Land Acquisition Proceedings Quashed: Supreme Court’s Decision on Award Declaration Timeline

In a significant ruling, the Supreme Court of India addressed the challenge related to the award declaration timeline in the case of land acquisition proceedings. The decision, impacting various parties involved in the dispute, sheds light on the interpretation of Section 11A of the Act. Stay updated with the detailed analysis of the judgement on the land acquisition proceedings quashed by the Supreme Court.


  • The High Court quashed the acquisition proceedings based on Section 11A of the Act.
  • The acquisition proceedings were considered lapsed as the award under Section 11 was not declared within two years from the date of declaration under Section 6.
  • The State of Maharashtra and others filed appeals against the High Court’s decision.
  • Land owners challenged the acquisition and notification under Section 4 of the Act in Writ Petition No 7867/2012 on 09.05.2012.
  • The High Court directed that the possession of the original petitioners shall not be disturbed in an order dated 11.10.2013.
  • The award was not declared within two years from the date of publication of the declaration under Section 6 of the Act for the original petitioners’ land, leading to a lapse of the acquisition.
  • An award under Section 11 of the Act was passed on 08.05.2015 for the acquired lands in question.
  • The State was allowed to move an application seeking leave of the Court to declare the award.
  • The High Court modified its interim order and directed that till the next date, the final award shall not be declared in Writ Petition Nos. 3051/2013 and 3159/2013.
  • Other land owners also challenged the acquisition and Section 4 notification dated 01.03.2012 through Writ Petitions and obtained a stay order from the High Court.
  • The acquired land is located within the local limits of village Asarjan, Taluka, and District Nanded.

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  • Whether the stay obtained by some of the land holders prohibiting publication of declaration under Section 6 equally applies to other similar cases
  • Whether the stay of action/proceedings preventing State authorities from making the award within the statutory period under Section 11A is extendable to other land holders/persons interested in similar cases
  • Whether the High Court was justified in quashing the entire acquisition proceedings based on the grounds of lapse under Section 11A of the Act

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  • Shri Navare, learned Senior Advocate representing the original writ petitioners, argues that the High Court correctly quashed the acquisition proceedings due to the non-declaration of the award under Section 11 of the Act within the specified two-year period.
  • The exclusion of the period during which the stay was granted, particularly in Writ Petition Nos. 3051/2013 and 3159/2013, should be considered in determining the timeliness of the award declaration.
  • The argument presented is that as there was no stay against the acquisition proceedings or declaring the final award, the time extension should not have been applicable to the original writ petitioner’s case.
  • Additionally, it is contended that despite challenges and stays in related writ petitions, the authorities were justified in not declaring the award to avoid lapsing of the proceedings.
  • Various court decisions are cited to support the stance that the acquisition proceedings should not be set aside solely based on the timing of the award declaration.
  • The State, represented by Shri Katneshwarkar, vehemently opposes the High Court’s decision to quash the acquisition, insisting that Section 11A of the Act should be applied regarding the award declaration timeline.
  • The State, feeling aggrieved by the High Court’s ruling, has filed the present appeal challenging the decision to set aside the acquisition.
  • The original writ petitioners in the other two appeals also contested the acquisition, post-award declaration, on the grounds of the lapsed acquisition proceedings due to the award not being declared within the mandated timeframe.
  • Shri Navare, a Senior Advocate, argues that the award in the writ petitioners’ case must comply with Section 11A of the Act.
  • The award under Section 11 of the Act exceeded the two-year period, and according to Section 11A, the entire acquisition proceedings could lapse.
  • The stay on acquisition proceedings and final award did not apply to the petitioners’ land, as it was in relation to other petitions (Nos. 3051/2013 and 3159/2013).
  • The decision in the case of Raj Kumar Gandhi (supra) cited by the State’s Advocate may not be applicable to this case as the Land Acquisition Officer excluded the land under stay from the award declaration.

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  • The High Court observed and held that the acquisition proceedings challenging the lapse of award declaration within two years have no merit.
  • The High Court passed interim orders of stay, preventing the authorities from further actions related to the acquisition.
  • The period of stay granted by the High Court was to be excluded while computing the statutory period of two years for passing the award.
  • The interim stay orders prevented the authority from issuing notifications under Section 6 of the Act.
  • The High Court held that the exclusion of lands due to writ petitions did not affect the application of previous court decisions regarding acquisition proceedings.
  • The Explanation in Section 11-A is broad and not limited to actions preceding the making of the award under Section 11.
  • Orders passed by the Court can inhibit authorities from proceeding further.
  • Various cases have extended the meaning of ‘stay of action or proceedings’.
  • Injunctions obtained from the High Court can affect the period under Section 11-A.
  • Instances where stay of dispossession affects the issuance of declaration under Section 6 have been considered.
  • Interim stays have been given extended meaning in different cases.
  • The applicability of Section 11A was discussed in the case of Raj Kumar Gandhi.
  • The judgement in Yusufbhai Noormohmed Nendoliya highlighted the wide scope of the Explanation in Section 11-A.
  • The authorities are justified in staying their hands and awaiting the decision of the Court if there is a stay over the action or proceeding arising from the acquisition proceedings.
  • Periods of stay granted by the Court should be excluded in computing the statutory period of two years for passing an award under Section 11 of the Act.
  • In this case, the High Court erred in not excluding the period of interim stay granted in the writ petitions, leading to a wrong conclusion that the acquisition proceedings had lapsed.


  • The impugned judgments and orders passed by the High Court are quashed and set aside.
  • Consequently, the writ petitions filed before the High Court stand dismissed.
  • In the facts and circumstances of the case, there shall be no order as to costs.
  • All appeals succeed.


Case Number: C.A. No.-006996-006996 / 2019

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