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Whether Vasanth Sreedhar Kulkarni, Eshwar Gouda Burma Gouda Patil and Ms. Mehrunnisa Mahazuz Husen Maniyar (appellants in C.A. Nos. 6662-6670/2002) had the locus to question the allotment of sites to the private respondents from land bearing survey Nos. 533/1, 534A and 534B of village Kanabargi, Belgaum despite the fact that the writ petitions filed by Vasanth Sreedhar Kulkarni and Eshwar Gouda Burma Gouda Patil had been dismissed by the High Court in 1996 and also the fact that they claim to have sold the acquired land and whether the purchasers were entitled to contest writ petitions filed by the allottees of the acquired land are the questions which arise for consideration in these appeals filed against judgments dated 14.12.1999 and 04.04.2000 of the Division Benches of the Karnataka High Court. =In the result, the appeals are dismissed. Appellants – Vasanth Sreedhar Kulkarni and Eshwar Gouda Burma Gouda Patil shall pay cost of Rs.1,00,000/- each to the BDA for thrusting unwarranted litigation upon it. The BDA shall ensure delivery of possession of the sites to the allottees within 8 weeks from today. However, it is made clear that this judgment shall not preclude the State Government from allotting alternative sites to Mumtaz Begum and others, who are said to have purchased small parcels of land from the landowners through Allahuddin Khan.

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 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

 CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

 CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 6662-6670 OF 2002

Vasanth Sreedhar Kulkarni and others ......Appellants

 Versus

State of Karnataka and others ......Respondents

 With

 CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 6671-6676 OF 2002

Mumtaz Begum Imam Husen

Maribalkar and others ......Appellants

 Versus

State of Karnataka and others ......Respondents

 J U D G M E N T

G.S. Singhvi, J.

 2

1. Whether Vasanth Sreedhar Kulkarni, Eshwar Gouda Burma 

Gouda Patil and Ms. Mehrunnisa Mahazuz Husen Maniyar (appellants 

in C.A. Nos. 6662-6670/2002) had the locus to question the allotment 

of sites to the private respondents from land bearing survey Nos. 533/1, 

534A and 534B of village Kanabargi, Belgaum despite the fact that the 

writ petitions filed by Vasanth Sreedhar Kulkarni and Eshwar Gouda 

Burma Gouda Patil had been dismissed by the High Court in 1996 and 

also the fact that they claim to have sold the acquired land and whether 

the purchasers were entitled to contest writ petitions filed by the 

allottees of the acquired land are the questions which arise for 

consideration in these appeals filed against judgments dated 14.12.1999 

and 04.04.2000 of the Division Benches of the Karnataka High Court.

2. In 1976, the Legislature of the State of Karnataka enacted the 

Karnataka Improvement Boards Act, 1976 to provide for constitution 

of Improvement Trust Boards in some cities with powers and duties for 

ensuring regulated development of urban areas. The Belgaum City 

Improvement Trust Board, which was one among several Trust Boards 

constituted by the State Government framed Scheme Nos. 35, 43 and 

 3

43A for formation of residential and commercial layouts in Kanabargi 

village, Belgaum. For implementation of Scheme No. 43, notification 

dated 6.11.1987 was issued. However, before further steps could be 

taken in the matter, the State Legislature enacted the Karnataka Urban 

Development Authorities Act, 1987 (for short, `the 1987 Act') which 

envisaged the establishment of Urban Development Authorities for the 

planned development of major and important urban areas in the State. 

The Belgaum Urban Development Authority (for short, `the BDA') 

was constituted under Section 3 of the 1987 Act. After some time, the 

BDA undertook the task of implementing Scheme Nos. 35, 43 and 43A 

of Kanabargi covering an area measuring 336 acres 6 guntas by 

involving revenue survey Nos. 529, 531 to 549, 553P, 556 to 562, 564 

to 570, 571P, 572 to 677 at an estimated cost of Rs.25.35 crores. 

Notification dated 16.8.1991 was issued under Section 17(1) of the 

1987 Act in respect of land comprised in survey Nos. 533/1, 534/A and 

534/B owned by Vasanth Sreedhar Kulkarni, Kashibai Patil and 

Eshwar Gouda Burma Gouda Patil respectively for implementing 

Scheme No.43. By an order dated 9.6.1994, the State Government 

accorded sanction under Section 18(3) of the 1987 Act for formation of 

 4

4065 sites from the aforesaid survey numbers. The relevant portions of 

the English translation of that order, which has been made available by 

learned counsel for the State of Karnataka are extracted below:

 "Belgaum Urban Development Authority, Belgaum 

 informed the Government that, by preparing Scheme 

 No.35,43,43 A of Kanabargi it would form totally 4065 in 

 an area measuring 336 acres and 06 gunthas by involving 

 R.S. Nos. 529, 531 to 549, 553P, 556 to 562, 564 to 570, 

 57IP, 572 to 677, and the estimated cost of the Scheme in 

 Rs. 25.35 Crores and from the Scheme the income to the 

 Authority is Rs. 27,88,84,000.00, and the net income to 

 the Authority would be Rs. 2,53,81,000.00, and this is self 

 economically aided scheme and the Authority would not 

 claim any assistance from the Government. It is further 

 stated that in this scheme 20 x 30 sites have reserved for 

 economically weaker sections and a provision has been 

 made for water supply, drainage and electricity the 

 estimated cost of the scheme and area is reserved for 

 garden, playground and Civic Amenity sites, as per Sub 

 Section (c) and (d) of Section 16 of the Karnataka Urban 

 Development Authorities Act 1987. Hence, requested for 

 according administrative approval for the said scheme. 

 Government Order in No.HUD/446/MIB, Bangalore, 

 Dated 9th June 1994.

