N.U. Beg, J.
1. This writ petition has been filed by Shyam Swamp Saksena praying that a writ of mandamus, certiorari or any other appropriate writ or direction may be Issued restraining opposite parties Nos. 1 to 3 from continuing the proceedings for the acquisition of the land in village Sheikhapur, pargana, tahsil and District Lucknow, mentioned in the notice purporting to be under Section 9(3) of the Land Acquisition Act (1 of 1894) and for quashing the said notice and all notifications and orders in con-nection with the aforesaid proceedings.
The opposite parties Nos. 1 to 3 in the writ petition are :
(1) The State of Uttar Pradesh.
(2) The Mukhya Nagar Adhikari, Nagar Mahapalika, Lucknow, and
(3) The Land Acquisition Officer, Lucknow. Opposite party No. 4 is Suresh Chand Rupainwar.
2. The petitioner is the purchaser of a share in a portion of two plots, viz., plots Nos. 551/1 and 652/2, situate in village Sheikhapur, pergana, tahsil and district Lucknow from one Ram Sumiran Singh. The total area of the two plots was two Bighas and one Biswa. Ram Sumiran Singh held both these plots originally as a sirdar. On the 25th June, 1954, he obtained a bhumidhari sanad in respect of these plots under Section 137 of the U. P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act, 1950, by paying ten times the land revenue in respect thereof. Out of the total area of 2 Bighas and one biswa, by a sale deed dated the 7th August, 1955, Ram Sumiran Singh sold one Bigha and 17 biswas to two persons, viz., Shyam Swarup Saksena, who is the petitioner, and Suresh Chand Rupainwar, who is opposite party No. 4, in this petition. The share of the petitioner in the property sold was 3/4th and the share of the opposite party No. 4 was one-fourth. The remaining four biswas were transferred to two other persons, viz. Saligram and Sheo Ratan on the same date.
3. Village Sheikhapur was the subject-matter of acquisition proceedings under the Land Acquisition Act (Act No. 1 of 1894) hereinafter referred to as 'the Act.' The preliminary notification under Section 4 of the Act was issued on the 26th September, 1945. This notification fs appended as Annexure 1 to the writ petition. It indicates that seventeen villages, including Sheikhapur, were intended to be acquired by the Government. The purpose of acquisition, as stated in the said notification, is:
'Construction of Government buildings by the Public Works Department.'
The notification also stated that the Government had directed that the provisions of Section 5-A of the Act Wouldnot apply to the said proceedings.
4. Notification under Section 6 of the Act was issued on the 18th February, 1959. In this notification, the purpose of acquisition as stated therein is:
'The extension of Mahanagar Housing Scheme by Municipal Board, Lucknow.'
It is also stated in this notification that the case being one of urgency the Governor in exercise of the powers conferred by Sub-sections (1) and (la) of Section 17 of the Act was pleased to direct that the Collector may take possession of the land mentioned in the Schedule on the expiration of 15 days of the publication of the notice under Sub-section (1) of Section 9 of the Act.
Thereafter proceedings under Section 9 of the Act were taken, and notices to persons interested in claiming compensation were issued. Notice under Section 9(3) of the Act was served on the petitioner on the 28th December, 1960. This notice is filed as Annexure 4 to the writ petition. The present writ petition was filed in Court on the 10th July, 1961. In the writ petition the validity of the acquisition proceedings taken on the basis of the aforementioned notification under Section 6 of the Act was challenged on a number of grounds.
5. Before me the learned counsel for the petitioner advanced oniy three arguments in support of the writ petition.
1. That the public purpose specified in the notification under Section 6 of the Act was not the same as that specified in the notification under Section 4 of the Act.
2. That, in any case, the purpose specified in the notification under Section 6 of the Act was not a public purpose at all, and
3. That the direction contained in the notification under Section 4 of the Act that Section 5-A of the Act would not apply to the present proceedings was bad in law.
The effect of the above irregularities, according to the learned counsel for the petitioner, was that the entire acquisition proceedings were nullified and should, therefore, be quashed as null and void.
