The government seized the land of the Petitioner's father-in-law in 1982 through a notification dated December 18, 1982. It was purchased to establish a law school in the area. The government kept 7 acres and 68 cents of land belonging to the Petitioner's father-in-law, while the rest was returned to the people. Except for the purchase of the Petitioner's father-in-law, the government decided to revoke the acquisition in a notification dated December 12, 1990. Petitioner's father-in-law received Rs 37,405/- in compensation for the acquisition in 1986. The Petitioner's family, on the other hand, has been fighting to reclaim their land since 1991. Over time, the Petitioner had lost both her father-in-law and her husband. The Petitioner had addressed the Honourable High Court in 2012, and the Court had issued a decision against the Petitioner in 2015. The Petitioner has petitioned the Honourable High Court of Madras in this regard, seeking a second tie in the same determined case. Under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution, the Petitioner had sought a writ of mandamus against the State government.
Learned Senior Counsel N. Krishnaveni represented the Petitioner, while Advocate on Record T. Antony Raju represented the Respondent. The Petitioner's attorney respectfully submitted that the acquisition and failure to reconvene the land infringed on Section 48(B) of the Land Acquisition Act,1894. The council emphasised that the Respondents failed to fulfil the principal objective for which the land was obtained by failing to build a law college. The fact that the impugned Court Order was issued in 2015 had an impact on the Respondents' minds. The lawyer cited the reports of communication between the Respondents for land reconveyance as backing/ground. The council further stated that the Respondents failed to carry out the proposed strategy of providing housing to the poor. With all of this, the council desired the land to be returned to the Petitioner.
R. Suresh Kumar, a seasoned government lawyer, defended the respondents. The Respondent's counsel meekly contested the Petitioner's argument. The proof of compensation given to the Petitioner's father-in-law for the acquisition was included in the record. The council also maintained that the government had created a plan for providing housing to backwards and large backward areas and that it had not been left to its own devices.
Observation of the Court:
The Single Judge Bench heard and recorded arguments of both Petitioners and Respondents. The Court considered the fact that the Petitioner’s father-in-law was compensated for acquisition and hence had lost all rights over the property. The government was known to have all the rights over the property, including the reconveyance and allotment. As far as the aforementioned act was concerned, the Court found that the government was at the discretion for reconveyance or use it for purpose of public benefit. The Court observed that in the present matter, the government had acquired the rights from the Petitioner’s father-in-law and also had a plan to use it for the public good. Hence the Court was of the view that the Petitioner was seeking relief over a property on which she never had a right/lost the rights.
The Civil Writ Petition was dismissed by the Honourable High Court of Madras, which found no substance in the Petitioner's arguments. The Court found that there was no provision in the law for issuing a writ of mandamus in a case where the Petitioner lacked the right that was alleged to have been violated/aggrieved. Any miscellaneous Petition related to this case was similarly dismissed by the Court.