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Gram Panchayat, Murthal Vs. the Land Acquisition Collector - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLimitation
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. No. 732 of 1970
Judge
Reported inAIR1972P& H36
ActsLand Acquisition Act, 1894 - Sections 18, 18(1) and 18(2); Indian Limitation Act, 1908 - Sections 3, 4 to 24, 29 and 29(2) - Schedule - Article 182; Uttar Pradesh Sales Act, 1948 - Sections 2(1) and 10(3); Uttar Pradesh Tenancy Act, 1939; Code of Civil Procedure (CPC), 1908 - Sections 12; Income-tax Act - Sections 66(2) and 66(3); Orissa Agricultural Income-tax Act
AppellantGram Panchayat, Murthal
RespondentThe Land Acquisition Collector
Cases ReferredRamanath Reddiar v. Commr.
Excerpt:
- sections 100-a [as inserted by act 22 of 2002], 110 & 104 & letters patent, 1865, clause 10: [dr. b.s. chauhan, cj, l. mohapatra & a.s. naidu, jj] letters patent appeal order of single judge of high court passed while deciding matters filed under order 43, rule1 of c.p.c., - held, after introduction of section 110a in the c.p.c., by 2002 amendment act, no letters patent appeal is maintainable against judgment/order/decree passed by a single judge of a high court. a right of appeal, even though a vested one, can be taken away by law. it is pertinent to note that section 100-a introduced by 2002 amendment of the code starts with a non obstante clause. the purpose of such clause is to give the enacting part of an overriding effect in the case of a conflict with laws mentioned with the.....prem chand jain, j.1. the question that has been referred by my lord, the chief justice, for our decision is in the following terms :--'is an applicant entitled to exclude the period taken in obtaining a copy of the award while computing the period of limitation laid down under sub-s (2) of s..18 of the land acquisition act ?'2. it was contended by mr. anand saroop, learned counsel, that the petitioner was entitled to claim exclusion of time taken for obtaining the copy of the award. reliance in support of his contention was placed on the two provisions of the indian limitation act (hereinafter referred to as the limitation act), viz., sub-section (2) of s. 12 and s. 29, in addition to the judicial pronouncements of different high courts. on the other hand it was contended by mr. mittal,.....
Judgment:

Prem Chand Jain, J.

1. The question that has been referred by my Lord, the Chief Justice, for our decision is in the following terms :--

'Is an applicant entitled to exclude the period taken in obtaining a copy of the award while computing the period of limitation laid down under sub-s (2) of S..18 of the Land Acquisition Act ?'

2. It was contended by Mr. Anand Saroop, learned counsel, that the petitioner was entitled to claim exclusion of time taken for obtaining the copy of the award. Reliance in support of his contention was placed on the two provisions of the Indian Limitation Act (hereinafter referred to as the Limitation Act), viz., sub-section (2) of S. 12 and S. 29, in addition to the judicial pronouncements of different High Courts. On the other hand it was contended by Mr. Mittal, learned counsel for the respondent that the scope of sub-section (2) of S. 12 of the Limitation Act was limited and that Section 29 could not in turn extend or enlarge its scope so as to include even an application of reference to be made under Section .18 of the Land Acquisition Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act).

3. After giving my thoughtful consideration to the entire matter, I find myself unable to agree with the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner. The relevant provisions of the Limitation Act are in the following terms :--

'12.(1) In computing the period of limitation for any suit, appeal or application, the day from which such period is to be reckoned, shall be excluded.

(2) In computing the period of limitation for an appeal or application for leave to appeal or for revision or for review of a judgment, the day on which the judgment complained of was pronounced and the time requisite for obtaining a copy appealed from or sought to be revised or reviewed shall be excluded.

(3) Where a decree or order is appealed from or sought to be revised or reviewed, or where an application is made for leave to appeal from a decree or order, the time requisite for obtaining a copy of the judgment on which the decree or order is founded shall also be excluded.

(4) In computing the period of limitation for an application to set aside an award the time requisite for obtaining a copy of the award shall be excluded.

Explanation--In computing under this section the time requisite for obtaining a copy of a decree or an order, any time taken by the Court to prepare the decree or order before an application for a copy thereof is made shall not be excluded'.

