non-grant of solatium and interest to lands acquired under the National Highways Act, which is available if lands are acquired under the Land Acquisition Act, is bad in law, and consequently that Section 3J of the National Highways Act, 1956 be struck down as being violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India to this extent.=We therefore declare that the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act relating to solatium and interest contained in Section 23(1A) and (2) and interest payable in terms of section 28 proviso will apply to acquisitions made under the National Highways Act. Consequently, the provision of Section 3J is, to this extent, violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India and, therefore, declared to be unconstitutional.

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7064 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.9599 OF 2019)
Union of India & Anr. … Appellants
Versus
Tarsem Singh & Ors. … Respondents
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7068 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.10210 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7065 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.9600 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7066 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.9602 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7067 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.9604 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7084 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.15478 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7086 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.15482 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7081 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.15472 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7079 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.15470 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7070-7071 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NOS.15442-15443 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7104 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.21689 OF 2019)
(D.NO.18425 OF 2019)
1
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7101 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.21683 OF 2019)
(D.NO.18428 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7090 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.15488 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7072-7073 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NOS.15444-15445 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7089 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.15487 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7085 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.15479 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7083 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.15477OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7087 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.15485 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7082 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.15474 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7102 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.21687 OF 2019)
(D.NO.18730 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7078 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.15466 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7074 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.15446 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7075 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.15447 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7103 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.21688 OF 2019)
(D.NO.19328 OF 2019)
2
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7080 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.15471 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7076 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.15448 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7077 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.15450 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7105 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.21690 OF 2019)
(D.NO.19353 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7088 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.15486 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7069 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.14491 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7092 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.21662 OF 2019)
(D.NO.20552 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7110 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO. 21696 OF 2019)
(D.NO.20561 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7091 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.21657 OF 2019)
(D.NO.20565 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7094 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.21664 OF 2019)
(D.NO.20573 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7095 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.21666 OF 2019)
(D.NO.20612 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7097 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.21671 OF 2019)
(D.NO.20617 OF 2019)
3
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7100 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.21682 OF 2019)
(D.NO.20770 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7099 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.21675 OF 2019)
(D.NO.20775 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7096 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.21670 OF 2019)
(D.NO.20779 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7098 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.21673 OF 2019)
(D.NO.20783 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7093 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.21663 OF 2019)
(D.NO.20785 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7109 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.21695 OF 2019)
(D.NO.20817 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7106 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.21691 OF 2019)
(D.NO.20821 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7107 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.21692 OF 2019)
(D.NO.20939 OF 2019)
With
CIVIL APPEAL NO.7108 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.21693 OF 2019)
(D.NO.20941 OF 2019)
4
JUDGMENT
R.F. NARIMAN, J.

  1. Leave granted.
  2. A batch of appeals before us by the Union of India question
    the view of the Punjab and Haryana High Court which is that the
    non-grant of solatium and interest to lands acquired under the
    National Highways Act, which is available if lands are acquired
    under the Land Acquisition Act, is bad in law, and consequently that
    Section 3J of the National Highways Act, 1956 be struck down as
    being violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India to this extent.
  3. The facts of one of these appeals may be taken up as
    illustrative of the points for consideration in all these appeals. In
    Union of India & Anr. v. Tarsem Singh & Ors. (Civil Appeal No. 7064
    of 2019 @ SLP (C) No.9599 of 2019), a notification dated
    24.12.2004 was issued under Section 3A of the National Highways
    Act, 1956 (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”), intending to acquire
    land belonging to the Respondents for the purpose of four-laning
    National Highway No.1-A on certain stretches of the JalandharPathankot section as well as the Pathankot-Jammu section falling
    within the State of Punjab. On 11th July, 2005, the said lands were
    declared to have vested in the State pursuant to Section 3D(2) of
    5
    the said Act. On 5th October 2006, the competent authority under
    the Act passed an Award in which compensation was calculated at
    Rs.4,219/- per marla or Rs.6.75 lakhs per acre. As this Award was
    disputed by the Respondents, an Arbitrator was appointed under the
    Act, who then arrived at a figure of Rs.1.5 lakhs per marla as
    compensation. It is important to note that as no solatium or interest
    is provided by the Act, such solatium and interest was not awarded
    by the learned Arbitrator. Meanwhile, a Section 34 application filed
    under the Arbitration Act by the Union of India was dismissed on the
    ground that it was hopelessly time-barred. On appeal to the
    Division Bench of the High Court, it was found on facts that as the
    amount of compensation awarded was not challenged in certain
    cases, the National Highways Authority of India being “State” under
    Article 12 of the Constitution cannot be permitted to pick and
    choose between persons similarly situate, as a result of which the
    appeal against valuation at the rate of 1.5 lakhs per marla was
    rejected. However, the Court deleted the grant of severance and
    18% interest if the awarded amount is not paid within six months,
    following an earlier Division Bench judgment of the same Court. The
    Court then went on to state that despite the fact that no appeal has
    been filed against the learned Single Judge’s judgment by the
    owners, yet compensation for acquired land being in the nature of
    6
    beneficial legislation, they would be bound by an earlier Division
    Bench judgment which requires the National Highway Authority to
    pay solatium and, therefore, directed payment of solatium at the
    rate of 30%, as laid down in the said judgment.
  4. Shri Shyam Divan, learned Senior Advocate appearing on
    behalf of the Union of India and NHAI, took us through the relevant
    provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 as well as the National
    Highways Act. According to him, the National Highways Act is a
    complete Code which expressly excluded the application of the
    provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, and this being so, it is clear
    that absent discrimination or manifest arbitrariness, the non-award
    of solatium and interest that is awardable under the Land
    Acquisition Act would not fall foul of Article 14 of the Constitution of
    India. According to the learned Senior Advocate, it is not possible
    to choose between one Acquisition Act and another, as the National
    Highways Act alone would apply when land is acquired for the
    purpose of National Highways. This being the case, all the
    judgments that are cited by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in
    M/s Golden Iron and Steel Forging vs. Union of India 2011 (4) RCR
    (Civil) 375, would, therefore, not apply. According to him, the
    Division Bench of the Rajasthan High Court in Banshilal Samariya
    7
    vs Union of India 2005-06 Supp RLW 559, correctly distinguished
    this line of cases and equally correctly followed a line of judgments
    under various state town planning Acts, the Requisitioning and
    Acquisition of Immovable Property Act, 1952 and the Defence of
    India Act, 1971 to arrive at the conclusion that solatium and interest
    need not be paid in cases covered under the National Highways
    Act. He further argued that given the fact that market value on the
    date of publication of the Section 3A notification was to be given at
    the full market rate, there could be no fundamental right violated as
    solatium and interest that are granted are mere statutory rights
    which can be awarded if the statute so enjoins, and equally need
    not be awarded where a separate special statute expressly
    excludes them. He also contended, somewhat feebly, that since
    only strips of land adjoining the National Highways were required to
    be acquired, in many cases, the landowners would have properties
    which would not be subject to acquisition left with them, obviating
    any need to pay solatium to them. Finally, he also referred to and
    relied upon Article 31-C of the Constitution to argue that if at all
    there was an infraction of Article 14, the Amendment Act of 1997 to
    the National Highways Act, 1956, enacting Sections 3A to 3J, being
    in furtherance of the Directive Principle contained in Article 39(b),
    8
    would be shielded from attack on the ground that Article 14 of the
    Constitution has been violated.
  5. Shri Amit Sibal, learned Senior Advocate, together with Shri
    Neeraj Kumar Jain, defended the view of the Punjab and Haryana
    High Court in M/s Golden Iron and Steel Forging (supra) by
    pointing out that the object sought to be achieved by the 1997
    Amendment Act to the National Highways Act, 1956 was far
    removed from the Directive Principle contained in Article 39(b) and,
    therefore, did not receive the protection of Article 31-C of the
    Constitution of India. They argued that the main object of the
    Amendment Act was the speedy implementation of Highway
    projects, which could only be achieved by expediting the process of
    land acquisition. This being the case, excluding solatium and
    interest that is awardable under the Land Acquisition Act results in a
    discrimination between persons who are similarly situate so far as
    lands are acquired by the Union of India from them for the purpose
    of national highways as opposed to other public purposes, having
    no rational relation to the object of the 1997 amendment. They were
    at pains to point out that “solatium” is awarded because of the
    compulsory nature of acquisition, which is present whether the land
    is acquired for the National Highways or for any other public
    9
    purpose. They, therefore, argued that solatium and interest are
    integral parts of compensation that is awardable to persons whose
    lands have been compulsorily expropriated. They took us through
    the provisions of the Requisitioning and Acquisition of the
    Immovable Property Act, 1952 and the Defence of India Act, 1971,
    and stated that the judgments that were delivered under those Acts,
    which upheld the non-grant of solatium, was because requisition
    was first made of private property for public purposes under those
    Acts, for which compensation was granted. Possession having
    been taken by the State, such properties could be handed back
    under those Acts once the purpose of requisitioning such properties
    was over. Also, it was only in very limited circumstances that such
    requisitioned property was to be acquired, which, therefore,
    obviated payment of any solatium. They, therefore, relied upon the
    line of authorities which struck down provisions of statutes which did
    not grant solatium where land was acquired without first being
    requisitioned. They also took us through the judgment of the
    Division Bench of the Rajasthan High Court and pointed out that this
    basic distinction between the two sets of applicable precedents was
    not properly appreciated, leading the High Court to follow the wrong
    line of authority. On merits, they argued that in some cases in the
    Supreme Court itself, the then Solicitor General, Shri Ranjit Kumar,
    10
    expressly stated that solatium will be paid to some of the persons
    who are covered by notifications under Section 3A of the National
    Highways Act. This apart, as was correctly observed by the
    Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the
    impugned judgment, the National Highway Authority being “State”
    under Article 12 of the Constitution of India, cannot file objections in
    certain cases and accept arbitration awards in others. In any case,
    no case has been made out under the limited jurisdiction to
    challenge arbitral awards under Section 34 of the Arbitration and
    Conciliation Act, 1996.
  6. Having heard the learned counsel on both sides, it is
    necessary to first mention that the National Highways Act, 1956, as
    originally enacted, did not provide for acquisition of land. Thus, till
    the National Highways Laws (Amendment) Act, 1997, all
    acquisitions for the purpose of National Highways were made under
    the Land Acquisition Act, and the owners were given, in addition to
    market value, solatium as well as interest under the provisions of
    that Act.
  7. Coming to the Amendment Act of 1997, it is important to set
    out the Objects and Reasons that led to the aforesaid amendment.
    They are:
    11
    “1. In order to create an environment to promote private
    investment in national highways, to speed up
    construction of highways and to remove bottlenecks in
    their proper management, it was considered necessary
    to amend the National Highways Act, 1956 and the
    National Highways Authority of India Act, 1988.
  8. One of the impediments in the speedy implementation
    of highways projects has been inordinate delay in the
    acquisition of land. In order to expedite the process of
    land acquisition, it is proposed that once the Central
    Government declares that the land is required for public
    purposes for development of a highway, that land will
    vest in the Government and only the amount by way of
    compensation is to be paid and any dispute relating to
    compensation will be subject to adjudication through the
    process of arbitration.
  9. It was also felt necessary to ensure continuity of the
    status of bypasses built through private investment. To
    achieve this, it is proposed to amend the National
    Highways Act, 1956 so as to include the highway
    stretches situated within any municipal area as a part of
    National Highway. Further, as the National Highways
    Act, 1956 permits participation of the private sector in
    the development of the National Highways, it became
    imperative to amend the National Highways Authority of
    India Act, 1988 so as to provide that the National
    Highway Authority of India may seek the participation of
    the private sector in respect of the highways vested in
    the Authority.
  10. With a view to provide adequate capital and loans to
    the National Highways Authority of India by the Central
    Government, it is proposed to make amendment in the
    National Highways Authority of India Act, 1988.
  11. With a view to achieve the above objectives and also
    as both Houses of Parliament were not in session and
    the President was satisfied that circumstances existed
    which rendered it necessary for him to take immediate
    12
    action, the National Highways Laws (Amendment)
    Ordinance, 1997 was promulgated by the President on
    the 24th day of January, 1997.
  12. The Bill seeks to replace the aforesaid Ordinance.”
  13. Pursuant to this, the amendments that were made to the
    National Highways Act, 1956 with which we are directly concerned,
    are set out hereinbelow:
    “3. Definitions. In this Act, unless the context otherwise
    requires,-
    (a) “competent authority” means any person or authority
    authorised by the Central Government, by notification in
    the Official Gazette, to perform the functions of the
    competent authority for such area as may be specified in
    the notification;
    (b) “land” includes benefits to arise out of land and
    things attached to the earth or permanently fastened to
    anything attached to the earth.
