Award Of Lok Adalat Cannot Be Considered As An Award Of The Court Made Under Part III Of Land Acquisition Act: Bombay High Court

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Case: Smt.Umadevi Rajkumar Jeure & Ors. vs. The District Collector, Solapur & Ors.

Coram: Justice SC Gupte and Justice AA Sayed

Case No: Writ Petition No. 3110 of 2016

Court Observation: “There is nothing in this scheme of things for treating an award passed by a Lok Adalat as a deemed decree of that court which made the reference to the Lok Adalat or for which the Lok Adalat was organised. In the context of the LA Act, and particularly for the purposes of Section 28A, the fiction of “decree of a civil court” will not only have to be to be extended to a decree of the court referring the matter to Lok Adalat or for which such Lok Adalat is organised, but such court having passed it under Part III of the LA Act, so as to have consequences for third parties.”

“We are, thus, of the view that the award of the Lok Adalat, through an executable decree binding between the parties to it, does not amount to a determination of the reference court so as to enable other similarly situated landowners to seek re-determination of compensation under Section 28A of the LA Act.”

“The court, for which such Lok Adalat is organised, is not concerned even at the stage of the reference. The award made by the Lok Adalat does not have to go back to that court to enable it to make it a part of its decree. The award itself is final and binding (and not appealable) as between the parties. It is deemed to be a decree of a civil court and executable as such. There is nothing in this scheme of things for treating an award passed by a Lok Adalat as a deemed decree of that court which made the reference to the Lok Adalat or for which the Lok Adalat was organised.”

“It is difficult to say that the Parliament, in introducing this authority of the Lok Adalat and treating its administrative act as an executable order under the signature and seal of the Lok Adalat, meant to lend the status of an award of a reference court so as to kick in the provisions of Section 28A for the benefit of other landholders whose lands were covered by the same acquisition notification.”

“The award of Lok Adalat in that LAR cannot be construed as an award of the court made under Part III of the LA Act.”


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