6. On behalf of the opposite-parties, apart from contesting the application on merits, a preliminary objectionwas taken to the maintainability of the petition on theground of delay.
in this connection the learned counsel for the opposite parties invited my attention to the fact that so far as the challenge of the petitioner relating to the direction of the Governor that Section 5-A of the Act would not apply to the present proceedings was concerned, it was obviously belated. This direction was contained in the notification under Section 4 of the Act dated the 25th September, 1946. If the entire proceedings were illegal on the ground that the notification under Section 4 of the Act contained the aforesaid direction, then a suit could have been filed in the Civil Court challenging the validity of the said proceedings after the issue of the said notification on that ground.
On behalf of the opposite parties, the learned counsel further argued that the notification under Section 6 of the Act which is dated the 18th February, 1959, also contained orders implementing the prior direction of the Governer relating to the non-applicability of Section 5-A of the Act to the present proceedings in so far as this notification conferred a power on the Collector to take possession of the land under Sub-sections (1) and (1-A) of Section 17 of the said Act on the ground that the provisions of Section 5-A of the Act had not been made applicable to the present case. The Constitution having come into force on the 26th January, 1950, the writ remedy existed on that day. At any rate, therefore, it was open to the petitioner to challenge the validity of the notification on the said ground within 90 days from the 18th February, 1959. The learned counsel for the opposite-parties argued that in any case, even if limitation be computed from the date of the service of notice under Section 9(3) of the Act, the delay in the filing of the present writ petition was not satisfactorily explained.
It is admitted in paragraph 12 of the petition that the notice under Section 9(3) of the Act was served on the petitioner on the 28th December, 1960. The present writ petition was fifed on the 10th July, 1961. It was therefore, filed after the expiry of a period of over six months after notice.
The only explanation sought to be given by the petitioner explaining this delay is contained in paragraph 14 of the application. This explanation is to the effect that the petitioner was waiting for opposite party No. 4 to pin him in the writ petition. Opposite-party No. 4 fell ill. He had an attack of paralysis, and remained lying in the Balrampur Hospital till April 1961. Subsequently he declined to join with him in filing the petition. The present writ petition was, therefore, delayed.
7. On behalf of the opposite-parties, it is argued that the above explanation is neither satisfactory nor reliable. The petitioner has not filed any medical evidence supporting the allegation that opposite party No. 4 was ill. If, as stated in the application opposite-party No. 4 was lying ill in the Balrampur Hospital after having had an attack of paralysis it would be very easy to get the relevant register of the Balrampur Hospital supporting the aforesaid allegation.
Further, no prescription of any doctor or any certificate from any medical practitioner is filed in support of this part of the explanation. The best person, to state about his illness was opposite party No. 4 himself, if the allegation of the petitioner was correct, he could easily have obtained an affidavit from opposite party No. 4 to that effect. It is, therefore, argued that the reason given by the petitioner for the delay does not, on the face of it, appear to be correct.
8. It is further argued that even if the allegation regarding the illness of opposite party No. 4 is accepted as correct, there wos absolutely no justification for the petitioner to wait for the recovery of opposite party No. 4. The cause of action of the petitioner was an independent one. The writ application on his behalf should have been more properly filed as a separate application. In fact, it was subsequently filed as a separate application. The share of the petitioner was separate from the share of opposite party No. 4. A joinder of the two parties was neither necessary nor proper. In this view of the matter, the explanation would not appear to be satisfactory. I am of opinion that there is a good deal of force in the argument advanced on behalf of the opposite parties, and I am inclined to hold that the writ petition suffers from the defect of delay.
9. On behalf of the petitioner, the learned counsel has relied on a case of this Court in Gur Dayal v. State of Uttar Pradesh : AIR1960All564 , On behalf of the opposite parties my attention is drawn to the fact that this is a single Judge decision which was overruled by a Bench of this Court in Sarju Prasad Sahu v. State of Uttar Pradesh : AIR1962All221 . I am, however, of opinion that the case reported in AIR 1980 All 564, is distinguishable from the present case. In that case the learned Judge, while considering the question of delay, observed :
'The present petition was moved within a few days of the service of the notices. In other words, there was no delay in the presentation of the petition. In any case, the delay is such which can be condoned.'
The present petition was not moved within a few days of the service of the notice. In the present case as already observed, the notice was admittedly served on the 28th December, i960 and the present petition was moved more than six months after. Even if, therefore, the principle laid down in this case is accepted as correct, the present petition should be held to suffer from the defect of delay.
