1. This order will dispose of four connected writ petitions, Nos. 2603, 2724 and 2824 of 1967 and 294 of 1968, in which the same points are involved for decision. It is conceded by the counsel for the parties that the decision in C. W. 2603 of 1967 will cover the other cases as well. I will therefore, refer to the facts of that writ petition only.
2. This petition under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution has been filled by Umrao Singh and 15 others, residents of Faridabad, district Gurgaon, challenging the notification dated 29th of July, 1967, issued by the Governor of Haryana. The said notification reads thus:
'No. 214/LAO - Whereas the Governor of Haryana is satisfied that land specified below is needed by Government, at the public expense, for a public purpose, namely for Planned Development of Sector No. Seventeen in Ballabgarh-Faridabad Controlled Area, in tehsil Balabgarh, district Gurgaon, it is hereby declared that the land described in the specification below is required for the aforesaid purpose.
This declaration is made under the provisions of section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act I of 1894, to all whom it may concern and under the provisions of section 7 of the said Act, the Land Acquisition Collector, Directorate of Urban Estates, Haryana. Chandigarh, is hereby directed ti take order for the acquisition of the land.
Plans if the land may be inspected in the offices of the Land Acquisition Collector. Directorate of Urban Estates. Haryana, Chandigarh and Estate Officer, Urban estates, Department of Town and country Planning, Faridabad, district Gurgaon.
In view of the urgency of acquisition viz. Relieving of acute and pressing demand for housing in Faridabad, Balabgarh belt, due to large scale development of industry in that area, the Governor of Haryana in exercise of the powers under section 17 of the said Act, is further pleased to direct that the Land Acquisition Collector, Directorate of Urban Estates, Haryana. Chandigarh, shall proceed to take possession of the land herein specified in accordance therewith.
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The case of the petitioners was that their land, in which they had constructed pucca residential houses and installed tubewells, was covered by the said notification. According to them, in the third week of October, 1967. They received notices from the Land Acquisition Collector respondent No. 2 issued under section 9 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereinafter called the Act), calling upon all persons interested in the land specified in the said notification that they should attend personally or by agent at the Canal Rest House, Faridabad on 9-11-1967 to state the nature of their respective interest in the land and particulars of their claims to compensation for such interest. In the various notices, issued under section 9 of the Act, the land sought to be acquired and belonging to the petitioners, was mentioned. It was on the receipt of those notices that the petitioners learnt for the first time about the acquisition proceeding and the impugned notification. Their case was that the land sought to be acquired was neither waste nor arable and, consequently, the provisions of section 17 of the Act could not be invoked in the instant case. The petitioners were never called upon to file their objections under section 5A of the Act before issuing the impugned notification.
The petitioners, therefore, bona fide believed that the compliance of S. 5A of the Act had been dispensed with by the State of Haryana, respondent No. 1. In spite of their best efforts, the petitioners had not been able to find out from the Government Gazette if any notification had been issued by respondent No. 1 under section 4 of the Act. The impugned notification gas been challenged solely on the ground that the powers under sub-section (1) of S. 17 of the Act could be exercised by respondent No. 1 only in respect of arable land as laid down therein and not with respect to the land on which pucca residential houses were standing and tube-wells installed. It was also contended that the notification under section 6 of the Act was issued by respondent No. 1 without following the procedure prescribed by section 5A of the Act, which was obligatory. By taking the impugned action, according to the petitioners, the Government had deprived them of a very valuable right of filing objections under section 5A of the Act. If an opportunity had been given to them to do so they could have objected to the satisfaction of the Collector that the said land should not be acquired. Under these circumstances, a prayer was made that the entire notification should be quashed.
3. In the return field by the State, it had been mentioned that the notifications under sections 4 and 6 of the Act had been duly published in the Government Gazette and they had also been given due publicity by beat of drum by the Patwaris concerned in the villages in which the lands were situated. It was thus incorrect to say that the petitioners were not in the know of the said notifications. It was also said that immediate possession, under section 17 of the Act, had also so far not been taken from the petitioners. The possession would be taken from them, as soon as the award was announced and compensation paid for the land and the constructions etc., acquired by the Government,. The compliance of the provisions of section 5A of the Act was not dispensed with. On the other hand, in the notification under section 4 of the Act, it was notified that objections under section 5A should be field with the Land Acquisition Collector. In fact, many objections were received from other interested persons, but the petitioners did not do so. The notification under section 6 of the Act was made in accordance with law. Because the procedure prescribed by section 5A of the Act had been followed.
4. During the course of the arguments, the Advocate General, Haryana, made a statement at the bar that award had been made in all the cases and compensation had been deposited in Court. The possession of the land had been taken from the petitioners in C. Ws. 2724 and 2824 of 1967 and 294 of 1968, but not in C.W. 2603 of 1967. It was further stated by him that the notification under section 4 of the Act had been published in the official Gazette and public notice of the same had been given by beat of drum in all the villages, with which we were concerned in these writ petitions. It was admitted by him that objections under S. 5A of the Act had not been field by the petitioners in all these claims under section 9 of the Act. It was also stated by him that where there was a dispute between the owners and the perpetual lease-holders as to who out of them, namely , owners and perpetual lease holders of the land, were entitled to the compensation amount, the Land Acquisition collector would deposit the said amount in Court in terms of section 31(2) of the Act and the same would not be paid to anybody till the dispute between the claimants was settled by the Court.
