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Chaturbhuj Hotchand Asarpota Vs. the State of Bombay and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberFirst Appeal No. 598 of 1950
Judge
Reported inAIR1953Bom164; (1952)54BOMLR997; ILR1953Bom402
ActsBombay Land Requisition Act, 1948 - Sections 6(4), 8, 8(3), 8B(3) and 9A; Bombay Land Requisition (Determination of Compensation) Rules, 1949
AppellantChaturbhuj Hotchand Asarpota
RespondentThe State of Bombay and ors.
Appellant AdvocateP.R. Wadhwa and ;N.N. Yagnik, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateM.G. Chitale Adv. for ;H.M. Choksi, Govt. Pleader and ;V.J. Taraporewala and ;F.P. Kapadia, Advs.
Excerpt:
bombay land requsition act (bom. xxxiii of 1948), sections 8(3), 8b (3) - bombay land requisition (determination of compensation) rules, 1949, rule 3--allottee of requitioned premises--claim by landlord of requisitioned premises decreed by compensation officer--appeal by allottee against order of compensation officer--whether appeal by allottee competent.; certain premises were requisitioned by government under the bombay land requisition act, 1948, and allotted to the applicant. the landlord of the premises, under rule 3 of the bombay land requisition (determination of compensation) rules, 1949, put in a claim before the compensation officer which was decreed by the latter. the applicant appealed to the high court against the order of the compensation officer under section 8(3) of the..........bombay suburban district, in respect of certain premises which were requisitioned under the bombay land requisition act, 1948.[2] it appears that certain premises were, according to information received by government, un-authorisedly occupied by mr. teheramani since march 1943. the government therefore in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (a) of sub-section (4) of section 6, bombay laud requisition act of 1948, requisitioned those premises by an order dated 10th november 1948. these premises were then allotted to one shri chaturbhuj hotchand by an order of the same date. as the unauthorised occupant did not vacate the premises, the order was enforced by breaking open the lock on 27th november 1948. the applicants-landlords in whose name the property stood put in a claim for.....
Judgment:

Rajadhyaksha, J.

[1] This is an appeal against an order passed by the Compensation Officer, Bombay and the Bombay Suburban District, in respect of certain premises which were requisitioned under the Bombay Land Requisition Act, 1948.

[2] It appears that certain premises were, according to information received by Government, un-authorisedly occupied by Mr. Teheramani since March 1943. The Government therefore in exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (a) of Sub-section (4) of Section 6, Bombay Laud Requisition Act of 1948, requisitioned those premises by an order dated 10th November 1948. These premises were then allotted to one Shri Chaturbhuj Hotchand by an order of the same date. As the unauthorised occupant did not vacate the premises, the order was enforced by breaking open the lock on 27th November 1948. The applicants-landlords in whose name the property stood put in a claim for compensation at RS. 60 per month. This claim was decreed by the Compensation Officer who considered that the fair and reasonable rate of compensation for the requisitioned premises should be Rs. 60 per month, and he directed that the applicants bo paid accordingly. The present appeal has been filed not by Government, nor by the claimant whose claim was decreed in full, but by Chaturbhuj Hotchand to whom the premises were allowed on 10th November 1948, and it is his contention that the Compensation Officer has erred in fixing the compensation at Rs. 60 per month which the appellant has to pay by way of rent.

[3] A preliminary objection has been taken by Mr. Taraporewala that the present appeal, at the instance of the allottee, is not competent and this submission has the support of Mr. Chitale who has appeared for the State of Bombay. We are of the opinion that this submission must succeed, and that the present appeal is not competent.

[4] The appeal has been filed under Sub-section (3) of Section 8, Bombay Land Requisition Act of 1948, which runs as follows :

'An appeal shall lie against the decision of the officer under Sub-Section (1) or (2), except in cases where the total amount of compensation in respect of the land does not exceed an amount prescribed in this behalf by the State Government,--

(a) in Greater Bombay, to the High Court, and

(b) elsewhere to the District Court.

Such appeal shall be made within a period of sixty days from the date of the decision.'

