Land Acquisition and Development Charges Dispute: Supreme Court Ruling

In a significant legal battle over land acquisition and development charges, the Supreme Court of India has issued a ruling that addresses the dispute between the Lucknow Development Authority and the landowners. The judgment provides clarity on the rights and obligations of the parties involved and sets a precedent for similar cases in the future.


  • The Lucknow Development Authority has filed an appeal against the Division Bench of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court’s judgment.
  • The High Court quashed the order dated July 29, 2011, passed by the LDA, which required the respondents to deposit a specific amount within one week.
  • The amount included costs of acquisition and development fees.
  • The High Court set aside the order and directed the respondents to pay costs and recover them from the authorities responsible for the impugned order.
  • LDA acquired total land measuring 168.592 hectares for residential development under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.
  • Notification under Section 6 and Section 17 was issued on specific dates.
  • 1.200 hectares of land of the respondents was sought to be released from acquisition under the Uttar Pradesh Urban Planning and Development Act, 1973.
  • The land was released on May 23, 2011, along with an order of payment of development fee.
  • Development authorities like LDA are obligated to make developments on the land and its vicinity to impose development charges as per statutory mandate.
  • Development charges are directly related to the expenses incurred on development activities.

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  • The High Court’s findings that there was no development work on the land in question were not considered sustainable in law.
  • The land in question is part of the Sitapur City Extension Scheme and is considered developed land with 97.1% planned land and all public facilities like roads, electricity, water, and sewer lines provided by the authority.
  • Approximately 34 Bighas of land between the National Highway and Railway Line were acquired, with 15 Bighas allotted and 19 Bighas remaining undeveloped, including 12 Bighas belonging to the respondents.
  • Development under the Act encompasses the entire area, not just individual landowners’ plots.
  • No evidence was presented to demonstrate the benefits derived by the petitioner from the development work conducted by the Lucknow Development Authority.
  • The National Highway No. 24 is not part of the LDA’s development project.
  • The development of the area should be viewed holistically as part of the Master Plan, rather than in isolated segments.
  • Development charges may not be imposed on the petitioner or citizen during the restoration process.
  • Development charges are governed by the proviso to Section 17(1) of the Act.
  • The State Government has the authority to acquire land for development purposes under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.
  • After the expiration of five years from the acquisition, the landowner can apply for restoration of the land if it has not been utilized for the intended purpose.
  • Restoration of land requires repayment of charges incurred during acquisition along with 12% interest and any development charges post-acquisition.
  • The land in question measures 138575.25 sq. feet and is located between the Aishbagh-Mailani railway line and National Highway No 24.
  • Appellants have constructed road, provided electricity, water, and laid sewer lines
  • Claim of development charges cannot be avoided by the respondents
  • Judgment setting aside the claim of development charges by the High Court is not sustainable

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  • The appeal is allowed and the finding is set aside.
  • Respondents can seek remedy under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.
  • The demand letter/order dated July 29, 2011 is set aside.
  • Appellants can communicate the amount incurred on acquisition and development charges in accordance with law.
  • The order quantifying the development charges of Rs.1,57,22,056 was raised without giving any opportunity of hearing to the respondents.

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Case Number: C.A. No.-005820-005820 / 2019

Click here to read/download original judgement

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