 After considering the proposal of the letter the 

 Commissioner,

 Belgaum Urban Development Authority, Belgaum in the 

 above read, the sanction is accorded under section 18(3) 

 of the Karnataka Urban Development Authorities Act 

 1987, for formation of 4065 sites at a cost of Rs. Rs. 25.35 

 5

 Crores to the Kanabargi Scheme No.35, 43, 43A of 

 Belgaum Urban Development Authority, Belgaum in 

 lands measuring 336 gunthas, subject to the following 

 conditions.

 xxxx xxxx xxxx"

3. Thereafter the State Government issued Notification under 

Section 19(1), which was published in Karnataka State Gazette dated 

1.9.1994 in respect of survey No.533/1 measuring 5 acres 7 guntas 

belonging to Vasanth Sreedhar Kulkarni and survey Nos. 534/A and 

534/B measuring 3 acres and 22 guntas belonging to Smt. Kashibai 

Patil and Eshwar Gouda Burma Gouda Patil. The Special Land 

Acquisition Officer, BDA, who was appointed by the State 

Government to exercise the powers of the Deputy Commissioner under 

Section 3(c) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (for short, `the 1894 

Act') issued public notice dated 16.9.1994 and informed the 

landowners and persons having interest in the land that various survey 

numbers including survey Nos. 533/1, 534A and 534B have been 

included in Scheme Nos. 35, 43 and 43A.

 6

4. The award prepared by the Special Land Acquisition Officer was 

approved by the State Government vide order dated 11.12.1995 and 

was published on 13.12.1995. On the next date i.e., 14.12.1995, notice 

was issued to the landowners under Section 12(2) of the 1894 Act. The 

possession of land comprised in survey No.534/A+C was taken on 

1.1.1996 and name of the BDA was mutated in the revenue records. 

5. In the meanwhile, Vasanth Sreedhar Kulkarni and Eshwar Gouda 

Burma Gouda Patil filed Writ Petition Nos. 30236 and 30237 of 1994 

questioning the notifications issued under Sections 17(1) and 19(1) of 

the 1987 Act. Smt. Kashibai Patil and one Shri Malappa also filed 

similar writ petition bearing Nos. 30927/1994 and 30928/1994. All the 

writ petitions were dismissed by the learned Single Judge on 19.4.1996. 

The applications filed by the writ petitioners under Order IX Rule 13 

read with Section 151 CPC for recalling that order on the ground that 

their counsel could not appear on the date of hearing were dismissed by 

the learned Single Judge vide order dated 18.6.1996 by observing that 

the writ petitions had been dismissed on merits. 

 7

6. After dismissal of the writ petitions, possession of land 

comprised in survey Nos. 533/1 and 534/B was also taken by the 

competent authority and entries were made in the record of rights in the 

name of the BDA, which then formed 112 sites, carried out 

development works like construction of roads at a cost of Rs.43 lacs 

and allotted 82 sites to the eligible persons between 31.3.1997 and 

20.3.1999. 45 of the allottees executed lease-cum-sale agreement by 

depositing the entire amount. 8 allottees also started construction of the 

houses. 17 allottees took steps for execution of lease-cum-sale 

agreement and the remaining 22 allottees made partial payment of the 

cost of land.

7. After the issuance of notifications under Sections 17(1) and 19(1) 

of the 1987 Act, the landowners entered into some clandestine 

transactions with Allahuddin Khan, who was described as their General 

Power of Attorney and the latter created large number of documents on 

ten rupees stamps showing sale of small parcels of land to Smt. 

Mumtaz Begum and others.

 8

8. After taking possession of the acquired land and making the 

allotment of sites, the BDA demolished unauthorized constructions 

made by some of those to whom small parcels of land are said to have 

been sold by Allahuddin Khan. At that juncture, Allahuddin Khan and 

others made representation dated 27.2.1998 to the Commissioner, BDA 

for release of land comprised in survey Nos. 533/1, 534/A and 534/B 

by stating that 120 persons belonging to weaker sections of the society 

have constructed houses after taking loan and even the scheme 

sanctioned by the State Government envisages allotment of 52% plots 

to the persons belonging to backward classes and weaker sections of 

the society.

9. The then Chairman and three other members of the BDA made 

spot inspection on 12.3.1998 and prepared a report with the suggestion 

that land measuring 8 acres 29 guntas, which had been unauthorisedly 

sold by the landowners to the poor persons on ten rupees stamp papers 

may be deleted in favour of the purchasers by collecting development 

charges. The matter was then considered in the meeting of the BDA 

held on 16.3.1998 and despite the strong opposition by the 

 9

Commissioner, it was decided to recommend regularization of the 

transfers made by the landowners by deleting survey Nos. 531/1, 534/A 

and 534/B from the notifications issued under Sections 17(1) and 19(1) 

of the 1987 Act. The resolution of the BDA was forwarded to the 

State Government vide letter dated 3/4.6.1998. After about 3 months, 

the Commissioner sent D.O. letter dated 2.9.1998 to the Principal 

Secretary, Urban Development Department, State Government 

detailing the reasons for not deleting land comprised in 3 survey 

numbers. He pointed out that the plots have already been carved out 

and allotted to different persons at a price of Rs.1,73,56,000/-. 

However, the State Government accepted the recommendations 

contained in the resolution dated 16.3.1998 and issued notification 

dated 24.3.1999 under Section 19(7) of the 1987 Act.

10. Within few days of deleting three survey numbers from the 

process of acquisition, Shri Shankar M. Buchadi took over as Chairman 

of the BDA and under the leadership of new Chairman, the 

Commissioner, BDA sent letter dated 3.4.1999 to the Secretary to the 

State Government for cancellation of notification dated 24.3.1999. The 

 10

matter was also considered in the meeting of BDA held on 15.4.1999 

and a resolution was passed to make a request to the State Government 

to withdraw notification dated 24.3.1999. The same reads as under:

 "The meeting of the Authority discussed regarding the 

 problem that has arisen on account of deletion of the land 

 measuring 08 Acres - 29 Gs out of R.S. No. 533 & 534A & 

 B of Kanbargi village from the Kanbargi Scheme of 

 Belgaum Urban Development Authority, Belgaum under 

 Govt. Notification No.NA.A.E./172/BEMPRA VI/98, 

 dated:24.03.1999.