10. The learned counsel for the petitioner has also strongly relied on another case of this Court, viz. Jagdish Narain Bhargava v. State of Uttar Pradesh : AIR1959All380 . This case also appears to me to be distinguishable. In this case the learned Judge, when discussing the question of delay, observed :
'More so where, as in the present case, the evidence is that Shri Loomba and, after the sale, the petitioner have been continuously agitating against the validity of the impugned order and they had actually been assured at one time that the property will be released.'
In the present case it is not alleged by the petitioner that he had been agitating against the aforementioned notifications or taking any steps of any kind to have them cancelled or set aside prior to the present application. Under the circumstances, I am of opinion that this case also is of no help to the petitioner. In this view of the matter, the petition is liable to be dismissed in limine on the preliminary ground of delay. In view, however, of the fact that the petition raises some questions of law that are of importance and the case may go up in appeal, I have also examined the matter on merits as well, and am of opinion that it has no substance.
11. The first argument of the learned counsel for the petitioner is that the public purpose stated in the notification under Section 6 of the Act being altogether different from the public purpose stated in the notification under Section 4 of the Act, the entire acquisition proceedings have been vitiated. As I have already observed above, the public purpose stated in the notification under Section 4 of the Act is:
'Construction of Government buildings by the Public Works Department.'
The public purpose stated in the notification under Section 6 of the Act is:
'The extension of Mahanagar Housing Scheme by Municipal Board, Lucknow.'
12. In reply to this argument, the learned counsel for the opposite parties has argued that the two purposes pre not altogether different. They are part and parcel of a common scheme which was framed by the Government for a planned development of the city of Lucknow and its suburbs including the construction of buildings, roads, sewers etc. with the present amenities on modern lines, as stated in Clauses (a) and (e) of paragraph 8 of the counter affidavit.
According to the learned counsel for the opposite parties, the purpose given in the two notifications is Identical. There has been a mere change in the scheme and the agency through which the scheme is to be carried cut. Reliance in support of this contention is placed by the learned counsel for the opposite parties on a Bench decision of the Bombay High Court in Parshottam Jethalal Soni v. Secretary of State, AIR 1938 Bom 148.
In this case the Government had initially acquired the land under Kalupur Relief Road Scheme. They had framed a scheme for the implementation of the aforesaid purpose. Subsequently they cancelled the said scheme and framed another out. Under these circumstances, it was held that an alteration of the scheme did not have the effect or nullifying the proceedings. In the present case it is not the case of the opposite parties that any scheme had been framed by the Government for the achievement of the public purpose specified in the notification under Section 4. Under the circumstances, the above case cannot be said to be on all fours with the facts and circumstances of the present case.
I am of opinion that in the present case the two purposes cannot be said to be identical. Under the public purpose, as specified in the notification under Section 4 of the Act, the buildings were to be Government buildings and they were to be built by the Public Works Department. According to the notification under Section 6, the purpose was the extension of Mahanagar Housing Scheme and the agency through which it was to be achieved was the Municipal Board. The Mahanagar Housing Scheme would not be confined to Government buildings, it would be open to private persons to acquire plots of land and to construct houses thereon.
13. In this situation, the learned counsel appearing on behalf cf the opposite parties argued that even though the two public purposes might not be identical, they are analogous to each other in so far as both the purposes are part and parcel of a larger public purpose, viz. the development of Lucknow on a planned basis. Even if, therefore, there has been an alteration of public purpose at the stage of notification under Section 6 of the Act, such a modification would not have the effect of vitiating the entire proceedings. I am of opinion that this part of the argument of the learned counsel has force and should be accepted.
The aim and object of both the public purposes appear to be the same, viz. the development of Lucknow on a certain defined plan with the object of modernising the city and satisfying the dire needs of its public in the matter of shortage of accommodation. A modification of this nature in the public purpose at the stage of notification under Section 6 of the Act is in my opinion, permissible under the Act. The object underlying both the public purposes is the same. Both of them are species of the same genus. The main difference between the two appears to be that whereas the benefit of the public purpose stated in the notification under Section 4 was confined to the Government, the benefit of public purpose stated in the notification under Section 6 has been thrown open to a wider body, viz. the public at large, with the result that the purpose at the stage of notification under Section 6 has become more public.
