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Asghar Ali Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Writ No. 497 of 1959
Judge
Reported inAIR1959All792
ActsUttar Pradesh Official Language Act, 1951 - Sections 2; Land Acquisition Act, 1894 - Sections 4 and 6; Constitution of India - Article 348
AppellantAsghar Ali
RespondentState of Uttar Pradesh and ors.
Appellant AdvocateR.B. Misra and ;K.P. Singh, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateN.D. Pant, Adv.
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
property - printing error in notification - section 2 u.p. of official language act, 1951 and sections 4 and 6 of land acquisition act, 1894 - conflict between two version of notification published in gazette - held, hindi version prevails over english version. - - the petitioner has rightly complained that this notification, which admittedly is the foundation of all subsequent actions under the land acquisition act, was extremely vague and failed to specify the particular land sought to be acquired......few days. on 9th november 1957 the collector of banda issued a notification under section 4 of the land acquisition act to the effect that an area of 0.3 acres out of the said plots was proposed to be acquired in connection with the construction of banda sitapur road which was a public purpose. it seems no person came forward to file objections on this notification. in due course, therefore, a notification under section 6 of the land acquisition act was published in respect thereof on 5th july 1958. in the notification under section 6 the area mentioned was 3 acres instead of 0.3 acres notified in the notification under section 4. 2. notifications under sections 4 and 6 appeared to have been published in the u. p. gazette in two languages, hindi and english. this state is publishing its.....
Judgment:
ORDER

J.K. Tandon, J.

1. The petitioner is tenure-holder of five plots situate in village Sitapur Mafi in Pargana Karvi, district Banda which bear survey Nos. 1127, 1128, 1135, 1136, and 1137. He is employed in the postal department and, according to him, he stays away from his village most of the time but the cultivation over these plots is managed and looked after by him himself and also through his mother who occasionally goes and stays for a few days. On 9th November 1957 the Collector of Banda issued a notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act to the effect that an area of 0.3 acres out of the said plots was proposed to be acquired in connection with the construction of Banda Sitapur road which was a public purpose. It seems no person came forward to file objections on this notification. In due course, therefore, a notification under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act was published in respect thereof on 5th July 1958. In the notification under Section 6 the area mentioned was 3 acres instead of 0.3 acres notified in the notification under Section 4.

2. Notifications under Sections 4 and 6 appeared to have been published in the U. P. Gazette in two languages, Hindi and English. This State is publishing its gazette in both the languages separately. The respondents have filed copy of the notification under Section 4 published in the English language and according to it the area notified was not 0.3 acres but 3 acres. On its strength it is urged that the area proposed to be acquired was indeed 3 acres but by a printing error it was shown to be 0.3 acres in the Hindi notification under Section 4. In support, it is further urged that the substance of the notification which had been published in the locality under Section 4 too mentioned 3 acres and not 0.3 acres. In their opinion, therefore, the mistaken description in the notification under Section 4 published in Hindi has not affected the merits of the matter.

3. This State enacted the U. P. Official Language Act, 1951 in the year 1951. Section 2 of this Act provided that without prejudice to Articles 346 and 347 of the Constitution, Hindi in Devnagri Script shall, with effect from such date within one year from the commencement of that Act as shall be notified by the State Government, be the language of

(a) (i) Ordinances promulgated under Article 213 of the Constitution,

(ii) orders, rules, regulations and bye-laws issued by the State Government under the Constitution of India or under any law made by Parliament or the Legislature of the State; and

(b) all or any of the official purposes of the State.

4. As a result of the action taken under the U. P. Official Language Act, 1951 the notifications under Acts enacted by the State Legislature or the Union Parliament are required to be in Hindi in Devnagri Script. A notification in English which the U. P. Official Language Act, 1951 required to be published in Hindi will not be a notification as required by law. The English version of the notification does not possess any statutory force which is supplied by the Hindi version. The English version is published as a matter of convenience only in such cases.

5. Article 348 of the Constitution requires in Clause (3) that where the Legislature of the State has prescribed any language other than the English language for use in Bills introduced in, or Acts passed by, the Legislature of the State or in ordinances promulgated by the Governor of the State or in any order, rule, regulation or bye-law referred to in paragraph (iii) of Sub-clause (b) of Clause (1) of that Article, a translation of the same in the English language shall be published under the authority of the Governor in the official gazette.

The Article further provides that the translation so published shall be the authoritative text of the Bill, Act, Ordinance, order, rule, regulation or bye-law, as the case may be. Basing his arguments on these provisions and also Section 2 of the U.P. Official Language Act, 1951, the learned Standing Counsel has urged that the notification in the English version became the authoritative text and it alone should be looked into for deciding what area was proposed to be acquired.