'29(2) Where any special or local law prescribed for any suit, appeal or application a period of limitation different from the period prescribed by the Schedule, the provisions of Section 3 shall apply as if such period were the period prescribed by the Schedule and for the purpose of determining any period of limitation prescribed for any suit, appeal or application by any special or local law, the provisions contained in Ss. 4 to 24 (inclusive) shall apply only in so far as, an to the extent to which, they are not expressly excluded by such special or local law.'

4. Sub-section (2) of S. 29 makes the provisions of Sections 4 to 24, in so far as and to the extent to which they are not expressly excluded by any special or local law, applicable to a suit, appeal or application for which a different period of limitation is prescribed under any special or local law. The Act is a special law and therefore S. 12 would be applicable. Under Sub-section (2) of S. 12, a party is entitled to deduct time requisite for obtaining a copy of the decree, sentence or order appealed from or sought to be revised or reviewed in three cases, viz.,(1) an appeal, (2) an application for leave to appeal and (3) an application for revision or for review of a judgment. This sub-section does not speak of an application to make a reference as envisaged under Section .18 of the Act. In my view it will be doing violence to the language of the statute if under sub-section (2) of S. 12 even the application for making reference under Section .18 is also to be excluded especially when the Legislature thought it proper to specify the three types of cases to which that sub-section was to apply.

5. It was sought to be argued by Mr. Anand Saroop, Senior Advocate learned counsel, that in the cases falling under special or local law, benefit of sub-section (2) of S. 12 would be given in respect of any 'suit, appeal or application' and its scope could not be restricted only to the cases specified therein, that is, an appeal, application for leave to appeal or an application for revision or for review. If the interpretation as desired by the learned counselor the petitioner is put then it bound to lead to confusing results. Such an interpretation, if put, would mean adding something in the statute. It is a well-known principle of interpretation that nothing is to be added to a statute unless there are adequate grounds to justify the inference that the Legislature extended something which it omitted to express. Sub-section (2) of S. 29 only describes the proceedings to which Ss. 4 to 24 are made applicable provided they happen to apply; but I am afraid, I am unable to subscribe to this view that in enacting the sub-section (2) of S. 29, the intention of the Legislature was not to enlarge the scope of sub-section (2) of S. 12 or of any other provision of the Limitation Act which has been made applicable by virtue of that sub-section. In my view, there is no escape from this conclusion that the only subject of Section 29 (2) was to make Sections 4 to 24 applicable when computing the period of limitation under a special or local law exactly in the same manner as they would be applicable when computing the period of limitation for similar proceedings under the general law which would be governed by the provisions of the Indian Limitation Act.

6. At this stage reference may be made to the cases on which reliance was placed by Mr. G. C. Mittal, learned counsel and which support the view I have taken. The first case is a Division Bench decision of the Bombay High Court in Khashaba Daji Shinde v. M. V. Hinge Special Land Acquisition Officer, ILR (1965) Bom 831. In that case exactly similar question was raised, viz. whether a person applying to the Collector to make a reference under Section .18(1) of the Act could claim exclusion of the time taken for obtaining copies of the award in respect of which he applied that a reference should be made and after reviewing various judicial pronouncements, Kotwal, J., speaking for the Court, observed as follows :--

'Thus sub-section (2) of S. 29 makes the provisions of Section 12 of the Limitation Act applicable to applications of every kind under any special or local law. The Land Acquisition Act is a special law and therefore, by virtue of Section 29(2), S. 12 would apply. Section 29(2) speaks generally of all applications but when we turn to the provisions of Section. 12, we find that sub-section (2) speaks of the period of limitation prescribed for three things viz., (1) an appeal (2) an application for leave to appeal and (3) an application for revision or for review of a judgment. It is only in respect of these three categories of proceedings mentioned in that a party is entitled to exclude the time requisite for obtaining a copy of the decree, sentence or order appealed from or sought to be revised or reviewed. Thus sub-section (2) does not cover the case of an application to make a reference under Section .18 for it cannot by any stretch of language be held to be either an application for leave to appeal or an application for review of judgment. Therefore, in terms sub-section (2) of S. 12 cannot apply'.

