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The Secretary of State for India in Council Vs. Bishun Dutt - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported in9Ind.Cas.423
AppellantThe Secretary of State for India in Council
RespondentBishun Dutt
Excerpt:
land acquisition act (i of 1894), sections 9(2) and 25(2) - omission to appear without sufficient cause--absolute bar to contest collector's award. - - furthermore, the evidence given by the collector applies to this case as well as to the others, while the evidence given in the present case by the owner is confined to the evidence of mr......he examined one witness, mr. acton, the municipal engineer, and no other. the learned district judge awarded the sum of rs. 6,663. the sum so awarded included the 15 per cent, for compulsory acquisition. the secretary of state has appealed. the first ground of appeal is that, having regard to the provisions of section 9, clause (2) and section 25 of the land acquisition act, the owner can have no greater sum awarded to him than the amount awarded by the collector or, in the present case, the land acquisition officer. the respondent contends that the notification of dissatisfaction with the award is a sufficient compliance with the provisions of the act. we are not prepared to take this view. in our opinion it was intended by clause (2) of section 9 that the owner of property about to.....
Judgment:

1. This appeal arises out of a reference under the Land Acquisition Act. The property is situated in Allahabad. The Acquisition Officer awarded Rs. 3,450 for it. The owner made no claim in compliance with Section 9, Clause (2) of the Land Acquisition Act of 1894. He, however, applied for a reference to the District Judge, claiming Rs. 12,830. He examined one witness, Mr. Acton, the Municipal Engineer, and no other. The learned District Judge awarded the sum of Rs. 6,663. The sum so awarded included the 15 per cent, for compulsory acquisition. The Secretary of State has appealed. The first ground of appeal is that, having regard to the provisions of Section 9, Clause (2) and Section 25 of the Land Acquisition Act, the owner can have no greater sum awarded to him than the amount awarded by the Collector or, in the present case, the Land Acquisition Officer. The respondent contends that the notification of dissatisfaction with the award is a sufficient compliance with the provisions of the Act. We are not prepared to take this view. In our opinion it was intended by Clause (2) of Section 9 that the owner of property about to be acquired should appear and state his claim in the manner provided by the clause so as to enable the Acquisition Officer to make a fair, proper and reasonable award based upon a proper inquiry after the proper means have been placed before him for holding such inquiry. Section 25, Clause (2), makes the refusal or omission to comply with the provisions of Section 9, Clause (2), without sufficient cause an absolute bar to the applicant in the reference, obtaining a greater sum than that awarded by the Collector. There is, however, no reference in the judgment of the learned District Judge to this point having been raised before him. It is suggested that the point, was waived. Even on the merits, we think that the order of the District Judge cannot be sustained. For the reasons given in our judgment in F.A. No. 294 of 1909, decided yesterday, we cannot approve of the conclusion of the learned District Judge in respect to so much of the property as was let to tenants. Furthermore, the evidence given by the Collector applies to this case as well as to the others, while the evidence given in the present case by the owner is confined to the evidence of Mr. Acton. With regard to the house No. 194-C, part of the property acquired, which is in the occupation of the owner himself, we find that the Acquisition Officer allowed the sum of Rs. 920. Mr. Acton, the sole witness examined by the owner, valued this property as a whole, at Rs. 798. It thus appears that the Acquisition Officer allowed the owner a larger sum than his sole witness valued it at. The learned Judge in arriving at his conclusion has, contrary to the evidence produced by the owner himself and contrary to the evidence of the Collector, awarded a still greater sum. In our opinion the appeal, must prevail. We accordingly allow the appeal, set aside the order of the Court below and award to the applicant the sum of Rs. 3,450, namely, the amount awarded by the Acquisition Officer. The Secretary of State will have his costs in both Courts to be paid by Bishun Dutt.


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