14. It is important to note in this connection that the purpose of Section 4 itself is to enable the Government to make a preliminary investigation into the propriety of acquisition. Section 4 of the Act constitutes only a preparatory stage. The necessary consequence of this situation is that statements contained in the notification under Section 4 of the Act are of a provisional character and do not bear the stamp of immutability. Section 4(1) of the Act states that:
'(1) whenever it appears to the appropriate Government that the land in any locality is needed or is likely to be needed for any public purpose, a notification to that effect shall be published in the Official Gazette and the Collector shall cause public notice of the substance of such notification to be given at convenient places in the said locality.'
On the other hand, Section 6(1) of the Act runs as follows c
'(1) Subject to the provisions of Part VII of this Act, when the appropriate Government is satisfied, after considering the report, if any, made under Section 9(3), Sub-section (2), that any particular land is needed for a public purpose, or for a Company, a declaration shall be made to that effect under the signature of a Secretary to such Government or of some officer duly authorised to certify its orders.
The difference between the two provisions of law quoted above are significant In the first place, it the stage of Section 4 the Government only takes into consideration the facts as they appear on their face without having scrutinised them in detail. It is for this reason that Section 4(1) states that action under it is taken whenever.
'it appears to the appropriate Government that land in any locality is needed for the purpose specified therein.'
On the other hand, the phraseology used in Section 6 is different. When the notification under Section 6 is issued, then, as stated in that section 'the appropriate Government is satisfied' after considering the materials mentioned therein that the land 'is needed for a public purpose.' This would clearly indicate that at the stage of Section 4 the Government has not made up its mind. On the other hand, at the stage of Section 6 the Government has finally made up its mind as to what it is going to do in the matter.
In this connection, it is also important to note that action under Section 4(1) is also taken when the Government is of opinion that 'land is likely to be needed for public purpose.' On the other hand, action under Section 6(1) is taken when the Government is satisfied that 'any particular land is needed for a public purpose.' This would also indicate that at the stage of Section 4 the Government is not sure whether the land Is needed at all for any particular public purpose. It is enough if it appears to the Government that it may be needed for public purpose.
On the ether hand, by the time the stage of Section 6 is reached, the Government has made up its mind that the land is needed for a particular and specific public purpose, It may also be noted that the words used in Section 4(1) are 'any public purpose'. This would mean that all that the Government need be satisfied at that stage is that the land is needed for some public purpose. It is not necessary for it to exactly define what that public purpose would be. On the other hand, the words used In Section 6 are of a more specific type.
Section 6(2) lays down that a declaration should be wade thereunder stating 'the purpose for which It is needed.' This aspect of the matter also supports the inference that the situation which was inchoate, nebulous and undefined at the stage of section becomes clear, defined and specific at the stage of Section 6. In fact, the purpose of notification under Section 4 of the Act is to enable the Government to make up its mind by a preliminary investigation as to whether it should take acquisition proceedings or not, and, in case, it decides to take acquisition proceedings, what should be the exact area and boundaries of the land to be acquired and the exact purpose for which the land in question is suited.' This is the reason why no boundaries of the land need be given in the notification wider Section 4 of the Act.
On the other hand, Section 6(2) of the Act lays down that the declaration under the said Section 'shall be published in the Official Gazette, and shall state the district or other territorial division in which the land is situate, the purpose for which it is needed, its approximate area, and, where a plan shall have been made of the land the place where such plan may be inspected.' Sub-section (3) of Section 3 lays down that such declaration would be conclusive evidence that the land is needed for a public purpose. It is declaration under Section 6 which constitutes the charter of acquisition, and, on its basis, the Government is empowered under Section 7 to direct the Collector to embark on proceedings of the acquisition of the land. The Collector then proceeds to take active steps to implement the declaration under Section 6. Under Section 8 he measures and marks out the land to be acquired. Under Section 9 he gives notices to persons interested in the said land.
The procedure to be adopted in the enquiry that follows is prescribed in Sections 10 and 11 of the Act. The Collector then gives an award under Section 11, which is declared by Section 12 of the Act to be final. This award arms him with the power to take possession of the land free from all encumbrances under Section 16 of the Act. Thus, the real foundation of all acquisition is the notification under Section 6 of the Act, and not the notification under Section 4 of the Act.