7. The next case to which reference may be made is a Full Bench decision of the Allahabad High Court in Gopaldas Saravadayal v. Commr. of Sales Tax, U. P. (1956) 7 STC 360=(AIR 1956 All 305) (FB). In that case the question that was involved was whether in computing the period of 60 days within which an application must be made under sub-section (1) of S. 2 of the U. P. Sales Act, 1948. (as in force in the year 1952), an assessee is not entiltled to exclude the time requisite for obtaining a copy of the order under Section 10 (3). This question was answered in the negative and V. Bhargava, J., speaking for the Court, observed thus:--

'To me it appears that all that Section 29 was intended to do was to make Sections 4, 9, to 18 and 22 of the Indian Limitation Act applicable when computing the period of limitation under a special or local law exactly in the same manner as they would be applicable when computing the period of limitation for similar proceedings under the general law which would be governed by the provisions of the Indian Limitation Act. There appears to be no jurisdiction for holding that Section 29 enlarges the scope of the provisions made applicable by it to computation of period of limitation as prescribed under a special or local law beyond the scope plainly laid down in those provisions when they are applied for the purpose of computing the period of limitation under the Indian Limitation Act itself. I entirely agree with the views expressed by my brother Desai. J., in Ram Singh v. Panchayati Adalat, AIR 1954 All 252, while dealing with the question whether the time taken in obtaining a copy of the order of the Panchayati Adalat can be excluded under sub-section (2) of S. 12 of the Indian Limitation Act when computing the period of Limitation 60 days prescribed for an application under Section 85 of the U. P. Panchayat Raj Act, to the effect that 'The court must have regard to the provisions of the whole of the section and must apply them but not only so far as they can be applied. The Court is not required or authorised to make any alterations in the provisions in order to make them applicable, if otherwise they would not be applicable, it is not required or authorised to apply only their principle or analogy. It must be borne in mind that Section 29(2) makes applicable the provisions contained in several sections when the period of limitation prescribed for any suit, appeal or application is to be determined. It may be that in a certain case the provisions of one of those sections cannot be applied because it does not contain the facts to which the provisions of that section can be applied or, in other words, there may be a case in which though due regard is to be had to the provisions of one of those sections. In such a case, it is not competent to the Court to modify the language of the section in order to give effect to its principle or to apply it by way of an analogy'.

The wide interpretation sought to be put by learned counsel on the provisions of Section 29, if considered with the reference to all the provisions of the Indian Limitation Act made applicable by that section to the computation of period of limitation under any special or local law, will lead to startling results. Section 13 of the Indian Limitation Act, as already mentioned by me earlier, deals with the method of computing the period of limitation prescribed for any suit and lays down that the time during which the defendant has been absent from 'British India and from the territories beyond British India under the administration of the Central Government or the Crown Representative, shall be excluded. If the submission of the learned counsel about the scope of Section 29 be accepted, S. 13 of the Indian Limitation Act will have to be interpreted as laying down a rule for computing a period of limitation prescribed not only for a suit but for an appeal as well as an application happens to be under a special or local law. The effect of its interpretation on sub-section (2) of S. 12 itself may also be considered. If the period of limitation for a suit or an application other than an application for leave to appeal or an application for review of judgment has to be computed under the general law to which the Indian Limitation Act applies, the provisions of sub-section (2) of Section 12 are clearly not applicable. On the other hand, on the interpretation of Section 29 pressed before us, the provisions of sub-section (2) of S. 12 would be applicable to any suit and any application including an application for leave to appeal and an application for review of judgment, provided the period of limitation has been prescribed by a special or local law. Generally the period of limitation for an application to execute an decree or order of a Civil Court falling under Art. 182 of the Indian Limitation Act is computed from the date of the decree or order, except where special circumstances mentioned in the third column against the Article exist, and this period is three years unless a certified copy of the decree or order has been registered when it is six years. It is quite clear that, in computing this period of three years or six years from the date of the decree or order, the time spent in obtaining a copy of the decree or order will not be excluded under sub-section (2) of S. 12 of the Indian Limitation Act, Group (F) of the Fourth Schedule to the U. P. Tenancy Act, 1939, prescribes the period of limitation for execution of decrees of various types passed under that Act. In the case of an application for execution of a money decree under the U. P. Tenancy Act, the period is three years and is to be computed from the date of the final decree in the case. On the interpretation urged before us, it would have to be held that, in computing the period of limitation for an application for execution of money decree under the U. P. Tenancy Act, the provisions of sub-section (2) of S. 12 of the Indian Limitation Act would have to be applied and the time requisite for obtaining a copy of the final decree will be excluded. The circumstance that it may not be necessary to file a certified copy of the decree, when applying for execution, will be immaterial in view of the decision of their Lordships of the Privy Council in J. N. Surty v. T. S. Chettyar Firm. (1928) 55 Ind App 161=(AIR 1928. PC 103) because a decree-holder may require a copy of the decree and judgment for the purposes other than the filing of the copy at the time of making the application for execution. Their Lordships of the Privy Council held :--

