Somnath Iyer, J.
1. We are asked in this writ petition by the petitioner to quash an acquisition proceeding under the Land Acquisition Act the preliminary notification in which was published in the Gazette on January 28, 1960 and the final notification on October 7, 1965. There were many criticisms of the acquisition and the first submission made, on behalf of the petitioner by his learned Advocate Mr. Karanth was that the public notice which is directed by Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act was not caused to be given. In the counter-affidavit produced on behalf of the City Improvement Trust Board for whose purposes Government commenced the impugned acquisition proceedings under the Land Acquisition Act, the allegation that there was no public notice under Section 4 of Land Acquisition Act was denied, and, Mr. Ron appearing for the City Improvement Trust Board informs us that the records relating to the public notice are now missing and that they could not be traced at this distance of time.
2. No one should feel surprised if the Trust Board is not able to prove by the Production of the necessary official record at this distance of time that the public notice which is directed by Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act was indeed given. The preliminary notification was published on January 28, 1960 and this Writ petition was presented on June 16, 1966. We should presume that that public notice was given and we should not believe the allegation to the contrary.
3. Mr. Ron appearing for the City Improvement Trust Board brought to our notice that at least three persons produced objections to the acquisition of other lands which were proposed to be acquired under the same preliminary notification. They are: Chinnnappa, Papaiah and Muniswamappa who are the petitioners in Writ Petitions Nos. 968 and 964 of 1966. The record produced by Mr. Ron shows that those persons produced objections to the proposed acquisition and the fact that those three persons came to have knowledge of the acquisition in consequence of which they produced objections shows that public notice with respect to the acquisition must have been caused to be given. At this very late stage when the writ petition was presented, the petitioner could not be allowed to contend to the contrary especially since his allegation that no public notice was given is not supported by any other evidence such as the affidavits of the other residents of the village which he could have easily produced, but has not.
4. It is again urged that the petitioner was not personally served with the preliminary notification. But, when that notification was published in the year 1960, it was not necessary under the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act to cause any personal service of that notification.
5. Mr. Karanth, next urged that there was no enquiry under Section 5A of the Land Acquisition Act. That enquiry, it should be remembered, is necessary only when an objection is produced to the proposed acquisition, but, since the petitioner produced none, there was no point in the concerned Deputy Commissioner holding an enquiry. It is plain that the argument advanced before us that whether an objection is produced or not there should be an enquiry, is quite unacceptable. Section 5A of the Act as it stood before its amendment like that Section which as it stands now after its amendment makes it clear that the enquiry which is directed by that Section is an enquiry into objections produced to the proposed acquisition. That being so, when there is no objection and so the acquisition is not opposed by any one, it would be unmeaning for the Deputy Commissioner to make an enquiry.
6. It was next submitted that the notification under Section 6 has become defective by reason of the omission on the part of the Deputy Commissioner to make an inspection under S. 4(4) of the old Act as it now stands. That sub-section says that the investigation which is authorised by sub-section (2) shall be completed within the period prescribed by that sub-section and that a report about it shall be submitted to the Deputy Commissioner within that period. Sub-section (2) is an enabling Section and it does not say that that investigation must needs be made before a declaration is made under S. 6. Moreover, the petitioner's plea in regard to this matter is extremely obscure and all that he says is that there was no inspection.
7. A feeble attempt was made by Mr. Karanth to sustain an argument that the acquisition should have been made only under the City Improvement Trust Board Act and not under the Land Acquisition Act. But, the view taken by this Court in Laxmaiah v. State of Mysore, (1966) 5 Law Rep. 342 which rested on the authoritative enunciation made by the Supreme Court is a complete answer to that argument.
8. It was next argued that there was inordinate delay between the preliminary notification and the final notification and in support of the argument that we should, for that reason, quash the final notification, dependence was placed upon the decision of the Supreme Court in State of Madhya Pradesh v. Vishnu Prasad Sharma, : 3SCR557 in which it is explained that there could be no plurality of notifications under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act with respect to a single notification under Section 4. It is true that in Vishnu Prasad Sharma v. State of Madhya Pradesh, : AIR1962MP270 from the decision in which the appeal which was decided by the Supreme Court arose, the High Court pointed out the great hardship and prejudice that could be caused by a long interregnum between the preliminary notification and the final notification.
But the delay in that case was as long as eleven years, and, even assuming that a proceeding under the Land Acquisition Act could be quashed on the ground that there has been such great delay that it would be unreasonable to allow the acquisition proceedings to go on, the question whether the acquisition proceedings should be quashed on that ground would depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case. In the case before us, Mr. Ron has explained to us that the delay in the declaration under section 6 was attributable to the delay in the acceptance of the scheme under Section 16 of the City Improvement Trust Board Act by Government. However, that may be, it should be observed that the decision of the Supreme Court to which we have referred, did not discuss the effect of the delay in making a declaration under Section 6.
9. So, we dismiss this writ petition.
10. No costs.
11. Petition dismissed.