15. The notification under Section 4 is made only to authorise any officer appointed by the Government or his servants or workmen to enter upon the land, survey it, take its levels, dig it, bore into its sub-soil, mark its boundaries, and do all acts necessary to ascertain whether, the land is adapted for a public purpose. All these are acts of an exploratory nature and are defined in Sub-section (2) of Section 4. Section 5 provides for payment of all damages as a result of such acts, Section 9(3) enjoins the Collector to invite objections from all per-sons interested in the land and, after hearing them making any further enquiry or investigation, finally submit a report with his recommendations for the consideration of the Government.
The Government being thus provided with all the necessary materials is able to fully consider the matter and to make up its mind. After considering the matter, it is open to the Government to drop the idea of acquisition. In case it decides to go on with the acquisition, it is open to it to make such modification and clarifications in the original scheme as it thinks necessary in view of the fresh material that is placed before it. I have examined the contents of the two sections in some detail in order to elucidate the point that the purpose of Section 4 appears to be different from the purpose of Section 6. It is really Section 6 that marks the final stage. In other words, things are fluid at the stage of Section 4, and get settled at the stage of Section 6. The very purpose of Section 4 is to enable the Government to fix matters so as to define the position clearly and detemine the exact shape and form of things to come.
16. Examining the argument of the learned counsel for the petitioner in the light of legal situation as expounded above, I have no hesitation in holding that a modification of the public purpose, as made in the present case, should not have the effect of nullifying the entire acquisition proceedings. The argument of the learned counsel not only goes counter to the spirit of the Statute as embodied in Sections 4 and 6 of the Act. but also ignores the vital difference between the object, purpose and scope of two sections.
So far as the present case is concerned, it has also to be borne in mind that both the purposes are public purposes in fact if at all, as already observed, the second purpose partakes more of public character than the first. Further, both the public purposes although not identical, are analogous. They are cognate or allied public purposes designed to attain the same object.
17. The counsel for both the parties state that there is no case in which the point that is argued in this case is specifically decided. Reference may, however, be made to cases which support the interpretation of Sections 4 and 6 of the Act as expounded above.
18. In Babu Barkya Thakur v. State of Bombay, AIR 1960-SC 12C3, Sinha, C. J. observed as follows:
'The purpose of the notification under Section 4 is to carry on a preliminary investigation with a view to finding out after necessary survey and taking of levels, and, if necessary, digging or boring into the sub-soil whether the land was adapted for the purpose for which it was sought to be acquired. It is only under Section 6 that a firm declaration has to be made by Government that land with proper description and area so as to be identifiable is needed for a public purpose or for a Company. What was a mere proposal under Section 4 becomes the subject-matter of a definite proceeding for acquisition under the Act.'
19. In Motibhai Vithalbhai Patel v. Stats of Gujarat : AIR1961Guj93 , it was held;
'When land is sought to be acquired for a company it is not a peremptory requirement that the notification under Section 4 must in terms use the words 'public purpose.' The requirement of law would be substantially com-plied with if the purpose stated is that the lands are likely to be needed for the purpose of the company .....
The notification under Section 4 is an introductory measure. It is tentative in nature and there is no finality or immutability about it. It is of an exploratory character and it does not proprio motu results in acquisition. Therefore, the absence of the words 'public purpose' in the notification under Section 4 cannot render it invalid.'
The principles of law enunciated in the above cases would go to lend support to the view taken in this case.
20. In this connection, the second argument of the learned counsel for the petitioner is that although the purpose mentioned in the notification under Section 4 of the Act might be a public purpose, the purpose in the notification under Section 6 Is not a public purpose. Having heard the learned counsel for the petitioner at length on this point, I have no hesitation in repelling this contention. The sponsoring of the Mahanagar Housing Scheme on a large scale in this fashion at the instance of the Government through the agency of the Municipal Board appears to me to be obviously a public purpose. Both the Government as well as the Municipal Board seem to be co-operating with each other in the achievement of the same purpose.