 In the said lands, already 112 sites have been formed out of 

 which, 82 sites have been allotted & out of 82 sites, 45 

 allottees have got executed Lease-cum-Sale Agreement by 

 depositing entire amount and 08 allottees have undertaken 

 the work of construction of houses by expending 

 Rs.3,00,000/- and 17 allottees are under the stage of 

 execution of the Lease-cum-Sale Agreements by depositing 

 entire amount @ 22 allottes have deposited the partial value 

 of the site and this aspect has been considered in the 

 meeting. The meeting opined that, the Authority has to face 

 the critical position on account of deletion of the said land 

 from the Scheme of the Authority as this stage by the Govt.

 Apart from this, the meeting considered the fact that, the 

 erstwhile owners of the said lands, tried to get their names 

 entered in the village records illegally and without 

 knowledge the Authority. Further, the meeting also 

 considered the fact regarding refund of Rs.1.00 Crore to 82 

 Allottees, who have deposited the site value & the 

 Authority is unable to make arrangement of allotment of 

 sites to the allottees and now, the Authority is unable to 

 bear this financial burden. The meeting also opined that, it 

 11

 is not possible to the Authority to bear the expenditure of 

 Rs.20.00 lakhs incurred for construction of house by the 

 allottees and to refund the amount incurred by 45 allottees 

 for Registration of Lease-cum-Sale Agreements. The 

 meeting also noted that the Authority has to bear the loss of 

 Rs.43.00 lakhs already incurred for Developmental Works, 

 apart from this, the allottees may approach the Courts 

 against the Authority. Hence, it has been resolved to submit 

 detailed report to the Govt, to withdraw the D'Notification 

 of the acquired lands from the Scheme of the Authority in 

 the interest of public at large."

11. The new Chairman also wrote letter dated 17.4.1999 to the 

Karnataka Minister for Urban Development for cancellation of 

notification dated 24.3.1999. The relevant portions of that letter are 

extracted below:

 "In Government Notification No.UDD 172 BEMPRA 

 VI/98, dated: 24.3.1999 the lands of Kanbargi village 

 bearing R.S. No. 533, 534A and 534B measuring 8 acres 29 

 guntas have been deleted from the scheme of the Authority. 

 In this already 82 sites. In the meeting of the authority 

 dated: 15.4.1999 it has been discussed in detail regarding 

 the problem arose on account of this notification. In the 

 said meeting it was considered the fact regarding formation 

 of 112 sites, allotment of 82 sites, execution of lease cum 

 sale agreement in respect of 45 sites, constructions of 

 houses by 7 allottees by incurring Rs.3 lakhs, 17 allottees 

 about to get the lease cum sale agreement and deposit of 

 part of value of the sites by 20 allottees.

 12

Under these circumstances, it is submitted that, in the area 

of the said lands, 113 sites of different sizes have been 

formed, out of the same already 82 sites have been 

distributed to the public, out of these 82 sites, 62 persons 

have deposited full value of the sites, out of these lease-

cum-sale agreements in respect of 45 sites have been got 

executed 20 persons then deposited part of value of the 

sites, as per rules there is scope for depositors the amount 

out of 45 allottees who have got executed the lease-cum-

sale agreements, 6 persons have obtained the building 

person for construction of the building over the sites, and in 

these the work of construction of houses is under progress. 

These 6 houses have been constructed up to slab level and 

the Engineer of the Authority has estimated the cost of 

construction of Rs.5,50,000/- per house. Apart from this, 

the Authority has already formed roads in these lands by 

incurring expenditure about Rs.11,00,000/- and about 

Rs.24,00,000/- worth electrification and the work of 

formation of pacca gutter is under progress and 

Rs.5,05,000/- is incurred under land acquisition. 

Notwithstanding, since the lands are deleted by the 

Government from the scheme, 82 persons who have 

already been allotted the sites have sustained loss. Apart 

from this, it is not possible to the Authority to make 

alternative arrangement to them and it would be difficult to 

cancel the lease-cum-sale agreement in respect of the sites. 

In this background, the Authority has to face the severe 

objections from public allottees, and there may be the 

possibility of facing Court litigations. Therefore, from the 

public point of view and in the interest of the Authority it is 

suitable to cancel the said notification by reconsidering the 

notification issued by the Government by already deciding 

to delete these lands from the scheme. Hence, kindly 

considering these facts, it is requested immediate action for 

cancelling the notification."

 13

12. In the meanwhile, some of the allottees of sites carved out by the 

BDA filed Writ Petition Nos. 16003-16008/1998 for quashing 

notification dated 24.3.1999 by asserting that the State Government did 

not have the jurisdiction to issue notification under Section 19(7) of the 

Act. They pleaded that after dismissal of the writ petitions filed by the 

landowners, the BDA had carried out development and allotted sites to 

eligible persons some of whom had paid full price and started 

construction. They further pleaded that with a view to frustrate the 

scheme, the landowners executed power of attorney in favour of 

Allahuddin Khan who, in turn, sold the plots on stamp papers of 

Rs.10/- obtaining permission from the competent authority and that the 

State Government had illegally denotified the acquired land by relying 

upon the recommendations made by the BDA which was headed by a 

political person. As a counter blast, Vasanth Sreedhar Kulkarni and 

two others filed Writ Petition Nos. 19264-19266/1999 questioning the 

allotment of sites by the BDA by asserting that the Commissioner had 

no authority to allot any site carved out of survey Nos. 533, 534A and 

534B because the BDA had already passed resolution dated 16.3.1998 

for deleting those survey numbers from the notifications issued under 

 14

Sections 17(1) and 19(1) of the 1987 Act and the State Government had 

issued notification under Section 19(7) of that Act.