'Section 12 makes no reference to the Code of Civil Procedure or to any other Act. It does not say why the time is to be excluded, but simply enacts it as a positive direction.

If, indeed, it could be shown that in some particular class of cases where there could be no subject in obtaining the two documents, an argument might be offered that no time could be requisite for obtaining something not requisite. But this is not so. The decree may be complicated, and it may be open to draw it up in two different ways, and the practitioner may well want to see its form before attacking it by his memorandum of appeal'.

On this principle, a decree-holder executing his decree under the U. P. Tenancy Act may very well claim that he requires a copy of the decree whether he should apply for execution and to choose the manner of executing the decree. He would then be entitled to claim that, under Section 29 of the Indian Limitation Act, the period requisite for obtaining the copy of the decree should be excluded when computing the period of limitation for that application as prescribed by the U. P. Tenancy Act which is clearly a special and local law. I am unable to accept that the legislature, in using the words 'any suit, appeal or application' in Section 29 could have intended to enlarge the scope of sub-section (2) of S. 12 as to make it applicable in the case of an application for execution under the general law, the period of limitation for which is prescribed by the Indian Limitation Act itself. The interpretation, which thus seeks to widen the scope of sub-section (2) of S. 12 in its applicability to computation of periods of limitation as prescribed by a special or local law, cannot be said to be in conformity with the intention of the legislature in enacting Section 29, which, obviously, was to give the benefit of this provision to a person whose appeal or application for leave to appeal or application for review of judgment was governed by limitation prescribed by the special or local law and not by the general law incorporated in the Limitation Act'.

8. The other case to which reference may be made is of the Chief Court of Punjab, reported as Bhagwan Das v. Collector, Lahore, No. 79 Pun Re 1904, wherein it was held as under :--

'As, therefore, the words of Section .18(1) of Act 1 of 1894 and of Section 12 of the Limitation Act are perfectly clear and unambiguous, and as in their plain ordinary sense the words employed in Section 12 of the latter Act cannot be construed in such a forced manner as to cover the case of an application under Section .18(1) of the former Act, we are compelled upon the authorities to hold that the application of the 2nd May 1901 was at the time of presentation barred by time and as such was rightly dismissed by the lower Court'.

A similar view was taken by the learned Judge of the Bombay High Court in Jankibai Tukaram v. Nagpur Improvement Trust, Nagpur, AIR 1960 Bom 499, wherein it was held as under :-

'The Land Acquisition Act, which is a special law, prescribed for an application under Section .18 a special period of limitation different from the period prescribed therefor by the First Schedule to the Limitation Act and therefore in determining such period of limitation the provisions contained in Section 4, Ss. 9 to 18 and S.22 shall apply. One of these sections in Section 12 of the Limitation Act, sub-section (2) of which reads as follows :--

'In computing the period of limitation prescribed for an appeal, an application for leave to appeal and an application for a review of judgment, the day on which the judgment complained of was pronounced, and the time requisite for obtaining a copy of the decree, sentence or order appealed from or sought to be reviewed, shall be excluded'.

Reliance is also placed on 55 Ind App 161=(AIR 1928 PC 103) where it was held :--

'Section 12 sub-s (2) of the Indian Limitation Act, 1908, which excludes from the period of limitation for appealing from a decree the time 'requisite' for obtaining a copy of it, applies even when by a rule of the High Court a memorandum of appeal need not be accompanied by a copy of the decree'. But in my opinion, sub-section (2) of S. 12 refers to an appeal, an application for leave to appeal and an application for review of judgment. An application for reference under Section .18 of the Land Acquisition Act does not therefore attract the application of sub-section (2) of S. 12 of the Limitation Act.