6. One of the questions which is bound to arise in this connection is whether a notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act can be said to be an order, rule, bye-law or regulation referred to in para (iii) of Sub-clause (b) of Clause (1) of Article 348 of the Constitution so as to attract Clause (3) of that Article. Paragraph (iii) has used the words 'orders, rules, regulations or bye-laws' but not the word 'notification'. Unless, therefore, a notification is included in any of these expressions para (iii) and consequently Clause (3) will be inapplicable.

However, it does not seem necessary for the present purposes to answer this query because there is further condition in Clause (3) of Article 348 the fulfilment of which is very necessary to entitle its benefit to be availed of. This clause requires that the translation of the notification in the English language should be published 'under the authority of the Governor.' It is the translation which is published 'under the authority of the Governor in the official gazette' that becomes the authoritative text for the purposes of that Article.

In the present case although the notification was published in the English version still it was not done so under the authority of the Governor; on the other hand, it was published by the Collector and there is nothing, either in the affidavits filed on behalf of the respondents or elsewhere, to show that the Collector published the English notification under the authority of the Governor. The English notification itself remained to be a notification by the Collector as such. It cannot, therefore, be treated as an authoritative text of the notification published in the gazette.

7. It was also contended that the substance of the notification which also was required to be published in the locality concerned under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act described the area to be acquired as 3 acres, hence the notification itself should be treated to have been in respect of three acres. Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act no doubt requires substance of the notification to be published in the locality but the substance which is to be published in this manner cannot take the place of the notification itself which is a separate and independent step enjoined by law. As a matter of fact the notification published in the gazette is the principal act enjoined by law and the publication of its substance follows that act and as the words indicate, it only reproduces what is in the notification itself. I do not under the circumstances think that the publication of the substance of the notification in the locality can take the place in law of the notification under Section 4.

8. The learned Standing Counsel also urged that the notification under Section 6, which again was published in both the languages, was in respect of three acres. The underlying idea in referring to this notification is that intention throughout was to acquire 3 acres and not 0.3 as happened to be incorrectly stated d in the Hindi notification under Section 4. Without deciding the question whether it will be open in the present case to import the, notification under Section 6 in construing the effect of the notification under Section 4, I do not think the instant case is such where this can be permitted.

The land which had been notified covered an area (according to the plan placed in the office of the Collector) of 3 acres. The notification under Section 6 too referred to this whole area. But at the time of taking possession of the land a small area of 8 biswas only out of plot No. 1135 has been taken possession of. The rest has been given up, it seems as a result of certain order passed by the Collector on the representation of the petitioner. In view of the above facts particularly the fact that 8 biswas only have been taken possession of though the area notified tinder Section 6 was 3 acres it will be extremely risky to rely on the notification under Section 6 in construing the true intention of the notification under Section 4.

9. Reverting now once again to the notificationunder Section 4, since the Hindi version of the notification was a notification in law made under that section the area proposed to be acquired was 0.3 acres only. The petitioner has rightly complained that this notification, which admittedly is the foundation of all subsequent actions under the Land Acquisition Act, was extremely vague and failed to specify the particular land sought to be acquired. The notification itself never gave the survey numbers of the plots which were sought to be acquired. It no doubtcontained a note to the effect that the area proposed to be acquired was located on a plan placed in the office pf the Collector, but this plan instead of specifying 0.3 acres specified an area of 3 acres which to say the lest made matters more confounded.

It was not possible on the face of the notification under Section 4 and the plan placed in the officeof the Collector for anyone to discover the precise area equal to 0.3 acres which was sought to be acquired. If the Hindi version of the notification has to prevail, as it must, the proposed area was 0.3 acres but it was nowhere properly described. The result was that the notification remained vague and incapable of conveying a clear description of the land sought to be acquired. The very foundation of the proceedings for acquisition thus suffered from vagueness. It amounted to an illegality. The notification under Section 6 will not, therefore, help therespondents.

10. In view, therefore, of what has been said above I am of the opinion that the acquisition proceedings in the present case are attended with an error apparent on the face of the proceedings. They are, therefore, liable to be quashed. The petition is accordingly allowed and the notification under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act dated 5th July 1958 is quashed.

11. The petitioner also claimed that the order of the Land Acquisition Officer dated 16th December 1958 be also quashed. He, however, has not produced a copy of this order which appears to have been passed on his objection against the acquisition of the land. As, however, the notification under Section 6 has been quashed there is no necessity to make any separate order in respect of the order dated 16th December 1958. It will be open to the petitioner to file any objection which he may be advised under Section 5-A of the Act. This order will not prejudice the right of the State Government to proceed with the acquisition proceedings for a larger area than as at present notified under Section 4 if it should so notify in accordance with law. No order as to costs.


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