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The State of Hyderabad Vs. Mohammad Omerali and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberAppeal No. 25/1 of 1955
Judge
Reported inAIR1963AP300
ActsLand Acquisition Act, 1894 - Sections 4, 6, 9, 11 and 12; ;Hyderabad Land Acquisition Act, 1309 - Sections 3, 5, 7 and 20
AppellantThe State of Hyderabad
RespondentMohammad Omerali and anr.
Appellant AdvocateV. Madhava Reddy, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateS.M. Hasan and ;Triambak Rao Deshmukh, Advs.
DispositionAppeal Partly allowed and Cross objection dismissed
Excerpt:
property - compensation - sections 4, 6, 9, 11 and 12 of land acquisition act, 1894 and sections 3, 5, 7 and 20 of hyderabad land acquisition act, 1309f - land acquired under act of 1309f - personal notice given to owner - owner duty bound to specifically mention his interests in land and amount of compensation entitled by him ( claim to be made within one month of issue of notice ( owner claimed high compensation without specifying nature of interest in property and amount of compensation as provided in section 7 of act - held, claimant not entitled to more than what has been awarded by collector under section 20 of act. - - after the publication of the said notification any person interested in any land which has been notified under section 3 sub-section (1) may, within thirty days..........filter beds for the water works department. notifications under sections 3 and 5 of the hyderabad land acquisition act hereinafter referred to as the act were published in jarida no. 44 dated 30th meher 1352 f. for acquisition of ac. 2-37 of land forming part of survey nos. 30, 31, 32, 33 and 34 situated in fatehnagar village, hyderabad. subsequently notices under sections 7 and 8 of the act were also issued on 22-2-1953. individual notices also were issued on 14-8-1953 to persons interested and respondent no. 1 was served on 10-9-1953. respondent no. 1 filed his claim petition on 1-4-55 before the collector claiming compensation without stating the actual amount of compensation for ac. 3-00 of wet land at a rate higher than that of dry land. as regards the remaining portion of ac......
Judgment:

Manoher Pershad, J.

1. The Government of Hyderabad wanted to acquire some land for the construction of filter beds for the Water Works Department. Notifications under Sections 3 and 5 of the Hyderabad Land Acquisition Act hereinafter referred to as the Act were published in Jarida No. 44 dated 30th Meher 1352 F. for acquisition of Ac. 2-37 of land forming part of Survey Nos. 30, 31, 32, 33 and 34 situated in Fatehnagar village, Hyderabad. Subsequently notices under Sections 7 and 8 of the Act were also issued on 22-2-1953. Individual notices also were issued on 14-8-1953 to persons interested and respondent No. 1 was served on 10-9-1953. Respondent No. 1 filed his claim petition on 1-4-55 before the Collector claiming compensation without stating the actual amount of compensation for Ac. 3-00 of wet land at a rate higher than that of dry land. As regards the Remaining portion of Ac. 13-00 of land he stated that owing to the acquisition of Ac. 3-00 of land the said remaining portion of Ac. 13-00 had become uncultivable. He however did not claim any compensation or any amount by way of damages in respect of these Ac. 13-00. He also claimed compensation for three wells at the rate of Rs. 1,000/-for one and at Rs. 1,500/- each for the other two wells. In the concluding para of his petition he stated that he suffered loss at the rate of Rs. 400/-per year owing to the acquisition of the land by the Department before the notification and prayed that he may be given compensation at the rate claimed by him viz., at 15% increase.

2. The Collector gave an award on 28-9-1951 fixing the compensation at the rate of Rs. 750/- per acre for the acquired area of Ac. 2-37. No compensation was given to the claimant for the wells and there is no order regarding the loss suffered by wrongful acquisition of Ac. 2-37 prior to the notification by the Government. The claimant notsatisfied with the award of the Collector, filed a petition on 4-12-1951 under Section 14 of the Act to refer the matter to Court. Accordingly, the matter was referred to the Court with a statement of the Talukdar under Section 15 of the Act. On a notice issued by the Court, the claimant filed a petition in the form of a plaint on 22-12-1952 specifying the items of his claim. The Court passed an award decreeing the claim of the claimant-plaintiff to the extent of Rs. 19,649-11-8 (O.S.). Hence this First Appeal on behalf of the State and Cross-appeal on behalf of the claimant-respondent.

