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Kachrulal Hiralal Dhoot Vs. the Gurudwara Board Nanded and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberFirst Appeal Nos. 210 and 211 of 1972 and 858 of 1973
Judge
Reported inAIR1979Bom31; (1979)81BOMLR146
ActsLand Acquisiton Act, 1894 - Sections 3, 9 and 30; Easements Act, 1882 - Sections 60
AppellantKachrulal Hiralal Dhoot
RespondentThe Gurudwara Board Nanded and ors.
Advocates:M.V. Paranjape and ;S.J. Deshpande, ; S.P. Kurdukar, Advs., ; Govt. Pleader and ;B.Y. Deshmukh, A.C.P.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
.....1882), section 60--'person interested'--apportionment of compensation between rival claimants.;the right to receive compensation for compulsory acquisition of land is not restricted to those persons who have a legal or proprietary interest or estate in the land and is available to all persons who have a right or claim to land, even if such right or claim does not amount to legal or proprietary estate or interest in the land.;dossibai nanabhoy v. p.m. bharucha (1958) 60 bom. l.r. 1208, followed. - maharashtra scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, de-notified tribes (vimukta jatis), nomadic tribes, other backward classes and special backward category (regulation of issuance and verification of) caste certificate act (23 of 2001), sections 6 & 10: [s.b. mhase, a.p. deshpande & p.b. varale,..........and kachrulal. it is not disputed in view of the finding given by the trial court that the only right of gurudwara was to receive every year a sum of rs. 5.50 being double the amount of land revenue in respect of this survey number. since the plea as to adverse possession has been given up it is unnecessary for us to consider whether such payment was being made regularly from time to time by kachrulal and his ancestors. if the right of gurudwara is only to receive annually a sum of rs. 5.50, then naturally upon acquisition of the property including their interest in the land, namely, survey no. 41, their right will be to receive the amount which can be arrived at upon capitalisation of twenty years' income. either on the footing that kachrulal and his ancestors are permanent licensees.....
Judgment:

Kantawala, C. J.

1. All these appeals arise out of apportionment of compensation awarded in respect of survey No. 41 situate at Nanded. The dispute in all these appeals pertains to apportionment and the controversy is between claimant Kachrulal Dhut who is in occupation of the property and who has constructed a house and Gurudwara Takhat Sri Huzur Upchal Nagarsaheb. Survey No. 41 of Nanded has been proposed to be acquired for providing residential quarters for employees of Zilla Parishad, Nanded. The compensation for this survey number was determined under the award as payable to the persons interested at Rs. 17,000/- and the disputes between these two claimants relate only to apportionment.

2. In First Appeal Nos. 210 and 211 of 1972 the contention of Mr. Paranjape on behalf of claimant Kachrulal is that the claimant has become the absolute owner of this survey number by reason of adverse possession thereof by him and his ancestors openly and continuously for a period of more than 12 years and the entire amount of compensation has to be awarded to his client. In the alternative it is submitted that when the trial Court awarded 15% out of the total amount of compensation to Gurudwara the amount paid to the Gunudwara was much more than its legitimate share as it should have been reduced. Mr. Deshpande on behalf of the Gurudwara submitted that the trial Courtheld Gurudwara to be the owner of survey No. 41 and once Gurudwara is held to be the owner the entire amount of compensation ought to have been paid to Gurudwara and no amount ought to have been given to Kachrulal who was in occupation thereof and whose ancestors had constructed a bungalow thereon. In the alternative he submitted that even if Kachrulal is held to be a permanent tenant or a permanent licensee, still the amount of compensation that has been awarded to him is much more than his legitimate share.

3. At the outset it may be stated that though the contention as regards title by adverse possession is raised before the trial Court that plea has not been advanced before us. The short question we have to consider in the present case is, is Gurudwara entitled to the whole of the amount of compensation and if not what part of the compensation should be directed to be paid to Gurudwara It is the case of Gurudwara in its statement of claim that survey No. 41 which formed part of old survey No. 12 was an Inam land belonging to Nanded Sikh Gurudwara Saheb. It was allotted to Kachrulal's ancestors for construction of bungalows under the scheme of Abadi. The ownership of the land was not allotted but only permission was granted to construct bungalows retaining the ownership of the land with its owner. It is the case of Gurudwara that Kachrulal and his ancestors were merely licensees who were given permission to construct buildings and the liability was to pay double the laud revenue as licence fee. So far as this plea is concerned, the trial Court has held that Kachrulal and his ancestors were not mere licensees but they were permanent tenants of this survey No. 41 and has directed the total amount of compensation of Rs. 17,000/- awarded in respect of survey No. 41 to be apportioned between Gurudwara and Kachrulal in the ratio of 15% : 85%. The question to be considered in this group of appeals is whether such apportionment is justified.