    3A. Power to acquire land, etc. – (1) Where the Central
    Government is satisfied that for a public purpose any
    land is required for the building, maintenance,
    management or operation of a national highway or part
    thereof, it may, by notification in the Official Gazette,
    declare its intention to acquire such land.
    (2) Every notification under sub-section (1) shall give a
    brief description of the land.
    (3) The competent authority shall cause the substance
    of the notification to be published in two local
    newspapers, one of which will be in a vernacular
    language.
    3B. Power to enter for survey, etc.- On the issue of a
    notification under sub-section (1) of section 3A, it shall
    13
    be lawful for any person, authorised by the Central
    Government in this behalf, to—
    (a) make any inspection, survey, measurement,
    valuation or enquiry;
    (b) take levels;
    (c) dig or bore into sub-soil;
    (d) set out boundaries and intended lines of work;
    (e) mark such levels, boundaries and lines placing
    marks and cutting trenches; or
    (f) do such other acts or things as may be laid down
    by rules made in this behalf by that Government.
    3C. Hearing of objections – (1) Any person interested in
    the land may, within twenty-one days from the date of
    publication of the notification under sub-section (1) of
    section 3A, object to the use of the land for the purpose
    or purposes mentioned in that sub-section.
    (2) Every objection under sub-section (1) shall be made
    to the competent authority in writing and shall set out the
    grounds thereof and the competent authority shall give
    the objector an opportunity of being heard, either in
    person or by a legal practitioner, and may, after hearing
    all such objections and after making such further
    enquiry, it any, as the competent authority thinks
    necessary, by order, either allow or disallow the
    objections.
    Explanation.–For the purposes of this sub-section, “legal
    practitioner” has the same meaning as in clause (i) of
    sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Advocates Act, 1961
    (25 of 1961).
    (3) Any order made by the competent authority under
    sub-section (2) shall be final.
    3D. Declaration of acquisition- (1) Where no objection
    under sub-section (1) of section 3C has been made to
    the competent authority within the period specified
    14
    therein or where the competent authority has disallowed
    the objection under subsection (2) of that section, the
    competent authority shall, as soon as may be, submit a
    report accordingly to the Central Government and on
    receipt of such report, the Central Government shall
    declare, by notification in the Official Gazette, that the
    land should be acquired for the purpose or purposes
    mentioned in sub-section (1) of section 3A.
    (2) On the publication of the declaration under subsection (1), the land shall vest absolutely in the Central
    Government free from all encumbrances.
    (3) Where in respect of any land, a notification has been
    published under sub-section (1) of section 3A for its
    acquisition but no declaration under sub-section (1) has
    been published within a period of one year from the date
    of publication of that notification, the said notification
    shall cease to have any effect:
    Provided that in computing the said period of one year,
    the period or periods during which any action or
    proceedings to be taken in pursuance of the notification
    issued under sub-section (1) of section 3A is stayed by
    an order of a court shall be excluded.
    (4) A declaration made by the Central Government under
    sub-section (1) shall not be called in question in any
    court or by any other authority.
    3E. Power to take possession.- (1) Where any land has
    vested in the Central Government under sub-section (2)
    of section 3D, and the amount determined by the
    competent authority under section 3G with respect to
    such land has been deposited under sub-section (1) of
    section 3H, with the competent authority by the Central
    Government, the competent authority may by notice in
    writing direct the owner as well as any other person who
    may be in possession of such land to surrender or
    deliver possession thereof to the competent authority or
    any person duly authorised by it in this behalf within sixty
    days of the service of the notice.
    15
    (2) If any person refuses or fails to comply with any
    direction made under sub-section (1), the competent
    authority shall apply—
    (a) in the case of any land situated in any area falling
    within the metropolitan area, to the Commissioner of
    Police;
    (b) in case of any land situated in any area other than
    the area referred to in clause (a), to the Collector of a
    District,
    and such Commissioner or Collector, as the case may
    be, shall enforce the surrender of the land, to the
    competent authority or to the person duly authorised by
    it.
    3F. Right to enter into the land where land has vested in
    the Central Government. – Where the land has vested in
    the Central Government under section 3D, it shall be
    lawful for any person authorised by the Central
    Government in this behalf, to enter and do other act
    necessary upon the land for carrying out the building,
    maintenance, management or operation of a national
    highway or a part thereof, or any other work connected
    therewith.
    3G. Determination of amount payable as compensation.-
    (1) Where any land is acquired under this Act, there shall
    be paid an amount which shall be determined by an
    order of the competent authority.
    (2) Where the right of user or any right in the nature of
    an easement on, any land is acquired under this Act,
    there shall be paid an amount to the owner and any
    other person whose right of enjoyment in that land has
    been affected in any manner whatsoever by reason of
    such acquisition an amount calculated at ten per cent, of
    the amount determined under sub-section (1), for that
    land.
    (3) Before proceeding to determine the amount under
    sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), the competent
    16
    authority shall give a public notice published in two local
    newspapers, one of which will be in a vernacular
    language inviting claims from all persons interested in
    the land to be acquired.
    (4) Such notice shall state the particulars of the land and
    shall require all persons interested in such land to
    appear in person or by an agent or by a legal practitioner
    referred to in sub-section (2) of section 3C, before the
    competent authority, at a time and place and to state the
    nature of their respective interest in such land.
    (5) If the amount determined by the competent authority
    under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) is not
    acceptable to either of the parties, the amount shall, on
    an application by either of the parties, be determined by
    the arbitrator to be appointed by the Central
    Government.
    (6) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the provisions of
    the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (26 of 1996)
    shall apply to every arbitration under this Act.
    (7) The competent authority or the arbitrator while
    determining the amount under sub-section (1) or subsection (5), as the case may be, shall take into
    consideration—
    (a) the market value of the land on the date of
    publication of the notification under section 3A;
    (b) the damage, if any, sustained by the person
    interested at the time of taking possession of the land,
    by reason of the severing of such land from other
    land;
    (c) the damage, if any, sustained by the person
    interested at the time of taking possession of the land,
    by reason of the acquisition injuriously affecting his
    other immovable property in any manner, or his
    earnings;
    (d) if, in consequences of the acquisition of the land,
    the person interested is compelled to change his
    17
    residence or place of business, the reasonable
    expenses, if any, incidental to such change.
    3H. Deposit and payment of amount. – (1) The amount
    determined under section 3G shall be deposited by the
    Central Government in such manner as may be laid
    down by rules made in this behalf by that Government,
    with the competent authority before taking possession of
    the land.
    (2) As soon as may be after the amount has been
    deposited under sub-section (1), the competent authority
    shall on behalf of the Central Government pay the
    amount to the person or persons entitled thereto.
    (3) Where several persons claim to be interested in the
    amount deposited under sub-section (1), the competent
    authority shall determine the persons who in its opinion
    are entitled to receive the amount payable to each of
    them.
    (4) If any dispute arises as to the apportionment of the
    amount or any part thereof or to any person to whom the
    same or any part thereof is payable, the competent
    authority shall refer the dispute to the decision of the
    principal civil court of original jurisdiction within the limits
    of whose jurisdiction the land is situated.
    (5) Where the amount determined under section 3G by
    the arbitrator is in excess of the amount determined by
    the competent authority, the arbitrator may award
    interest at nine per cent, per annum on such excess
    amount from the date of taking possession under section
    3D till the date of the actual deposit thereof.
    (6) Where the amount determined by the arbitrator is in
    excess of the amount determined by the competent
    authority, the excess amount together with interest, if
    any, awarded under sub-section (5) shall be deposited
    by the Central Government in such manner as may be
    laid down by rules made in this behalf by that
    Government, with the competent authority and the
    18
    provisions of sub-sections (2) to (4) shall apply to such
    deposit.
    3-I. Competent authority to have certain powers of civil
    court.- The competent authority shall have, for the
    purposes of this Act, all the powers of a civil court while
    trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5
    of 1908), in respect of the following matters, namely:—
    (a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of any
    person and examining him on oath;
    (b) requiring the discovery and production of any
    document;
    (c) reception of evidence on affidavits;
    (d) requisitioning any public record from any court or
    office;
    (e) issuing commission for examination of witnesses.
    3J. Land Acquisition Act 1 of 1894 not to apply.- Nothing
    in the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 shall apply to an
    acquisition under this Act.”
  14. Keeping in view the object of reducing delay and speedy
    implementation of highway projects, the amended National
    Highways Act does away with any “award” by way of an offer to the
    landowner. Post the notification under Section 3A, objections are
    to be heard by the competent authority, whose order is then made
    final. The moment the authority disallows the objections, a report is
    submitted to the Central Government, and on receipt of such report,
    the Central Government, by a declaration, states that the land
    should be acquired for the purpose mentioned in Section 3A. The
    19
    important innovation made by the Amendment Act is that vesting is
    not postponed to after an award is made by the Competent
    Authority. Vesting takes place as soon as the Section 3D declaration
    is made. One other important difference between the Amendment
    Act and the Land Acquisition Act is that determination of
    compensation is to be made by the competent authority under the
    Amendment Act which, if not accepted by either party, is then to be
    determined by an Arbitrator to be appointed by the Central
    Government. Such arbitrator’s Award is then subject to challenge
    under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. Thus, delays in
    references made to District Judges and appeals therefrom to the
    High Court and Supreme Court have been obviated. Section 3G(7)
    does not provide for grant of solatium, and Section 3H(5) awards
    interest at the rate of 9% on the excess amount determined by the
    arbitrator over what is determined by the competent authority
    without the period of one year contained in the proviso to Section 28
    of the Land Acquisition Act, after which interest is only awardable at
    the rate of 15% per annum, if such payment is made beyond one
    year.
  15. Before embarking on a discussion as to the constitutional
    validity of the Amendment Act, it is important to first understand
    20
    what is meant by the expression “solatium”. In Sunder vs Union of
    India (2001) 7 SCC 211, a bench of 5 judges of this Court laid down
    the nature of solatium as follows:
    “21. It is apposite in this context to point out that during
    the enquiry contemplated under Section 11 of the Act
    the Collector has to consider the objections which any
    person interested has stated pursuant to the notice
    given to him. It may be possible that a person so
    interested would advance objections for highlighting his
    disinclination to part with the land acquired on account of
    a variety of grounds, such as sentimental or religious or
    psychological or traditional etc. Section 24 emphasises
    that no amount on account of any disinclination of the
    person interested to part with the land shall be granted
    as compensation. That aspect is qualitatively different
    from the solatium which the legislature wanted to
    provide “in consideration of the compulsory nature of the
    acquisition”.
  16. Compulsory nature of acquisition is to be
    distinguished from voluntary sale or transfer. In the latter,
    the landowner has the widest advantage in finding out a
    would-be buyer and in negotiating with him regarding the
    sale price. Even in such negotiations or haggling,
    normally no landowner would bargain for any amount in
    consideration of his disinclination to part with the land.
    The mere fact that he is negotiating for sale of the land
    would show that he is willing to part with the land. The
    owner is free to settle terms of transfer and choose the
    buyer as also to appoint the point of time when he would
    be receiving consideration and parting with his title and
    possession over the land. But in the compulsory
    acquisition the landowner is deprived of the right and
    opportunity to negotiate and bargain for the sale price. It
    depends on what the Collector or the court fixes as per
    the provisions of the Act. The solatium envisaged in sub21
    section (2) “in consideration of the compulsory nature of
    the acquisition” is thus not the same as damages on
    account of the disinclination to part with the land
    acquired.”
    Thus, the solatium that is paid to a landowner is on account of
    the fact that a landowner, who may not be willing to part with his
    land, has now to do so, and that too at a value fixed legislatively and
    not through negotiation, by which, arguably, such land owner would
    get the best price for the property to be sold. Once this is
    understood in its correct perspective, it is clear that “solatium” is part
    and parcel of compensation that is payable for compulsory
    acquisition of land.
  17. As has been stated by us hereinabove, solatium and interest
    were awarded to landowners for compulsory acquisition of their
    lands for the purpose of National Highways until the 1997
    Amendment Act. Interestingly, after the Land Acquisition Act has
    been repealed and The Right to Fair Compensation and
    Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement
    Act, 2013 has come into force, Section 105 of the said Act provides
    as under:
    “105. Provisions of this Act not to apply in certain cases
    or to apply with certain modifications.- (1) Subject to
    sub-section (3), the provisions of this Act shall not apply
    22
    to the enactments relating to land acquisition specified in
    the Fourth Schedule.