3. Sri Madhava Reddy, learned counsel for the Slate, contended that when the claimant in his claim petition before the Collector did not specify the amount of his claim as required under Section 7 of the Act, he could not get a decree for any amount more than what was awarded by the Collector under his award.

In this connection, the learned counsel drew our attention to Sections 7, 8 and 20 of the Act and the case of Subbanna v. District Labour Officer, East Godavari, AIR 1930 Mad 618. The next contention advanced by the learned counsel for the Stale is that when the claimant had not put forward his claim for the remaining portion of his land viz., Ac. 13-00 either by way of damages or compensation the Court below exceeded its jurisdiction in awarding compensation for the said land at the rate of Rs. 750/- per acre.

4. Sri Hasan, the learned counsel for the claimant contended that the Court below was right in decreeing the claim of the claimant and it is incorrect to say that the amount has not been specified in the claim petition. As regards the question whether the claimant is entitled to compensation or damages for the remaining portion of Ac. 13-00 of land, it is contended by the Counsel for the claimant that the Court below was competent to go into that question and grant compensation.

5. In order to appreciate the contentions of the counsel, a reference to the relevant provisions of the Act is necessary.

Under Section 3 of the Act when it appears to Government that any land is likely to be needed for any Government or public purpose or for the purposes of a Company, a Notification to that effect has to be published by the Talukdar. After the publication of the said notification any person interested in any land which has been notified under Section 3 Sub-section (1) may, within thirty days alter the issue of the notification, object to the acquisition of the land or of any land in the locality, as the wise may be The Talukdar gives an opportunity to the objector, under Section 4-A (2) of the Act, to be heard either in person or by pleader, and after hearing all such objections and after making such further inquiry, if any, as he thinks necessary, he has to submit the case for the decision of Government, together with the record of the proceeding held by him and a report containing his recommendations on the objection

6. After receipt of the report by the Talukdar, if the Government is satisfied that any particular land is needed for Government or public purpose or for the purposes of a Company, a declarationis made to the effect, under the signature of the Secretary to Government or of any other office authorised by Government in this behalf under Section 5(1) of the Act. After such declaration, the Talukdar proceeds with the acquisition of the land by measuring and marking out the land to be acquired under Section 6 of the Act. Thereafter under Section 7 of the Act the Talukdar issues a notice notifying the intention of the Government to take possession of the land and calling upon persons interested to file their claims to compensation specifying the nature of their interests and the amount of the compensation within one month to be made in writing either to him or to any of his subordinate officers appointed for this purpose. A copy of this notice is sent to all persons appearing to be interested in the land.

Under Section 8 of the Act, the Talukdar calk upon the persons interested in the land to file written Statements. Under Section 9, on the date fixed, the Talukdar enquires into the objections and interests. At the close of the enquiry, the Talukdar makes an award under Section 10 of the Act. This award is final unless it is amended under subsequent provisions of the Act.

Any person aggrieved by the Award of the Talukdar has a right under Section 14(1) of the Act to apply to the Talukdar within two months from the date of receiving notice of such Award to refer the case to the Court for determination whether his objection be to the measurement of the land, or to the amount of the compensation, or to the persons to whom it is payable or to the apportionment of the compensation among the persons interested. Under Clause (2) of Section 14 of the Act the petitioner has to state the grounds on which the objection to the Award is taken. Section 15 of the Act casts a duty on the Talukdar to give a statement to the Court showing the extent of the land with particulars of any trees, buildings or standing crops thereon; the names of the persons interested in such land; the amount awarded for damages and paid or tendered under Sections 4 and 13 and the amount of compensation awarded under Section 10; and if the objection be to the amount of compensation the grounds on which the amount of compensation was determined.

