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Bhawani Prasad and ors. Vs. Secy. of State and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1933All168
AppellantBhawani Prasad and ors.
RespondentSecy. of State and anr.
Excerpt:
- - in our opinion the respondents' contention is well-founded. we arc distinctly of opinion that the order in question was not the decision of a question relating to the apportionment of compensation.king, j.1. this is an appeal from an order passed by the president of the tribunal under the u.p. town improvements act, 1919, on 20th january 1931 rejecting an application for setting aside an ex parte decision. some land was being acquired by the town improvement trust of allahabad and the land acquisition officer gave his award declaring the compensation payable to one mohan lal (respondent in this appeal) and to the three appellants respectively. mohan lal and the appellants applied for a reference to the tribunal, both regarding the amount of compensation and regarding the apportionment thereof. on 30th july 1930, the president of the tribunal, in exercise of the powers conferred upon him under section 64 (1) (b), town improvements act, decided the question of the apportionment of.....
Judgment:

King, J.

1. This is an appeal from an order passed by the President of the Tribunal under the U.P. Town Improvements Act, 1919, on 20th January 1931 rejecting an application for setting aside an ex parte decision. Some land was being acquired by the Town Improvement Trust of Allahabad and the Land Acquisition Officer gave his award declaring the compensation payable to one Mohan Lal (respondent in this appeal) and to the three appellants respectively. Mohan Lal and the appellants applied for a reference to the Tribunal, both regarding the amount of compensation and regarding the apportionment thereof. On 30th July 1930, the President of the Tribunal, in exercise of the powers conferred upon him under Section 64 (1) (b), Town Improvements Act, decided the question of the apportionment of compensation and awarded a sum of Rs. 33-5-4 to the three appellants. This order was passed ex parte so far as the three appellants are concerned. Within a month from 30th July 1930 the appellants made an application to the President for setting aside the ex parte decision on the ground that they had received no notice for the hearing of the case, and on 20th January 1931 the President rejected the application. A preliminary objection has been taken that no appeal lies from the order of 20th January 1931, The question whether appeals lie from awards or decisions made by the Tribunal or by the President under the Town Improvements Act is governed by a special Act entitled 'The. United Provinces Town Improvements (Appeals) Act, 1920' (Act 3 of 1920). It must be observed that under Section 58(a), Town Improvements Act, it is expressly provided that

the award of the Tribunal shall be deemed to be the award of the Court under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, and shall be final.

2. The Town Improvements (Appeals) Act, 1920, modifies the Town Improvements Act, 1919, by providing for appeals to the High Court, in certain cases, from the awards of the Tribunal. Section 3 enacts that

notwithstanding anything contained in the U. P. Town Improvements Act, 1919, and subject to the provisions of Sub-section (2) an appeal shall lie to the High Court in any of the following cases: namely, (a) where the decision is that of the President of the Tribunal sitting alone in pursuance of Clause (b), 8. 64 of the said Act.

3. We are not concerned with the rest of this section. It is argued for the respondent that an appeal has been expressly provided against a decision made by the President under Section 64, Sub-section (1), Clause (b), Town Improvements Act, and therefore an appeal lay to the High Court from the President's decision of the question of the apportionment of compensation, dated 30th July 1930. No appeal against that decision was filed within, limitation. It is argued for the respondent that the persons aggrieved by that decision had a remedy expressly provided for them by way of appeal to the High Court. Instead of availing themselves of this remedy they chose to make an application to the President for setting aside the ex parte decision. This application was rejected and there is nothing in Act 3 of 1920 making the order of 20th January 1931 appealable. In our opinion the respondents' contention is well-founded. It is clear that the intention of the Legislature was to provide for appeals from the decisions of the Tribunal, or of the President thereof, only in certain specified cases and it is necessary for us to interpret the provisions of Act 3 of 1920 strictly. Under that Act an appeal did no doubt lie to the High Court from the President's decision, dated 30th July 1930, The question before us is whether an appeal also lies from the President's order dated 20th January 1931, refusing to set aside the ex parte decision. In our opinion, no appeal lies against the latter order. That order cannot be held to decide a question relating to the determination of the persons to whom compensation is payable, or a question relating to the apportionment of compensation. The question decided in the order of 20th January 1931 was simply whether a certain ex parte decree should or should not be set aside and, in our opinion, the decision of that question is not the decision of a question in pursuance of Clause (b), Section 64, Town Improvements Act.

4. It has been strongly urged for the appellants that the word 'decision' in Section 3, Act 3 of 1920 has a wide meaning. He refers also to Section 2 (14), Civil P.C. which shows that 'decision' has a wide meaning covering both decrees and orders. We may accept the general contention that the word 'decision' is a word of wide meaning but the question before us is not merely whether the President's order dated 20th January 1931 is a 'decision' within the meaning of Section 3, Act 3 of 1920. The further question arises whether the order is the decision of a question relating to the apportionment of compensation. We arc distinctly of opinion that the order in question was not the decision of a question relating to the apportionment of compensation. On this view no appeal against such an order is provided by Section 3, Act 3 of 1920. 5.

5. The case of Behary Lal Sar v. Nanda Lal Goswami [1907] 11 CWN 430, has been referred to in support of the appellant's contention, but in our opinion, that case has no direct bearing on the question before us. That case turned upon the interpretation of certain provisions of the Land Acquisition Act. But in the present case the question of appeals is governed by a special Act, namely, Act 3 of 1920. The provisions of the Land Acquisition Act moreover are substantially altered by the U.P. Town Improvements Act; hence, in our opinion, the ruling referred to is inapplicable to the facts of the present case. We hold that no appeal lies against the order in question and dismiss the appeal with costs.


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