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D.M. Jawarilal and ors. Vs. Special Land Acquisition Officer, Citb, Bangalore - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberMisc. First Appeal No. 159 of 1975
Judge
Reported inAIR1975Kant129; 1975(1)KarLJ296
ActsKarnataka Court-Fees and Suits Valuation Act, 1958 - Sections 19, 48 and 49; Land Acquisition Act, 1894 - Sections 4(1), 9, 9(2), 11, 15, 23, 23(1), 23(2), 25(1), 26, 26(1) and 54; Bombay Court-fees Act, 1959 - Sections 7(1)
AppellantD.M. Jawarilal and ors.
RespondentSpecial Land Acquisition Officer, Citb, Bangalore
Advocates:S. Rangaraj, Adv.
Excerpt:
- industrial disputes act, 1947 [c.a. no. 14/1947]. section 11-a: [subhas b. adi, j] proportionality of punishment bank clerk dismissed from services for abusing customer and trying to assault him outside bank - incident of using abusive language fully proved held, punishment of compulsory retirement is harsh and shockingly disproportionate to the gravity of misconduct. reduction of punishment to withholding three annual increments without any backwages and also without continuity of service, is sufficient. .....court) is required under section 23(2) of the l. a. act to add 15% on the amount of the market-value awarded by it, which will be in the nature of a direction to the collector to pay that amount just in the same way as he is directed to pay interest. as regards the expression 'amount claimed'. his lordship observed that under the provisions of the l. a. act what is required to be claimed by a person interested in the land acquired, is compensation for his interest in land, that there is no specific mention either in section 9 or section 11 of the l. a. act that he should claim solatium or interest and that since under section 15 of the l. a. act the collector is required to be guided by the provisions of sections 23 and 24 of the l. a. act he has to pay solatium even though it is not.....
Judgment:
Acts/Rules/Orders:

Karnataka Court-Fees and Suits Valuation Act, 1958 - Sections 19, 48 and 49; Land Acquisition Act, 1894 - Sections 4(1), 9, 9(2), 11, 15, 23, 23(1), 23(2), 25(1), 26, 26(1) and 54; Bombay Court-fees Act, 1959 - Section 7(1)

Cases Referred:

Union of India v. Ram Mehar, AIR 1973 SC 305, 1973 SCD 73; K.A. Swamy v. Land Acquisition Officer, AIR 1970 Andh Pra 139, (1969) 1 Andh WR 381; Abdul Sultan v. Collector, Ahmednagar, AIR 1968 Bom 390, 70 Bom LR 203; Chandulal v. Eastern Railway, AIR 1967 Guj 182, 7 Guj LR 850; Sajjad Alikhan v. Secy. of State, AIR 1933 All 742, 145 Ind Cas 526; State of Maharashtra V. Mishrilal Tarachand Lodha, AIR 1964 SC 457, (1964) 5 SCR 230

OPINION

1. A Division Bench of this Court has referred the following question of law for the opinion of the Full Bench:

'In an appeal under Section 54 of the Land Acquisition Act, seeking for enhancement of the compensation, should the amount of statutory allowance proportionate to the amount of such enhancement, be included in the value of the subject-matter of appeal for purpose of court-fee?'

2. We have heard the arguments of Mr. S. Rangaraj, learned Counsel for the appellants-claimants, and of the learned Additional Government Advocate who has appeared in pursuance of a notice issued under Section 19 of the Karnataka Court-Fees and Suits Valuation Act, 1958 (hereinafter referred to as the Court-fees Act).

3. Mr. Rangaraj contended that in an appeal under Section 54 of the Land Acquisition Act (hereinafter referred to as the L. A. Act), seeking for enhancement of compensation the amount of statutory allowance proportionate to the enhancement of compensation sought for in the appeal, need not be included in the value of the subject-matter of appeal for the purpose of court-fee payable on the memorandum of appeal, while the learned Additional Government Advocate contended that such amount should be included for computation of such court-fee

4. In order to appreciate the rival contentions of learned Counsel, it is necessary to set out the relevant provisions of the L. A. Act and the Court-fees Act,

5. Sub-section (2) of Section 9 of the L. A. Act provides, inter alia, that the notice issued to persons interested in the land acquired, shall require them to state the amount and particulars of their claim to compensation.

6. The relevant portions of Section 23 of the L. A. Act read:--

'23. Matters to be considered in determining compensation. -- (1) In determining the amount of compensation to be awarded for land acquired under this Act, the Court shall take into consideration-

First, the market-value of the land at the date of the publication of the notification under Section 4, Sub-section (1);

(2) In addition to the market value of the land as above provided, the Court shall in every case award a sum of fifteen per centum on such market-value, in consideration of the compulsory nature of the acquisition.'

