Trial court can review its own order under the Land Acquisition Act

Bombay High Court: A Single Judge Bench of the Court comprising Shalini Phansalkar Joshi, J. held that a trial court can review its own award to bring it in tune with the amended provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 1984.

The petitioners had stated that the trial court has no authority to review its own award and that the interest awarded to the respondent is incorrect since it has been awarded on the whole amount of compensation. The petitioner contended that the enhanced rate of interest could be payable only on the amount of compensation awarded by the Court in excess of the compensation awarded and paid by the Collector, as per the award passed by the Special Land Acquisition Officer.

The Court held that the trial court had not exceeded its jurisdiction or acted after having seized to have jurisdiction and hence no fault can be found with the impugned order passed on the review application of the respondents. The Court also stated that the legislature, acting through its wisdom, had allowed the retrospective application of the amended provisions to all the proceedings pending on 30th April, 1982 in which no award has been made as in the present case. Therefore, the order of the trial court to increase the rate of interest from 6% per annum to 9% per annum and to 15% for any amount pending after one year under Section 34 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1984 is correct and the appeal holds no merit; hence, stands dismissed. [State of Maharashtra v. Pandu Rama Udar, 2017 SCC OnLine Bom 766, decided on 09-05-2017]

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