Rewriting an award is untenable and illegal

By Shilpa Shah and Sharan Kukreja, Singhania & Partners

Does a competent authority who is appointed under the National Highways Act, 1956 – to determine what compensation is payable to land owners when land is acquired – have the power to make a supplementary award that nullifies an earlier award?

Shilpa Shah Partner Singhania & Partners
Shilpa Shah
Singhania & Partners

The act is silent on this question and as a result there had been a great deal of ambiguity and uncertainty about the role of a competent authority in this regard. As such, Karnataka High Court resolved an important issue when earlier this year it ruled that a competent authority has no power under the act to make a second award on a subject on which it had already made an award. It went on to say that the concept of a supplementary award is “a total misnomer”.

The court also ruled that a competent authority could make a supplementary award for a portion of land or structures or trees on it that had not been included in the original award.

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Shilpa Shah is a senior partner and Sharan Kukreja is an associate at Singhania & Partners, which is a full-service national law practice. The firm has offices in New Delhi, Noida, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai.


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