High Court of Jammu And Kashmir Rejects Letters Patent Appeal Challenging the Order on Acquisition Proceedings

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The Division Bench of Hon’ble Mr Justice Dhiraj Singh and Hon’ble Mrs Justice Sindhu Sharma heard the case of Manzoor Ahmad Bhat & Ors. vs Union Territory of J&K and Ors., via video-conferencing on 26th June 2020. The Court upheld the Writ Court’s order and dismissed the appeal.

Facts of the Case

The appellants challenged the process of acquisition of All India Medical Institute, Awantipora. They alleged that the acquisition initiated by the respondents was illegal. On 16.10.2018, the Writ Court had issued an order that stayed the acquisition proceedings.  The Writ Court modified the said interim order and issued a new order on 30.12.2019. It removed the stay on the acquisition.  The appellants here filed a Letters Patent Appeal against the order of the Writ Court dated 30.12.2019.

Contention of the Appellants

The learned counsel argued that the Writ Court passed judgment without hearing them. On 30.12.2019, the Bench collapsed due to non- availability of the Hon’ble Judge due to some circumstances. The Judicial Registrar on the same day notified that the said Bench would not take up the cases.

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The appellants, thus, believed that the Court adjourned the cases. Hence, they were not present when the Coordinate Bench took up the case. The respondents made a request upon which the Coordinate Bench took up the case on the same day. The order passed by the Coordinate the bench is in violation of Order 39 Rule 4 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

Contention of the Respondents

The Respondents argued that before the filing of the writ petition, the entire process of acquisition completed. Thus, the Court cannot interfere in the acquisition matter which attained finality.  The outcome of the writ petition would remain unchanged, despite the fact that the appellants were not present.

Court’s Observations

On 30.12.2019, the Judicial Registrar issued a notice. The notice informed the appellants that the Coordinate bench could take the case. Thus, the appellants knew about the same.  The appellants had enough notice of the hearing. Thus, there was enough compliance with the requirements of Order 39 Rule 4 CPC in the present case. On 30.12.2019, the Writ Court modified its order dated 16.10.2018.  The Court annulled the previous order. Besides, the Medical Education Department had also taken over possession. Thus, there was enough justification for the Writ Court to alter the order.

Court’s Decision

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The above discussion of this Court proves that the appeal had no merit. Hence, this Court dismissed the Letters Patent Appeal.


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