    (2) Subject to sub-section (2) of section 106, the Central
    Government may, by notification, omit or add to any of
    the enactments specified in the Fourth Schedule.
    (3) The Central Government shall, by notification, within
    one year from the date of commencement of this Act,
    direct that any of the provisions of this Act relating to the
    determination of compensation in accordance with the
    First Schedule and rehabilitation and resettlement
    specified in the Second and Third Schedules, being
    beneficial to the affected families, shall apply to the
    cases of land acquisition under the enactments specified
    in the Fourth Schedule or shall apply with such
    exceptions or modifications that do not reduce the
    compensation or dilute the provisions of this Act relating
    to compensation or rehabilitation and resettlement as
    may be specified in the notification, as the case may be.
    (4) A copy of every notification proposed to be issued
    under sub-section (3), shall be laid in draft before each
    House of Parliament, while it is in session, for a total
    period of thirty days which may be comprised in one
    session or in two or more successive sessions, and if,
    before the expiry of the session immediately following
    the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both
    Houses agree in disapproving the issue of the
    notification or both Houses agree in making any
    modification in the notification, the notification shall not
    be issued or, as the case may be, shall be issued only in
    such modified form as may be agreed upon by both the
    Houses of Parliament.”
  18. The First Schedule to the said Act provides that solatium
    equivalent to 100% of the market value multiplied by various factors,
    23
    depending on whether the land is situated in a rural or urban area,
    constitutes minimum compensation package to be given to those
    whose land is acquired. The Fourth Schedule to this Act, to be read
    along with Section 105, expressly includes under Item 7, the
    National Highways Act, 1956. In Item 9, this Schedule also includes
    The Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act,
  19. By a notification dated 28th August, 2015 issued under
    Section 105 read with Section 113 of the 2013 Act, it is provided
    that the 2013 Act compensation provisions will apply to acquisitions
    that take place under the National Highways Act. The result is that
    both before the 1997 Amendment Act and after the coming into
    force of the 2013 Act, solatium and interest is payable to
    landowners whose property is compulsorily acquired for purposes of
    National Highways. This is one other very important circumstance
    to be borne in mind when judging the constitutional validity of the
    1997 Amendment Act for the interregnum period from 1997 to 2015.
    Article 31-C
  20. Articles 31-C and 39(b) of the Constitution of India read as
    under:
    24
    “31C. Saving of laws giving effect to certain directive
    principles.- Notwithstanding anything contained in article
    13, no law giving effect to the policy of the State towards
    securing all or any of the principles laid down in Part IV
    shall be deemed to be void on the ground that it is
    inconsistent with, or takes away or abridges any of the
    rights conferred by article 14 or article 19 and no law
    containing a declaration that it is for giving effect to such
    policy shall be called in question in any court on the
    ground that it does not give effect to such policy:
    Provided that where such law is made by the Legislature
    of a State, the provisions of this article shall not apply
    thereto unless such law, having been reserved for the
    consideration of the President, has received his assent.”
    “39. Certain principles of policy to be followed by the
    State.– The State shall, in particular, direct its policy
    towards securing –
    xxx xxx xxx
    (b) that the ownership and control of the material
    resources of the community are so distributed as best to
    subserve the common good;
    xxx xxx xxx”
    An interesting discussion is contained in Sanjeev Coke
    Manufacturing Company vs Bharat Coking Coal Ltd. & Anr (1983) 1
    SCR 1000 at pages 1023 to 1025, on the scope of the expression
    “material resources of the community” and the expression
    “distribute” that are used in Article 39(b). Finally, the Court held:
    25
    “We hold that the expression ‘Material resources of the
    community’ is not confined to natural resources; it is not
    confined to resources owned by the public; it means and
    includes all resources, natural and man-made, public
    and private-owned.” (at page 1026)
    However, we were referred to three judgments in Property Owners’
    Association v. State of Maharashtra. In the first of these
    judgments reported in (1996) 4 SCC 49, this Court has referred the
    matter to five learned Judges on the vexed question as to whether
    Article 31-C survived at all in view of the declaration contained in
    Minerva Mills v. Union of India 1981 (1) SCR 206 to the effect that
    the amended Article 31-C was constitutionally invalid. As the
    aforesaid declaration would not revive the original Article 31-C, the
    Article became a dead letter. When the same case travelled to five
    learned Judges reported in (2001) 4 SCC 455, this Court was of the
    opinion that the views expressed in Sanjeev Coke (supra) require
    reconsideration in view of the fact that Sanjeev Coke (supra)
    adopted the reasoning of Krishna Iyer, J. in State of Karnataka vs
    Shri Ranganatha Reddy (1977) 4 SCC 471 and not the reasoning of
    the majority judgment of Untwalai, J. who stated that he must not be
    understood to agree with all that has been said by Krishna Iyer, J.
    in his judgment. The Court, therefore, referred the matter to seven
    learned Judges. When the matter came up before the seven
    26
    learned Judges, reported in (2013) 7 SCC 522, this Court held that
    the statement made in Sanjeev Coke (supra), followed by several
    other judgments, that the “material resources of the community”
    would include privately owned resources, would be prima facie
    incorrect and hence the matter was referred to nine learned Judges
    of this Court, which reference is still pending. We have not deemed
    it necessary to refer this case to be tagged along with the reference
    to nine learned Judges, as we will assume for the purpose of this
    case that Article 31-C, as originally enacted, continues to exist and
    that the “material resources of the community” would include private
    property as well.
  21. Shri Divan next referred us to State of Tamil Nadu vs L. Abu
    Kavur Bai (1984) 1 SCC 515, which held that the Tamil Nadu Stage
    Carriage and Contract Carriages (Acquisition) Act, 1973 was
    protected by Article 31-C of the Constitution of India. This was held
    on the footing that a nationalisation measure would fall within Article
    39(b) as the word “distribution” is a word of extremely wide import,
    which would include nationalisation of transport as a distributive
    process for the good of the community. This situation is far
    removed from the Amendment Act to the National Highways Act in
    the present case, which is not a nationalisation measure at all, but is
    a measure to speed up the acquisition process. Shri Divan then
    27
    relied upon this Court’s judgment in Maharashtra SEB vs Thana
    Electric Supply Co. (1989) 3 SCC 616, in which the Indian Electricity
    (Maharashtra Amendment) Act, 1976 was engrafted on to the
    Electricity Act, 1910, the effect of which was to substitute market
    value of the undertaking that was compulsorily acquired, with the
    concept of an “amount”, which was the book value of the
    undertaking at the time of its delivery. Even as per this Act, by
    virtue of the compulsory acquisition of the undertaking, the licensee
    was given a solatium of 10% of such book value. Importantly, this
    Court, after holding that nationalisation would come within the
    expression “distribution” for the purposes of Article 39(b), engrafted
    another test when legislation claims the protection of Article 31-C.
    The Court held that the protection of Article 31-C is accorded only to
    those provisions which are basically and essentially necessary for
    giving effect to the objects of Article 39(b) – See paragraph 43. This
    case is again distinguishable for the same reason as pointed out
    qua State of Tamil Nadu v. L. Abu Kavur Bai (supra) as this is a
    nationalisation measure far removed from the object of the 1997
    Amendment Act to the National Highways Act. It is interesting to
    note that despite the fact that a challenge under Articles 14 and 31
    were bound to fail in view of the protective umbrella of Article 31-C,
    yet the Amendment Act had still provided for 10% solatium as the
    28
    legislature had correctly appreciated that solatium is a part of
    compensation given for the compulsory nature of acquisition of
    property.
  22. Shri Divan then referred us to Tinsukhia Electric Supply Co.
    Ltd. vs State of Assam (1989) 3 SCC 709, in which the Indian
    Electricity (Assam Amendment) Act, 1973 and the Tinsukhia and
    Dibrugarh Electric Supply Undertakings (Acquisition) Act, 1973 were
    challenged. These being nationalisation measures, this Court held
    that these enactments were entitled to the protection of Article 31-C.
    This nationalisation statute, again, is very far removed from the
    Amendment Act, 1997 to the National Highways Act.
  23. It is well-settled that in order that a law avail of the protection
    of Article 31-C, it is not necessary that any declaration be made in
    that behalf. (See State of Maharashtra vs Basantibai Mohanlal
    Khetan (1986) 2 SCC 516 at 530). It is also important to remember
    that in order that a law be shielded by Article 31-C, the said law
    must have a direct and rational nexus with the principles contained
    in Article 39(b). (See Assam Sillimanite Ltd. vs Union of India 1991
    Supp 3 SCR 273 at 290)
    29
  24. An example of a law which claimed the benefit of Article 31-
    C, but was denied such benefit is set out in Dr K. R. Lakshmanan vs
    State of Tamil Nadu (1996) 2 SCC 226 as follows:
    “44. The main object for which the Club was established
    is to carry on the business of race-club, in particular the
    running of horse-races, steeplechases or races of any
    other kind and for any kind of athletic sports and for
    playing their own games of cricket, bowls, golf, lawn
    tennis, polo or any other kind of games or amusement,
    recreation, sport or entertainment etc. In the earlier part
    of this judgment, we have noticed the working of the
    Club which shows that apart from 5% commission from
    the totalizator and the bookmakers no part of the bettingmoney comes to the Club. The Club does not own or
    control any material resources of the community which
    are to be distributed in terms of Article 39(b) of the
    Constitution of India. There are two aspects of the
    functioning of the Club. One is the betting by the punters
    at the totalizator and with the bookies. The Club does
    not earn any income from the betting-money except 5%
    commission. There is no question whatsoever of the
    Club owning or controlling the material resources of the
    community or in any manner contributing towards the
    operation of the economic system resulting in the
    concentration of wealth and means of production to the
    common detriment. The second aspect is the conduct of
    horse-races by the Club. Horse-racing is a game of skill,
    the horse which wins the race is given a prize by the
    Club. It is a simple game of horse-racing where the
    winning horses are given prizes. Neither the “material
    resources of the community” nor “to subserve the
    common good” has any relevance to the twin functioning
    of the Club. Similarly, the operation of the Club has no
    relation or effect on the “operation of the economic
    system”. There is no question whatsoever of attracting
    the Directive Principles contained in Article 39(b) and (c)
    of the Constitution. The declaration in Section 2 of the
    Act and the recital containing aims and objectives totally
    30
    betray the scope and purpose of Article 39(b) and (c) of
    the Constitution. While Article 39(b) refers to “material
    resources of the community”, the aims and objects of the
    Act refer to “the material resources of the Madras Race
    Club”. It is difficult to understand what exactly are the
    material resources of the race-club which are sought to
    be distributed so as to subserve the common good
    within the meaning of the Directive Principles. Equally,
    the reference to Article 39(c) is wholly misplaced. While
    Article 39(c) relates to “the operation of the economic
    system … to the common detriment”, the aims and
    objectives of the Act refer to “the economic system of
    the Madras Race Club”. What is meant by the economic
    system of the Madras Race Club is not known. Even if it
    is assumed that betting by the punters at the totalizator
    and with the bookmakers is part of the economic system
    of the Madras Race Club, it has no relevance to the
    objectives specified in Article 39(b) and (c). We are,
    therefore, of the view that reference to Article 39(b) and
    (c) in the aims and objects and in Section 2 of the Act is
    nothing but a mechanical reproduction of constitutional
    provisions in a totally inappropriate context. There is no
    nexus so far as the provisions of the 1986 Act are
    concerned with the objectives contained in Article 39(b)
    and (c) of the Constitution. We, therefore, hold that the
    protection under Article 31-C of the Constitution cannot
    be extended to the 1986 Act.”
    This is despite the fact that the impugned enactment, namely, the
    Madras Race Club (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertaking) Act,
    1986 contained a declaration that it was enacted to give effect to the
    policy of the State under Article 39(b) and (c).
  25. When we examine the Objects and Reasons which led to the
    1997 amendment of the National Highways Act, we do not find
    mentioned therein any object relating to distribution of the material
    31
    resources of the community. The object of the Amendment Act has
    no relationship whatsoever to the Directive Principle contained in
    Article 39(b), inasmuch as its limited object is to expedite the
    process of land acquisition by avoiding inordinate delays therein.
    The object of the Amendment Act was not to acquire land for the
    purpose of national highways as, pre-amendment, the Land
    Acquisition Act provided for this. The object of the Amendment Act
    was fulfilled by providing a scheme different from that contained in
    the Land Acquisition Act, making it clear that the stage of offer of an
    amount by way of compensation is removed altogether; vesting
    takes place as soon as the Section 3D notification is issued; and
    most importantly, the tardy Court process is replaced by arbitration.
