Supreme Court: Principle Of Res Judicata May Not Strictly Apply In Cases Of Public Interest

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Published on: June 17, 2024 22:35 IST

Supreme Court bench of Justice Surya Kant, Dipankar Datta, and Ujjal Bhuyan observed that Res Judicata may not strictly apply in situations where public interest is at stake.

This Case was related to the land acquisition process initiated by the Delhi government under the Land Acquisition Act, of 1894 for the planned development of Delhi. This was replaced by the 2013 act, which brought various reforms.

Section 24 of the new Act provided that land acquisition proceedings initiated under the earlier regime would be deemed to have lapsed in certain such as when the compensation had not been paid or possession had not been taken.

Relying on Pune Municipal Corporation v. Harak Chand Mistrimal Solanki, the Delhi High Court allowed writ petitions of certain affected landowners, including the respondents. And declared as lapsed land acquisition proceedings about them.

The High Court judgments were carried in appeal before the Supreme Court by Delhi government authorities (like DMRC, DDA, etc.). The “first round” resulted in the dismissal of some civil appeals.

Later in, 2020, the decision in the Pune municipal corporation case was overturned by a constitutional bench. As a result, the Delhi government had sought the reconsideration of the decision of the Delhi HC, whereby the acquisition proceedings were declared as lapsed.

It was observed that the decision in the first round of the case would not act as res judicata in the second round of the case.

Taking into account public interest concerns, most appeals filed by the Delhi government were allowed and directions passed.

Case:- Government of NCT of Delhi & Anr. v. M/s BSK Realtors LLP & Anr.

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