Hyderabad: The Hyderabad High Court has directed the Centre to file an appeal before the court concerned challenging the order of the civil court of Ranga Reddy district that enhanced the compensation for land acquired for laboratories belonging to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in the city.
Justice A. Ramalingeswara Rao was dismissing two petitions by the Centre, represented by the secretary, defence ministry, challenging the awards passed by II additional district judge and VII additional district and sessions judge of Ranga Reddy district.
The Centre said the DRDO had sent a requisition to the collector for acquisition of 4,000 to 4,500 acres of land in various villages of the district on November 5, 2004.
Accordingly, a notification was issued under Section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 on July 6, 2007. The land acquisition officer on April 4, 2008, awarded compensation of Rs 600 per square yard.
Not satisfied with this, landowners sought reference under Section 18 of the Act. One lower court enhanced the compensation from Rs 600 to Rs 1,250 per square yard and another court enhanced the award from Rs 600 to Rs 4,000 per square yard.
After hearing the petition, Justice Ramalingeswara Rao noted, “It is the settled principle of law that proceedings under Article 226 of the Constitution are limited to the grounds available for judicial review, whereas the appeal under Section 54 of the Act enables the appellate court to go through the evidence adduced before the civil court or available with it in the light of the evidence already adduced and examine whether the enhancement of compensation is proper or not.”
The judge said that the alternative remedy and the scope of inquiry in the appeal was much wider than the discretionary remedy of Article 226.
The judge granted liberty to the ministry to avail the remedy of appeal under Section 54 of the Act and the time spent for these proceedings can be exempted for condoning the delay, if any....