    Obviously, these objects have no direct and rational nexus with the
    Directive Principle contained in Article 39(b). Article 31-C is,
    therefore, out of harm’s way. Even otherwise, on the assumption
    that Article 31-C is attracted to the facts of this case, yet, as was
    held by Bhagwati, J. in Minerva Mills Ltd. v. Union of India 1981
    (1) SCR 206,
    “…it is not every provision of a statute, which has been
    enacted with the dominant object of giving effect to a
    directive principle, that it entitled to protection, but only
    those provisions of the statute which are basically and
    essentially necessary for giving effect to the directive
    32
    principle are protected under the amended Article 31-C”
    (at page 338-339)
    This passage was specifically referred to in Tinsukhia Electric
    Supply Co. Ltd. vs State of Assam (1989) 3 SCC 709 at 735. Also,
    in Maharashtra State Electricity Board vs Thana Electric Supply Co.
    (1989) 3 SCC 616, at para 43, this Court said:
    “43. The idea of nationalisation of a material resource of
    the community cannot be divorced from the idea of
    distribution of that resource in the community in a
    manner which advances common good. The cognate
    and sequential question would be whether the provisions
    of the Amending Act, 1976, had a reasonable and direct
    nexus with the objects of Article 39(b). It is true, the
    protection of Article 31-C is accorded only to those
    provisions which are basically and essentially
    necessary for giving effect to the objects of Article 39(b).
    The High Court from the trend of its reasoning in the
    judgment, appears to take the view that while the
    provision for the takeover in the principal Act might
    amount to a power to acquire, however, the objects of
    the Amending Act of 1976, which merely sought to beat
    down the price could not be said to be part of that power
    and was, therefore, incapable of establishing any nexus
    with Article 39(b). There is, we say so with respect, a
    fallacy in this reasoning.”
    The test of Article 31-C’s protection being accorded only to those
    provisions which are basically and essentially necessary for giving
    effect to the objects of Article 39(b) is lifted from Akadasi Padhan vs
    State of Orissa 1963 Supp. (2) SCR 691, where this Court held, with
    reference to Article 19(6), that qua laws passed creating a State
    33
    monopoly, it is only those essential and basic provisions which are
    protected by the latter part of Article 19(6). This Court stated the
    test thus:
    “17. In dealing with the question about the precise
    denotation of the clause “a law relating to”, it is
    necessary to bear in mind that this clause occurs in
    Article 19(6) which is, in a sense, an exception to the
    main provision of Article 19(1)(g). Laws protected by
    Article 19(6) are regarded as valid even though they
    impinge upon the fundamental right guaranteed under
    Article 19(1)(g). That is the effect of the scheme
    contained in Article 19(1) read with Clauses (2) to (6) of
    the said Article. That being so, it would be unreasonable
    to place upon the relevant clause an unduly wide and
    liberal construction. “A law relating to” a State monopoly
    cannot, in the context, include all the provisions
    contained in the said law whether they have direct
    relation with the creation of the monopoly or not. In our
    opinion, the said expression should be construed to
    mean the law relating to the monopoly in its absolutely
    essential features. If a law is passed creating a State
    monopoly, the Court should enquire what are the
    provisions of the said law which are basically and
    essentially necessary for creating the State monopoly. It
    is only those essential and basic provisions which are
    protected by the latter part of Article 19(6). If there are
    other provisions made by the Act which are subsidiary,
    incidental or helpful to the operation of the monopoly,
    they do not fall under the said part and their validity must
    be judged under the first part of Article 19(6). In other
    words, the effect of the amendment made in Article 19(6)
    is to protect the law relating to the creation of monopoly
    and that means that it is only the provisions of the law
    which are integrally and essentially connected with the
    creation of the monopoly that are protected. The rest of
    the provisions which may be incidental do not fall under
    the latter part of Article 19(6) and would inevitably have
    to satisfy the test of the first part of Article 19(6).” (at
    page 707)
    34
    Even if the Amendment Act, 1997 be regarded as an Act to carry out
    the purposes of Article 39(b), the object of the Amendment Act is not
    served by removing solatium and interest from compensation to be
    awarded. It is obvious, therefore, that the grant of compensation
    without solatium and interest is not basically and essentially
    necessary to carry out the object of the Amendment Act, 1997, even
    if it is to be considered as an acquisition Act pure and simple, for the
    object of the said Amendment Act as we have seen is to obviate
    delays in the acquisition process of acquiring land for National
    Highways. On application of this test as well, it is clear that the
    grant of compensation without solatium and interest, not being
    basically and essentially necessary to carry out the object of the
    Amendment Act, would not receive the protective umbrella of Article
    31-C and, therefore, any infraction of Article 14 can be inquired into
    by the Court.
    Article 14 – Discrimination
  26. The sheet anchor of the case of the Respondents is the
    Constitution Bench judgment in P. Vajravelu Mudaliar vs Special
    Deputy Collector for Land Acquisition (1965) 1 SCR 614 and
    Nagpur Improvement Trust vs Vithal Rao (1973) 1 SCC 500. It is,
    35
    therefore, most important to advert to these two decisions in some
    detail.
  27. In P. Vajravelu Mudaliar (supra), the Madras Legislature
    amended the Land Acquisition Act providing for acquisition of land
    for housing schemes by laying down principles for fixing
    compensation different from those prescribed in the principal Act.
    These differences are set out in the judgment as follows:
    “The next question is whether the amending Act was
    made in contravention of Article 31(2) of the
    Constitution. The amending Act prescribes the principles
    for ascertaining the value of the property acquired. It
    was passed to amend the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, in
    the State of Madras for the purpose of enabling the
    State to acquire lands for housing schemes. “Housing
    scheme” is defined to mean “any State Government
    scheme the purpose of which is increasing house
    accommodation” and under Section 3 of the amending
    Act, Section 23 of the principal Act is made applicable to
    such acquisition with certain modifications. In Section 23
    of the principal Act, in sub-section (1) for clause first, the
    following clause is substituted:
    “first, the market value of the land at the date of
    the publication of the notification under Section
    4, sub-section (1) or an amount equal to the
    average market value of the land during the five
    years immediately preceding such date,
    whichever is less.”
    After clause sixthly, the following clause was added:
    “seventhly, the use to which the land was put at
    the date of the publication of the notification
    under Section 4, sub-section (1).”
    36
    Sub-section (2) of Section 23 of the principal Act was
    amended by substituting the words, in respect of
    solatium, “fifteen per centum” by the words “five per
    centum”. In Section 24 of the principal Act after the
    clause seventhly the following clause was added:
    “eighthly, any increase to the value of the land
    acquired by reason of its suitability or
    adaptability for any use other than the use to
    which the land was put at the date of the
    publication of the notification under Section 4,
    sub-section (1).”
    Under Section 4 of the amending Act, the provisions of
    Section 3 thereof shall apply to every case in which
    proceedings have been started before the
    commencement of the said Act and are pending. The
    result of the amending Act is that if the State
    Government acquires a land for a housing purpose, the
    claimant gets only the value of the land at the date of the
    publication of the notification under Section 4(1) of the
    principal Act or an amount equal to the average market
    value of the land during the five years immediately
    preceding such date, whichever is less. He will get a
    solatium of only 5 per centum of such value instead of
    15 per centum under the principal Act. He will not get
    any compensation by reason of the suitability of the land
    for any use other than the use for which it was put on the
    date of publication of the notification.” (at page 629 &
    630)
    A challenge made to the said Amendment Act on the ground
    that it is hit by Article 14 succeeded, the Court holding:
    “Now what are the differences between persons owning
    lands in the Madras city or between the lands acquired
    which have a reasonable relation to the said object. It is
    suggested that the differences between people owning
    lands rested on the extent, quality and the suitability of
    the lands acquired for the said object. The differences
    37
    based upon the said criteria have no relevance to the
    object of the Amending Act. To illustrate: the extent of
    the land depends upon the magnitude of the scheme
    undertaken by the State. A large extent of land may be
    acquired for a university or for a network of hospitals
    under the provisions of the principal Act and also for a
    housing scheme under the Amending Act. So too, if the
    housing scheme is a limited one, the land acquired may
    not be as big as that required for a big university. If
    waste land is good for a housing scheme under the
    amending Act, it will equally be suitable for a hospital or
    a school for which the said land may be acquired under
    the principal Act. Nor the financial position or the number
    of persons owning the land has any relevance, for in
    both the cases land can be acquired from rich or poor,
    from one individual or from a number of persons. Out of
    adjacent lands of the same quality and value, one may
    be acquired for a housing scheme under the amending
    Act and the other for a hospital under the principal Act;
    out of two adjacent plots belonging to the same
    individual and of the same quality and value, one may
    be acquired under the principal Act and the other under
    the Amending Act. From whatever aspect the matter is
    looked at, the alleged differences have no reasonable
    relation to the object sought to be achieved. It is said
    that the object of the amending Act in itself may project
    the differences in the lands sought to be acquired under
    the two Acts. This argument puts the cart before the
    horse. It is one thing to say that the existing differences
    between persons and properties have a reasonable
    relation to the object sought to be achieved and it is
    totally a different thing to say that the object of the Act
    itself created the differences. Assuming that the said
    proposition is sound, we cannot discover any differences
    in the people owning lands or in the lands on the basis
    of the object. The object is to acquire lands for housing
    schemes at a low price. For achieving that object, any
    land falling in any of the said categories can be acquired
    under the amending Act. So too, for a public purpose
    any such land can be acquired under the principal Act.
    We, therefore, hold that discrimination is writ large on
    the amending Act and it cannot be sustained on the
    principle of reasonable classification. We, therefore, hold
    38
    that the amending Act clearly infringes Article 14 of the
    Constitution and is void.” (at page 634 & 635)
    (Emphasis supplied)
  28. In Nagpur Improvement Trust (supra), this Court referred to
    the Nagpur Improvement Trust Act, under which lands were to be
    acquired with reference to the Land Acquisition Act, as modified.
    We are concerned in this case with the modification that has to do
    with acquisition for the purposes of the Improvement Act, which did
    not provide for solatium of 15% that would have been obtained
    under the Land Acquisition Act. A Seven-Judge Bench of this Court
    examined the matter in some detail, and followed P. Vajravelu
    Mudaliar (supra) together with another judgment, Balammal vs
    State of Madras (1969) 1 SCR 90. The Court held:
    “27. What can be reasonable classification for the
    purpose of determining compensation if the object of the
    legislation is to compulsorily acquire land for public
    purposes?
  29. It would not be disputed that different principles of
    compensation cannot be formulated for lands acquired
    on the basis that the owner is old or young, healthy or ill,
    tall or short, or whether the owner has inherited the
    property or built it with his own efforts, or whether the
    owner is politician or an advocate. Why is this sort of
    classification not sustainable? Because the object being
    to compulsorily acquire for a public purpose, the object
    is equally achieved whether the land belongs to one type
    of owner or another type.
    39
  30. Can classification be made on the basis of the public
    purpose for the purpose of compensation for which land
    is acquired? In other words can the Legislature lay down
    different principles of compensation for lands acquired
    say for a hospital or a school or a Government building?
    Can the Legislature say that for a hospital land will be
    acquired at 50% of the market value, for a school at 60%
    of the value and for a Government building at 70% of the
    market value? All three objects are public purposes and
    as far as the owner is concerned it does not matter to
    him whether it is one public purpose or the other. Article
    14 confers an individual right and in order to justify a
    classification there should be something which justifies a
    different treatment to this individual right. It seems to us
    that ordinarily a classification based on the public
    purpose is not permissible under Article 14 for the
    purpose of determining compensation. The position is
    different when the owner of the land himself is the
    recipient of benefits from an improvement scheme, and
    the benefit to him is taken into consideration in fixing
    compensation. Can classification be made on the basis
    of the authority acquiring the land? In other words can
    different principles of compensation be laid if the land is
    acquired for or by an Improvement Trust or Municipal
    Corporation or the Government? It seems to us that the
    answer is in the negative because as far as the owner is
    concerned it does not matter to him whether the land is
    acquired by one authority or the other.
  31. It is equally immaterial whether it is one Acquisition
    Act or another Acquisition Act under which the land is
    acquired. If the existence of two Acts could enable the
    State to give one owner different treatment from another
    equally situated the owner who is discriminated against,
    can claim the protection of Article 14.”
  32. Both, P. Vajravelu Mudaliar (supra) and Nagpur
    Improvement Trust (supra) clinch the issue in favour of the
    Respondents, as has been correctly held by the Punjab and
    40
    Haryana High Court in M/s Golden Iron and Steel Forging (supra).
