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Sangit Mohinder Singh Vs. the Punjabi University, Patiala - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberFirst Appeal Nos. 82 and 115 of 1968
Judge
Reported inAIR1975P& H318
ActsLand Acquisition Act, 1894 - Sections 9, 25(1) and 54; Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Order 41, Rule 22
AppellantSangit Mohinder Singh
RespondentThe Punjabi University, Patiala
Appellant Advocate K.N. Tewari, Adv.
Respondent Advocate Atma Ram and; S.S. Dhaliwal, Advs.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Cases Referred and V. Naravana Gaiaoatiraiu v. Revenue Divisional Officer. Vizagapattam.
Excerpt:
.....of a decree or order. thus the contention that against an order passed by a single judge in an appeal filed under section 104 c.p.c., a further appeal lies to a division bench cannot be accepted. the newly incorporated section 100a in clear and specific terms prohibits further appeal against the decree and judgment or order of a single judge to a division bench notwithstanding anything contained in the letters patent. the letters patent which provides for further appeal to a division bench remains intact, but the right to prefer a further appeal is taken away even in respect of the matters arising under the special enactments or other instruments having the force of law be it against original/appellate decree or order heard and decided by a single judge. it has to be kept in mind..........patiala, and r. f: a. 115 of 1968. state of punjab v. sangeet mohinder singh. as they are cross appeals arising out of the award of the learned additional district judge. patiala. dated december 30. 1967. 2. the punjab government acquired about 316 acres of land situated in villages sheikhupura kamboan, nasinpur. karheri and phaloli. by notification dated march 27. 1963. the land of sangeet mohinder singh (hereinafter called the claimant), measuring 41 bighas 12 biswas formed dart of the acquired land. not satisfied with the award made by the land acquisition collector, the claimant filed an application under section 18 of the land acquisition act (hereinafter referred to as the act) for reference of the dispute with regard to the compensation to the court of district judge,.....
Judgment:

1. This judgment will dispose of R. F. A. 82 of 1968 Sangeet Mohinder Singh v. The Punjabi University. Patiala, and R. F: A. 115 of 1968. State of Punjab v. Sangeet Mohinder Singh. as they are cross appeals arising out of the award of the learned Additional District Judge. Patiala. dated December 30. 1967.

2. The Punjab Government acquired about 316 acres of land situated in villages Sheikhupura Kamboan, Nasinpur. Karheri and Phaloli. by notification dated March 27. 1963. The land of Sangeet Mohinder Singh (hereinafter called the claimant), measuring 41 bighas 12 biswas formed Dart of the acquired land. Not satisfied with the award made by the Land Acquisition Collector, the claimant filed an application under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act) for reference of the dispute with regard to the compensation to the Court of District Judge, Patiala. That reference was heard and decided by the learned Additional District Judge. Patiala. Both the parties have felt aggrieved and filed the present appeals which are being disposed of together.

3. The learned counsel for the State of Punjab and the Punjabi University has raised a preliminary objection to the maintainability of the appeal filed by the claimant. The claimant in his appeal only made the Punjabi University respondent and not the Punjab State. The land was acquired by the State of Punjab and not by the Punjabi University. It has been held by a learned Single Judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in the Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University v. Began Savanna, AIR 1974 Andh Pra 299 as under: --

'Part VII of the Act deals with acquisition of land for companies and Provides for agreements to be entered into by the company with the Government for the payment of the cost of the acquisition. among other matters. This brief survey of the provisions of the Act shows that the land is acquired by the Government, the land vests in the Government after acquisition, compensation has to be paid to the claimant by the Government and it is to the Government alone that a claimant must look for payment of compensation. If any issue is raised by the claimant the issue has to be settled with the Government only and none else. The lis if any. is between the Government and the claimant. The person for whose benefit the land is acquired and who may ultimately pay to the Government the cost of acquisition has nothing to do with the lis.'

According to this dictum, the Punjab State was a necessary party to the appeal as the claimant could only claim enhanced compensation from the Punjab State and not from the Punjabi University. There is thus merit in the preliminary objection of the learned counsel for the Punjab State and the Punjabi University to the effect that the appeal filed by the claimant is not competent.