7. On a reference of the case, A notice is issued under Section 16 of the Act to the persons interested. Section 17 of the Act enjoins that the enquiry in the Court should be restricted to the interests of the persons affected by the objection. Section 18 of the Act refers to the matters that have to be considered by the Court in making payment of compensation, and Section 19 relates to the matters not to be considered by the Court in making payment of the compensation. Section 20 refers to the award. Section 23 pertains to the awarding of interest on the excess amount of compensation awarded by the Court. For the purpose of this appeal, we are not concerned with the subsequent sections of the Act.

8. A reading of the above sections of the Act would go to show that when notifications under Sections 3 and 5 of the Act are published and personal notice under Section 7 of the Act is given to the party concerned, it is incumbent upon theclaimant to put forward his claim specifying his interests in the land and the amount of compensation to which he is entitled within one month from the date of the issue of the notice.

9. Sri Madhava Reddy, learned counsel for the appellant contended that the application tiled by the claimant not being within 30 days from the date of the notice, it could not be regarded as a claim petition under Section 7 of the Act. We do not accept the contention of the learned counsel for the appellant. From a perusal of the record, we find that the claimant did file a petition without specifying the date. The record of the Collector's Office also does not show as to when this application was riled. The endorsement on 'the back of the' application is of 1-4-55 referring to an order dated 27-3-55 F. In the proceedings of 27-3-55 F., there is a clear mention that the claimant has already but forward his claim and the objections raised by the claimant have also been stated in the proceedings of that date. It follows therefore that the petition of the claimant claiming compensation must have been filed prior (o 27-3-55 F. So the endorsement on the back of the petition dated 1-4-55 cannot be taken to be the date of filing of the petition. Even assuming that the petition was filed on 1-4-55, as no objection was taken by the State that the petition was not within 30 days of the issue of the notice, and the Collector having treated the petition to be within time, it cannot be said that the claim petition was barred by time.

10. Now we have to see whether in the claim petition the claimant has specified the amount of compensation and the nature of his interests in the land us provided in Section 7 of the Act. A perusal of the petition, as already observed earlier, shows that the petitioner while claiming compensation for Ac. 3-00 of land had not specified the amount of compensation. All that he stated is that he should get compensation more than what has been awarded to the dry land as the land acquired was a wet land. It is clear therefore, that there was no specification of the amount.

11. The next question that arises is what is the effect of not specifying the amount of compensation? An identical question had come up before a Bench of the Madras High Court viz., the case of AIR 1950 Mad 618. In that case also alter the service of notice under Section 9 of the Land Acquisition Act (1 of 1894) the claimant did not appear. The Land Acquisition Officer gave an award stating that the claimant did not turn up to make any claim in response to the notice issued under Sections 9 and 10 of the Act. The appellant being dissatisfied with the award requested the Land Acquisition Officer to refer the matter to Court. In the letter of reference the Land Acquisition Officer stated that the land owner did not turn up on the date fixed for enquiry and held that the compensation need not be enhanced under Section 25(2) of the Act.

Beasley, C.J. and Curgenven, J., while considering the scope of Sections 9(2) and 25(2) of the Act held

'that under Section 9(2) of the Act the claimant is not required necessarily to make his claimin writing so long as he makes a claim for compensation.'