    First and foremost, it is important to note that, as has been seen
    hereinabove, the object of the 1997 Amendment was to speed up
    the process of acquiring lands for National Highways. This object
    has been achieved in the manner set out hereinabove. It will be
    noticed that the awarding of solatium and interest has nothing to do
    with achieving this object, as it is nobody’s case that land
    acquisition for the purpose of national highways slows down as a
    result of award of solatium and interest. Thus, a classification made
    between different sets of landowners whose lands happen to be
    acquired for the purpose of National Highways and landowners
    whose lands are acquired for other public purposes has no rational
    relation to the object sought to be achieved by the Amendment Act,
    i.e. speedy acquisition of lands for the purpose of National
    Highways. On this ground alone, the Amendment Act falls foul of
    Article 14.
  33. Even otherwise, in P. Vajravelu Mudaliar (supra), despite
    the fact that the object of the Amendment Act was to acquire lands
    for housing schemes at a low price, yet the Amendment Act was
    struck down when it provided for solatium at the rate of 5% instead
    of 15%, that was provided in the Land Acquisition Act, the Court
    41
    holding that whether adjacent lands of the same quality and value
    are acquired for a housing scheme or some other public purpose
    such as a hospital is a differentiation between two sets of
    landowners having no reasonable relation to the object sought to be
    achieved. More pertinently, another example is given – out of two
    adjacent plots belonging to the same individual one may be
    acquired under the principal Act for a particular public purpose and
    one acquired under the Amending Act for a housing scheme, which,
    when looked at from the point of view of the landowner, would be
    discriminatory, having no rational relation to the object sought to be
    achieved, which is compulsory acquisition of property for public
    purposes.
  34. Nagpur Improvement Trust (supra) has clearly held that
    ordinarily a classification based on public purpose is not permissible
    under Article 14 for the purpose of determining compensation. Also,
    in para 30, the Seven-Judge Bench unequivocally states that it is
    immaterial whether it is one Acquisition Act or another Acquisition
    Act under which the land is acquired, as, if the existence of these
    two Acts would enable the State to give one owner different
    treatment from another who is similarly situated, Article 14 would be
    infracted. In the facts of these cases, it is clear that from the point
    42
    of view of the landowner it is immaterial that his land is acquired
    under the National Highways Act and not the Land Acquisition Act,
    as solatium cannot be denied on account of this fact alone.
  35. A contention was taken by Shri Divan in that Article 31-A
    second proviso would make it clear that compensation at a rate
    which shall not be less than the market value would be payable only
    in the circumstances mentioned therein and not otherwise. For this
    reason, the Nagpur Improvement Trust case is distinguishable, as
    one of the instances given therein is that it would not be possible to
    discriminate between landowners who are similarly situate by giving
    one landowner compensation at let us say 60% of the market value
    and the other owner 100% of the market value.
  36. The Nagpur Improvement Trust case has to be read as a
    whole. Merely emphasising one example from the passages that
    have been extracted above (supra) will not make the ratio of the
    said judgment inapplicable. Besides, the second proviso to Article
    31-A deals with persons whose lands are acquired when such
    person is cultivating the same personally. The reason for awarding
    compensation at a rate which is not less than market value is in
    order that a farmer, who is cultivating the land personally, gets other
    land of equivalent value, which he can then cultivate personally. As
    such farmer is at the centre of agrarian reform legislation, such
    43
    legislation would be turned on its head if lands were to be acquired
    without adequately compensating him instead of from absentee
    landlords whose lands are then to be given to the landless and to
    such persons if they personally cultivate lands less than the ceiling
    area under State Agricultural Ceiling Acts. We think that any
    reference to the second proviso of Article 31-A is wholly irrelevant to
    the question before us and cannot under any circumstance be used
    in order to distinguish a judgment which otherwise applies on all
    fours.
  37. However, it was argued that a line of judgments have
    distinguished P. Vajravelu Mudaliar (supra) and Nagpur
    Improvement Trust (supra) and that this line of judgments should
    be followed in preference to the aforesaid two judgments.
  38. In Union of India vs Hari Krishnan Khosla 1993 Supp (2)
    SCC 149, this Court upheld the Requisitioning and Acquisition of
    Immovable Property Act, 1952 and stated that non-grant of solatium
    and interest which were otherwise grantable under the Land
    Acquisition Act would not render the 1952 Act constitutionally infirm.
    The Court undertook a minute distinction between the Land
    Acquisition Act on the one hand and the 1952 Act on the other.
    Thus, the Court stated:
    44
    “43. Coming to dissimilarities, in the case of requisition,
    one of the important rights in the bundle of rights
    emanating from ownership, namely, the right to
    possession and enjoyment has been deprived of, when
    the property was requisitioned. It is minus that right for
    which, as stated above, the compensation is provided
    under Section 8(2), the remaining rights come to be
    acquired.
  39. In contradistinction under the Land Acquisition Act,
    as stated above, the sum total of the rights, namely, the
    ownership itself comes to be acquired. We may usefully
    quote from Salmond on Jurisprudence (1966) 12th Edn.,
    Chapter 8 at pages 246-247:
    “Ownership denotes the relation between a
    person and an object forming the subject-matter of his
    ownership. It consists in a complex of rights, all of
    which are rights in rem, being good against all the
    world and not merely against specific persons.
    Though in certain situations some of these rights may
    be absent, the normal case of ownership can be
    expected to exhibit the following incidents.
    First, the owner will have a right to possess the thing
    which he owns….
    Secondly, the owner normally has the right to use and
    enjoy the thing owned: the right to manage it, i.e., the
    right to decide how it shall be used; and the right to
    the income from it ….

Fifthly, ownership has a residuary character. If, for
example, a landowner gives a lease of his property
to A, an easement to B and some other right such as
a profit to C, his ownership now consists of the
residual rights, i.e., the rights remaining when all
these lesser rights have been given away ….”

  1. Then again, under the Act, the acquisition even
    though it is for a public purpose is restricted to the two
    clauses of Section 7(3) of the Act to which we have
    45
    already made a reference. Thus two clauses of Section
    7(3) constitute statutory embargo.
  2. Under the Land Acquisition Act, the power of
    eminent domain could be exercised without any
    embargo so long as there is an underlying public
    purpose. In our considered view, these vital distinctions
    will have to be kept in mind while dealing with the
    question of violation of Article 14 of the Constitution. We
    may, at once, state, when examined in this light, the
    reasonings of the High Court to make out a case of
    discrimination, seem to be incorrect.
    xxx xxx xxx
  3. We are of the firm view that cases of acquisition of
    land stand on a different footing than those where such
    property is subject to a prior requisition before
    acquisition.
  4. Therefore, the cases relating to acquisition
    like Vajravelu Mudaliar case [(1965) 1 SCR 614 : AIR
    1965 SC 1017], Balammal case [(1969) 1 SCR 90 : AIR
    1968 SC 1425], Nagpur Improvement Trust case [(1973)
    1 SCC 500] and Peter case [(1980) 3 SCC 554] are not
    helpful in deciding the point in issue
    here. Goverdhan v. Union of India (Civil Appeal No. 3058
    of 1983, allowed by this Court on January 31, 1983) no
    doubt was a case of acquisition under the Defence of
    India Act, 1962 but it contains no discussion. It has
    already been noticed that the award of solatium is not a
    must in every case as laid down in Prakash Amichand
    Shah case [(1986) 1 SCC 581]”
  5. Similarly, in Union of India vs Chajju Ram (2003) 5 SCC 568,
    a case which arose under the Defence of India Act, 1971, this Court
    followed Hari Krishnan Khosla (supra), finding that the provisions
    of the Defence of India Act were in pari materia to those of the 1952
    Act. The Court, therefore, held:
    46
    “25. Here it is not a case where existence of the
    Acquisition Act enables the State to give one owner
    different treatment from another equally situated owner
    on which ground Article 14 was sought to be invoked
    in First Nagpur Improvement Trust case [(1973) 1 SCC
    500]. The purposes for which the provisions of the said
    Act can be invoked are absolutely different and distinct
    from which the provision of the Land Acquisition Act can
    be invoked for acquisition of land. In terms of the
    provisions of the said Act, the requisition of the land was
    made. During the period of requisition the owner of the
    land is to be compensated therefor. Section 30 of the
    said Act, as referred to hereinbefore, clearly postulates
    the circumstances which would be attracted for
    acquisitioning of the requisitioned land.
  6. The purposes for which the requisitioning and
    consequent acquisition of land under the said Act can be
    made, are limited. Such acquisitions, inter alia, can be
    made only when works have been constructed during
    the period of requisition or where the costs to any
    Government of restoring the property to its condition at
    the time of its requisition would be excessive having
    regard to the value of the property at the relevant time.
  7. One of the principles for determination of the amount
    of compensation for acquisition of land would be the
    willingness of an informed buyer to offer the price
    therefor. In terms of the provisions of the said Act
    acquisition of the property would be in relation to the
    property which has been under requisition during which
    period the owner of the land would remain out of
    possession. The Government during the period of
    requisition would be in possession and full enjoyment of
    the property.
  8. It is beyond any cavil that the price of the land which
    a willing and informed buyer would offer would be
    different in the cases where the owner is in possession
    and enjoyment of the property and in the cases where
    he is not. The formulation of the criteria for payment of
    compensation in terms of Section 31 of the Act was
    clearly made having regard to the said factor, which
    cannot be said to be arbitrary or unreasonable.
    47
    Parliament while making the provisions for payment of
    compensation must have also taken into consideration
    the fact that the owner of the property would have
    received compensation for remaining out of possession
    during the period when the property was under
    acquisition.
  9. The learned Attorney-General appears to be correct
    in his submission that the provision for grant of solatium
    was inserted in the Land Acquisition Act by Parliament
    having regard to the fact that the amount of
    compensation awarded to the owner of the land is to be
    determined on the basis of the value thereof as on the
    date of issuance of the notification under Section 4 of
    the Act. It has been noticed that the process takes a long
    time. Taking into consideration the deficiencies in the
    Act, the Land Acquisition Act was further amended in the
    year 1984. In terms of sub-section (2) of Section 23 of
    the Land Acquisition Act, therefore, solatium is paid in
    addition to the amount of market value of the land.
  10. We are, therefore, of the opinion that the
    classification sought to be made for determination of the
    amount of compensation for acquisition of the land
    under the said Act vis-à-vis the Land Acquisition Act is a
    reasonable and valid one. The said classification is
    founded on intelligible differentia and has a rational
    relation with the object sought to be achieved by the
    legislation in question.”
  11. We may hasten to add that a Division Bench of this Court in
    H. V. Low and Company Private Ltd. vs. State of West Bengal
    (2016) 12 SCC 699 has found on a prima facie examination that the
    case of Chajju Ram (supra) requires reconsideration.
  12. For our purposes, it is enough to state that the line of
    judgments under the 1952 Act and the Defence of India Act, 1971,
    48
    which contained a two-step process, namely, requisition which may
    be followed by acquisition, are wholly distinguishable for the
    reasons stated in those judgments. As was stated in Chajju Ram
    (supra), the object of a Requisition Act is completely different from
    an Acquisition Act. In a Requisition Act, private property is taken for
    public purposes only temporarily – when the reason for requisition
    ends, ordinarily the property is handed back to the owner. This
    being the case, in requisition statutes handing back of the property
    is the rule and acquisition of the property the exception, as property
    can only be acquired for the two reasons set out in Section 7 of the
    1952 Act and Section 30 of the Defence of India Act, 1971. Also, as
    has been pointed out in Hari Krishnan Khosla (supra), what gets
    acquired is only rights as to ownership, possession having been
    taken over by requisition. In addition, the owner has already
    received compensation for remaining out of possession during the
    period when the property is under requisition. For all these reasons,
    the aforesaid judgments are wholly distinguishable from the
    acquisition measure in this case.
  13. The next judgment relied upon by the learned counsel on
    behalf of the Appellants is Prakash Amichand Shah vs State of
    Gujarat (1986) 1 SCC 581. This judgment contained a challenge to
    49
    the Bombay Town Planning Act. The Nagpur Improvement Trust
    (supra) judgment was distinguished in this judgment by stating that
    the scheme of the Bombay Town Planning Act is wholly different
    from the scheme of the Land Acquisition Act. In particular, the Court
    held:
    “34. … Under Section 53 of the Act all rights of the
    private owners in the original plots would determine and
    certain consequential rights in favour of the owners
    would arise therefrom. If in the scheme, reconstituted or
    final plots are allotted to them they become owners of
    such final plots subject to the rights settled by the Town
    Planning Officer in the final scheme. In some cases the
    original plot of an owner might completely be allotted to
    the local authority for a public purpose. Such private
    owner may be paid compensation or a reconstituted plot
    in some other place. It may be a smaller or a bigger plot.