4. In the first place it should be noted that the expression 'person interested' as defined in Section 3(b) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 includes all persons claiming an interest in compensation to be made on account og the acquisition of land under that Act and a person shall be deemed to be interested in land if he is interested in an assessment affecting the land. It is the argument of Mr. Deshpande on behalf of Gurudwara that only person having proprietary interest in the property is entitled to share in the compensation amount but if he has no such proprietary interest then he is not entitled to have any share in the compensation amount awarded in respect of the property acquired. In the present case, the trial Court has rejected the contention of Gurudwara that Kachrulal and his ancestors were mere licensees and has taken the view that they were permanent tenants who erected bungalows on this survey number. For the purposes of these appeals, it is unnecessary to decide whether Kachrulal and his ancestors were mere licensees or they were permanent tenants. It is held by a Division Bench of this Court in Dossibai Nanabhoy v. P. M. Bharucha : (1958)60BOMLR1208 as under :--

'A person interested in the land' under Section 9 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, would by the definition in Section 3(b) of the Act, include a person who claims interest in compensation to be paid on account of the acquisition of land, and the interest contemplated by Section 9 and the other relevant sections of the Act, is not restricted to legal or proprietary estate or interest in the land but such interest as will sustain a claim to apportionment with the owner of the land,

If a person has a right to remain in occupation or has a claim against the land or some obligation or restriction is imposed upon the ownership of the land, the person in whom the right or claim is vested or who is entitled to the benefit of the obligation or restriction, will in our judgment be entitled to compensation, even though the right, claim or the benefit may not amount to an interest or estate in the land. If a person has, without having any interest, a right to remain in occupation or possession of land of the ownership of another, compensation for extinction of that right by compulsory acquisition will be payable to the person having the right of occupation or possession. For instance, a person who has a licence which is irrevocable will be a person interested, even though the licence does not amount to an interest in the land. The owner of a dominant tenement, having an easement over a servient tenement, even though the easement docs not amount to an interest in the land, is by the definition declared expressly to be a person interested in land. In our judgment, the right to receive compensation for compulsory acquisition of land is not restricted to those persons who have a legal or proprietary interest or estate in the land is available to all persons who have a right or claim to land, even if such right or claim does not amount to legal or proprietary estate or interest in the land' In view of these clear observations of theDivision Bench of this Court it is unnecessary for us to decide whether Kachrulal and his ancestors had an irrevocable licence or they were permanent tenants as held by the trial Court. Looked at from any point of view they will be entitled to claim compensation. It cannot be disputed that a permanent tenant has the right to remain in possession of the leasehold property for indefinite period and his obligation is merely to pay the rent reserved either monthly, annually or periodically as the case may be. Even if Kachrulal and his ancestors were to be regarded as persons having a licence then having regard to the provisions of Section 60 of the Indian Easements Act, 1882 a licence is irrevocable and it is what is otherwise called in law a permanent licence. That section provides : A license may be revoked by the grantor, unless (a) it is coupled with a transfer of property and such transfer is in force; (b) the licensee, acting upon the license, has executed a work of a permanent character and incurred expenses in the execution. In view of these provisions of Section 60 even on the case pleaded by Gurudwara in its statement of claim if Kachrulal and his ancestors were to be treat-' ed as mere licensees the licence in their favour was entirely irrevocable. Thus either on the footing that they are treated as permanent lessees or on the footing that they are having an irrevocable licence they are entitled to share in the compensation.

5. The question then arises, how is the amount of compensation of Rs. 17,000/- to be apportioned between Gurudwara and Kachrulal. It is not disputed in view of the finding given by the trial Court that the only right of Gurudwara was to receive every year a sum of Rs. 5.50 being double the amount of land revenue in respect of this survey number. Since the plea as to adverse possession has been given up it is unnecessary for us to consider whether such payment was being made regularly from time to time by Kachrulal and his ancestors. If the right of Gurudwara is only to receive annually a sum of Rs. 5.50, then naturally upon acquisition of the property including their interest in the land, namely, survey No. 41, their right will be to receive the amount which can be arrived at upon capitalisation of twenty years' income. Either on the footing that Kachrulal and his ancestors are permanent licensees or permanent tenants in a period of twenty years the only amount which Gurudwara could have gol from them would have been Rs. 5.50 x 20 i.e. Rs. 110/-. Thus the amount of compensation of Rs. 17.000/- has to be apportioned between Gurudwara and Kachrulal insuch a manner that Gurudwara will be entitled to only Rs. 110/- and the rest of the amount of compensation shall have to be paid to Kachrulal.

6. In the result First Appeals Nos. 210 and 211 of 1972 are allowed and the order passed by the trial Court is substituted by the following order:--

7. Out of the total amount of compensation awarded for survey No. 41 of Nanded, Gurudwara shall be entitled to be paid a sum of Rs. 110/- and the rest of the amount of compensation will be payable to Kachrulal. If pursuant to the order of the trial Court Gurudwara has received any larger amount than that directed to be paid under this order, Kachrulal will be at liberty to make an application for refund of the excess amount that might have been received by Gurudwara. Bearing in mind that this is a dispute between Gurudwara and a person who had been permitted to construct structures, each party will bear its own costs.

8. First Appeal No. 858 of 1973 is dismissed. There will be no order as to costs.

9. Order accordingly.


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