12. Reliance is also placed on sub-section (4) of S. 12 of the Limitation Act which reads as follows:

'In computing the period of limitation prescribed for an application to set aside an award, the me requisite for obtaining a copy of the award shall be excluded'. 'And on Burjorjee v. Special Collector, Rangoon, AIR 1926 Rang 135, where it was held that Section 12 (4) of the Limitation Act applies to an application to the Collector to refer a matter to the Court and the applicant is entitled to exclude the time requisite for obtaining the copy of the Collector's award. With great respect, I dissent from this view because sub-section (4) of S.12 refers to applications to set aside an award such as an award in arbitration proceedings and an application for reference under Section .18 of the Land Acquisition Act can never be treated as an application to set aside an award. Even if the reference is accepted the award may only be modified. An application for reference under Section .18 of the Act cannot therefore be treated as an application to set aside an award. Learned counsel for the non-applicant has cited Secy. of State v. Karim Bux, AIR 1939 All 130 in support of his contention that time taken to obtain copies of an order under the Land Acquisition Act cannot be excluded for the purposes of computing the period of six weeks prescribed by the proviso to Section .18 of the Act'.

9. The last case to which reference may be made is a Division Bench decision of this Court in Hari Krishnan Khosla v. State of Pepsu, AIR 1958 Punj 490, wherein it was held as under :--

'On the second question, there does not seem to be much difficulty. The petitioner claims deduction of the time spent in obtaining copies of the award under Section 12. The first question that has to be determined in this connection is whether Section 29 of the Limitation Act would be applicable in the present case. Section 29 (2) is in the following terms :--

'Where any special or local law prescribes for any suit, appeal or application a period of limitation different from the period prescribed therefor by the first schedule, the provisions of Section 3 shall apply, as if such periods were prescribed therefore in that schedule and for the purpose of determining any period of limitation prescribed for any suit, appeal or application by any special or local law.

(a) the provisions contained in Section 4, Ss 9 to 18 and S. 22 shall apply only in so far as, and to the extent to which, they are not expressly excluded by such special or local law.'

It is claimed that Section 12 would be applicable in as much as it is not expressly excluded by the special or local law, namely the Act. In Nafis-ud-din v. Secy. of State, ILR 9 Lah 244=(AIR 1927 Lah 858 (2)), it was held that Section 12 of the Limitation Act did not apply in computing the period of limitation prescribed for an application under sub-section (1) of S. .18 of the Land Acquisition Act and, therefore, the time requisite for obtaining a copy of the award could not be deducted.

This decision, however, is not very helpful as it does not discuss the matter at any great length. In Kashi Parshad v. Notified Area Mahoba, ILR 54 All 282=(AIR 1932 All 598) it was decided that Section 29 of the Indian Limitation Act did not apply to an application under Section .18 of the Land Acquisition Act and the Lahore case was followed. Assuming without deciding that Section 12 applies, which was in fact applied in AIR 1926 Rang 135, the benefit of Section 12 cannot be given in the present case. The only sub-section of Section 12, under which the present case can fall is (4) which is in the following terms: 'In computing the period of limitation for an application to set aside an award, the time requisite for obtaining a copy of the award shall be excluded.'

It cannot be regarded that an application to make a reference under Section .18 of the Land Acquisition Act is equivalent to an application to set aside an award. The Collector is only to make the reference in which the award may be confirmed or a different award may be given by enhancing the amount of compensation.

No case has been brought to our notice which has authoritatively considered this question and has held that Section 12(4) would cover the case of an application made under Section .18 of the Land Acquisition Act.

10. Now I advert to the cases to which reference was made by Mr. Anand Saroop, learned counsel. The first case in a Division Bench decision of the Lahore High Court in Muhammad Hayat Haji Muhammed v. Commr. of Income-tax, Punjab & N. W. F. P., AIR 1929 Lah 170. The facts of that case were that an application under Section 66 (3) of the Income-tax Act was presented praying that the Income-tax Commissioner be required to refer certain question of law to the High Court which arose from his order dated 17th August, 1927, passed under sub-section (2) of S. 66. Under sub-section (3), the petition could have been filed within six months from the date of the service of the order. A question arose whether the petitioner was entitled to deduct time spent in obtaining the copy of the order of the Income-Tax Commissioner or not, while filing application under Section 66(3). The learned Judges relying on Section 29 of the Limitation Act held that 'if the days spent in obtaining the copy be excluded as they should be under Section 29, Limitation Act (as amended in 1922), the petition is within time'. This decision of the Lahore High Court is hardly of any assistance because there is no discussion nor the matter was considered after taking into consideration Section 12 of the Limitation Act.

