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Jayanthi Shedthi Vs. the Special Land Acquisition Officer and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberM.F.A. No. 46 of 1970
Judge
Reported inAIR1975Kant31a; ILR1974KAR86; 1974(1)KarLJ222
ActsLand Acquisition Act, 1894 - Sections 4(1), 23, 24, 30, 31 and 31(2); Hindu Women's Right to Property Act, 1937
AppellantJayanthi Shedthi
RespondentThe Special Land Acquisition Officer and ors.
Appellant AdvocateB.P. Holla, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateAnnadanayya Puranik, Govt. Pleader and ;A.M. D'sa, Adv.
Excerpt:
.....to consider the application filed by the petitioner under section 10 of the religious endowments act, 1863 (act xx of 18863). - 3. the lower court rejected the claims of respondents 2 and 3 to the value of the house and cow-shed as well as the pond. the claim of the bank was satisfied out of court......civil judge, mangalore. the appellant is the first claimant, respondent-1 is the special land acquisition officer, harbour project, mangalore, and respondents 2 and 3 are claimants 2 and 3. o. p. 697/67 arises out of a reference made under section 30 of the land acquisition act by the ii additional special land acquisition officer (harbour) mangalore, in regard to the apportionment of the compensation granted under his award no. 7/67 dated 2-3-1967. the property that was acquired comprised of three plots s. no. 34/1, wet 3, 2 acres 8 cents; s. no. 34/2, wet 2, 3 acres 3 cents; and s. no. 34/3, garden 0.35 cents. these lands were acquired for the purpose of the mangalore harbour project. the preliminary notification under section 4(1) was published in the mysore gazette.....
Judgment:

Sadanandaswamy, J.

1. This is an appeal under Section 54 of the Land Acquisition Act against the judgment and decree dated 4-10-1969 made in O. P. 697/67 on the file of the II Additional Civil Judge, Mangalore. The appellant is the first claimant, respondent-1 is the Special Land Acquisition Officer, Harbour Project, Mangalore, and Respondents 2 and 3 are Claimants 2 and 3. O. P. 697/67 arises out of a reference made under Section 30 of the Land Acquisition Act by the II Additional Special Land Acquisition Officer (Harbour) Mangalore, in regard to the apportionment of the compensation granted under his award No. 7/67 dated 2-3-1967. The property that was acquired comprised of three plots S. No. 34/1, Wet 3, 2 acres 8 cents; S. No. 34/2, Wet 2, 3 acres 3 cents; and S. No. 34/3, garden 0.35 cents. These lands were acquired for the purpose of the Mangalore Harbour Project. The preliminary notification under Section 4(1) was published in the Mysore Gazette (Extraordinary) on 20th November 1964. Respondent-1 determined the compensation for wet 2 lands at Rs. 5,000 per acre and for wet 3 lands at Rs. 2,400 per acre. He fixed the compensation for garden land at Rs. 4000 per acre. He accepted the valuation prepared by the Public Works Department in respect of the superstructures including the compensation for the trees. He awarded Rs. 6,438-85 as compensation for S. No. 34/1, Rs. 18,925-55 for S. No. 34/2, Rs. 6979-35 for S. No. 34/3 and in all Rs. 32,343-75. The said sum was directed to be deposited in the Court of the Principal Civil Judge, South Kanara, Man-galore, under Section 31 of the Land Acquisition Act.

2. The lands belong to the 1st claimant and they were in the possession of claimants 2 and 3 who were the Chalgeni tenants. All these plots were mortgaged to the Mangalore Co-operative Land Development Hank Ltd. The 1st claimant claimed compensation for the lands, buildings structural improvements and trees and she was agreeable for payment of the mortgage amount with interest due to the Bank out of the compensation payable to her, The 2nd claimant laid claim to 2/3 value of the house, 1/2 value of the thatched shed, full value of the shed built up with palm leaves and 2/3 value of the pond, before the Land Acquisition Officer. He agreed to the remaining portions of the value of the above improvements to be paid to the 3rd claimant and the balance of the compensation amount to be paid to the 1st claimant. The 3rd claimant laid claim to half the value of the house, half the value of the thatched shed and full value of one shed built out of palm leaves. He was also agreeable for the payment of the remaining compensation amount in respect of the improvements to the 'second claimant and for the balance of compensation to be paid to the 1st claimant. The Secretary of the Mangalore Co-operative Land Development Bank Ltd., Mangalore, claimed Rs. 2370-57 as outstanding principal and interest payable thereon at 7 per cent as on 1-5-65 as due to the Bank. Since there was no agreement among the interested parties regarding the apportionment of compensation and since there was a dispute between the 1st claimant and the Chalgeni tenants-claimants 2 and 3, regarding the apportionment of compensation, for the improvements, the Special Land Acquisition Officer made a reference to the Court under Section 30 of the Land Acquisition Act.