13. During the pendency of the writ petitions, Smt. Mumtaz Begum 

and 50 others filed an application in Writ Petition Nos. 16003-

16008/1998 for impleadment as parties. The learned Single Judge 

disposed of all the writ petitions by common order dated 16.7.1999. He 

first dealt with the application for impleadment and rejected the same 

by making the following observations:

 "Before taking up this writ petition on merits, it is also 

 necessary to notice that by means of IA.II as many as 51 

 persons wants to come on record as contesting respondents 

 to the writ petition. The interest claimed by them is "that all 

 of them pursuant to an agreement of sale executed by the 

 land owners of the acquired property, were put in 

 possession and they have raised permanent construction. 

 Therefore, have an interest".

 It is not disputed that these alleged "agreement of sale" 

 were executed by the land owners subsequent to the 

 dismissal of the writ petitions challenging the acquisition 

 proceedings. Hence, on the day or dates when the land 

 owners alleged to have executed the agreement of sale, they 

 had no legal right to sell the property and therefore these 

 applicant cannot be said to have acquired any interest 

 known to law in the property. Even otherwise, the right of 

 an agreement holder is only to sue for specific performance 

 or to enforce the contract. It cannot be said that he would 

 be having any right to property. Looking from any angle, 

 15

 these applicants cannot be said to have any interest in the 

 property to come on record and contest the writ petitions. 

 Hence, the application IA.II is rejected." 

14. The learned Single Judge then considered the question whether 

the State Government had the power to denotify the acquired land. 

After adverting to the grounds on which the allottees had questioned 

notification dated 24.3.1999, the learned Single Judge held that power 

to denotify the acquired land can be exercised only before possession 

thereof is taken and as the BDA had already taken possession, the State 

Government could not have issued notification dated 24.3.1999. The 

learned Single Judge then referred to Section 19(7) and held that the 

power to denotify or reconvey land included in the scheme can be 

exercised only by the Authority and not by the State Government. The 

learned Single Judge also declared that the erstwhile landowners do not 

have the locus to challenge the allotment of sites because the writ 

petitions filed by them questioning the notifications issued under 

Sections 17(1) and 19(1) of the 1987 Act had been dismissed and the 

acquired land had vested in the BDA.

 16

15. The writ appeal filed by Vasanth Sreedhar Kulkarni and two 

others was dismissed by the Division Bench, which agreed with the 

learned Single Judge that the State Government did not have the power 

to denotify the acquired land by issuing notification under Section 

19(7). Writ Appeal Nos. 1711-1716/2000 and 2450-2454/2000 filed by 

Mumtaz Begum and others were dismissed by another Division Bench 

by relying upon order dated 14.12.1999 passed in the writ appeals filed 

by Vasanth Sreedhar Kulkarni and two others.

16. Before this Court several interlocutory applications were filed by 

the parties. I.A. Nos. 20-28/2010 were filed by appellants Vasanth 

Sreedhar Kulkarni and two others for placing on record xerox copies of 

notice dated 4.9.1996 issued by the Special Land Acquisition Officer, 

BDA under Section 16(2) of the 1894 Act read with Karnataka 

(Amendment) Act, 1961 and letter dated 25.10.2008 written by the 

Special Land Acquisition Officer to Shri Vasheemkhan stating therein 

that there is no mention in the record of the BDA of compensation 

amount regarding survey Nos. 533/1 and 534/B. Two I.As. including 

I.A. Nos. 56-64/2010 have been filed by Vasanth Sreedhar Kulkarni 

 17

and two others for permission to urge additional grounds. They have 

also filed copies of the writ petitions, order dated 14.10.1980 passed by 

the State Government vide HUD.172/1979, English translation of 

newspaper - Tarun Bharat dated 29.9.1994 and application filed under 

Section 151 CPC before the High Court. I.A. Nos. 38-46 and 47-55 of 

2010 have been filed on behalf of the BDA for permission to file 

documents marked Annexures R2/2 to R2/23.

17. In compliance of the direction given by the Court, learned 

counsel appearing for the State filed an affidavit dated 23.9.2010 of 

Shri Shambhu Dayal Meena, Secretary to the Government of 

Karnataka, Urban Development along with copies of the gazette 

notifications dated 7.11.1991, 1.9.1994 and 24.3.1999, order dated 

9.6.1994 passed by the State Government under Section 18(3) of the 

1987 Act, the panchnamas and other documents evidencing taking of 

possession of various parcels of land including survey Nos. 533/1, 

534A and 534B and entries made in favour of the BDA in the record of 

rights.

 18

18. The first and foremost argument advanced by Shri Pallav 

Shishodia, learned senior counsel appearing for the appellants is that 

notwithstanding dismissal of Writ Petition Nos. 30236 and 30237 of 

1994 filed by Vasanth Sreedhar Kulkarni and Eshwar Gouda Burma 

Gouda Patil, the notifications issued by the BDA and the State 

Government under Sections 17(1) and 19(1) respectively are liable to 

be quashed because the 1987 Act does not provide for the acquisition 

of land. Shri Shishodia submitted that the 1987 Act was enacted by the 

State Legislature with reference to the subject enumerated in Entry 5 of 

List II of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution and that entry does 

not empower the State Legislature to enact law for compulsory 

acquisition of land. He further submitted that the State Government 

can acquire land only under the 1894 Act, which has been enacted by 

Parliament with reference to Entry 42 of List III of the Seventh 

Schedule. Learned senior counsel emphasized that the provisions 

contained in the 1987 Act empower the BDA and the State Government 

to frame and sanction schemes for development of urban areas and also 

earmark/designate the land proposed to be acquired for the execution of 

the development schemes, but there is no provision in the Act under 

 19

which they can compulsorily acquire the land. He argued that if 

Sections 17 and 19 of the 1987 Act are read as enabling the BDA and 

the State Government to acquire land for the development schemes, the 

same would become vulnerable to the attack of unconstitutionality. 