    It may be that in some cases it may not be possible to
    allot a final plot at all. Sections 67 to 71 of the Act
    provide for certain financial adjustments regarding
    payment of money to the local authority or to the owners
    of the original plots. The development and planning
    carried out under the Act is primarily for the benefit of
    public. The local authority is under an obligation to
    function according to the Act. The local authority has to
    bear a part of the expenses of development. It is in one
    sense a package deal. The proceedings relating to the
    scheme are not like acquisition proceedings under the
    Land Acquisition Act, 1894. Nor are the provisions of the
    Land Acquisition Act, 1894 made applicable either
    without or with modifications as in the case of the
    Nagpur Improvement Trust Act, 1936. We do not
    understand the decision in Nagpur Improvement Trust
    case [(1973) 1 SCC 500 : AIR 1973 SC 689 : (1973) 3
    SCR 39] as laying down generally that wherever land is
    taken away by the government under a separate statute
    compensation should be paid under the Land Acquisition
    Act, 1894 only and if there is any difference between the
    50
    compensation payable under the Land Acquisition Act,
    1894 and the compensation payable under the statute
    concerned the acquisition under the statute would be
    discriminatory. That case is distinguishable from the
    present case. In State of Kerala v. T.M. Peter [(1980) 3
    SCC 554 : AIR 1980 SC 1438 : (1980) 3 SCR 290] also
    Section 34 of the Cochin Town Planning Act which came
    up for consideration was of the same pattern as the
    provision in the Nagpur Improvement Trust Act, 1936
    and for that reason the court followed the decision in
    the Nagpur Improvement Trust case [(1973) 1 SCC 500 :
    AIR 1973 SC 689 : (1973) 3 SCR 39] . But in that
    decision itself the court observed at pp. 302 and 303
    thus: (SCC p. 564, para 21)
    “We are not to be understood to mean that the rate of
    compensation may not vary or must be uniform in all
    cases. We need not investigate this question further
    as it does not arise here although we are clear in our
    mind that under given circumstances differentiation
    even in the scale of compensation may comfortably
    comport with Article 14. No such circumstances are
    present here nor pressed.”
  14. This judgment is again distinguishable in that it was found,
    having regard to the Bombay Town Planning Act, that the person
    from whom the land was expropriated gets a package deal in that
    he may be allotted other lands in the final Town Planning Scheme,
    apart from compensation that is payable. However, it is worthy of
    comment that State of Kerala vs T. M. Peter (1980) 3 SCC 554,
    which was relied upon in this case, expressly followed Nagpur
    Improvement Trust (supra), holding:
    51
    “20. Is it rational to pay different scales of compensation,
    as pointed out by Sikri, C.J., in Nagpur Improvement
    Trust case [Nagpur Improvement Trust v. Vithal Rao,
    (1973) 1 SCC 500 : AIR 1973 SC 689 : (1973) 3 SCR
    39], depending on whether you acquire for housing or
    hospital, irrigation scheme or town improvement, school
    building or police station? The amount of compensation
    payable has no bearing on this distinction, although it is
    conceivable that classification for purposes of
    compensation may exist and in such cases the statute
    may be good. We are unable to discern any valid
    discrimen in the Town Planning Act vis-a-vis the Land
    Acquisition Act warranting a classification in the matter
    of denial of solatium.
  15. We uphold the Act in other respects but not when it
    deals invidiously between two owners based on an
    irrelevant criterion viz. the acquisition being for an
    improvement scheme. We are not to be understood to
    mean that the rate of compensation may not vary or
    must be uniform in all cases. We need not investigate
    this question further as it does not arise here although
    we are clear in our minds that under given
    circumstances differentiation even in the scale of
    compensation may comfortably comport with Article 14.
    No such circumstances are present here nor pressed.
    Indeed, the State, realising the force of this facet of
    discrimination, offered, expiratory fashion, both before
    the High Court and before us, to pay 15%, solatium to
    obliterate the hostile distinction.
  16. The core question now arises. What is the effect
    even if we read a discrimination design in Section 34? Is
    plastic surgery permissible or demolition of the section
    inevitable? Assuming that there is an untenable
    discrimination in the matter of compensation does the
    whole of Section 34 have to be liquidated or several
    portions voided? In our opinion, scuttling the section, the
    course the High Court has chosen, should be the last
    step. The court uses its writ power with a constructive
    design, an affirmative slant and a sustaining bent. Even
    when by compulsions of inseverability, a destructive
    stroke becomes necessary the court minimises the injury
    52
    by an intelligent containment. Law keeps alive and
    “operation pull down” is de mode. Viewed from this
    perspective, so far as we are able to see, the only
    discriminatory factor as between Section 34 of the Act
    and Section 25 of the Land Acquisition Act vis-à-vis
    quantification of compensation is the nonpayment of
    solatium in the former case because of the provision in
    Section 34(1) that Section 25 of the Land Acquisition Act
    shall have no application. Thus, to achieve the virtue of
    equality and to eliminate the vice of inequality what is
    needed is the obliteration of Section 25 of the Land
    Acquisition Act from Section 34(1) of the Town Planning
    Act. The whole of Section 34(1) does not have to be
    struck down. Once we exclude the discriminatory and,
    therefore, void part in Section 34(1) of the Act, equality is
    restored. The owner will then be entitled to the same
    compensation, including solatium, that he may be
    eligible for under the Land Acquisition Act. What is
    rendered void by Article 13 is only “to the extent of the
    contravention” of Article 14. The lancet of the court may
    remove the offending words and restore to constitutional
    health the rest of the provision.
  17. We hold that the exclusion of Section 25 of the Land
    Acquisition Act from Section 34 of the Act is
    unconstitutional but it is severable and we sever it. The
    necessary consequence is that Section 34(1) will be
    read omitting the words “and Section 25”. What follows
    then? Section 32 obligates the State to act under the
    Land Acquisition Act but we have struck down that part
    which excludes Section 25, of the Land Acquisition Act
    and so, the “modification” no longer covers Section 25. It
    continues to apply to the acquisition of property under
    the Town Planning Act. Section 34(2) provides for
    compensation exactly like Section 25(1) of the Land
    Acquisition Act and in the light of what we have just
    decided Section 25(2) will also apply and “in addition to
    the market value of the land as above provided, the
    court shall in every case award a sum of fifteen per
    centum on such market value in consideration of the
    compulsory nature of the acquisition”.
    53
  18. One more judgment needs to be referred to, namely, Girnar
    Traders (3) vs State of Maharashtra (2011) 3 SCC 1, which was
    relied upon by Shri Divan to argue that, like Chapter VII of the
    Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, the amendment to
    the National Highways Act is a complete self-contained code and
    must, therefore, be followed on its own terms. This judgment dealt
    with whether Section 11-A introduced by the 1984 amendment to
    the Land Acquisition Act could be said to apply to acquisitions made
    under the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act. The answer to
    this question was that Section 11-A could not be so applied as the
    Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act referred to the Land
    Acquisition Act as legislation by way of incorporation and not
    legislation by way of reference. In the present case, the Land
    Acquisition Act, by virtue of Section 3J of the National Highways Act,
    does not apply at all. The controversy in the present case does not,
    in any manner, involve whether the Land Acquisition Act applies by
    way of incorporation or reference. This case is also, therefore,
    wholly distinguishable. Further, the ‘self-contained code’ argument
    based on this judgment cannot be used as a discriminatory tool to
    deny benefits available to landowners merely because land has to
    be acquired under a different Act, as has been held in Nagpur
    Improvement Trust (supra).
    54
  19. Shri Mukul Rohatgi, learned Senior Advocate appearing on
    behalf of the Union of India and NHAI, has stated that under Section
    3G(2) of the National Highways Act, where the right of user or any
    right in the nature of an easement on land is acquired under the Act,
    there shall be paid to the owner and any other person whose right is
    so affected, an amount calculated at 10% of the amount that is
    determined as payable by the order of the competent authority.
    According to the learned Senior Advocate, this amount is not
    payable under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, and that this being
    the case, it is clear that what is given by way of compensation under
    the National Highways Act being more than what is given under the
    Land Acquisition Act in certain respects, the Scheme of the Acts,
    therefore, being different, the non-giving of solatium and interest
    under the National Highways Act is justified. Even otherwise,
    persons should not be given compensation under Section 3G(2) as
    a matter of course, but would have to submit proof that a right of
    easement or a right of user has been acquired for which
    compensation ought to be paid. Shri Amit Sibal, learned Senior
    Advocate, on the other hand, has argued, referring to Sections 3(b),
    9 and 31(1) of the Land Acquisition Act that easementary rights are
    compensated even under the Land Acquisition Act and in point of
    fact the sum of 10% payable under Section 3G(2) of the National
    55
    Highways Act is really in the nature of a cap beyond which no
    further compensation can be granted. Even otherwise, according
    to the learned Senior Advocate, granting of compensation under
    Section 3G(2) would have no bearing on interest and solatium that
    is payable under the Land Acquisition Act and not under the
    National Highways Act.
  20. Section 3G(2) makes it clear that rights of user and rights in
    the nature of easement being valuable property rights,
    compensation must be payable therefor. It is obvious that there is
    no double payment to the owner on this score as the owner and/or
    any other person has to prove that a right in the nature of an
    easement has also been taken away. Obviously, the right of user
    being subsumed in acquisition of ownership, the owner cannot get a
    double benefit on this score. The right of user is, therefore,
    referable only to persons other than the owner, who may have
    tenancy rights, and other rights of license on land which is acquired
    under the National Highways Act.
  21. Insofar as easementary rights under the Land Acquisition Act
    are concerned, three Sections are relevant and need to be quoted:
    “3. Definitions.— In this Act, unless there is something
    repugnant in the subject or context,—
    56
    xxx xxx
    (b) the expression “person interested” includes all
    persons claiming an interest in compensation to be
    made on account of the acquisition of land under this
    Act; and a person shall be deemed to be interested in
    land if he is interested in an easement affecting the land;
    xxx xxx
  22. Notice to persons interested.— (1) The Collector shall
    then cause public notice to be given at convenient
    places on or near the land to be taken, stating that the
    Government intends to take possession of the land, and
    that claims to compensation for all interests in such land
    may be made to him.
    (2) Such notice shall state the particulars of the land so
    needed, and shall require all persons interested in the
    land to appear personally or by agent before the
    Collector at a time and place therein mentioned (such
    time not being earlier than fifteen days after the date of
    publication of the notice), and to state the nature of their
    respective interests in the land and the amount and
    particulars of their claims to compensation for such
    interests, and their objections (if any) to the
    measurements made under section 8. The Collector
    may in any case require such statement to be made in
    writing and signed by the party or his agent.
    (3) The Collector shall also serve notice to the same
    effect on the occupier (if any) of such land and on all
    such persons known or believed to be interested therein,
    or to be entitled to act for persons so interested, as
    reside or have agents authorised to receive service on
    their behalf, within the revenue district in which the land
    is situate.
    (4) In case any person so interested resides elsewhere,
    and has no such agent the notice shall be sent to him by
    post in a letter addressed to him at his last known
    residence, address or place of business and registered
    under sections 28 and 29 of the Indian Post Office Act,
    1898 (6 of 1898).
    57
    xxx xxx
  23. Payment of compensation or deposit of same in
    Court.— (1) On making an award under section 11, the
    Collector shall tender payment of the compensation
    awarded by him to the persons interested entitled
    thereto according to the award, and shall pay it to them
    unless prevented by some one or more of the
    contingencies mentioned in the next sub-section.
    xxx xxx”
    A reading of these Sections shows that a person who is interested
    in an easement affecting land can claim compensation therefor
    under the aforesaid provisions of the Land Acquisition Act. Under
    both the Land Acquisition Act and the National Highways Act, such
    claims have to be proved in accordance with law, the difference
    being that under the Land Acquisition Act actuals are payable,
    whereas under the National Highways Act, a fixed amount of 10% of
    the amount determined by the competent authority is payable. It is,
    therefore, wholly incorrect to state that extra amounts are payable to
    the owner under the National Highways Act, which are not so
    payable under the Land Acquisition Act. Also, both Acts
    contemplate payment of compensation to persons whose
    easementary rights have been affected by the acquisition. In any
    event, this contention cannot possibly answer non-payment of
    solatium and interest under the National Highways Act, which has
    been dealt with in extenso in this judgment.