Sub-section (1) of Section 26 of the L. A. Act reads::

'26- Form of awards -- (1) Every award under this Part shall be in writing signed by the Judge and shall specify the amount awarded under clause first of Sub-section (1) of Section 23, and also the amounts (if any) respectively awarded under each of the other clauses of the same sub-section, together with the grounds of awarding each of the said amounts,'

Section 48 of the Court-fees Act reads:--

'48. Fee on memorandum of appeal against order relating to compensation:-- The fee payable under this Act on a memorandum of appeal against a decision or an award or an order relating to compensation under any Act for the time being in force for the acquisition of property for public purpose shall be computed on the difference between the amount awarded and the amount claimed by the applicant,'

The main part of Section 49 of the Court-fees Act reads:--

'49. Appeals.-- The fee payable in an appeal shall be the same as fee that would be payable in the Court of first instance on the subject matter of the appeal:'

7. The answer to the question whether in an appeal under Section 54 of the L. A. Act seeking for enhancement of the compensation, the amount of statutory allowance proportionate to such enhancement, should be included for the purpose of court-fee, depends upon the meaning of the words 'the amount awarded' and 'the amount claimed' occurring in Section 48 of the Court-fees Act. If the words 'amount awarded' mean not only what has been awarded under Sub-section (1) of Section 23 of the L. A. Act but also the amount awarded under Sub-section (2) of that Section and likewise if the words 'amount claimed' include not only what is payable under Section 23(1) of the L. A. Act, but also solatium, then it is obvious that the appellant has to pay Court-fee on solatium proportionate to the enhancement of compensation claimed in the appeal. On the other hand if the words 'amount awarded' mean only what has been awarded under Section 23(i) of the L. A. Act and likewise if the words 'amount claimed' mean only what is payable under Section 23(1) of the L. A. Act; the appellant need not pay court-fee on solatium proportionate to the enhancement of compensation claimed in the appeal.

8. The meanings of the expressions 'compensation' and 'market value', in the L. A. Act, have been stated thus by the Supreme Court in Union of India v. Ram Mehar ;

'The additional amount of 15% certainly forms part of the amount of compensation because under Section 23 the compensation is to consist of what is provided For in Sub-section (1) and the additional amount of 15% on the market value of the land acquired. But compensation and market value are distinct expressions and have been used as such in the Acquisition Act.......... The key to the meaning of the word compensation 'is to be found in Section 23(1) and consists of (a) the market value of the land and (b) the sum of 15% on such market value which is stated to be the consideration for compulsory nature of the acquisition. Market value therefore is only component in the determination of the amount of compensation.'

9. From the above passage, it is clear that solatium is a part of compensation for compulsory acquisition of land under the L. A. Act.

10. As to the meaning of expression 'amount-awarded' occurring in Section 48 of the Andhra Pradesh Court-fees and Suits Valuation Act, 1956 (hereinafter referred to as the Andhra Court-fees Act) which is in pari materia with Section 48 of the Karnataka Court-fees Act, Jaganmohan Reddy, C.J. who delivered the leading opinion of the Full Bench in K.A. Swamy v. Land Acquisition Officer that while solatium under Section 23(2) of L. A. Act may form part of compensation to be awarded by the Collector under Section 11, it does not form part of the award which the Court has to pass under Section 26 of the L. A. Act though it (the Court) is required under Section 23(2) of the L. A. Act to add 15% on the amount of the market-value awarded by it, which will be in the nature of a direction to the Collector to pay that amount just in the same way as he is directed to pay interest. As regards the expression 'amount claimed'. His Lordship observed that under the provisions of the L. A. Act what is required to be claimed by a person interested in the land acquired, is compensation for his interest in land, that there is no specific mention either in Section 9 or Section 11 of the L. A. Act that he should claim solatium or interest and that since under Section 15 of the L. A. Act the Collector is required to be guided by the provisions of Sections 23 and 24 of the L. A. Act he has to pay solatium even though it is not claimed by such person.

11. In the above line of reasoning, Jaganmohan Reddy C. J. came to the conclusion that since solatium under Section 23(2) at the L. A. Act forms part of neither the claim or the award no court-fee is payable on the amount of solatium proportionate to the enhancement claimed in an appeal under Section 54 of the L. A. Act.

12. In Abdul Sultan v. Collector Ahmednagar , a Division Bench of Bombay High Court also took the view that the words 'amount awarded' occurring in Sub-section (1) of Section 7 of the Bombay Court-fees Act, 1959, (which is in pari materia with Section 48 of the Karnataka Court-fees Act) mean the amount awarded under Section 23(1) of the L. A. Act and not the whole amount of compensation. The reasoning of their Lordships for coming to this conclusion, is as follows: Sub-section (1) of Section 25 of L. A. Act provides, inter alia, that when a person having interest in Land has made a claim to compensation the amount awarded to him by the Court shall not exceed the amount claimed by him pursuant to a notice given to him under Section 9 of the L. A. Act. It in impossible to think that the amount claimed by him should include solatium which the Court is under a statutory obligation to give him. There may be a person who claims the exact value of the land acquired. If the Collector finds that the amount claimed is the exact value of such land, he is bound to award solatium in addition to such value of land. There is nothing in the L. A. Act which requires such person to claim solatium before the Collector or the Court. Hence he is not required to claim solatium in the memorandum of appeal in an appeal under Section 54 of the L. A. Act. At any rate, under the L. A. Act, it is possible to read the words 'amount awarded' to mean the amount awarded under Section 23(1) of the L. A. Act and that since the Court-fees Act is a fiscal statute, the words, 'amounts awarded' should be construed in favour of the subject and the appellant should not be called upon to pay court-fee on solatium proportionate to the compensation claimed in me appeal under Section 54 of the L. A. Act.