3. The lower Court rejected the claims of Respondents 2 and 3 to the value of the house and cow-shed as well as the pond. It held that claimants 2 and 3 are entitled to the compensation granted in respect of the trees. It rejected the claim of respondents 2 and 3 with regard to the premium that is alleged to have been paid to claimant 1 at the time of her granting the lease. Though respondents 2 and 8 agreed before the Land Acquisition Officer to the condensation in respect of the lands to be paid to the Landlord, the 1st claimant, they contended in their claim statements before the Court that they must be considered as permanent tenants in view of the fact that the Mysore Land Reforms Act had come into force before possession was taken from them by the Land Acquisition Officer, even though the said Act was not in force on the date of the preliminary notification. The lower Court held that the two tenants-respondents 2 and 3 were entitled to 1/3 of the compensation granted for the value of the lands. It granted Rs. 753-25 to each of the respondents 2 and 3 towards the value of the trees including the solatium. The claim of the Bank was satisfied out of Court. In the result, it awarded Rs. 4882-13 to each of Respondents 2 and 3 and Rupees 22,579-49 to the appellant.

4. It is contended by Mr. B.P. Holla, appearing for the appellant, that the lower Court should not have entertained the claim of Respondents 2 and 3 to a share in the compensation towards the value of the lands acquired since the dispute referred to the Court under Section 30 of the Land Acquisition Act was only with regard to the value of the improvements claimed by Respondents 2 and 3. On the other hand, Mr. A.M. D'Sa contended that the dispute referred was with regard to the apportionment of the entire compensation and that it was open to Respondents 2 and 3 to urge for the first time before the Court that they were entitled to a share of the value of the lands even though they had agreed to the same being paid to the landlord, when they appeared before the Land Acquisition Officer. It is contended by Mr. Holla that Respondents 2 and 3 were Chalgeni tenants and that they had no interest in the lands leased to them, that then right was only to be in possession of the lands, that their interest must be valued as on the date ofthe preliminary notification and that the Lower Court was in error in taking into consideration the provisions of the Mysore Land Reforms Act, which came into force subsequent to the date of the preliminary notification though before possession of the lands were taken over by the Land Acquisition Officer.

5. Mr. D'Sa raised a preliminary objection that the copy of the award passed by the Land Acquisition Officer is inadmissible in evidence and cannot be looked into for the purpose of ascertaining the claims urged by the respective claimants before the Land Acquisition Officer. This contention was not urged before the Lower Court. In the order of reference, the Land Acquisition Officer has stated that for the reasons stated in para 6 of the award proceedings, the compensation amount has been deposited in the Civil Court under Section 31(2) of the Land Acquisition Act, The copy of the award forms part of the order of reference. Hence, this contention has to be rejected.

6. It is clear from a perusal of the award passed by the Land Acquisition Officer that Respondents 2 and 3 agreed before the Land Acquisition Officer to the compensation amount in respect of the lands acquired being paid to their landlord, the 1st claimant. It is only in their claim statements before the Court that they laid claim to a share in the value of the lands acquired. Relying on the provisions of the Mysore Land Reforms Act they contended that their status was that of permanent tenants. Mr. Holla, relied on the decision in Indumati Debi v. Tulsi Thakurani : AIR1942Cal53 . That was a case of a reference made under Section 30 of the Land Acquisition Act. It was held that the jurisdiction of the Court in a reference made by the Collector under Section 30, is confined to a consideration of the dispute expressly referred to it by the Collector; that addition of parties may be made when the persons who desire to be added as parties do not raise any new dispute but want to place other materials before the Court in connection with the dispute that is referred to it by the Collector, and that where the question sought to be raised is entirely a new one and is not covered by the reference made by the Collector the addition of parties cannot be made. Their Lordships followed the decision in Prabal Chandra v. Peary Mohun, (1908) 12 Cal WN 987, wherein it was held that the Land Acquisition Court had no jurisdiction to deal with objections except those which were made by persons who were parties to the proceedings before the Collector which brought about the reference.