It is significant to note in this connection that the Act has placed even acquisition for the benefit of a company under certain circumstances on a par with public purpose. The position of a Municipal Board is much stronger. It is a local authority that has representatives of the public as its members. Reference in this connection might be made to some provisions of the U. P. Municipalities Act. Section 8(1) of the Municipalities Act defines the various functions of the Board under items (a) to (n). All these are obviously functions that subserve, public welfare and relate to public utility. Items Nos. (1) (a), (b) and (11) may be reproduced as illustrations of the same. They are as follows:
'(a) laying out, in areas whether previously built upon or not, new public streets, and acquiring land for that purpose and for the construction of buildings, and their compounds to abut on such streets :
'(b) constructing, establishing, maintaining or contributing to the maintenance of public parks, gardens, libraries, museums, reading rooms, radio receiving stations, leper's homes, orphanages, baby folds and rescue homes for women, lunatic asylums, halls, offices, dharamshalas, rest-houses, encamping-grounds, poorhouses, dairies, baths, bathing ghats, washing places, drinking fountains, tanks, wells, dams, and other works of public utility; '(11) preparing and executing house and Town Planning Schemes; .....'
Section 219 of the Municipalities Act shows that improvement and provision of building sites on public streets is also within the ambit of the powers of the Municipal Board. Section 298 of the Municipalities Act authorises. the Board to make bye-laws for the promotion and maintenance of the health, safety and convenience of the inhabitants of the Municipality and for the furtherance of the Municipal administration under the said Act. Section 117 of the Municipalities Act provides for the compulsory acquisition of land by the Board through the Government for the purpose of exercising any power or performing any duty conferred or imposed upon the Municipal Board. The U. P. Municipalities Act, therefore, itself contemplates a co-ordination between the activities of the Government andt the Municipal Board for such public purposes.
21. On behalf of the petitioner it was also argued that the purpose stated in the notification under Section 6 is not a public purpose, because the Municipal Board has undertaken this work to make profit out of it for the purpose of augmenting its revenues. I find it difficult to accept this argument also.
In paragraph 8 of the counter affidavit it is stated that the Mahanagar scheme is a part and parcel of a larger-scheme for the development of the city of Lucknow and its suburbs on modern lines. Under this scheme the ownership of the land is reserved in the Government which has transferred the administration and control of the scheme to the Municipal Board on 'No Profit No Loss Basis'. These facts are supported by Annexures F, G and H, which are copies of Government Orders filed with the counter-affidavit. They are also borne out by the rules framed under Section 296 of the U. P. Municipalities Act called 'Lucknow Municipal Board Mahanagar Scheme Rules, 1953.' These rules were framed for the control and regulation of the aforementioned development scheme. These facts are also not specifically denied in the rejoinder affidavit. They must; therefore, be accepted as correct.
Paragraph 8 of the counter-affidavit also contains clear allegations showing that the Mahanagar Scheme was designed to meet the growing needs of Lucknow and its increasing population by the provision of building sites, construction of roads and sewers, and the supply of such other amenities on modern lines in the city of Lucknow and its suburbs. The scheme is not a commercial venture but is sponsored, executed and directed towards the achievement of a public purpose, viz. the planned development of the city of Lucknow for the purpose of catering to the reeds and requirements of its growing population and solving the problems created thereby. There is every reason to accept these statements as correct.
22. Even presuming that the operation of the Scheme does result in some profit to the Beard and augmentation of its revenues, I do not see how it would affect the matter. If the main purpose itself is a public one, the fact that it has some other incidental results cannot have the effect of changing its inherent character. This argument, therefore, seems to ignore the difference between a public purpose which constitutes the principal object of acquisition, and its consequences, which are its incidental or ancillary results.
23. But even supposing for a moment that augmentation of revenues of the Municipal Board were to be the main purpose of a scheme launched by it -- although it is not so in the present case -- I would still be inclined to hold that in view of the fact that the Board itself is a public body, such a purpose would be a public purpose. If the Municipal Board itself exists to advance public purposes, augmentation of its revenues, being a necessary means to the achievement of this end, must itself be deemed to be a public purpose.
24. Reference in this connection might be made to the judgment in case of Jhandu Lal v. State of Punjab : 2SCR459 , in which Sinha, C. J. observed as follows :
'Where acquisition is made for a public purpose, the cost of acquisition for payment of compensation has to bepaid wholly or partly out of Public Revenues, or some fundcontrolled or managed by a local authority.'
24a. It is important to note that in the above case so far as the realisation of the public purpose is concerned, their Lordships of the Supreme Court placed local authorities on the same pedestal as the Government.
25. The above considerations lead to the irresistible inference that the purpose enunciated in the notification under Section 6 is a public purpose.