Learned senior counsel also referred to the provisions of Sections 35 

and 36 of the Act and submitted that for the purpose of acquisition the 

competent authority has to comply with the mandate of Sections 4, 5A 

and 6 of the 1894 Act, which has not been done in these cases. He 

lastly submitted that the judgment in Bondu Ramaswamy v. Bangalore 

Development Authority (2010) 7 SCC 129 requires reconsideration 

because the proposition laid down therein on the scope of Sections 17 

and 19 of the 1987 Act is contrary to the settled law that compulsory 

acquisition of land can be made only after complying with the 

provisions of the 1894 Act.

19. Learned counsel for the respondents argued that appellants' 

indirect challenge to the notifications issued under Sections 17 and 19 

on the ground that the 1987 Act does not provide for the acquisition of 

land should not be entertained because no such plea was raised in the 

 20

pleadings of the writ petitions filed in 1994 or 1999, writ appeals filed 

against the order of the learned Single Judge and even the memo of 

special leave petitions. Shri S.N. Bhat, learned counsel appearing for 

the BDA further argued that even on merits, the appellants' challenge 

to the notifications issued under Sections 17(1) and 19(1) should be 

negatived because the judgment of three-Judge Bench in Bondu 

Ramaswamy's case has been approved by the Constitution Bench in 

Girnar Traders (3) v. State of Maharashtra (2011) 3 SCC 1.

20. For appreciating the rival contentions in a correct perspective, we 

may usefully notice Sections 16, 17, 18 and 19 of the 1987 Act. The 

same read as under:

 "16. Particulars to be provided for in a development 

 scheme. - Every development scheme under Section 15, -

 (1) shall within the limits of the area comprised in the 

 scheme, provide for, -

 (a) the acquisition of any land which in the opinion 

 of the authority, will be necessary for or 

 affected by the execution of the scheme;

 (b) laying and relaying out all or any land 

 including the construction and reconstruction of 

 buildings and formation and alteration of 

 streets; 

 21

 (c) drainage, water supply and electricity;

 (d) the reservation of not less than fifteen per cent 

 of the total area of the layout for public parks 

 and play grounds and an additional area of not 

 less than ten per cent of the total area of the 

 layout for civic amenities.

(2) may, within the limits aforesaid, provide for,-

 (a) raising any land which the authority may consider 

 expedient to raise to facilitate better drainage;

 (b)forming open spaces for the better ventilation of 

 the area comprised in the scheme or any adjoining 

 area;

 (c) the sanitary arrangements required; and

 (d)establishment or construction of markets and other 

 public requirements or conveniences.

(3) may, within and without the limits aforesaid provide 

for construction of houses.

17. Procedure on completion of scheme. - (1) When a 

development scheme has been prepared, the authority shall 

draw up a notification stating the fact of a scheme having 

been made and the limits of the area comprised therein, and 

naming a place where particulars of the scheme, a map of 

the area comprised therein, a statement specifying the land 

which is proposed to be acquired and of the land in regard 

to which a betterment tax may be levied may be seen at all 

reasonable hours.

(2) A copy of the said notification shall be sent to the 

local authority, which shall, within thirty days from the 

date of receipt thereof, forward to the Authority for 

transmission to the Government as hereinafter provided, 

any representation which the local authority may think fit 

to make with regard to the scheme.

 22

(3) The Authority shall also cause a copy of the said 

notification to be published in two consecutive issues of a 

local newspaper having wide circulation in the area and 

affixed in some conspicuous part of its own office, the 

Deputy Commissioner's office, the office of the local 

authority and in such other places as the authority may 

consider necessary.

(4) If no representation is received from the local 

authority within the time specified in sub-section (2), the 

concurrence of the local authority to the scheme shall be 

deemed to have been given. 

(5) During the thirty days next following the day on 

which such notification is published in the local 

newspapers the Authority shall serve a notice on every 

person whose name appears in the assessment list of the 

local authority or in the land revenue register as being 

primarily liable to pay the property tax or land revenue 

assessment on any building or land which is proposed to be 

acquired in executing the scheme or in regard to which the 

Authority proposes to recover betterment tax requiring such 

person to show cause within thirty days from the date of the 

receipt of the notice why such acquisition of the building or 

land and the recovery of betterment tax should not be 

made.

(6) The notices shall be signed by or by the order of the 

Commissioner and shall be served, - 

 (a) by personal delivery of, if such person is absent or 

 cannot be found, on his agent, or if no agent can 

 be found, then by leaving the same on the land or 

 the building; or

 (b)by leaving the same at the usual or last known 

 place of abode or business of such person; or

 (c) by registered post addressed to the usual or last 

 known place of abode or business of such person.

 23

18. Sanction of scheme.- (1) After publication of the 

scheme and service of notices as provided in section 17 and 

after consideration of representations if any, received in 

respect thereof, the authority shall submit the scheme 

making such modifications, therein as it may think fit to the 

Government for sanction, furnishing,- 

 (a) a description with full particulars of the scheme 

 including the reasons for any modifications inserted 

 therein; 

 (b) complete plans and estimates of the cost of 

 executing the scheme;

 (c) a statement specifying the land proposed to be 

 acquired;

 (d) any representation received under sub-section 

 (2) of section 17;

 (e) a schedule showing the rateable value as 

 entered in the municipal assessment book on the date 

 of the publication of a notification relating to the land 

 under section 17 or the land assessment of all land 

 specified in the statement under clause (c); and

 (f) such other particulars, if any, as may be 

 prescribed.

(2) Where any development scheme provides for the 

construction of houses, the Authority shall also submit to 

the Government plans and estimates for the construction of 

the houses.

(3) After considering the proposal submitted to it to the 

Government may, by order, give sanction to the scheme.

 24

19. Upon sanction, declaration to be published giving

particulars of land to be acquired.- (1) Upon sanction of 

the scheme, the Government shall publish in the official 

Gazette a declaration stating the fact of such sanction and 

that the land proposed to be acquired by the Authority for 

the purposes of the scheme is required for a public purpose. 

(2) The declaration shall state the limits within which the 

land proposed to be acquired is situate, the purpose for 

which it is needed, its approximate area and the place 

where a plan of the land may be inspected. 

