SC: Land Acquisition Act, 1894 does not provide for review of the Award

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 17th October 2019, in the matter of Naresh Kumar & Ors. v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi pronounced that Land Acquisition Act, 1894 does not provide for review of the Award. Section 13A is not a provision for Review of the Award but only for correction of clerical or arithmetical mistakes in the Award, that too not later than six months from the date of award.

Question before the Court

Whether under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 after the passing of the Award under Section 11 of the Act, the Award could be reviewed under any of the provisions of the Act, specially under Section 13A of the Act ?

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

There is no provision under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 for review of the Award once passed under Section 11 of the Act and had attained finality. The only provision is for correction of clerical errors in the Award which is provided for under Section 13A of the Act. A bare reading of the said Section 13A would make it clear that the same is not a provision for Review of the Award but only for correction of clerical or arithmetical mistakes in the Award. It is further provided in the sub­ section (1) of Section 13A that the said correction can be made at any time, but not later than six months from the date of award. (Para 8)

The question whether the structure on the land of the appellants was legal or illegal could only be decided after the parties were given opportunity to adduce evidence, which correction cannot be termed as correction of any clerical or arithmetical mistake. (Para 10)

Power of Review can be exercised only when the statute provides for the same. In the absence of any such provision in the concerned statute, such power of Review cannot be exercised by the authority concerned. (Para 12)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_17-Oct-2019

-Adv. Tushar Kaushik

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