26. In this connection, the learned counsel for the opposite parties also relied on the provisions of Section 6(3) of the Act which lays down as follows :
'(3) The said declaration shall be conclusive evidence that the land is needed for a public purpose or for aCompany, as the case may be; and, after making suchdeclaration, the appropriate Government may acquire the land in manner hereinafter appearing.'
The learned counsel for the opposite parties further relied on a Bench decision of the Allahabad High Court in Brij Nath Sarin v. Uttar Pradesh Government : AIR1953All182 . In this case it is laid down that Section 6(3)of the Act makes a declaration of the State Government declaring a particular acquisition to be for a public purpose conclusive; and where such a declaration is made, the Courts are debarred from going into the question whether the purpose of the acquisition was public or not.
The learned counsel also relied on another Bench decision of the Allahabad High Court in R. L. Aurora v. State of Uttar Pradesh : AIR1958All872 in which it was held that the satisfaction of the State Government is a subjective satisfaction, and it is not open to the Court to examine the grounds upon which it is founded.
On the other hand, the learned Counsel for the petitioner relied on a case in State of Bombay v. R. S. Nanji : 1SCR18 in which it was observed that prima facie the Government is the best judge as to whether 'public purpose' is served by issuing a requisition order, but it is not the sole judge. The Courts have the jurisdiction and it is their duty to determine the matter whenever a question is raised whether a requisition order is or is not for a 'public purpose'. The above observations were made by their Lordships of the Supreme Court while discussing a case that arose under the Bombay Land Requisition Act (Bombay Act XXXIII of 1948). The learned Counsel for the petitioner was, however, unable to invite my attention to any provision in the Bombay Land Requisition Act similar to the provision under Section 6(3) of the Land Acquisition Act, according to which the declaration of a public purpose is treated as a conclusive evidence of the fact that land is indeed for such purpose. In any case, I am of opinion that the question is not of importance in the present case, as I have no doubt in my mind that the purpose specified in the notification under Section 6 must, even on an examination by the Court, be held to be a public purpose. The present acquisition proceedings, therefore, cannot fall through on this ground.
27. The last argument of the learned Counsel for the petitioner is that in this case the direction by the Governor in the notification under Section 4 of the Act that Section 9(3) of the Act will not apply to the present proceedings was against law, and therefore, the entire Acquisition proceedings have been nullified.
In this connection, the learned Counsel for the petitioner invited my attention to Sub-sections (1) and (4) of Section 17 of the Act which would indicate that such a direction could only be made in 1946 if the land which was sought to be acquired was 'waste or arable land'. In the present case, the learned Counsel for the petitioner has argued that the land was not 'waste or arable land'. On the other hand, he argued that it was abadi land on which buildings stood, and, therefore, the aforementioned direction could not have been made in the notification under Section 4 of the Act,
28. At the very outset I enquired from the learned Counsel whether he could point any paragraph in the affidavit filed on behalf of the petitioner in which any specific statement was made by the petitioner or any one on his behalf that the land in question was not 'waste or arable land' in the year 1946. The learned Counsel was, however, unable to point out any such allegation at all in the affidavit filed in support of the petition. He merely invited my attention to ground No. (e) of the application which runs as follows:
'That the notification under Section 4 of the said Act dispensing with the holding of an enquiry under Section 9(3) with regard to land which was not waste and arable is invalid for that reason.'
So far as the factual aspect of this ground is concerned, if it was intended to rely on it, it should have been incorporated in the affidavit. The question is obviously one of fact, and, if the applicant wanted to rely on it, he should have made a clear statement to that effect in the said affidavit. In the absence of any such specific and clear statement in the affidavit itself, a passing reference of this type to this matter in the grounds of application is hardly of any value. I have, however, examined the matter on merits also, and, taking into consideration the entire material on record, I am of opinion that the circumstances of the case clearly point to the conclusion that the land in question fell within the category of 'waste or arable land.'
29. I may mention that although there is no clear allegation in this regard in the affidavit filed with the petition, there is, on the other hand, a clear statement contained in paragraph 3(a) of the counter affidavit to the effect that plot No. 555 was a kishtwar agricultural plot of the settlement of 1332 Fasli. There is no specific denial of this fact even in the rejoinder affidavit. Annexure 'A' is a copy of the possession certificate filed by the opposite parties. In it also the land in question is shown as an agricultural plot with khasra numbers.