(3) The said declaration shall be conclusive evidence that 

the land is needed for a public purpose and the Authority 

shall, upon the publication of the said declaration, proceed 

to execute the scheme.

(4) If at any time it appears to the Authority that an 

improvement can be made in any part of the scheme, the 

Authority may alter the scheme for the said purpose and 

shall subject to the provisions of sub-sections (5) and (6) 

forthwith proceed to execute the scheme as altered.

(5) If the estimated cost of executing the Scheme as 

altered exceeds by a greater sum than five per cent of the 

estimated cost of executing the scheme as sanctioned, the 

Authority shall not, without the previous sanction of the 

Government, proceed to execute the scheme, as altered. 

(6) If the scheme as altered involves the acquisition other 

wise than by agreement, of any land other than the land 

specified in the schedule referred to in clause (e) of sub-

section (1) of section 18, the provisions of sections 17 and 

18 and of sub-section (1) of this section shall apply to the 

part of the scheme so altered in the same manner as if such 

altered part were the scheme.

 25

 (7) The Authority shall not denotify or reconvey any 

 land included in the scheme without the specific orders of 

 the Government. 

 (8) The Authority shall not allot any land to any 

 individual, organization or authority, the civic amenity area 

 earmarked in the scheme without the orders of the 

 Government."

21. The above noted provisions are pari materia to Sections 15, 16, 

17 and 19 of the Bangalore Development Authority Act, 1976, which 

were interpreted in Bondu Ramaswamy's case. An argument similar to 

the one made before us was rejected by three-Judge Bench by making 

the following observations:

 "The assumption by the appellants that Chapter III of the 

 BDA Act relating to development schemes does not 

 provide for acquisition is erroneous. Sections 15 to 19 of 

 the BDA Act contemplate drawing up of a development 

 scheme or additional development scheme for the 

 Bangalore Metropolitan Area, containing the particulars set 

 down in Section 16 of the said Act, which includes the 

 details of the lands to be acquired for execution of the 

 scheme. Section 17 requires the BDA on preparation of the 

 development scheme, to draw-up and publish in the 

 Gazette, a notification stating that the scheme has been 

 made, showing the limits of the area comprised in such 

 scheme and specifying the lands which are to be acquired. 

 The other provisions of Section 17 make it clear that the 

 BDA has to furnish a copy of the said notification and 

 invite a representation from Bangalore City Corporation, 

 affix the notification at conspicuous places in various 

 offices, and serve notice on every person whose land is to 

 26

be acquired. Thus, the notification that is issued under 

Section 17(1) and published under Section 17(3), is a 

preliminary notification for acquiring the lands required for 

the scheme under the Act. Section 17(5) and Section 18(1) 

requires BDA to give an opportunity to landowners to show 

cause against acquisition and consider the representations 

received in that behalf. Section 18(1) also requires BDA to 

furnish a statement of the lands proposed to be acquired to 

the State Government for obtaining its sanction for the 

scheme including the acquisition. Sub-section (1) of 

Section 19 requires the Government to publish a 

declaration upon sanctioning the scheme, declaring that 

such a sanction has been given and declaring that the "lands 

proposed to be acquired by the authority" are required for 

public purpose. Sub-section (3) of Section 19 makes it clear 

that the declaration published under Section 19(1) should 

be conclusive evidence that the land is needed for a public 

purpose and that the Authority shall, upon publication of 

such declaration, proceed to execute the same. Thus, it is 

clear that the acquisition by the Authority for the purposes 

of the development scheme is initiated and proceeded with 

under the provisions of the BDA Act.

Section 36 of the BDA Act provides that the "acquisition of 

land under this Act" shall be regulated by the provisions, so 

far as they are applicable of the LA Act. In view of the 

categorical reference in Section 36 of the BDA Act to 

acquisitions under that Act, there cannot be any doubt that 

the acquisitions for BDA are not under the LA Act, but 

under the BDA Act itself. It is also clear from Section 36 

that the LA Act, in its entirety, is not applicable to the 

acquisition under the BDA Act, but only such of the 

provisions of the LA Act for which a corresponding 

provision is not found in the BDA Act, will apply to 

acquisitions under the BDA Act. In view of Sections 17 to 

19 of the BDA Act, the corresponding provisions -- 

Sections 4 to 6 of the LA Act--will not apply to 

acquisitions under the BDA Act. We therefore reject the 

 27

contention that the BDA Act does not contemplate 

acquisition and that the acquisition which is required to be 

made as a part of the development scheme, should be made 

under the LA Act, applying Sections 4, 5-A and 6 of the 

LA Act.

The question of repugnancy can arise only where the State 

law and the existing Central law are with reference to any 

one of the matters enumerated in the Concurrent List. The 

question of repugnancy arises only when both the 

legislatures are competent to legislate in the same field, that 

is, when both the Union and State laws relate to a subject in 

List III. Article 254 has no application except where the 

two laws relate to subjects in List III (see Hoechst 

Pharmaceuticals Ltd. v. State of Bihar (1983) 4 SCC 45). 

But if the law made by the State Legislature, covered by an 

entry in the State List, incidentally touches upon any of the 

matters in the Concurrent List, it is well settled that it will 

not be considered to be repugnant to an existing Central 

law with respect to such a matter enumerated in the 

Concurrent List. In such cases of overlapping between 

mutually exclusive lists, the doctrine of pith and substance 

would apply. Article 254(1) will have no application if the 

State law in pith and substance relates to a matter in List II, 

even if it may incidentally trench upon some item in List 

III. (See Hoechst, Megh Raj v. Allah Rakhia AIR 1947 PC 

72, and Lakhi Narayan Das v. Province of Bihar, AIR 1950 

FC 59).