4. The learned counsel for the claimant, however, submits that the appeal can be considered as cross-objections to R. F. A. 115 of 1968 filed by the State of Puniab and Puniabi University and reliance is placed on a Full Bench judgment of the Lahore High Court in Labhu Ram v. Ram Partap. AIR 1944 Lah 76 (FB), wherein the following observations occur:--

'The third question whether the cross-appeal submitted by Labhu Ram and others can be treated as cross-objections is also not free from conflict of authority. Under Order 41. Rule 22. Civil Procedure Code, cross-objections are entertainable if filed within one month from the date of service on the respondent or his pleader of notice of the day fixed for hearing the appeal or within such further time as the appellate Court may see fit to allow. Counsel for the appellants urges that inasmuch as their appeal had been filed after the appeal of Ram Partap and others had been admitted to a hearing and notice to the respondents had been issued, it could be heard as cross-objections to the appeal of Ram Partap and others, even if as appeal it was not competent. Reliance in this connection is placed on Dasrulal Bhagchand Lal v. Naravan Mahadeo. AIR 1937 Nag 105. Bawa Singh v. Thakur Singh. AIR 1922 Lah 423 and Bhagat Ram v. Raghbar Dial. AIR 1925 Lah 57. Counsel for the respondents, on the other hand, relied on a Bench judgment of this Court as reported in Mt. Koshalia v. Riaz-ud-Din. AIR 1936 Lah 362. and urges that this could not be done inasmuch as the cross-appeal had not been filed after the service of notice on Labhu Ram and others but before. That a cross-appeal can be treated as cross-objection admits of no doubt and there is no authority contrary to the rulings relied upon by the appellants in this connection. The only question is whether the right of a respondent to file his cross-objections is so restricted as is adumbrated in AIR 1936 Lah 362. In other words, could it be the intention of the Legislature in enacting Order 41. Rule 22 to specify the point of time in which such cross-objections could be filed at both ends? After giving this matter my careful consideration, I have reached the conclusion that it could serve no purpose to restrict the right of a respondent to prefer his cross-objections in the manner suggested. No doubt, they cannot be presented after the expiry of one month from the date of the service of the notice on him or his pleader, but the right to submit his cross-objections, in my view, accrues to a respondent as soon as an order is made issuing notice of the date of hearing of the appeal to him and it is not necessary for him to wait until the service is actually effected on him. It is even open to him to appear in a Court of appeal on the date of hearing and present his objections there and then though not served at all. To Put the restricted interpretation upon this provision of law would create situations which may look anomalous. I would, therefore, hold that, in the circumstances of this case, the cross appeal presented by Labhu Ram and others could be treated as cross-objections.

Counsel for the respondents, however, argues that inasmuch as the list of parties attached to the cross-objections did not contain the names of the two respondents. Krishen Kumar and Inder Kumar. that defect would still be fatal to the cross-objections, as they would not be heard as against those two respondents. There is, however, no substance in this objection. The cross-objections are always preferred to an appeal that is pending and the title of the cross-objections remains the same as that of the appeal. It is admitted that the names of these respondents appear in that memorandum of appeal and consequently the appellants' cross-objections in respect of the decree granted against them would be entertainable even as regards those respondents.'

According to this judgment, the cross-objections are preferred to an appeal which means that the appeal must have been filed prior to the filing of the cross-objections. In the instant case, the claimant had filed his appeal before the State of Punjab and the Punjabi University filed their appeal and, therefore, his appeal cannot be treated as cross-objections to the appeal of the Punjab State and the Punjabi University. Moreover, we find no merit in the appeal of the claimant even if it is considered as cross-objections to the appeal filed by the State of Punjab and the Punjabi University.

5. The following issues were framed by the learned Additional District Judge for determination of the amount of compensation to which the claimant was entitled:--

1. Whether the market value of the land acquired on 27th March. 1963. was more than what had been awarded by the Land Acquisition Collector and if so. what was that price

2. Whether the claimant is entitled to enhanced compensation for the building and tube-well existing on the land acquired, if so how much

3. Whether the claimant is entitled to enhanced compensation in respect of the fruit-trees standing in the land acquired and if so, to what extent

4. Whether the claimant filed a claim in pursuance to the notice served on him under Section & of the Land Acquisition Act. if so, what is its effect

5. In case no such claim was filed, whether the claimant is entitled to any enhancement and this petition is not barred under Section 25 of the Land Acquisition Act

6. Relief.

Under issue No. 1 it has been held that the claimant was entitled to the market value of the land comprised in Khasra Nos. 45. 46. 47. 48. 51 and 52 (total 31 bighas and 13 biswas) at the rate of Rs. 1,500/- per bigha and for the land comprised in Khasra Nos. 49 and 50 (9 bighas and 19 biswas) at the rate of Rs. 1,000/- per bigha. This market value has been determined on the basis of the instances considered in the case of Ravendra Singh. We have upheld the award of the Additional District Judge with regard to that land in R. F. A. No. 174 of 1968, decided today. For the reasons stated in that judgment, the decision of issue No. 1 by the Additional District Judge is affirmed. There is thus no scope either for enhancement or reduction in the amount of compensation with regard to the land.

