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SC: ‘View that Advances Cause of Justice is Always to be Preferred Rather than Other View, Which May Draw its Strength Only from Technicalities’

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Priyanka Singh

Published on: October 8, 2022 at 20:25 IST

The Supreme Court of India, in a recent case, beseeched in its judicial capacity to take the view that elevates the cause of justice rather than that of a technical view while dealing with matters on payment of compensation to Land Losers.

*Land Losers are those people with apt certificates who lose their land as a result of the Government’s acquisition for the purpose of public interest.

The divisional bench of Justices Sudhanshu Dhulia and Dinesh Maheshwari observed that, “Moreover, when the matter relates to the payment of amount of compensation to the land losers, if at all two views are possible, the view that advances the cause of justice is always to be preferred rather than the other view, which may draw its strength only from technicalities.”

The case before the High Court of the applicant has been that 50% of the compensation amount rewarded by the Reference Court had been already deposited by them on 20th January, 2017 following a 2016 order passed by the High Court.

The applicants had mistakenly deposited an amount of Rs. 1,37,50,547/-, which they were entitled to withdraw back.

In the order dated 29.01.2018, the Supreme Court had not directed the applicant to entirely deposit the awarded amount and that the order had been in respect of the amount which was deposited in the High Court before the order being passed by the Apex Court.

Contrastingly, the present appellants submitted before the High Court that keeping in mind the previous order passed by the Supreme Court, the 2016 High Court order resulted in being modified with the direct release of 50% of the amount of compensation with security and remaining 50% without security.

The High Court accepted the submission of the applicant and allowed them to retrieve the amount deposited, after which the appellants approached the Supreme Court.

The Apex bench on observation of the order dated 29th January 2018, realized that it was difficult to accept MTDC’s submissions as well as the High Court’s order that the apex court’s order related only to the deposited amount of compensation, not the entire enhanced amount of compensation.

The earlier order by the Supreme Court, as reiterated, had been specific about its order modifying the High Court’s order regarding the compensation.

The January order is to be interpreted and applied on its substance and not its technicalities.

The Court expressed displeasure and stated that an error had been unfortunately caused by the High Court by the hyper technical submissions on behalf of the applicant.