It was further held that 'what the Act does require is that there should be a specific claim, namely, a claim which states in rupees the value the claimant places upon his property; and there has been no such claim here and the provisions of Section; 9(2) of the Act cannot fie said to have been complied with'. Similar question wherein the scope of Sections 9, 11, 15, 23, 25 and 26 had come up (sic) before one of us in this Court in The District Welfare Officer, Eluru v. M. Venkatarangayya, 1958 Andh LT 647 and it has been held:

'All that is required is that a person claiming, an interest in the land under acquisition should (1) specify the interest he claims, (2) specify the amount he claims for such interest and (3) give particulars of his claim to compensation. It does not go further than that and it does not require him to specify the amount of compensation he claims in aspect of each of the six sub-heads referred to in Section 23 of the Act. Failure therefore to specify the amount claimed in respect of any particular sub-head of Section 23, is not bar to the Judge reviewing the award of the Land Acquisition Officer in respect of such sub-heads. There cannot be any doubt of this interpretation which is amply removed by the sections which follow Section 9.'

It follows therefore that failure to specify the 'amount required under Section 7 of the Act disentitles the claimant to claim anything more than what has been awarded by the Collector under Section 20 of the Act.

12. Sri Hasan, learned counsel for respondent No. 1 contends that the petition of claimant did show the amount of compensation. We went through the petition but we did not find any such specification in Para 1 of the petition which relates to Ac. 3-00 of land alleged to have been acquired by the Government. The learned counsel contended further that when the petitioner stated in Para 1 of the petition that compensation should be given at a rate higher than the rate given to the dry lands that itself is a sufficient specification. We do not agree with the contention of the learned counsel for respondent No. 1. Section 7 of the Act clearly states that the amount of compensation should be specified, which means that it should be claimed in rupees and annas. As the petition does not contain any specification of the amount, the claimant, in our opinion, cannot get more than what has been awarded to him by the Collector. In the result, the petition would be entitled to compensation for acquisition of Ac. 2-37 of land at| the rate of Rs. 750/- per acre as awarded by the Collector.

13. The next question that has to be considered is whether the claimant is entitled to compensation or damages for the remaining portion of Ac. 13-00 of land? The contention of Sri Madhava Reddy, learned counsel for the appellant, is that the Government has acquired only Ac. 2-37 of land and the notification was also to that effect. Whereas, the contention of the claimant was that though the notification was to the extent of Ac. 2-37 of land, the Government as a matter of fact had acquired the entire area of Ac. 16-00 of land and took possession of the same. This matter was enquired into by the Court and the finding of the Court is that the Government has not acquired the entire area of Ac. 16-00 of land but only Ac. 2-37 of land. When the Government has not acquired the remaining portion of Ac. 13-00 of land, there is no question of awarding any compensation to the claimant for that area.

What the claimant urges is that by acquiring Ac. 3-00 of land, the remaining portion of Ac. 13-00 of land had become uncultivable thereby causing loss to him. In other words, the claimant claims compensation by way of damages. The claimant's original claim petition before the Collector though refers to the remaining portion of the land viz., Ac. 13-00 having become uncultivable does not specifically show what is the extent of damage the claimant suffered thereby. The learned counsel for the claimant drew our attention to paragraph 5 of the claim petition wherein he has staled that he suffered loss to the tune of Rs. 400/- per year by reason of wrongful acquisition of the land by the Government. Though there is a mention to this effect, there is absolutely no evidence to substantiate this point. That apart, in his petition to refer the matter to the Court also the claimant only complains about the land having become uncultivable and he does not claim any damages nor has he specified the amount of damages. When the matter came up before the Court, he filed a petition in the nature of a suit. In paragraph 3 of the petition he refers to the fact that the Government have taken possession of Ac. 13-00 of land but does not claim any amount of compensation by way of damages caused to him.

A reading of all the three petitions held by the claimant would go to show that so far as the extent of Ac. 13-00 of land was concerned the stand taken was not at all consistent. In one petition he States that Ac. 13-00 of land had become uncultivable. In the other petition he mentions that the said land has been taken possession of by the Government. Whatever may be the statement, this much is clear that the claimant has neither specified the amount of compensation nor has he claimed it.

