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The Collector of Ahmedabad Vs. Lavji Mulji - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case NumberAppeal No. 150 of 1910
Judge
Reported in(1911)13BOMLR259
AppellantThe Collector of Ahmedabad
RespondentLavji Mulji
Excerpt:
civil procedure code (act v of 1905), section 144--decree--award of compensation under land acquisition act--deposit of the amount in court--payment to claimant--reduction in the amount by appeal court--payment of interest on the excess amount by claimant--inherent powers--court--practice.;the amount awarded to a claimant by the district judge in a proceeding under the land acquisition act, 1894, was deposited by government into the court which paid it over to the claimant. on appeal, the high court reduced the amount of compensation. government then applied to the court under section 144 of the civil procedure code of 1905, to recover interest from the claimant on the amount of difference between the sums awarded by the district court and the high court, from the date of its payment to..........court, were withdrawn by the claimant under the award in his favour made by that court under the land acquisition act but reversed in appeal by this high court. the learned district judge has held that government are not entitled to interest on the ground that the award of interest, is in the discretion of the court; and that having regard to the decision of this court which, in reversing the award of the district court, directed each party in the acquisition proceedings to bear his own costs, it must be presumed that this court did not intend the sum wrongly withdrawn by the claimant to carry interest with it. undoubtedly the award of interest is generally speaking a matter of the court's discretion except where by law it is made obligatory. and the question is whether in the.....
Judgment:

N.G. Chandavarkar, J.

1. The question for determination in this case is whether interest ought to be allowed to Government on the moneys which, having been deposited by them in the District Court, were withdrawn by the claimant under the award in his favour made by that Court under the Land Acquisition Act but reversed in appeal by this High Court. The learned District Judge has held that Government are not entitled to interest on the ground that the award of interest, is in the discretion of the Court; and that having regard to the decision of this Court which, in reversing the award of the District Court, directed each party in the acquisition proceedings to bear his own costs, it must be presumed that this Court did not intend the sum wrongly withdrawn by the claimant to carry interest with it. Undoubtedly the award of interest is generally speaking a matter of the Court's discretion except where by law it is made obligatory. And the question is whether in the circumstances of the present case it is reasonable to award interest. It is a rule of law that where a party has wrongly taken from the Court moneys deposited in Court by his opponent, that Court has inherent power to enforce a refund of the amount with interest: see MookoondLal Pal v. Mahomed Sami Meah ILR (1887) Cal.484 and Govind Vaman v. Sakharam Ramchandra ILR(1878) 3 Bom. 42. In the present case the amount which was deposited with the Court by Government was taken away by the respondent because that amount had been settled by that Court to be the amount of compensation to which the respondent was entitled under the Land Acquisition Act. The High Court in appeal reduced the amount to which the respondent was entitled. Under these circumstances the respondent must be held to have had the benefit of the money belonging to Government in excess of that to which the High Court held him to be entitled. That benefit is represented not only by the excess amount wrongly taken by the respondent from the District Court but also by the amount of interest which it carried with it.

2. It was urged before us that this being the case of an award under the Land Acquisition Act and not a decree, the right of restitution claimed by Government cannot rest on the section of the Code of Civil Procedure which allows a refund of moneys received by a judgment-creditor under a decree subsequently reversed or amended. But assuming that the Code does not apply, the decisions above cited show that the right rests on the inherent power of the Court to enforce the refund.

3. The order of the District Judge disallowing interest is set aside and Rs. 57-5-4 is awarded to Goverment as interest on the amount of Rs. 538-0-3.

4. The respondent must pay the costs both of this appeal and of the darkhast in the Court below.


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