    58
  24. It is worthy of note that even in acquisitions that take place
    under the National Highways Act and the 1952 Act, the notification
    of 2015 under the new Acquisition Act of 2013 makes solatium and
    interest payable in cases covered by both Acts. In fact, with effect
    from 1st January, 2015, an Amendment Ordinance No.9 of 2014 was
    promulgated amending the 2013 Act. Section 10 of the said
    amendment Ordinance states as follows:
    “10. In the principal Act, in section 105,-
    (i) for sub-section (3), the following sub-section shall be
    substituted, namely:-
    “(3) The provisions of this Act relating to the
    determination of compensation in accordance
    with the First Schedule, rehabilitation and
    resettlement in accordance with the Second
    Schedule and infrastructure amenities in
    accordance with the Third Schedule shall apply
    to the enactments relating to land acquisition
    specified in the Fourth Schedule with effect from
    1st January, 2015.”;
    (ii) sub-section (4) shall be omitted.”
    It is only when this Ordinance lapsed that the notification dated 28th
    August, 2015 was then made under Section 113 of the 2013 Act.
    This notification is important and states as follows:
    “MINISTRY OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT
    ORDER
    59
    New Delhi, the 28th August, 2015
    S.O. 2368(E).— Whereas, the Right to Fair
    Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition,
    Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (30 of 2013)
    (hereinafter referred to as the RFCTLARR Act) came
    into effect from 1st January, 2014;
    And whereas, sub-section (3) of Section 105 of the
    RFCLTARR Act provided for issuing of notification to
    make the provisions of the Act relating to the
    determination of the compensation, rehabilitation and
    resettlement applicable to cases of land acquisition
    under the enactments specified in the Fourth Schedule
    to the RFCTLARR Act;
    And whereas, the notification envisaged under subsection (3) of Section 105 of RFCTLARR Act was not
    issued, and the RFCTLARR (Amendment) Ordinance,
    2014 (9 of 2014) was promulgated on 31st December,
    2014, thereby, inter-alia, amending Section 105 of the
    RFCTLARR Act to extend the provisions of the Act
    relating to the determination of the compensation and
    rehabilitation and resettlement to cases of land
    acquisition under the enactments specified in the Fourth
    Schedule to the RFCTLARR Act;
    And whereas, the RFCTLARR (Amendment)
    Ordinance, 2015 (4 of 2015) was promulgated on 3rd
    April, 2015 to give continuity to the provisions of the
    RFCTLARR (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014;
    And whereas, the RFCTLARR (Amendment) Second
    Ordinance, 2015 (5 of 2015) was promulgated on 30th
    May, 2015 to give continuity to the provisions of the
    RFCTLARR (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015 (4 of 2015);
    And whereas, the replacement Bill relating to the
    RFCTLARR (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015 (4 of 2015)
    was referred to the Joint Committee of the Houses for
    examination and report and the same is pending with the
    Joint Committee;
    As whereas, as per the provisions of article 123 of the
    Constitution, the RFCTLARR (Amendment) Second
    60
    Ordinance, 2015 (5 of 2015) shall lapse on the 31st day
    of August, 2015 and thereby placing the land owners at
    the disadvantageous position, resulting in denial of
    benefits of enhanced compensation and rehabilitation
    and resettlement to the cases of land acquisition under
    the 13 Acts specified in the Fourth Schedule to the
    RFCTLARR Act as extended to the land owners under
    the said Ordinance;
    And whereas, the Central Government considers it
    necessary to extend the benefits available to the land
    owners under the RFCTLARR Act to similarly placed
    land owners whose lands are acquired under the 13
    enactments specified in the Fourth Schedule; and
    accordingly the Central Government keeping in view the
    aforesaid difficulties has decided to extend the beneficial
    advantage to the land owners and uniformly apply the
    beneficial provisions of the RFCTLARR Act, relating to
    the determination of compensation and rehabilitation
    and resettlement as were made applicable to cases of
    land acquisition under the said enactments in the
    interest of the land owners;
    Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by
    sub-section (1) of Section 113 of the Right to Fair
    Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition,
    Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (30 of 2013),
    the Central Government hereby makes the following
    Order to remove the aforesaid difficulties, namely;-
  25. (1) This Order may be called the Right to Fair
    Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition,
    Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Removal of Difficulties)
    Order, 2015.
    (2) It shall come into force with effect from the 1st day
    of September, 2015.
  26. The provisions of the Right to Fair Compensation
    and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation
    and Resettlement Act, 2013, relating to the
    determination of compensation in accordance with the
    First Schedule, rehabilitation and resettlement in
    accordance with the Second Schedule and infrastructure
    61
    amenities in accordance with the Third Schedule shall
    apply to all cases of land acquisition under the
    enactments specified in the Fourth Schedule to the said
    Act.
    [F.No. 13011/01/2014-LRD]
    K. P. KRISHNAN, Addl. Secy.”
    It is thus clear that the Ordinance as well as the notification have
    applied the principle contained in Nagpur Improvement Trust
    (supra), as the Central Government has considered it necessary to
    extend the benefits available to landowners generally under the
    2013 Act to similarly placed landowners whose lands are acquired
    under the 13 enactments specified in the Fourth Schedule, the
    National Highways Act being one of the aforesaid enactments.
    This being the case, it is clear that the Government has itself
    accepted that the principle of Nagpur Improvement Trust (supra)
    would apply to acquisitions which take place under the National
    Highways Act, and that solatium and interest would be payable
    under the 2013 Act to persons whose lands are acquired for the
    purpose of National Highways as they are similarly placed to those
    landowners whose lands have been acquired for other public
    purposes under the 2013 Act. This being the case, it is clear that
    even the Government is of the view that it is not possible to
    discriminate between landowners covered by the 2013 Act and
    62
    landowners covered by the National Highways Act, when it comes
    to compensation to be paid for lands acquired under either of the
    enactments. The judgments delivered under the 1952 Act as well
    as the Defence of India Act, 1971, may, therefore, require a re-look
    in the light of this development.1
    In any case, as has been pointed
    out hereinabove, the case of Chajju Ram (supra), has been
    referred to a larger Bench. In this view of the matter, we are of the
    view that the view of the Punjab and Haryana High Court is correct,
    whereas the view of the Rajasthan High Court is not correct.
  27. We were also referred to the judgment of a learned Single
    Judge of the Karnataka High Court reported as Lalita vs Union of
    India AIR 2003 Karnataka 165, as well as a judgment of the Division
    Bench of the Madras High Court in T. Chakrapani vs Union of India,
    both of which distinguished the Requisition Act cases and relied
    upon Nagpur Improvement Trust (supra) in order to reach the
    same conclusion as the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Both
    these judgments are also correct.
    1 The Defence of India Act, 1971, was a temporary statute which remained in
    force only during the period of operation of a proclamation of emergency and
    for a period of six months thereafter – vide Section 1(3) of the Act. As this Act
    has since expired, it is not included in the Fourth Schedule of the 2013 Act.
    63
  28. One more argument was raised by learned counsel
    appearing on behalf of the Respondents, which is that nothing
    survives in these mattes in view of orders passed by this Court in
    Union of India v. T. Chakrapani – the Division Bench judgment of
    the Madras High Court having come before this Court. This order
    is quoted by us in full :
    “In view of the statement made by Shri Ranjit Kumar,
    learned Solicitor General of India on an earlier date of
    the hearing that solatium in terms of the impugned order
    of the High Court would be granted for the instant
    acquisitions made under the provisions of the National
    Highways Act, 1956, no subsisting issue remains in the
    present appeals as also in the special leave petition. The
    appeals as also the special leave petition are
    accordingly closed. The respondents – writ petitioners
    be paid solatium as due in terms of the impugned
    order(s) along with interest thereon.”
    We were also referred to an order in Sunita Mehra v. Union of
    India (2016) SCC OnLine 1128, in which this Court held :
    “6. The only point agitated before us by the learned
    Solicitor General is that in paragraph 23 of the impugned
    judgment of the High Court, it has been held that landowners would “henceforth” be entitled to solatium and
    interest as envisaged by the provisions of Sections 23
    and 28 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. In the ultimate
    paragraph of the impugned judgment it has, however,
    been mentioned that in respect of all acquisitions made
    under the National Highways Act, 1956, solatium and
    interest in terms similar to those contained in Sections
    23(2) and 28 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 will have
    to be paid.
    64
  29. Learned Solicitor General has pointed out that there is
    an apparent inconsistency in the judgment, which needs
    to be clarified. It has also been submitted by the learned
    Solicitor General that the order of the High Court should
    be clarified to mean that the issue of grant of interest
    and solatium should not be allowed to be reopened
    without any restriction or reference to time. Learned
    Solicitor General has particularly submitted that to
    understand the order of the High Court in any other
    manner would not only seriously burden the public
    exchequer but would also amount to overlooking the
    delay that may have occurred on the part of the landowner(s) in approaching the Court and may open
    floodgates for en masse litigation on the issue.
  30. We have considered the submissions advanced.
    In Gurpreet Singh v. Union of India, (2006) 8 SCC 457,
    this Court, though in a different context, had restricted
    the operation of the judgment of this Court
    in Sunder v. Union of India, (2001) 7 SCC 211 and had
    granted the benefit of interest on solatium only in respect
    of pending proceedings. We are of the view that a
    similar course should be adopted in the present case
    also. Accordingly, it is directed that the award of solatium
    and interest on solatium should be made effective only
    to proceedings pending on the date of the High Court
    order in Golden Iron & Steel Forgins v. Union of India i.e.
    28.03.2008. Concluded cases should not be opened. As
    for future proceedings, the position would be covered by
    the provisions of the Right to Fair Compensation and
    Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and
    Resettlement Act, 2013 (came into force on 01.01.2014),
    which Act has been made applicable to acquisitions
    under the National Highways Act, 1956 by virtue of
    notification/order issued under the provisions of the Act
    of 2013.”
  31. There is no doubt that the learned Solicitor General, in the
    aforesaid two orders, has conceded the issue raised in these cases.
    65
    This assumes importance in view of the plea of Shri Divan that the
    impugned judgments should be set aside on the ground that when
    the arbitral awards did not provide for solatium or interest, no
    Section 34 petition having been filed by the landowners on this
    score, the Division Bench judgments that are impugned before us
    ought not to have allowed solatium and/or interest. Ordinarily, we
    would have acceded to this plea, but given the fact that the
    Government itself is of the view that solatium and interest should be
    granted even in cases that arise between 1997 and 2015, in the
    interest of justice we decline to interfere with such orders, given our
    discretionary jurisdiction under Article 136 of the Constitution of
    India. We therefore declare that the provisions of the Land
    Acquisition Act relating to solatium and interest contained in Section
    23(1A) and (2) and interest payable in terms of section 28 proviso
    will apply to acquisitions made under the National Highways Act.
    Consequently, the provision of Section 3J is, to this extent, violative
    of Article 14 of the Constitution of India and, therefore, declared to
    be unconstitutional. Accordingly, Appeal @ SLP (C) No. 9599/2019
    is dismissed.
  32. Coming to the individual appeals in the case, Shri Mukul
    Rohatgi has raised essentially 11 grounds, which, according to him,
    66
    require the Court’s attention. We will deal with each of these
    grounds seriatim hereinbelow:
    Ground 1: That the acquired land was treated as commercial land,
    ignoring Section 143 of The Punjab Regional and Town Planning
    and Development Act, 1995, due to which construction is restricted
    upto 50m on either side of the National Highway.
    SLP (C) No. 15478/2019; SLP (C) No. 15482/2019; SLP (C) No.
    15472/2019; SLP (C) No. 15470/2019; SLP (C) No. 15442-
    15443/2019; SLP (C) No. 15488/2019; SLP (C) No. 15444-
    15445/2019; SLP (C) No. 15487/2019; SLP (C) No.15479/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 15477/2019; SLP (C) No. 15485/2019; SLP (C) No.
    15474/2019; SLP (C) No. 15466/2019; SLP (C) No. 15446/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 15447/2019; SLP (C) No. 15448/2019; SLP (C) No.
    21690/2019; SLP (C) No. 14491/2019; SLP (C) No. 21662/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 21696/2019; SLP (C) No. 21657/2019; SLP (C) No.
    21664/2019; SLP (C) No. 21666/2019; SLP (C) No. 21671/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 21670/2019; SLP (C) No. 21673/2019; SLP (C) No.
    21663/2019; SLP (C) No. 21695/2019; SLP (C) No. 21692/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 21693/2019; SLP (C) No. 9602/2019; SLP (C) No.