11. The next case on which reliance was placed, is of the Patna High Court in Mohan Lal Hardeo Das v. Commr. of Income-tax, Bihar & Orissa, AIR 1930 Pat 14. That case was also under Income-tax Act and the learned Judges, on the point which has been debated before us, held as follows :--

'Thus, it will not, I think, be straining the law to hold that the main principle laid down in Section 12, namely, that the period for obtaining copies shall be excluded in computing the period of limitation in certain cases has been made applicable by Section 29 in the case of a suit, appeal or an application under the special law for which a period of limitation has been prescribed and this will cover an application under Section 66(2) and (3), Income-tax Act. In my judgment, technicalities apart, this will be the only reasonable way of giving effect to the intention of the legislature. This is the view which seems to have been taken by the Lahore High Court in the case to which I have referred just now and which was a case in which the question of limitation arose in connection with an application made to the High Court under Section 66 clause (3). This is also substantially the view of the Rangoon High Court and it finds no little support from the line of reasoning which was adopted in many cases which were decided before the passing of Act 11 of 1922. In those days there was nothing in Section 29, Limitation Act, or anywhere else to make general provisions of the Limitation Act as found in Sections 4, 9 to 18 and 22 applicable to any of the special laws or enactments. It was, however, held in a number of cases that these general provisions would apply to a special enactment where the Act is not a complete code in itself.'

With utmost respect to the learned Judges and for the reasons recorded in the earlier part of my judgment, I do not agree with this view.

12. The other case to which reference may be made is of the Orissa High Court in Satrughan Mall v. Revenue Commr., Orissa, AIR 1956 Orissa 34. The learned Judges in that case have relied on the decisions of the Lahore and Patna High Courts, referred to above, and that of the Rangoon High Court in Ramanath Reddiar v. Commr., Income-tax, AIR 1928 Rang 152 and held as under :-

'The second objection raised by Mr.Mohapatra is more difficult to meet. Sub-section (2) of S. 12, Limitation Act is, in terms limited to (i) appeal (ii) application for review of judgment and (iii) application for leave to appeal. On a strict construction, therefore, that sub-section cannot help the petitioner in respect of an application under Section 29 (2), Orissa Agricultural Income-tax Act to state a case for the decision of the High Court. But we notice that the corresponding provision in Section 66, Indian Income-tax Act as it stood prior to the amendments made in 1930 by Act 22 of 1930 had been given a liberal construction by three High Courts (See AIR 1930 Pat 14; AIR 1928 Rang 152 and AIR 1929 Lah 170).

In all those decisions it was held that Section 12(2), Limitation Act would apply in respect of an application to the Income-tax authority to state a case under Section 66(1), Income-tax Act. Doubtless, so far as income-tax law was concerned, the Legislature gave recognition to these decisions by inserting Section 67-A by the amending Act 22 of 1930. But the reasons given by the learned Judges for giving such a liberal construction seem to be quite convincing and may be adopted in the present instance also'.

Again with utmost respect, I do not agree with this view.

13. The only other decision to which reference need be made is that of the Supreme Court in Additional Collector of Customs, Calcutta v. M/s. Best and Co. AIR 1966 SC 1713. The learned counsel placed reliance on this decision of the Supreme Court for the proposition that under Section .18(2) of the Act, grounds in detail are required to be given in the application to be made to the Collector for filing the reference, that copy of the award is essential before such grounds can be given and that for these reasons the time spent in obtaining the copy of the award can legally be deducted. This decision of their Lordships of the Supreme Court, in my view, does not benefit the petitioner. The point with which we are concerned, was not the subject-matter of decision in that case. The question in that case was whether the petitioners who filed an application for a certificate under Art. 133 of the Constitution of India, were entitled to deduct time spent in obtaining the copy of the judgment and the order irrespective of the fact that it was not necessary to annex those copies with the application filed under Art. 133. It was on that question that their Lordships held that the petitioner was entitled to deduct time spent for obtaining the certified copies of the judgment and order. As earlier observed, on the facts of the case in hand that decision of their Lordships of the Supreme Court is of no help to the petitioner. Here we are concerned whether the petitioner can take benefit of sub-section (2) of S. 29 of the Limitation Act so as to enlarge the scope of sub-section (2) of S. 12.

