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Akbar Ali and anr. Vs. Secretary of State for India in Council - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1923)ILR45All443
AppellantAkbar Ali and anr.
RespondentSecretary of State for India in Council
Excerpt:
act no. i of 1894 (land acquisition act), section 6 - notification that land is required for a public purpose--jurisdiction of court to inquire whether the purpose is a 'public purpose' excluded. - - the language of section 6 of the land acquisition act is perfectly plain and clearly bars the courts from inquiring into the question whether the purpose for which land, in respect of which a declaration under section 6 has been issued, is required is a public purpose or not......to acquire on behalf-of the secretary of state for a public purpose, under the provisions of the land acquisition act, 1894. a notification was duly issued under section 6 of the act stating that the land was required for a public purpose, and, under section 7 of the act, the collector of etawah was directed to take order for the acquisition of the land. the usual acquisition proceedings under subsequent sections of the land acquisition act followed, and, ultimately, the collector took possession of the land under section 16 of the act. sub-section (3) of section 6 of the act declares that a declaration under this section shall be conclusive evidence that the land is needed for a public purpose or for a company, as the case may be. the sole ground on which the suit has been decreed in.....
Judgment:

Ryves and Daniels, JJ.

1. This appeal arises out of a suit brought by the plaintiffs respondents Akbar Ali and Bande Ali for the recovery of certain land which the Collector purported to acquire on behalf-of the Secretary of State for a public purpose, under the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. A notification was duly issued under Section 6 of the Act stating that the land was required for a public purpose, and, under Section 7 of the Act, the Collector of Etawah was directed to take order for the acquisition of the land. The usual acquisition proceedings under subsequent sections of the Land Acquisition Act followed, and, ultimately, the Collector took possession of the land under Section 16 of the Act. Sub-section (3) of Section 6 of the Act declares that a declaration under this section shall be conclusive evidence that the land is needed for a public purpose or for a company, as the case may be. The sole ground on which the suit has been decreed in the courts below is that, in spite of this declaration, the land was not really needed for a public purpose. It is said that certain land of Bhatele Shiam Bihari Lal had been acquired for the purpose of the Islamia School and under an agreement entered into between the Collector of Etawah and Shiam Bihari Lai, prior to the acquisition, the land now in dispute was acquired in order to be given over to Shiam Bihari Lal in return for his land which had been acquired. 'Before, however, the courts can enter into the question whether the purpose for which the land was acquired was a public purpose or not, it must be found that they have jurisdiction to do this. In fact the argument of the plaintiffs, which has been accepted by the courts below, is that Sub-section (3) of Section 6 does not mean what in plain language it says, and-that although the statute declares in so many words that the declaration is conclusive evidence that the purpose for which the land was acquired was a public purpose, it is nevertheless open to the courts to go into evidence and adjudicate upon the question whether it was a public purpose or not. In support of this startling proposition reliance is placed on two rulings, the ruling of the Privy Council in the case of Trustees for the Improvement of Calcutta v. Chandra Kanta Ghosh (1919) I.L.R. 47 Calc. 500 and the ruling of a single Judge of the Calcutta High Court in an original suit, Manick Chand Mahata v. The Corporaiion of Calcutta (1921) I.L.R. 48 Calc. 916. In fact neither of these cases turns on the construction of Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act. The Privy Council case turns entirely, upon the construction of certain sections of the Calcutta Improvement Act, and their Lordships expressly say that during the course c*f the argument their attention was directed to a number of decisions upon various Acts of Parliament giving compulsory powers for the acquisition of land, but that in each case the decision must depend upon the provisions of the particular Act and the purpose for which and conditions under which, in such Act, land may be compulsorily acquired. This case is no authority on the construction of Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act. The other case was one in which certain land had been acquired on behalf of the Improvement Trust by the Calcutta Corporation. A notification had been issued under Section 6 of the Act. Mr. Justice Greaves, who decided the case, held that however conclusive a notification under Section 6 of the Act might be, it did not prevent his inquiring into the question whether the Calcutta Corporation had statutory powers to take steps at all for the acquirement of this land. This decision also, therefore, does not touch the point before us. The language of Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act is perfectly plain and clearly bars the courts from inquiring into the question whether the purpose for which land, in respect of which a declaration under Section 6 has been issued, is required is a public purpose or not. The appeal must, therefore, be allowed and we accordingly allow it and dismiss the suit with costs in all courts.


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