 

 commitments, investments, and legitimate 

 expectations do not have the effect of inhibiting the 

 exercise of statutory power under the U.P. Act 

 which is in consonance with the provisions of the 

 NCR Act, which also has overriding effect and lays 

 down the obligation of each participating State to 

 prepare a Sub-Regional Plan to elaborate the 

 Regional Plan at the Sub-Regional level and holds 

 the concerned State responsible for the 

 implementation of the Sub-Regional Plan. The 

 original land use of the area shown as 

 `recreational' at the time of approval and 

 publication of the Regional Plan under the NCR 

 Act having remained unaltered thereafter, that 

 alone is sufficient to negative the claim of Delhi 

 Auto and Maha Maya for permission to make an 

 inconsistent land user within that area."

22) In Sheikhar Hotels Gulmohar Enclave v. State of Uttar 

 Pradesh, (2008) 14 SCC 716, this Court has allowed the 

 invocation of the urgency clause by the State Government for the 

 widening of the National Highway in the National Capital Region 

 in the light of completion of the procedural requirement of 

 31

 approval of the master plan of the U.P. Government by the 

 NCRPB. This Court observed thus:

 "9. Traffic congestion is a common experience of 

 one and all and it is very difficult to negotiate the 

 traffic congestion in Delhi and National Capital 

 Region. Therefore, in the present situation, it 

 cannot be said that the invocation of Section 5-A 

 was for ulterior purpose or was arbitrary exercise 

 of the power. Since the master plan has already 

 been prepared and it has been approved by the 

 Planning Board and they have sanctioned a sum of 

 Rs 20.65 crores for the development of this 

 Transport Nagar and widening of National 

 Highway 91 into four lanes. Therefore, the 

 proposal was approved by the Board and it got the 

 sanction from the National Capital Regional 

 Planning Board and ultimately the Government 

 invoked the power under Section 17(4) read with 

 Section 5-A of the LA Act dispensing with the 

 objections. In the light of these facts it cannot be 

 said that invoking of power was in any way an 

 improper exercise. There is need for decongestion 

 of traffic and it is really the dire need of the hour 

 and earlier it is implemented, the better for the 

 people at large."

23) In the facts and circumstances of the present case, the 

 respondents, vide its resolution dated 19.04.2005, had authorized 

 the NCRPB to prepare Sub-regional plan of construction of the 

 Leather City Project at Hapur in the district of Ghaziabad for the 

 HPDA. Subsequently, the NCRPB issued a draft Sub-regional 

 plan, wherein the Leather City Project was not mentioned. The 

 32

 respondents had made several requests to NCRPB to include 

 Leather City Project but no reply granting approval has come in 

 terms of Section 19(2) of the NCRPB Act. Section 19 of the 

 NCRPB Act contemplates the grant of approval by the NRCPB, 

 and finalization by the State Government, of the Sub-Regional 

 Plan if it is in consonance and consistent with the Regional Plan 

 for the National Capital Region. Furthermore, Section 29 of the 

 NCRPB Act contemplates that the State Government shall not 

 undertake any development activity, which is inconsistent with 

 the Regional Plan for the National Capital Regional. Also, 

 Section 27 of the NCRPB Act has overriding effect on any other 

 inconsistent law or instrument. The overall scheme of the 

 NCRPB Act contemplates common plan, coordination and 

 harmony in the formulation of policy of land uses and 

 development of infrastructure in the National Capital Region. 

 Therefore, in our opinion, the acquisition of land in the absence 

 of express approval in terms of Section 19 and operation of 

 Section 27 of the LA Act renders the entire acquisition 

 proceedings illegal and hence vitiated. 

24) In view of above discussion, we hold that the declaration of 

 Notification dated 18.12.2006 under Section 6 of the LA Act is 

 33

 beyond the period of limitation as envisaged by proviso to 

 Section 6(1) of the LA Act. We also hold that the State 

 Government was not justified, in the facts and circumstances of 

 this case, to invoke the urgency provision of Section 17(4) of the 

 LA Act. Therefore, the appellants cannot be denied of their 

 valuable right under Section 5-A of the LA Act.

25) In the result, the Writ Petitions are allowed. The impugned 

 Notification dated 03.7.2006 under Section 4 and Notification 

 dated 18.12.2006 under Section 6 of the LA Act are hereby 

 quashed. Costs are made easy. 

 ...............

 ............J.

 [G.S. SINGHVI ]

 ...........................J.

 [H.L. DATTU ]

 New Delhi, 

 August 23, 2011.  34
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