Tripura High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Arindam Lodh, J. disposed of an appeal filed under Section 54 of Land Acquisition Act 1984 and directed the appellant to file his claim before the LA Judge.

The appeal was filed against the decision of the LA Judge who dismissed the reference filed by the appellant (land loser) as he was not able to file claim statement despite repeated opportunities and six adjournments. Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that the appellant could not take appropriate steps at the appropriate time due to inadvertence of the previous counsel.

The High Court, after due consideration of the submissions made on behalf of the petitioner, opined that a litigant should not suffer due to the conduct of the counsel. A counsel is an officer of the Court. Placing reliance on the maxim “actus curiae neminem gravabit”, which means that a litigant should not suffer due to act of the court, The High Court held it just and proper to remand the matter back to the LA Judge while directing the appellant to file claim statement. Lastly, it was observed that legislature has enacted the Land Acquisition Act for the benefit of land losers who are to be compensated in a just and fair manner. [Swapan Gope v.  ONGC Ltd., 2018 SCC OnLine Tri 102, dated 30-05-2018]



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