Far from there being a rebuttal of this evidence on behalf of the petitioner, the documents filed by him support the conclusion that the land in question was agricultural land. The petitioner has filed along with his affidavit a copy of the khetauni of the years 1363, 1364 and 1365 Fasli. In this khetauni Ram Sumiran Singh is recorded as a khatedar. He is shown as a tenant of plot No. 555, which is the plot in dispute. The period of cultivation is shown as 'before 1360 Fasli.' He is described therein as sirdar. This khetauni is Annexure 6. Annexure 8 is a copy of the sale deed filed by the petitioner. This sale deed also does not mention that there was any construction or building standing on the land sold. The eastern boundary of the land sold consists of fields. The northern boundary consists of a field and a wall belonging to Babu Lal and Sons. The southern boundary consists of land and a pucca wall. The western boundary is shown as kursi Road.
The learned Counsel for the petitioner has argued that because there is a wall shown as the northern boundary, therefore the land had ceased to be agricultural and had become an abadi site. I am unable to accept this contention. The wall is described therein as the wall of another person named Babu Lal. It obviously belonged to the owner of the adjacent land. What we are concerned with in the present case is the nature of the open land which stood on the area lying within the boundaries. The existence of a wall on the boundary cannot have the effect of converting or changing the nature of the agricultural land within the boundary. In any case, this deed is of the year 1956 and it does not indicate that the boundary wall stood In the year 1946.
30. The notice under Section 9(3) of the Act has also been filed by the petitioner as Annexure 4 to his affidavit, This was served on the petitioner on the 28th December, 1960. In this notice the name of Shyam Swarup Saksena, the petitioner, is put down under Column 11 which relates to 'name of the cultivator.' Column 5 relates to the ''Number of field or fields in the village map' and plot No. 555 is shown in this column. It is important to note that column No. 6 which relates to number of plot or plots in abadi map' is blank. This document of the petitioner also supports the inference that the land in question is an agricultural plot and not abadi land.
31. The sanad which has been filed by the pstitioner is Annexure 5. This also supports the conclusion that the land was agricultural land. It recites that it was acquired under Section 137 of the U. P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act. Under Section 137 of the U. P. Zamindari Aboiltion and Land Reforms Act it is open to a person who is a sirdar and who has deposited ten times the land revenue under Section 134 of the same Act to obtain a certificate conferring upon him bhumidhari rights under the said section 'Land' is defined under 6. 2 (14J of the U. P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act as the land held or occupied for purposes connected with agriculture, horticulture or animal husbandry which includes pisciculture and poultry farming. Section 143 of the U. P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act provides that where land held by a bhumidhan is used by him for a purpose not connected with agriculture, horticulture or animal husbandry etc. or is used for industrial or residential purpose, a declaration to that effect might be made by the Assistant Collector suo motu or on an application by such person. There is no evidence in the present case that any such proceedings were taken in respect of the land in question so as to convert the land which was initially held for agricultural purpose into a land which was held for industrial or residential purpose.
32. The learned Counsel for the petitioner also invited my attention to paragraph 1 of the affidavit in which it is stated that there were pucca masonry walls, chhappars etc. on the said land which had existed there for more than 25 years. The word used in the affidavit is 'wells' 'walls' (sic). This statement is quite vague, it goes counter to the entire documentary evidence provided by the petitioner himself. According to the counter affidavit, some new structures were put up by the petitioner about four years ago. The reference in the affidavit may be to these structures, although the age of the structures given therein appears to be fictitious. The question In this case relates to the condition of the land in the year 1946. As I have already observed above, in the absence of a clear statement in the affidavit that the land in question was not arable or waste land in the year 1946, such vague statements are obviously inconclusive, particularly when the entire documentary as well as circumstantial evidence initiates against It.
33. For the above reasons, I am of opinion that this petition cannot succeed on the ground that the notification under Section 4 of the Act contained a direction to the effect that Section 9(3) of the Act would not be applicable to the proceedings under that notification.
34. No other argument was advanced before me.
35. Before closing my judgment, I may mention that the case for the Municipal Board was argued by its learned Counsel Sri B. L. Kaul before me with commendable preparation and ability.
36. I see no substance in this writ petition, and accordingly, dismiss it with costs.