K.C. Agarwal, J.
1. These three writ petitions challenge the judgment of the District Judge, Meerut. disposing of Urban Ceiling Appeals Nos. 51, 52 and 53 of 1980.
2. The only point involved before the District Judge and before me in these writ petitions was, could the proceedings under the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976, be taken in respect of the lands involved in these three cases on account of those lands having been notified under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act for acquisition. The learned District Judge answered this question in the negative holding that as the land was intended to be acquired by the State Government for making constructions, the entire land would be excluded from the total holding of the respondents for the purposes of computing the excess vacant land under the Ceiling Act.
3. It may suffice to notice the facts of Writ Petition No. 5106 of 1982 for deciding these three petitions inasmuch as the facts of this case would be sufficient for appreciating the point of law involved in all the three cases. Ram Singh, respondent 2 filed a statement under Section 6(1) of Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act. 1976 (hereinafter referred to as the Act). According to him, he was not possessed of any excess vacant land under the Act. Under Sub-section (3) of Section 8, the respondent No. 2 was sent a draft statement by the Competent Authority by registered post intimating, that he held 15602.89 square metres of excess vacant land. Respondent No. 2 filed an objection on 10-12-1979 claiming that he did not have any land in excess of the ceiling limit. He pleaded that his land, which was agricultural, had also been wrongly taken into account by the Competent Authority in calculating the excess vacant land.
4. The Competent Authority on 12-6-1980 accepted the draft statement and declared 15602.89 square metres as excess vacant land with the respondent. Against this order, the respondent preferred an appeal before the District Judge. Before this appeal could be decided, the State Government published a notification under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act in continuation of the Notification No. 8668/XXXVIII-2-51-79, dt. April 29, 1980, issued under Sub-section (1) of Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act declaring that the land mentioned in the Schedule was needed for a public purpose, namely, for construction of residential buildings for the people of Meerut by the Meerut Development Authority, under the planned development scheme.
5. At the time of hearing of the three appeals aforesaid by the learned District Judge, the respondent relied upon the aforesaid notification and contended that as the lands in respect of which proceedings under the Act had been taken, had been notified under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act, the same could not be declared surplus treating it to be that of the respondent. The learned District Judge accepted the contention of the respondent and allowed the three appeals. Against these three judgments in the three appeals, the present writ petitions have been filed.
6. The submission made on behalf of the State was that after the judgment of the Competent Authority given on 12-6-1980, the Competent Authority took possession of the land declared surplus under Section 10(3) of the Act, and upon the possession being taken, the right, title and interest of the respondents had extinguished. It was further contended that Section 42 of the Act overrides the provisions of all other Acts inconsistent with those of (he present which were for the time being in force, hence the Land Acquisition Act had to give way to the Act and the Scheme of the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, which was a special Act for the imposition of ceiling on vacant land, and would prevail over others.
7. In the instant case, the learned District Judge relied on the notification under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act and held on its basis that the proceedings under the Act were liable to be quashed. The view of the learned District Judge does not appear to be correct. A person's right, title and interest over a properly, about which acquisition proceedings are taken, are not extinguished merely by publication of the notifications under Sections 4 and 6 of the Land Acquisition Act. The title gets extinguished after possession is taken, as is provided by Sections 16 and 17 of the said Act. In the instant case, neither was anything found by the District Judge nor was it shown to me in the High Court that possession had been taken under the Land Acquisition Act after the publication of the notification under Section 6.
8. For the view taken, the District Judge had relied on a decision of the Delhi High Court in Smt. Shanti Devi v. The Competent Authority, AIR 1980 Delhi 106. The Delhi High Court held in this case that as a notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act had been issued in respect of a plot involved in that case, the same should be treated as covered by Section 2(q)(i) of the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act. 1976. It held that for all intents and purposes, the effect of Section 4 notification would be that the building activity on the land notified for acquisition would not be permissible. With great respect to the Hon'ble Judges. I am unable to subscribe with the view taken in this case. Section 2(q)(i) has a different object and purpose behind it. The language employed in this section does not support the view of the Delhi High Court. Section 2(q)(i) does not include a vacant land on which construction of a building is not permissible under the building regulations in force in the area in which such land is situate. This section cannot apply to a case where land has been notified for acquisition. Section 2(q)(i) is not capable of an interpretation which would include a case of that nature. This decision of the Delhi High Court was dissented by the Bombay High Court in Prabhakar Narhar Pawar v. The State. AIR 1984 Bom 122 (FB). The Bombay High Court held (at p. 130) :--
'In a part of the decision, the Division Bench seems to have taken the view that the land notified for acquisition under the Land Acquisition Act must be held to be one on which construction of buildings was not permitted. We are really not concerned with that view so far as the present petitions are concerned, but it is sufficient to point out that the correctness of that view has not been accepted in Dattatraya v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1981 Bom 326, and an unreported decision of this State in D. P. Dani v. State of Maharashtra, (W. P. No. 1650 of 1979, D/-31-1-1983).'
9. In my opinion, merely because constructions may not be made on the land notified under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act would not mean that constructions of the building is not permissible under the building regulations in force in the area in which the land is situate. The expression 'building regulations' has to be given a restricted meaning for a proper construction of Section 2(q)(i). I find myself also in agreement with the following observations made by the Full Bench of (he Bombay High Court in Prabhakar Narhar Pawar v. State (supra), which approved the observations of the Division Bench in D.P. Dani v. State of Maharashtra (supra).
'What is necessary is the impermissibility and not prudently restraining from constructing on the land.'
10. Section 42 of the Act was also not brought to the notice of the learned District Judge. Section 42 has an overriding effect. It lays down that notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, the Act will prevail in respect of a matter covered by it. The expression 'notwithstanding' used in Section 42 has a wide meaning. It overrides all other provisions inconsistent with those which are contained in this Act. In my opinion, there is no inconsistency in the Land Acquisition Act and the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976. Both of these Acts are meant for different purposes. The purpose of acquisition under the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act is to provide for acquisition of land in excess of the ceiling limit with a view to bringing about an equitable distribution, whereas under the Land Acquisition Act land is acquired by the State Government for public purposes. The title of a land notified under Sections 4 and 6 of the Land Acquisition Act does not extinguish till possession is taken by the authorities under Sections 16 and 17 of the said Act. The respondent continued to be the owner of the land till the decision of the Competent Authority and the subsequent possession under Sub-section (3) of Section in of the Act.
11. For these reasons all the three writ petitions succeed and are allowed. The orders of the learned District Judge, Meerut, in Ceiling Appeals Nos. 51, 52 and 53 of 1980 are quashed. The stay orders passed in Writ Petitions Nos. 5106, 5107 and 5108 of 1982 are discharged. No order as to costs.