5. The validity of the notification under section 6 of the act has been challenged on the ground that the petitioners had not been given any opportunity of filing objections under section 5A of the Act. It was only when those objections had been decided that a notification under section 6 could be issued.
6. There is no substance in this contention, because if the petitioners had not field any objections under section 5A they themselves were to be blamed for that. It is clear from the return field by the State that a notification under section 4 had been issued on 8th of September, 1966. In that notification, if had been clearly mentioned that any person, who had any objection to the acquisition of some land in that locality, he could within 30 days of the publication of that notification file an objection in writing before the Land Acquisition Collector, Directorate of Urban Estates, Punjab, Kothi No. 231, Sector 18-A, Chandigarh . The said notification had been duly published in the official Gazette and the Collector had given public notice of the same by beat of drum in the villages concerned. Under these circumstances, it could not be said that the petitioners were not aware of the issue of that notification. They were required to file objections, if any, within 30 days of the publication of that notification. If they did not do that, they cannot make it a ground for getting the notification under section 6 quashed that score.
7. It could be clear from the impugned notification that the Government has taken action under section 17(1) of the Act and authorised the Land Acquisition Collector to take possession of the land on the expiry of 15 days from the publication of the notice under S.9(1) of the Act and before the award had been made. This notification was challenged by the petitioners on the ground that the powers under section 17(1) could only be exercised by the Government in respect of waste or arable land. According to the petitioners, the land in question was neither waste not arable, because they had constructed buildings and in stalled tube-wells thereon. It appears that the Government was impressed with this objection and, therefore, they categorically, stated in the return that they would not take resource to the provisions of section 17(1) and take possession before the award was made. As I have said, the Advocate General, Haryana, has stated at the bar that the possessions in the above mentioned three writs had been taken from the petitioners after the awards had been made and compensation deposited in court. As regards this writ also, though possession has not been taken, but award has been made and compensation duly deposited. That being so, that objection raised by the petitioners on this score loses its force, because the grievance of the petitioners has already been satisfied by the State.
8. It was strenuously contended by the learned counsel for the petitioners that the impugned notification in its entirely must go, because admittedly, the notification under section 17(1) of the Act was bad in law. Reliance for this submission was placed on the Supreme Court decision in Sarju Prasad Saha V. state of U. P., AIR 1965 SC 1763, where in it was observed-
'If only a part of the land is waste of arable and the rest in not, a notification under section 17(4) dispensing with compliance with the requirements of section 5A would be invalid. It would not be open to the court to regard the notification as partially good and partially bad.'
9. I have already held above, that the notification under section 4 held been duly published in accordance with the procedure laid down in that section. If then, the petitioners did not file any objections under section 5A, the State cannot be blamed for that and the mere fact that the petitioners will get another chance of making objection to the said acquisition under section 5A cannot be a valid ground for setting aside the notification under section 6 of the Act. Moreover, limitation of 30 days had been fixed min the notification under section 4 for the filing of objections by the petitioners. That limitation was along over and even if section 6 notification was quashed at this stage, a question might well arise as to whether, the petitioners could, as a matter of right, file objections under section 5A and whether those objections when field could be treated within limitation. In any case, the petitioner's own mistake in not making their objections under section 5A ithin limitation cannot entitle them to get the notification under section 6 set aside.
10. So far as the Supreme court decision is concerned, there the facts were entirely different. In that case, the Government had taken action under S. 17(4) of the Act, with the result, that the landowners were deprived of their right to file objections under section 5A of the Act. The land acquired there was partly waste arable and party not. The contention of the counsel appearing for the Municipal Board, Basti, for whom the said acquisition had been made by the State, was that part of the notification, which dealt, with the land which was waste or arable, should not be quashed. That contention was repelled by the Supreme court by saying that it would not be open to the Court to regard the notification as partially good and partially bad, for if the State had no power to dispense with the inquiry in respect of any part of the land notified under section 4(1), an inquiry must be held under section 5A giving an opportunity to persons interested in the land notified to raise their objections to the proposed acquisition and in that inquiry the persons interested could not be restricted to raising objections in respect of land other than waste or arable. As a result the notification under sections 6 and 17 was quashed. No such thing has happened in the instant case. Here, has already mentioned above, the petitioners had been given full opportunity to file objections under section 5A of the Act, with the result that no fault could be found with the issuance of the notification under S. 6 and the same could not be quashed on any score.
11. It may be mentioned that a similar point was raised in Tej Bhan Chugh V. State of Haryana, 1968 Cur LJ 389 (Punj), wherein P.D. Sharma, J. observed:
'It will be seen that the part relevant to section 6 of the Act is separate from the part relevant ro section 17 of the Act and two are not inter-mixed. It is not the petitioner's case that action under Section 6 could not have been taken regarding his land. Keeping in view the rule laid down in Nandeshwar Prasad V. U. P. Government, AIR 1964 SC 1217 and 1966 All LJ 1 :(AIR 1965 SC 1763), I hold that the provisions made in section 17(1) of the Act could not have been utilisedin the case because a minor part of the land owned by the petitioner as is evident from plan Annexure 'A' is built over. The notification is thus invalid so far as it invokes the powers under section 17(1) of the Act,...'
12. No other point was urged before me.
13. The result is that this petition fails and is dismissed, but with no order as to costs.
15. Petition dismissed.