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Nagar Mahapalika, Varanasi Vs. Durga Shankar and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Civil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSpecial Appeal No. 172 of 1974
Judge
Reported inAIR1975All99
ActsLand Acquisition Act, 1894 - Sections 4
AppellantNagar Mahapalika, Varanasi
RespondentDurga Shankar and ors.
Appellant AdvocateN.D. Pant, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateJagdish Prasad, Adv. and ;Standing Counsel
DispositionAppeal allowed
Excerpt:
.....in support of the proposition that the notifications issued under sections 4 and 6 were void for not sufficiently and adequately describing the locality in the land sought to be acquired......up in appeal.6. the notifications mention the name of the district. pargana and mauza in which the land sought to be acquired was situate. the name of the village mentioned is jaitpura. the approximate area mentioned is 0.905 acres and the purpose mentioned is for widening of road and shopping cum-housing centre. at the bottom, a note stated a plan of the land may be inspected in the office of the collector banaras.7. in bahori lal's case air 1970 all 414 the full bench emphasized that' the notifications have to sufficiently identify the locality in which the land sought to be acquired is situate. in paragraphs 23 and 24 it was observed that 'whether in a given case, the locality has been sufficiently described or not may depend on the nature of land, the area of the land proposed to be.....
Judgment:

Satish Chandra, J.

1. Nagar Mahapalika Varanasi has filed this appeal against the judgment of a learned Single Judge quashing the notification issued under Sections 4 and 6 of the Land Acquisition Act and also the proceedings for the ejectment of the respondents taken by the Nagar Mahapalika under Section 129-A of the Nagar Mahapalika Adhiniyam.

2. A notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act was issued on 30-11-1955. It related to an. area of 0.905 acres in village Jaitpura in the district of Varanasi. Subsequently a notification under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act was issued on January 19, 1956. It related to the same area and it mentioned that the land was sought to be acquired for widening of roads and shopping cum housing-centre. Provisions of Section 5A were excluded. Subsequently proceedings for determination of the compensation payable to the owners were undertaken and an award was published by the Land Acquisition Officer on 6th April, 1957. Later on the Nagar Mahapalika took proceedings for the ejectment of the respondents under Section 129-A of the Nagar Mahapalika Adhiniyam on the ground that they were in unauthorised occupation of the land which had vested in the Nagar Mahapalika At this stage the erstwhile owners of the land filed a writ petition in this Court. They challenged the validity of the notifications issued under the Land Acquisition Act as also the proceedings under Section 129-A of the Nagar Mahapalika Adhiniyam.

3. A learned Single Judge held that the notifications under Sections 4 and 6 of the Land Acquisition Act were vague inasmuch as they did not indicate the details of the buildings or municipal numbers of the plots sought to be acquired. Relying upon a Full Bench decision in Bahori Lal v. Land Acquisition Officer, AIR 1970 All 414 (FB) the notifications were held to be void. It was also held that consequential proceedings for the ejectment of the respondents being based upon void acquisition proceedings were themselves illegal.

4. The plea raised on behalf of the appellant that the writ petition was barred by laches was repelled. In the result, the notifications under Sections 4 and 6 of the Act as well as the proceedings under Section 129-A of the Nagar Mahapalika Adhinivam were quashed.

5. Aggrieved, the Nagar Mahapalika has come up in appeal.

6. The notifications mention the name of the district. Pargana and Mauza in which the land sought to be acquired was situate. The name of the village mentioned is Jaitpura. The approximate area mentioned is 0.905 Acres and the purpose mentioned is for widening of road and shopping cum-housing centre. At the bottom, a note stated a plan of the land may be inspected in the office of the Collector Banaras.

7. In Bahori Lal's case AIR 1970 All 414 the Full Bench emphasized that' the notifications have to sufficiently identify the locality in which the land sought to be acquired is situate. In paragraphs 23 and 24 it was observed that 'whether in a given case, the locality has been sufficiently described or not may depend on the nature of land, the area of the land proposed to be acquired, the situation or the site of the land with reference to the part of the village or the city in which the land lies. If the land is situate in a very small village of which the area is very small, it may be that the description of the locality by the mention of the village may be sufficient. If, however, the land is situate in a big village of which the area is considerable the mere mention of the village may not sufficiently answer the description of the locality. A mere note in the notification that the site plan is available for inspection cannot take the place of a sufficient description of the locality itself. Though the site plan may fix the identity of the land and its extent proposed to be acquired, it may not necessarily fix the locality itself.'

8. In view of these observations it is clear that the Full Bench did not lay down that the notifications under Sections 4 and 6 will in every case be void if they did not describe the locality or land by its plot numbers etc. The question is one of fact and is dependent upon the circumstances of each case. In each case it will have to be established positively that the description of the land sought to be acquired by mention of the village where it is situate is not sufficient to properly identify it. The notification would be valid unless it is established that the land proposed to be acquired in the mentioned village is so small compared to the total area of the village that the mere mention of the village was not sufficient description of the locality. Evidently, the burden of proving these facts is on the person who seeks to challenge the validity of the notification, in cases where the name of the district Pargana and the village are mentioned.

9. In the present case there is no averment indicating the area of village Jaitpura so that one may conclude that the description of the locality where the land was situate, by naming the village, was inadequate. The grievance contained in paragraph 3 of the writ petition is that the details of the numbers of the plots, or their boundaries were not mentioned in the notification. As we have already seen, this lacuna is by itself not sufficient to make the notification invalid.

10. Learned Counsel for the respondents have invited our attention to a map which was a part of Annexure VI to the writ petition. According to paragraph 22 of the writ petition the map shows the plots sought to be acquired. A perusal of Annexure VI shows that it is a survey plan of a portion of Shajra of village Jaitpura. It does not indicate the total area of this village. If the land of village Jaitpura is as indicated in the key plan shown at the bottom of this map, the position is that the land sought to be acquired is 1/3rd of the total area shown in this plan. It cannot be said that the description of the land was insufficient or inadequate within meaning of the observations of the Full Bench quoted above. We are thus not satisfied that the petitioners have established the necessary facts in support of the proposition that the notifications issued under Sections 4 and 6 were void for not sufficiently and adequately describing the locality in the land sought to be acquired. They could not be held void on this ground.

11. We are in agreement with the learned Single Judge that the writ petition was not, for reasons mentioned by him, barred by laches. Since the writ petition raises several other grounds which have not been touched, it is necessary to send it back. In the result the appeal succeeds and is allowed. The judgment of the learned Single Judge is set aside. The matter is sent back for decision afresh in accordance with law and in the light of the finding and observations made above. The appellant will be entitled to costs.


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