13. On the other hand, in Chandulal v. Eastern Railway , N. V. Vakil. J., took the view that the expressions 'the amount awarded' and 'the amount claimed' occurring in Section 7(1) of the Bombay Court-Fees Act should be understood as the amount of compensation awarded and the amount of compensation claimed respectively having regard to the context in which those two expressions are used. His Lordship observed that having regard to the fact that law makes the amount of solatium also a part of compensation to be awarded when the person having interest in the acquired land make a claim for an increased amount of compensation, solatium becomes a part of his claim unless he were to state in the memorandum of appeal that he did not claim any amount of solatium that he may become entitled on the increase in the amount that may be awarded under Section 23(1) of the L. A. Act and that so long as solatium is not specifically stated to have been given up, it would remain a part of the claim before the appellate Court. In that view, His Lordship held that court-fee payable on the memorandum of appeal in an appeal under Section 54 of the L. A. Act should be computed on the difference between the amount of compensation awarded and the amount of compensation claimed in the appeal including the amount of solatium proportionate to the enhanced amount claimed in the appeal.

14. Solatium is in cur opinion, merely an adjunct to the main amount of compensation payable under Section 23(1) of the L. A. Act and the claim to solatium stands or falls with the decision on the main claim. As pointed out by Allahabad High Court in Sajjad Alikhan v. Secy. of State , awarding the amount as solatium, is a statutory duty and therefore, it (solatium) need not be claimed.

15. In State of Maharashtra v. Mishrilal Tarachand Lodha the Supreme Court considered the question whether in an appeal an appellant is bound to pay court-fee on the amount of pendente lite interest decreed in a suit. In holding that he need not pay court-fee on such interest, this is what the Supreme Court said at page 459:

'On what principle are these amounts not treated as forming part of the value of the subject-matter in dispute in appeal? Such value is to be determined on the substantial allegation in the plaint or from the pleas in the memorandum of appeal with respect to the point in dispute between the parties and sought to be determined by the Court. Such are necessarily the points affecting the rights of the parties sought to be adjudicated by the Court. Claims not based on any asserted right but dependent on the decision of the disputed right and reliefs in regard to which are in the discretion of the Court do not come within the purview of the expression 'subject-matter in dispute in plaint or memo of appeal''.

16. Though solatium, unlike interest, is not in the discretion of the Court and the Court is bound to award it (solatium), the main reasoning of the Supreme Court, namely, that claims not based on any asserted right but dependent on the decision of disputed right, do not come within the purview of the expression 'subject-matter of dispute in the memorandum of appeal', applies to the claim for solatium in an appeal under Section 54 of the L. A. Act.

17. In , Parthasarathi, J., in his separate opinion concurring with the leading opinion delivered by Jaganmohan Reddy, C. J., gave the following additional reason for the conclusion that no court-fee is payable 011 solatium proportionate to the enhanced amount claimed in an appeal under Section 54 of the L. A. Act: Section 49 of the Andhra Court-fees Act (which corresponds to Section 49 of the Karnataka Court-fees Act) which is a general provision applicable to appeals, provides for payment of court-fee in respect of the 'subject-matter' of appeals and Section 48 of that Act (which corresponds to Section 48 of the Karnataka Court-fees Act) which is intended for a special category of appeals, (namely, appeals against orders, awards and decisions relating to compensation) provides that court-fee is payable on the difference between the amount awarded and the amount claimed. If the words 'the amount awarded' should include the entire amount payable to the owner of the land acquired and takes in solatium also, and likewise the words 'the amount claimed' include solatium also, then the entire subject-matter of the appeal becomes the basis of valuation for court-fee and there is no need for the special provision in Section 48 and that Section would be redundant. A construction that leads to the conclusion that there is a superfluity of provisions in a legislative enactment, should be avoided. When the legislature enacts a particular provision in a statute, the presumption is that it is providing for something other than that in the general provision. The only way in which Section 48 of the Andhra Court-fees Act (which corresponds to Section 48 of the Karnataka Court-fees Act) can be interpreted as not to render that Section superfluous, would be to construe the expressions 'the amount awarded' and 'the amount claimed' as not including solatium.

18. We are in respectful agreement with the above line of reasoning of Parthasarathi, J.

19. For the above reasons, the view taken by the Full Bench of Andhra Pradesh High Court and the Division Bench of Bombay High Court, should, in our opinion, be preferred to the view taken by Gujarat High Court.

20. The answer to the question referred to the Full Bench, should, in our opinion, be as follows:--

'In an appeal under Section 54 of the Land Acquisition Act, seeking for enhancement of the compensation, the amount of statutory allowance proportionate to the amount of such enhancement, need not be included for the purpose of court-fee payable under Section 48 of the Karnataka Court-fees arid Suits Valuation Act, 1958.'

21. Reference answered in the negative.


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