Skip to content
Home » Consent given for acquisition of land amounts to offer

Consent given for acquisition of land amounts to offer

The Supreme Court of India on Thursday, October 31, 1991 in Nutakki Sesharatanam Vs. Sub-Collector, Land Acquisition held that consent given for acquisition of land amounts to offer in terms of the Contract Act.

A bench comprising of Justice M.H. Kania and Justice R.M. Sahai also clarified that such consent can be withdrawn before it is accepted.

Consent

Allowing the appeal the Supreme Court held that the Single Judge and the Division Bench of the High Court were clearly in error in dismissing the respective writ petition and the appeal filed by the appellant respectively. The appellant’s statement that he was willing to accept the acquisition provided a lump-sum compensation was awarded to him amounted in law to no more than an offer in terms of the Contract Act. The said offer was never accepted by the Land Acquisition Officer to whom it was made.

Leave alone, making the award of lump-sum compensation, no award at all was made by the said officer awarding compensation to the appellant till the aforesaid-offer was withdrawn by the appellant or even till the writ petition was filed. Till the offer was accepted there was no contract between the parties and the appellant was entitled to withdraw his offer. There was nothing inequitable or improper in withdrawing the offer, as the appellant was in no way bound to keep the offer open indefinitely.

The acquisition of the appellant’s land is bad in law because the substance of the Notification was not published in the locality within forty days of the publication of the Notification in the Government Gazette. The time-limit of forty days for such publication in the locality has been made mandatory by section 4(1) of the 1894 Act as amended by the Andhra Pradesh (Amendment) Act, 1983. Such non-compliance renders acquisition bad in law.

Proceedings for acquisition of appellant’s land were initiated and a Notification under section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 was published in the Government Gazette. The substance of the said Notification was published in the locality long after 40 days within which it was required to be published under Section 4(1) of 1894 Act’as amended by the Andhra pradesh(Amendment) Act, 1983.

During the course of enquiry regarding the fixation of compensation, the appellant consented to his land being acquired provided he was given compensation in a lump-sum. However, before any award was made he withdrew his consent and filed a petition challenging the validity of the acquisition proceedings.

A Single Judge of the High Court dismissed his petition by holding that since he gave his consent to the acquisition of land he could not challenge the acquisition proceedings. On appeal the decision of the Single Judge was confirmed by the Division Bench of the High Court. Against the decision of the Division Bench of the High Court, an appeal was filed in this Court.

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]