6. However, the learned counsel for the State of Punjab and the Punjabi University has submitted that in his claim filed in pursuance of the notice under Section 9 of the Act, the claimant had claimed only Rs. 50,000/- for the land whereas the learned Additional District Judge has allowed Rs. 57,425/- which he could not do in view of the provisions of Section 25 of the Act. According to that provision, the claim for compensation of the land could not exceed Rs. 50,000/-. We are of the opinion that the learned counsel has misread that provision. Subsection (1) of Section 25 is in the following terms:--

'25(1). When the applicant has made a claim to compensation, pursuant to any notice given under Section 9, the amount awarded to him by the Court shall not exceed the amount so claimed or be less than the amount awarded by the Collector under Section 11.'

It only means that the total amount that may be awarded by the Court on a reference under Section 18 of the Act shall not exceed the total amount claimed by the claimant under Section 9 of the Act. It may be that the claim consists of various items and it is open to the Court to enhance the compensation in respect of some items and reduce it in respect of others. The overall limit is that the amount of compensation awarded is not to exceed the total amount of compensation claimed by the claimant in reply to a notice under Section 9 of the Act. A reference in this connection may be made to the observations of a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court in Charu Prokash v. State of West Bengal. AIR 1967 Cal 631, which are contained in para. 12 of the report and are pertinent on the point:--

'It was urged further on behalf of the State that, in any view, the claimant was not entitled to any amount beyond Rs. 1,50.000 for the structures as that was the figure, mentioned by the claimant for the said structures in his petition of reference. This objection was overruled by the learned Land Acquisition Judge upon the view that the claimant was not restricted to the different valuations for the different items in Ms petition of reference, although he might be held limited to the amount, claimed for the entire property in the said petition. This view appears to us to be well supported by the decision of this Court, reported in Province of Bengal v. P. L Nun. AIR 1945 Cal 312, explaining the earlier decision of this Court, reported in Province of Bengal v. Ram Chandra. AIR 1944 Cal 247. in the light of the two Privy Council decisions, reported in Pramatha Nath v Secy, of State, 57 Ind APD 100 = (AIR 1930 PC 64) and V. Naravana Gaiaoatiraiu v. Revenue Divisional Officer. Vizagapattam. 66 Ind APP 104 = (AIR 1939 PC 981. We are. accordingly, of the view that the State's objection to the award of the learned Land Acquisition Judge is unsustainable and its appeal F A. No. 133 of 1965, would fail.'

The objection is thus repelled.

7. The claimant had. claimed Rs. 10,000/- on account of the value of the fruit trees in his application under Section 18 of the Act against which the learned Additional District Judge allowed Rs. 3,498.20. It is worthy of note that in his claim before the Land Acquisition Collector under Section 9 of the Act. The claimant had claimed only Rs. 2,000/- as the price of the fruit trees. The learned Additional District Judge based this value on the report of a fruit specialist which has not been shown to be erroneous. We, accordingly, affirm the decision of the learned Additional District Judge on the point and hold that there is no scope either for enhancement or reduction.

8. A sum of Rs. 15,000/- was claimed on account of the price of a tube-well in the claim filed before the Land Acquisition Collector but he found that there was no tubewell on the spot and none was acquired by the State Government. In his application under Section 18 of the Act the claimant claimed a sum of Rs. 8,000/- on account of the price of the tubewell. The learned Additional District Judge has observed that the entries in the Khasra Girdawaris support the statement of Shri preet Mohinder Singh. The father of the claimant, about the existence of a tubewell on the land but there was no evidence as to the value of the tubewell and, therefore, its price could not be determined. He allowed Rs. 2,000/-on account of compensation for a well and in view of what has been stated by the learned Additional District Judge, there is no scope either for enhancement Or reduction in the amount.

9. The only other claim relates to a building on the acquired land. The claimant demanded Rs. 3,000/- for the same but the Collector awarded a sum of Rs. 700/- only. Shri Raj Kumar Goel Draftsman, prepared plan, Exhibit P-5, and estimated the cost of construction of the building as Rs. 1,850/- in his report. Exhibit P- 6. He appeared as P. W. 4 to support his report. That report was accepted in the absence of any rebuttal on behalf of the State of Punjab. There is, therefore, no scope either for enhancement or reduction in the amount of compensation for the building.

10. As a result of the above discussion, we find no merit in these appeals which are dismissed but the parties are left to bear their own costs.


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