Where the law covered by an entry in the State List made 

by the State Legislature contains a provision which directly 

and substantially relates to a matter enumerated in the 

Concurrent List and is repugnant to the provisions of any 

existing law with respect to that matter in the Concurrent 

List, then the repugnant provision in the State List may be 

void unless it can coexist and operate without repugnancy 

to the provisions of the existing law. This Court in 

M unithimmaiah has held that the BDA Act is an Act to 

 28

 provide for the establishment of a Development Authority 

 to facilitate and ensure planned growth and development of 

 the city of Bangalore and areas adjacent thereto, and that 

 acquisition of any lands, for such development, is merely 

 incidental to the main object of the Act, that is, 

 development of Bangalore Metropolitan Area. This Court 

 held that in pith and substance, the BDA Act is one which 

 squarely falls under Entry 5 of List II of the Seventh 

 Schedule and is not a law for acquisition of land like the 

 LA Act, traceable to Entry 42 of List III of the Seventh 

 Schedule, the field in respect of which is already occupied 

 by the Central Act, as amended from time to time. This 

 Court held that if at all, the BDA Act, so far as acquisition 

 of land for its developmental activities is concerned, in 

 substance and effect will constitute a special law providing 

 for acquisition for the special purposes of BDA and the 

 same will not be considered to be a part of the LA Act. The 

 fallacy in the contention of the appellants is that it assumes, 

 erroneously, that the BDA Act is a law referable to Entry 

 42 of List III, while it is a law referable to Entry 5 of List 

 II. Hence the question of repugnancy and Section 6 of the 

 LA Act prevailing over Section 19 of the BDA Act would 

 not at all arise."

 (emphasis supplied)

22. The proposition laid down in Bondu Ramaswamy's case was 

approved by the Constitution Bench in Girnar Traders (3) v. State of 

Maharashtra (supra) (para 178). The Constitution Bench also referred 

to the doctrine of pith and substance in the context of challenge to some 

of the provisions of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 

1966 and observed:

 29

"We have already discussed in great detail that the State 

Act being a code in itself can take within its ambit 

provisions of the Central Act related to acquisition, while 

excluding the provisions which offend and frustrate the 

object of the State Act. It will not be necessary to create, or 

read into the legislations, an imaginary conflict or 

repugnancy between the two legislations, particularly, 

when they can be enforced in their respective fields without 

conflict. Even if they are examined from the point of view 

that repugnancy is implied between Section 11-A of the 

Land Acquisition Act and Sections 126 and 127 of the 

MRTP Act, then in our considered view, they would fall 

within the permissible limits of doctrine of "incidental 

encroachment" without rendering any part of the State law 

invalid.

Once the doctrine of pith and substance is applied to the 

facts of the present case, it is more than clear that in 

substance the State Act is aimed at planned development 

unlike the Central Act where the object is to acquire land 

and disburse compensation in accordance with law. 

Paramount purpose and object of the State Act being 

planned development and acquisition being incidental 

thereto, the question of repugnancy does not arise. The 

State, in terms of Entry 5 of List II of Schedule VII, is 

competent to enact such a law. It is a settled canon of law 

that courts normally would make every effort to save the 

legislation and resolve the conflict/repugnancy, if any, 

rather than invalidating the statute. Therefore, it will be the 

purposive approach to permit both the enactments to 

operate in their own fields by applying them harmoniously. 

Thus, in our view, the ground of repugnancy raised by the 

appellants, in the present appeals, merits rejection.

A self-contained code is an exception to the rule of 

referential legislation. The various legal concepts covering 

 30

 the relevant issues have been discussed by us in detail 

 above. The schemes of the MRTP Act and the Land 

 Acquisition Act do not admit any conflict or repugnancy in 

 their implementation. The slight overlapping would not 

 take the colour of repugnancy. In such cases, the doctrine 

 of pith and substance would squarely be applicable and 

 rigours of Article 254(1) would not be attracted. Besides 

 that, the reference is limited to specific provisions of the 

 Land Acquisition Act, in the State Act. Unambiguous 

 language of the provisions of the MRTP Act and the 

 legislative intent clearly mandates that it is a case of 

 legislation by incorporation in contradistinction to 

 legislation by reference."

 (emphasis supplied)

23. In view of the law laid down in the aforementioned cases, we 

hold that the 1987 Act not only provides for development of urban 

areas, but also empowers the BDA and the State Government to 

compulsorily acquire land for the purpose of execution/implementation 

of the schemes.

24. The second argument of the learned senior counsel for the 

appellants is that under Section 19(7) of the 1987 Act, the State 

Government is empowered to release the acquired land and the High 

Court committed serious error by nullifying notification dated 

24.3.1999 at the instance of those to whom sites were allotted by the 

 31

BDA. Shri Shishodia emphasized that the documents like panchnamas 

and record of rights prepared by the Special Land Acquisition Officer 

and other revenue officers are evidence only of symbolic taking over of 

possession, but the actual possession continued with the landowners, 

who carved out plots and sold the same to the members of the weaker 

sections and the State Government had rightly taken note of the plight 

of the citizens belonging to poor strata of the society and denotified the 

land by accepting the recommendations made by the BDA. Shri 

Shishodia submitted that Mumtaz Begum and others are innocent 

purchasers and the High Court should have rejected the plea taken by 

the official respondents that the State Government could not have 

issued notification under Section 19(7) of the 1987 Act. Learned 

counsel for the State and the BDA submitted that Section 19(7) is 

similar to Section 48 of the 1894 Act and the power to denotify the 

acquired land cannot be exercised after possession of the acquired land 

is taken by the competent authority and, in any case, that power can be 

exercised only by the Authority and not by the State Government.

 32

25. In our view, there is no merit in the argument of the learned 

senior counsel for the appellants. The documents produced before the 

High Court and this Court show that possession of land comprised in 

survey Nos. 534/A+C was taken on 1.1.1996 and possession of land 

comprised in survey Nos. 533/1, 534/B was taken after dismissal of 

Writ Petition Nos. 30236/1994 and 30237/1994. After taking of 

possession, the name of the BDA was entered in the record of rights. 

