Ori HC | Possession of land taken under Land Acquisition Act cannot be restored to tenure holder even if it is not used for the purpose it was acquired for

Orissa High Court: The Bench of S. Panda and P. Patnaik, JJ., dismissed a petition filed by the petitioner for the cancellation of the lease executed in favour of the Notified Area Council by the IDCO and to restore possession of his acquired land in his favour.

The brief facts of the case were that the land of the petitioner was acquired by the State Government under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 for the establishment of a paper mill industry. Compensation was awarded. However, the Paper Mill Company had not taken any step for the establishment of the paper mill. This was the contention of the petitioner. The opposite party contended that after acquisition due compensation was paid as per the provision of the Land Acquisition Act. It was further stated that the land was acquired for a public purpose.

The Court held that once the possession of the land is taken under the provisions of the Act, it vests in the State free from all encumbrances, whatsoever, it cannot be divested. The land so acquired cannot be restored to the tenure holder/person interested even if it is not used for the purpose it was acquired or for any other purpose. After the acquisition of land, it could be put to use for the purposes other than for what it was originally declared. The new owners have the ordinary rights of proprietors and may use the land as it thinks fit for any purpose. It is not the concern of the landowner as how his land is used and whether the land is being used for the purpose which it was acquired for. The writ petition was thus dismissed. [Kapila Majhi v. State, 2019 SCC OnLine Ori 181, Order dated 18-04-2019]

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