14. From the discussion above, I have no hesitation in holding that while computing the period of limitation for making an application for reference, time spent in obtaining the copy of the award cannot be deducted and that an application for making reference under S. .18 is not covered by the provisions of sub-section (2) of S. 12.

15. In the alternative it was sought to be argued by Mr. Anand Saroop, learned counsel, that even if the case of the petitioner did not fall under sub-section (2) of S. 12, then also the petitioner was entitled o deduct time for obtaining a certified copy of the award as his case fell under sub-section (4) of S. 12. In substance, the contention of the learned counsel was that in reality, application under Section .18 of the Act was an application for setting aside the award of the Collector and hence sub-section (4) of S. 12 was attracted. After giving my thoughtful consideration to the entire matter, I find myself unable to agree with his contention of the learned counsel. Section .18 which prescribes procedure for reference, is in the following terms :--

'18. (1) Any person interested who has not accepted the award may, by written application to the Collector, require that the mater be referred by the Collector for the determination of the Court, whether this objection be to the measurement of the land, the amount of the compensation, the persons to whom it is payable, or the apportionment of the compensation among the persons interested.

(2) The application shall state the grounds on which objection to the award is taken:

Provided that every such application shall be made--

(a) if the person making it was present or represented before the Collector at the time when he made his award, within six weeks from the date of the Collector's award;

(b) In other cases, within six weeks of the receipt of the notice from the Collector under Section 12, sub-section (2), or within six months from the date of the Collector's award, whichever period shall first expire'.

The scope of reference under Section .18 is limited only to four points, viz., objections relating to the measurement of the land, amount of compensation, the person to whom it is payable and the apportionment of the amount among the persons interested. The application has to be made within the period of limitation specified in the proviso in this section. The only remedy for a person interested who is dissatisfied with the Collector's award is to apply for a reference under Section .18. The Act has created a special jurisdiction and provided a special remedy for persons aggrieved with anything done with the exercise of that jurisdiction. The Collector's award, though conclusive against the Government, is subject to the landowners' right to have the matter referred to the Court.

16. On the plain reading of this section, it cannot be held that the application made to the Collector is for setting aside an award. It is only an application requiring the matter to be referred by the Collector to the Court for judicial ascertainment of the value. The Court on receiving the reference, proceeds in accordance with the provisions of the Act to determine the amount of compensation to be awarded for land acquired and gives an award in the form prescribed under Section 26 which reads as under :--

'26. (1) Every award under this part shall be in writing signed by the Judge, and shall specify the amount awarded under clause first of sub-section (1) of S. 23 and also the amounts (if any) respectively awarded under each of the other clauses of the same sub-section, together with the grounds of awarding each of the said amounts.

(2) Every such award shall be deemed to be a decree and the statement of the grounds of every such award a judgment within the meaning of Section 2,Cl.(2), and S.2,Cl.(9), respectively of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908'.

The Court does not set aside the award of the Collector; but gives it own judicial verdict on the question of compensation. At the best it may be argued that the award given by the Court results in modification of the award given by the Collector; but by no stretch it can be held that the award given by the Court on reference results in setting aside of the award of the Collector. Thus I hold that an application requiring the matter to be referred by the Collector to the Court is not an application to set aside an award as envisaged under sub-section (4) of S. 12 of the Limitation Act.

17. For the reasons recorded above, the question is answered in the negative and it is held that an applicant is not entitled to exclude the period taken in obtaining a copy of the award while computing the period of limitation laid down under sub-section (2) of S 18.

Harbans Singh, C.J.

18. I agree that in view of the wording of Section 12 of the Limitation Act and S. .18 of the Land Acquisition Act, and the preponderance of the judicial view as noticed by my learned brother, P. C. Jain, J., the answer to the question has to be given in the negative. The matter will now go back to the learned Single Judge with the answer as above.

Gurdev Singh, J.

19. I also agree.

FINAL


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