When the petitioner has not put forward 'the extent of his claim the matter could not be gone into and as a matter of fact had not been gone into by the Collector. The Court, in our opinion, had no jurisdiction to go into the matter of Ac. 13-00 of land and award compensation to the claimant. The learned counsel for the claimant also could not satisfy us as to how this part of the order of the Court could be sustained. We are definite that so far as the remaining portion viz., Ac. 13-00 of land is concerned, the order of the Court awarding compensation is bad and cannot be sustained. The Collector had awarded compensation for Ac. 2-37 of land at the rate of Rs. 750/- per acre and we are also of the opinion that compensation only to the extent of Ac. 2-37 of land could be given to the claimant.

14. Now the question is whether the rate of Rs. 750/- per acre awarded by the Collector is proper. The contention of the learned counsel for the claimant is that compensation at the rate ofRs. 1,500/- or at least at the rate of Rs. 1,000/-should be awarded to the claimant. Though the learned counsel has pleaded so, there is no evidence to entitle him to more compensation than what has been awarded by the Collector, viz., Rs. 750/-per acre. Even before us, the learned counsel for the claimant was not in a position to substantiate this point. In the absence of any material, we cannot accept the contention that compensation at a rate higher than that awarded by the Collector should be given. Calculating at the rate of Rs. 750/- per acre, the amount of compensation for acquisition of Ac. 2-37 of land comes to Rs. 2,193-12-0. Adding Rs. 329-1-0 being 15% increase the total comes to Rs. 2,522-13-0. From this amount, the amount of right of ownership to the extent of Rs, 403-10-0 if deducted, the total amount payable to the cliamant comes to Rs. 2119-3-0. The claimant has been awarded Rs. 1,500/- as compensation for the wells. We accept the finding of the Court in this regard.

In our opinion also the claimant is entitled to Rs. 1,500/- on that account. On this amount of Rs. 1,500/- the claimant will be entitled to 15% extra viz., Rs. 225/. Adding this the total amount will be Rs. 1,725/-. Thus the claimant would be entitled to a total amount of Rs. 3,844-3-0 on both these counts plus interest on Rs. 1,500/- at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of possession of the land viz., from 13-3-1352 F. to the date of deposit and also interest on Rs. 2,119-3-0 at the rate of 6% per annum from date of possession viz., 13-3-52 F. to the date of deposit.

15. Sri Trimbak Rao Deshmukh appearing for respondent No. 2 contended that respondent No. 2 having obtained a decree against respondent No. 1 declaring his right to the land acquired, he (respondent No. 2) was entitled to the compensation amount. It may be stated that though the award had gone against respondent No. 2 he never applied for reference to the Court and when the matter was on reference at the instance of the 1st respondent, he filed a petition to implead him as a party and that petition having been rejected, he did not take the matter further. On the contrary he proceeded with his suit for a declaration and possession against the 1st respondent, and after obtaining a decree filed a petition along with the copy of the decree to this Court to be impleaded as 2nd respondent in the appeal. This petition was allowed and he was added as 2nd respondent in the appeal. Though this petitioner has been impleaded as 2nd respondent the decree obtained by him against the 1st respondent not being final, it is premature for this Court to say whether he or the 1st respondent are the real owners of the property. That apart, the matter before the Court under Section 14 of the Act was for determination of the amount of compensation and not for apportionment. As such, no relief could be given to the 2nd respondent in this Court at this stage. It is however open to the 2nd respondent to follow Up the remedies available to him.

16. The appeal is therefore partly allowed The 1st respondent's claim to the extent of Rs. 3,844-3-0 being the amount for compensation for the acquisition of Ac. 2-37 of land and thewells is decreed with interest at the rate of 6% per annum on Rs. 1,500/- from the date of possession viz., 13-3-52 F. till the date of deposit of the amount plus interest on Rs. 2,119-3-0 at the rate of 6% per annum from 13-3-52 F. till date of deposit. The 1st respondent's claim for damages in relation to the extent of remaining portion of land viz., Ac. 13-23 is dismissed.

17. In the result, the cross-objections would also stand dismissed. Having regard to the facts of the case, we do not pass any orders regarding costs in this Court.


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