Compensation Awarded in Anakh Singh’s Case: Supreme Court’s Landmark Judgement

In a significant ruling, the Supreme Court of India delivered a landmark judgement in the case of compensation awarded to Anakh Singh. The Court directed the State to provide compensation for the expropriation of land without due process. This ruling sets a precedent for upholding land rights and ensuring justice for individuals like Anakh Singh who have been wronged by the State.


  • The Appellant, an illiterate widow, was unaware of her rights regarding the expropriation of her property in 1967 for road construction.
  • Similar landowners had filed for compensation in 2004 in CWP No.1192 of 2004.
  • The Appellant filed the present Appeals challenging the Judgment and Order in 2013 and 2014.
  • The right to property guaranteed in the Constitution was removed as a fundamental right but remained a human right.
  • The State had been in continuous possession of the property since 1967, which led to adverse possession.
  • The High Court directed the State to acquire the appellant’s lands under the Land Acquisition Act in 2007.
  • The Appellant learned of the proceedings in 2010 and filed for compensation or acquisition proceedings in 2010.
  • The State admitted utilizing the land for road construction in 1967-68 and suggested a Civil Suit as a remedy.
  • The Writ Petition and Review Petition were dismissed, granting the Appellant liberty to file a Civil Suit.

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  • Article 300 A ensures that no person can be deprived of their property without lawful authority.
  • The State must follow the legal procedure established by law when dispossessing a citizen of their property.
  • Although not explicitly stated in Article 300 A, the obligation to provide compensation can be inferred from it.
  • Article 300-A of the Constitution protects the right to property as a human right.
  • The right to property is considered a basic human right and cannot be taken away without legal sanction.
  • Delay and laches may extinguish the right to claim in certain circumstances.
  • Forcible dispossession without legal sanction or due process violates human and constitutional rights.
  • The State must comply with legal procedures for acquisition or requisition of property.
  • The right to property is seen as an indispensable safeguard against government tyranny and economic oppression.
  • Property rights are essential for the support of liberty and the preservation of other constitutional values.
  • The State being a welfare State cannot claim adverse possession over private property for over 12 years.
  • Delay and laches cannot be raised in cases of a continuing cause of action or when the circumstances shock the judicial conscience of the Court.
  • The Appellant’s delay in moving the Court is not a valid contention considering the demand for justice is compelling.
  • Condonation of delay is a matter of judicial discretion to be exercised judiciously based on the facts of the case.
  • No period of limitation exists for courts exercising constitutional jurisdiction to provide substantial justice.
  • The Appellant, an illiterate widow from a rural area, has been deprived of her property by the State without following due process.
  • The State’s plea of adverse possession after 42 years of possession is not acceptable as it violates the rights of its citizens.
  • The cause of action in the present case is continuing as the Appellant was expropriated of her property in 1967 without legal sanction or due process of law.
  • The State admitted that the land was taken over without following any legal procedures.
  • State initiated acquisition proceedings only in a case where the High Court issued directions, ignoring other land owners’ cases who were similarly affected.
  • The present land owner has sought justice through individual cases in court, highlighting the need for compensation.
  • Using Articles 136 and 142 of the Constitution, the Court directs the State to compensate the Appellant for the unjust expropriation.

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  • Respondent-State directed to pay compensation as awarded by Reference Court in Anakh Singh’s case
  • Compensation to include all statutory benefits like solatium and interest
  • Compliance affidavit to be filed within 10 weeks
  • An appeal pending before High Court of Himachal Pradesh by Ravinder Singh & Ors.
  • If appellant files appeal within 8 weeks from compensation payment, it will be considered within limitation
  • Orders dated 11.09.2013 and 13.05.2014 by High Court set aside
  • Legal costs of Rs.1,00,0000/- to be paid by Respondent-State to the appellant

Also Read: Land Ownership Dispute under Regional and Town Planning Act


Case Number: C.A. No.-000060-000061 / 2020

Click here to read/download original judgement

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