    9600/2019; SLP (C) No. 21687/2019; SLP (C) No. 21689/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 9604/2019; SLP (C) No. 10210/2019
    67
    In these matters, this ground has been raised and argued
    sometimes at the Section 34 stage, sometimes at the Section 37
    stage, and sometimes at both stages. The burden to prove that the
    land in question is within 50m of the National Highway, and that it
    does not have commercial potentiality, is on the NHAI but, on facts,
    has never been discharged. This being the case in all these
    appeals, they stand dismissed.
    SLP (C) No. 21688/2019; SLP (C) No. 15471/2019; SLP (C) No.
    15450/2019; SLP (C) No. 21675/2019; SLP (C) No. 21683/2019
    In these matters, this ground has not been taken or argued in the
    Section 34 petition. Therefore, these appeals stand dismissed.
    Ground 2: That the arbitrator conducted the spot visit five years
    after the Section 3A notification was issued, based on which
    compensation was determined.
    SLP (C) No. 15478/2019; SLP (C) No. 15482/2019; SLP (C) No.
    15472/2019; SLP (C) No. 15470/2019; SLP (C) No. 15442-
    15443/2019; SLP (C) No. 15488/2019; SLP (C) No. 15444-
    15445/2019; SLP (C) No. 15487/2019; SLP (C) No. 15479/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 15477/2019; SLP (C) No. 15485/2019; SLP (C) No.
    15474/2019; SLP (C) No. 15466/2019; SLP (C) No. 15446/2019;
    68
    SLP (C) No. 15447/2019; SLP (C) No. 21688/2019; SLP (C) No.
    15471/2019; SLP (C) No. 15448/2019; SLP (C) No. 15450/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 21690/2019; SLP (C) No. 15486/2019; SLP (C) No.
    14491/2019; SLP (C) No. 21662/2019; SLP (C) No. 21696/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 21657/2019; SLP (C) No. 21664/2019; SLP (C) No.
    21666/2019; SLP (C) No. 21671/2019; SLP (C) No. 21682/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 21675/2019; SLP (C) No. 21670/2019; SLP (C) No.
    21673/2019; SLP (C) No. 21663/2019; SLP (C) No. 21695/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 21691/2019; SLP (C) No. 21692/2019; SLP (C) No.
    21693/2019; SLP (C) No. 10210/2019
    In these matters, this ground has not been taken and argued in the
    Section 34 petitions filed in these cases. Further, assessment, in
    any case, of the land in question, relates to the date of the original
    notification. Therefore, these appeals stand dismissed.
    Ground 3: That exemplars of faraway villages in other districts were
    relied upon to enhance compensation.
    SLP (C) No. 15478/2019; SLP (C) No. 15482/2019; SLP (C) No.
    15472/2019; SLP (C) No. 15470/2019; SLP (C) No. 15442-
    15443/2019; SLP (C) No. 15488/2019; SLP (C) No. 15444-
    15445/2019; SLP (C) No. 15487/2019; SLP (C) No. 15479/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 15477/2019; SLP (C) No. 15485/2019; SLP (C)
    69
    No.15474/2019; SLP (C) No. 15446/2019; SLP (C) No.
    15447/2019; SLP (C) No. 21688/2019; SLP (C) No.15471/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 15448/2019; SLP (C) No. 15450/2019; SLP (C) No.
    21690/2019; SLP (C) No. 15486/2019; SLP (C) No. 14491/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 21662/2019; SLP (C) No. 21696/2019; SLP (C) No.
    21657/2019; SLP (C) No. 21664/2019; SLP (C) No. 21666/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 21671/2019; SLP (C) No. 21682/2019; SLP (C) No.
    21675/2019; SLP (C) No. 21670/2019; SLP (C) No. 21673/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 21663/2019; SLP (C) No. 21695/2019; SLP (C) No.
    21691/2019; SLP (C) No. 21692/2019; SLP (C) No. 21693/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 9602/2019; SLP (C) No. 9600/2019; SLP (C) No.
    21687/2019; SLP (C) No. 21683/2019; SLP (C) No. 21689/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 9604/2019; SLP (C) No. 10210/2019
    In these matters, this ground has not been taken and argued in any
    of the Section 34 petitions. Therefore, these appeals stand
    dismissed.
    Ground 4: That the Arbitrator relied upon the Collector Rate of the
    year 2011-13/ 2012-13.
    SLP (C) No. 15478/2019; SLP (C) No. 15472/2019; SLP (C) No.
    15470/2019; SLP (C) No. 15488/2019; SLP (C) No. 15444-
    15445/2019; SLP (C) No. 15487/2019; SLP (C) No. 15479/2019;
    70
    SLP (C) No. 15477/2019; SLP (C) No. 15474/2019; SLP (C) No.
    15466/2019; SLP (C) No. 15446/2019; SLP (C) No. 15447/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 15450/2019; SLP (C) No. 21688/2019; SLP (C) No.
    15486/2019; SLP (C) No. 21696/2019; SLP (C) No. 21664/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 21671/2019; SLP (C) No. 21682/2019; SLP (C) No.
    21675/2019; SLP (C) No. 21670/2019; SLP (C) No. 21695/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 21693/2019; SLP (C) No. 9604/2019; SLP (C) No.
    15485/2019;
    In these matters, this ground has not been taken and argued in any
    of the Section 34 petitions. Therefore, these appeals stand
    dismissed.
    SLP (C) No. 15471/2019
    In this matter, this ground has been taken up in the Section 34
    petition, however, the High Court has rightly dismissed this appeal
    in terms of the Punjab & Haryana High Court order dated 15.02.17,
    in FAO No. 6522 of 2016, titled ‘Mangal Dass vs. Govt. of India’,
    wherein compensation of Rs. 7,00,000 per marla, which was
    calculated based on the collector rate of 2011, was held to be not
    justified, and was reduced to Rs. 4,50,000 per marla. Therefore, this
    appeal also stands dismissed.
    71
    Ground 5: That compensation on account of loss of structure was
    awarded.
    SLP (C) No. 15470/2019; SLP (C) No. 15444-15445/2019; SLP (C)
    No. 15485/2019;
    In these matters, this ground has not been taken and argued in any
    of the Section 34 petitions. Therefore, these appeals stand
    dismissed.
    SLP (C) No. 15472/2019
    In this matter, this ground has not been taken in the Section 37
    appeal. Therefore, this appeal also stands dismissed.
    SLP (C) No. 15478/2019
    In this matter, this ground has been taken up in the Section 34
    petition, and the High Court, noting that the landowner gave up his
    claim on loss of structure awarded at the rate of Rs. 50,000 by the
    Arbitrator, held that no further adjudication is necessary on this
    point. Therefore, no interference is required, and this appeal also
    stands dismissed.
    SLP (C) No. 15482/2019; SLP (C) No. 15487/2019; SLP (C) No.
    15479/2019; SLP (C) No. 15477/2019; SLP (C) No. 15474/2019;
    72
    SLP (C) No. 15466/2019; SLP (C) No. 15446/2019; SLP (C) No.
    15447/2019; SLP (C) No. 21688/2019; SLP (C) No. 15471/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 15448/2019; SLP (C) No. 15450/2019; SLP (C) No.
    21690/2019; SLP (C) No. 15486/2019; SLP (C) No. 21662/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 21691/2019
    In these matters, though this ground has been argued in the Section
    34 petition, as this ground is factual, no patent illegality arises.
    Therefore, these appeals stand dismissed.
    Ground 6: That compensation for shifting expenses was granted
    SLP (C) No. 15478/2019; SLP (C) No. 15477/2019
    In these matters, this ground has not been taken and argued in any
    of the Section 34 petitions. Therefore, these appeals stand
    dismissed.
    SLP (C) No. 15442-15443/2019; SLP (C) No. 15487/2019; SLP (C)
    No. 15479/2019; SLP (C) No. 21662/2019
    In these matters, though this ground has been argued in the Section
    34 petition, as this ground is factual, no patent illegality arises.
    Therefore, these appeals stand dismissed.
    Ground 7: That arbitration costs were awarded
    73
    SLP (C) No. 15442-15443/2019; SLP (C) No. 15487/2019; SLP (C)
    No. 15477/2019; SLP (C) No. 15474/2019; SLP (C) No.
    14491/2019; SLP (C) No. 21657/2019; SLP (C) No. 9600/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 10210/2019; SLP (C) No. 15466/2019; SLP (C) No.
    21690/2019; SLP (C) No. 21662/2019; SLP (C) No. 21691/2019
    In these matters, this ground has not been taken and argued in any
    of in the Section 34 petitions. Therefore, these appeals stand
    dismissed.
    SLP (C) No. 15479/2019; SLP (C) No. 21682/2019; SLP (C) No.
    9602/2019; SLP (C) No. 21687/2019; SLP (C) No. 21683/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 9604/2019; SLP (C) No. 15446/2019; SLP (C) No.
    15448/2019; SLP (C) No. 15450/2019
    In these matters, this ground has not been taken and argued in any
    of the Section 37 appeals. Therefore, these appeals also stand
    dismissed.
    SLP (C) No. 15478/2019; SLP (C) No. 15482/2019; SLP (C) No.
    15470/2019; SLP (C) No. 21675/2019; SLP (C) No. 21673/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 15485/2019; SLP (C) No. 15447/2019; SLP (C) No.
    21692/2019
    74
    In these matters, this ground has not been taken up in any of the
    Special Leave Petitions. Therefore, these appeals stand dismissed.
    Ground 8: That compensation was awarded based on postnotification sale deed
    SLP (C) No. 15470/2019; SLP (C) No. 15444-15445/2019; SLP (C)
    No. 14491/2019; SLP (C) No. 21664/2019; SLP (C) No.
    21671/2019; SLP (C) No. 21670/2019; SLP (C) No. 21663/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 21695/2019; SLP (C) No. 21693/2019; SLP (C) No.
    9602/2019; SLP (C) No. 9600/2019; SLP (C) No. 21687/2019; SLP
    (C) No. 21683/2019; SLP (C) No. 21689/2019; SLP (C) No.
    9604/2019; SLP (C) No. 21696/2019; SLP (C) No. 21666/2019
    In these matters, this ground has not been taken and argued in any
    of the Section 34 petitions. Therefore, these appeals stand
    dismissed.
    Ground 9: That compensation was awarded based on sale deeds
    of smaller plots of land
    SLP (C) No. 15470/2019; SLP (C) No. 21666/2019; SLP (C) No.
    21671/2019; SLP (C) No. 21670/2019; SLP (C) No. 21663/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 9602/2019; SLP (C) No. 21687/2019; SLP (C) No.
    75
    21683/2019; SLP (C) No. 21689/2019; SLP (C) No. 9604/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 21696/2019
    In these matters, this ground has not been taken and argued in any
    of the Section 34 petitions. Therefore, these appeals stand
    dismissed.
    Ground 10: That compensation on account of severance of land
    was awarded
    SLP (C) No. 15470/2019; SLP (C) No. 15479/2019; SLP (C) No.
    15471/2019
    In these matters, this ground has not been taken and argued in any
    of the Section 34 petitions. Therefore, these appeals stand
    dismissed.
    SLP (C) No. 10210/2019
    In this matter, this ground has not been taken in the Special Leave
    Petitions. Therefore, this appeal stands dismissed.
    SLP (C) No. 15485/2019; SLP (C) No. 15474/2019; SLP (C) No.
    15447/2019; SLP (C) No. 15486/2019; SLP (C) No. 21691/2019
    76
    In these matters, though this ground has been taken in the Section
    34 petition, no patent illegality arises. Therefore, these appeals
    stand dismissed.
    Ground 11: That compensation on account of loss of business was
    awarded
    SLP (C) No. 15487/2019; SLP (C) No. 21675/2019
    In these matters, this ground has not been taken and argued in any
    of the Section 34 petitions. Therefore, these appeals stand
    dismissed.
    SLP (C) No. 15477/2019; SLP (C) No. 15474/2019; SLP (C) No.
    15466/2019; SLP (C) No. 15446/2019; SLP (C) No. 15447/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 21688/2019; SLP (C) No. 15471/2019; SLP (C) No.
    15450/2019; SLP (C) No. 21690/2019; SLP (C) No. 21691/2019;
    SLP (C) No. 21692/2019
    In these matters, though this ground has been argued in the Section
    34 petition, no patent illegality arises. Therefore, these appeals
    stand dismissed.
    …………………………J.
    (R.F. Nariman)
    …………………………J.
    New Delhi (Surya Kant)
    September 19, 2019.
    77