7. The decision in Prabal Chandra's case, (1908) 12 Cal WN 987 has been followed by this Court in Basalingappa v. Nagamma AIR 1969 Mys 313 = (1969) 1 Mys LJ 613. That was a reference under Section 30 of the Land Acquisition Act, anda person who was not a party before the Land Acquisition Officer was sought to be added as an additional respondent in the proceedings before the Court. While considering the jurisdiction of the Court under the Land Acquisition Act, this Court held that such jurisdiction was a special one and was derived from the reference made under the statute. Their Lordships added as follows:

'His jurisdiction to make a reference is in respect of a dispute. If one of the parties to that dispute is not before him, the dispute is not fully within his purview because the idea of dispute is incomplete without a statement of the disputants among whom the dispute arises.' Though it was a case of addition of parties, the decision makes it clear that the jurisdiction of the Court is limited to the dispute referred to it under Section 30 of the Land Acquisition Act. In Dahal Jung v. Hem Kumari Devy, AIR 1960 Tripura 18, which was also a reference under Section 30 of the Land Acquisition Act, the Collector divided the amount of compensation into six shares -- one share to each of the five sons and one share for the three widows. The dispute related to the share allotted to the widows. The appellant contended before the Collector that on the death of his mother, her share of the estate devolved upon him and that her 1/3 share out of the compensation money should be allotted to him in preference to the other widows. The Collector did not accept the plea but made A reference under Section 30 of the Land Acquisition Act. In the course of the arguments before the District Judge, the appellant raised a new legal contention that the Hindu Women's Right to Property Act, 1937 was not applicable to the State of Tripura at the relevant time and that therefore the estate of his father devolved only on the five sons leaving the widows with no share and that no share should have been allotted to the widows by the Collector. The award of the Collector and the reference made to Court showed that the appellant did not dispute before the Collector the right of the two widows to 1/3 share cut of the compensation. It was held that since the dispute was with regard to 1/3 share of one of the widows, the award of the Collector became final with regard to the 2/3 share. It was held further that the jurisdiction of the Court in a reference made under Section 30 is confined strictly to the consideration of the dispute that is expressly referred to it by the Collector and that the Court has no power to expand the scope of the reference or to question any portion of the Award which had become final, and that the District Judge had to decide only that dispute about the 1/3 share and that he had no jurisdiction to deal with a new dispute raised before him which was not raised before the Collector or referred to him under Section 30 by the Collector. In Ramacharya Burli v.State of Mysore, AIR 1965 Mys 1 = (1965) 1 Mys LJ 261 (FB) a Full Bench of this Court has stated as follows:--'Therefore if the Landlord claims enhanced share in the compensation amount in respect of rights arising under or relating to the contract of lease, he has to set up and prove what are all the special considerations which weigh in awarding him a higher share in the compensation. In respect of rights which are incidental to the tenure of the grant in his favour or to the property held by him which could enter into a determination of the market value of the property under Sections 23 and 24, he has to put forward his claims before the Land Acquisition Officer and substantiate the same by proper evidence. If he fails to put forward his right to the mineral or other sub-soil rights before the Land Acquisition Officer it would be unfair to allow him to make such a claim only at the time of apportionment of compensation between himself and his tenant.'

8. In the present case, respondents 2 and 3 did not lay claim to any portion of the compensation relating to the value of the land acquired. The dispute referred to the Court was only with regard to the claim of respondents 2 and 3 with regard to their share of the value of the improvements. The Court below had therefore no jurisdiction to go into the new dispute raised by respondents 2 and 3 before it, which was not raised by them before the Land Acquisition Officer, namely, their claim to a share of the value of the lands acquired.

9. Though respondents 2 and 3 claimed in their claim statements before the Court that they must be treated as permanent tenants for the purpose of apportionment of compensation for the lands, in their evidence before Court they asserted no such right. For this reason also the award of a part of the compensation for the lands to respondents 2 and 3 cannot be sustained. In this view of the matter, it is not necessary to consider the other contentious raised by the parties.

10. There is no reason to interfere with the award in respect of compensation for trees.

11. In the result, this appeal is allowed and the decree of the Court below is modified as follows: Respondents 2 and 3 are each entitled to a sum of Rs. 753-25 only including the solatium, being the value of the trees. The rest of the compensation amount shall be paid to the appellant. Parties shall bear their own costs in this appeal.

12. Appeal allowed.


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