It has been urged by Mr. Wadhwa on behalf of the appellant that this section does not lay down anything as to the parties who are competent to file the appeal, and Mr. Wadhwa has urged that even an allottee in whose favour an order has been made by the Government in respect of the requisitioned premises is entitled to file an appeal. In our opinion, this submission cannot be accepted. The parties to the requisition proceedings were the Government of the State of Bombay who proceeded to make the requisition and the person whose premises were being requisitioned. Under Rule 3, Bombay Land Requisition (Determination of Compensation) Rules, 1919, when any land is requisitioned, any person having an interest in such land may make an application to the Compensation Officer for claiming compensation in respect of such land. If the Compensation Officer considers that the claim made is reason, able and may be accepted, he can immediately make an order accordingly and direct the applicant to execute an agreement in form B annexed to the Rules. If the Compensation Officer thinks that the application is not reasonable, then he gives a notice to the applicant and directs him to produce documents in support of his claim. After hearing the applicant and taking into consideration evidence produced by the applicant, the Compensation Officer has to determine the compensation payable to the claimant. It is thus clear that the parties to the proceedings are the claimants on the one hand, and Government, at whoso instance the proceedings for requisition are initiated, on the other. In any event, the persons to whom the requisitioned premises are subsequently allotted have no locus standi in the matter. Under the Rules, where the amount of compensation determined under the rules is in respect of rent only, the State Government may direct the tenant to pay the amount direct to the person in whose favour the order has been made. From this also, it would appear that the allottee comes into the picture after the land has been requisitioned and he is not the person directly concerned in the matter of fixation of the compensation to be paid to the claimant.

[5] The Land Requisition Act is to some extent modelled on the Land Acquisition Act where Government acquire land at the instance of some public body. In such cases also the public body at whose instance Government proceed to acquire the land is not a party to the land acquisition proceedings. In the case of lands acquired under the Land Acquisition Act for a public purpose there is at least definite knowledge in some cases that the premises are being acquired at the instance of a particular body interested in that public purpose. Even so that body--which has subsequently to pay the compensation awarded-is not a party to the proceedings. But in the case of premises requisitioned under the Bombay Land Requisition Act, it is entirely at the discretion of Government to whom the requisitioned premises should be handed over for use and occupation. There is therefore much less justification for holding that the transferee from Government should be regarded as a party to the requisition proceedings. It is therefore not correct to contend that the person to whom the requisitioned premises are subsequently given for use and occupation under Sub-section (4) of Section 6, Bombay Land Requisition Act, 1918, is a party to the proceedings, and the right of filing an appeal cannot vest in a person who is not a party to the laud requisition proceedings.

[6] It was contended by Mr. Wadhwa that in the course of the proceedings a notice was sent to the appellant. He appeared, was heard and thereafter a decision was given. But we do not think that the mere fact that the Compensation Officer decided to hear what the allottee had to say in, the matter necessarily makes the allottee a party to the proceedings so as to enable him to file an appeal against the decision of the Compensation Officer.

[7] Under the scheme of the Bombay Land Requisition Act, it appeals that the requisition is to be made by Government and it is Government who are liable to pay the compensation in respect of the premises requisitioned. Under Sub-section (3) of Section 8B the allotment of any land to any person, or the continuance of any person or the permission to any person to continue to remain in occupation or possession of any land, referred to in Sub-section (1), shall be deemed to be a licensee in favour of such person for the use and occupation of the said land. Therefore, even after the requisition, the person permitted to remain in occupation or the person to whom the requisitioned premises are allotted becomes a licensee of Government. Formerly, under Section 9A of the Act, which has been subsequently repealed, it was within the competence of Government to make the allottee a tenant of the premises requisitioned and the relationship of landlord and tenant arose between the allottee and the person whose promises were requisitioned But Section 9A has been deleted and the person to whom the requisitioned premises are allotted continues to hold them as a mere licensee from Government under Sub-section (3) of Section 8B.

[8] We, therefore, think that an allottee of the requisitioned premises has no locus standi in the proceedings before the Compensation Officer and has no right to file an appeal under Section 8, Bombay Land Requisition Act, against an order passed by the Compensation Officer.

[9] We must, therefore, hold that the present appeal which has been filed by the allottee is incompetent and must therefore dismiss it with costs.

[10] Appeal dismissed.


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