The appellants have not produced any evidence before the Court to 

show that Panchnamas evidencing take over of possession were 

fabricated by the Special Land Acquisition Officer and entries in the 

record of rights were manipulated by the concerned revenue authorities. 

Therefore, the bald statement made by the landowners that they 

continued to be in possession of the acquired land cannot be relied 

upon for recording a finding that denotification of the acquired land 

was valid. In Banda Development Authority, Banda v. Motilal 

Agarwal (2011) 5 SCC 394, this Court examined in detail the mode and 

manner of taking possession of the land acquired under the 1894 Act, 

referred to the judgments in Balwant Narayan Bhagde v. M.D. Bhagwat 

(1976) 1 SCC 700, Balmokand Khatri Educational and Industrial Trust, 

 33

Amritsar v. State of Punjab (1996) 4 SCC 212, P.K. Kalburqi v. State 

of Karnataka (2005) 12 SCC 489, National Power Thermal Power 

Corporation Ltd. v. Mahesh Dutta (2009) 8 SCC 339, Sita Ram 

Bhandar Society v. Government N.C.T. of Delhi (2009) 10 SCC 501 

and culled out the following principles:

 "(i) No hard-and-fast rule can be laid down as to what act 

 would constitute taking of possession of the acquired land.

 (ii) If the acquired land is vacant, the act of the State

 authority concerned to go to the spot and prepare a

 panchnama will ordinarily be treated as sufficient to

 constitute taking of possession.

 (iii) If crop is standing on the acquired land or

 building/structure exists, mere going on the spot by

 the authority concerned will, by itself, be not sufficient

 for taking possession. Ordinarily, in such cases, the

 authority concerned will have to give notice to the occupier 

 of the building/structure or the person who has cultivated 

 the land and take possession in the presence of independent 

 witnesses and get their signatures on the panchnama. Of 

 course, refusal of the owner of the land or 

 building/structure may not lead to an inference that the 

 possession of the acquired land has not been taken.

 (iv) If the acquisition is of a large tract of land, it may not 

 be possible for the acquiring/designated authority to take 

 physical possession of each and every parcel of the land 

 and it will be sufficient that symbolic possession is taken 

 by preparing appropriate document in the presence of 

 34

 independent witnesses and getting their signatures on such 

 document. 

 (v) If beneficiary of the acquisition is an 

 agency/instrumentality of the State and 80% of the total 

 compensation is deposited in terms of Section 17(3-A) and 

 substantial portion of the acquired land has been utilized in 

 furtherance of the particular public purpose, then the court 

 may reasonably presume that possession of the acquired 

 land has been taken."

26. By applying clause (ii) of the aforesaid principles, we hold that 

possession of the acquired land had been taken by the Special Land 

Acquisition Officer in accordance with law and neither the BDA had 

the jurisdiction to make a recommendation for denotification of the 

acquired land nor the State Government could issue notification under 

Section 19(7) of the 1987 Act. It also appears to us that both, the BDA 

and the State Government laboured under a mistaken impression that 

the power under Section 19(7) of the 1987 Act can be exercised by the 

latter. If that was not so and the BDA genuinely felt that a case was 

made out for deacquisition of land comprised in survey Nos. 533/1, 

534/A and 534/B, then it could have, on its own, issued notification 

under Section 19(7) of the 1987 Act.

 35

27. The question whether Mumtaz Begum and others who claim to 

have purchased small parcels of land from Allahuddin Khan after the 

issuance of notifications under Section 17(1) of the 1987 Act should be 

allowed to retain the same despite the fact that the BDA had carved out 

sites and allotted plots to more than 100 eligible applicants deserves to 

be answered in negative in view of the law laid down in Yadu Nandan 

Garg v. State of Rajasthan 1996(1) SCC 334, U.P. Jal Nigam, Lucknow 

v. Kalra Properties (P) Ltd. (1996) 3 SCC 124, Sneh Prabha v. State of 

U.P. (1996) 7 SCC 426, Ajay Krishan Shinghal v. Union of India 

(1996) 10 SCC 721, Star Wire (India) Ltd. v. State of Haryana (1996) 

11 SCC 698, Jaipur Development Authority v. Daulat Mai Jain (1997) 

1 SCC 35, Meera Sahni v. Lt. Governor of Delhi (2008) 9 SCC 177 and 

Tika Ram v. State of U.P. (2009) 10 SCC 689.

28. In Sneh Prabha v. State of U.P. (supra), the Court referred to 

some of the earlier judgments and held: 

 ". ... It is settled law that any person who purchases land 

 after publication of the notification under Section 4(1), 

 does so at his/her own peril. The object of publication of 

 the notification under Section 4(1) is notice to everyone 

 that the land is needed or is likely to be needed for public 

 purpose and the acquisition proceedings point out an 

 36

 impediment to anyone to encumber the land acquired 

 thereunder. It authorises the designated officer to enter 

 upon the land to do preliminaries, etc. Therefore, any 

 alienation of the land after the publication of the 

 notification under Section 4(1) does not bind the 

 Government or the beneficiary under the acquisition. On 

 taking possession of the land, all rights, title and interests in 

 land stand vested in the State, under Section 16 of the Act, 

 free from all encumbrances and thereby absolute title in the 

 land is acquired thereunder."

The same view has been reiterated in other judgments.

29. In the result, the appeals are dismissed. Appellants - Vasanth 

Sreedhar Kulkarni and Eshwar Gouda Burma Gouda Patil shall pay 

cost of Rs.1,00,000/- each to the BDA for thrusting unwarranted 

litigation upon it. The BDA shall ensure delivery of possession of the 

sites to the allottees within 8 weeks from today. However, it is made 

clear that this judgment shall not preclude the State Government from 

allotting alternative sites to Mumtaz Begum and others, who are said to 

have purchased small parcels of land from the landowners through 

Allahuddin Khan.

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

 [G.S. Singhvi]

 37 ..............................J. [Asok Kumar Ganguly]New DelhiOctober 14, 2011.

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