1. The facts giving rise to this Execution First Appeal may be, briefly, recapitulated. Some land be-longing to the appellant was acquired for a public purpose by the respondent-Food Corporation of India and the appellant was awarded compensation for the same by the Collector as per his award, dated August 30, 1998. The appellant feeling dissatisfied with the quatum of compensation, approached the Additional District Judge under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition. Act, for enhancement of the compensation. The learned Additional District Judge (Shri Dev Raj Saini) after considering the matter which was contested by the parties, gave his award, dated June 25, 1971, enhancing the compensation regarding 7 kanals and 9 marlas of land owned by the appellant. In the order of Mr. Saini, there is, however, a mention that the appellant was the owner of one-third share in land measuring 17 marlas in which there is a well, a neem tree and a Kotha. No enhancement of any compensation in regard to this land was,. however, ordered in the award. of Mr. Saini. Subsequently, the appellant moved an application before the successor Additional District Judge (Shri Ainrit Lal Bahri), Patiala, in which it was specifically urged that the learned Additional District Judge while granting enhanced compensation in respect of the land of the appellant, had omitted to grant enhancement of compensation in respect of one-third share in 17 marlas of land owned by the appellant, referred to above. This application was resisted by the respondent-Corporation who put in their written reply. However, in answer to the specific allegation regarding acquisition of the above property as, made in para 2 of the application, all that was said in the reply, is that 'Para No. 2 is legal'. In the wake of the respective stands of the parties, the learned Additional District Judge framed a general issue to the following effect:
'Whether the market value of the acquired land is inadequate. If so, what should he the market value of the land?'
2. After considering the material Placed on the record by the parties, the learned Additional 'District Judge held that the claim made by the appellant was well based. The following observations in this behalf are worth noticing.
'Thus it is clear that though the claimant was onwer of 1/3rd share in 17 marlas of land, no compensation for the land was allowed to the claimant-applicant. This is only a matter of calculation. At the rate of Rs. 140001/- per kanal, the price of 17 marlas of land would be, Rs. 119001/- and 1/3rd share of the applicant-claimant would be Rs. 3966.66 plus 15 per cent compulsory acquisition charges, i.e. total Rs. 4560.31 p. to which the claimant is entitled to have over and above the amount already awarded by judgment dated 25-6-1971. Thus the judgment dated 25-6-1071 is amended as stated above. The claimant-applicant will also he entitled to interest at 6 per cent per annum on Rs. 4560.31 p. from 15-4-1968 till realisation. No costs.'
The order of the learned Additional District Judge passed in this behalf is dated September 1, 1973. It is not disputed that the respondent-Corporation did not impugn this order of the Additional District Judge in any higher Court by way of appeal, revision or otherwise.
3. It transpires that when the appellant applied for execution of the award of the Additional District Judge as passed by Mr. Saini and amended by Mr. Amrit Lal Bahri by means of the order, dated September 1, 1973. the respondent-Corporation sought to resist the execution with a plea that the appellant had already received compensation for the property acquired from them and there was no reference made in their claim application with respect to one-third share of 17 marlas of land for which the compensation was awarded by the order of Mr. Bahri, dated September 1, 1973. The matter was considered in execution proceedings by Mr. Amrit Lal Bahri, Additional District Judge, Patiala, himself. The learned Additional District Judge then passed the order, dated November 12, 1974, which is the subject-matter of dispute in the present appeal. In this order, the learned Additional District Judge held that his earlier order passed on September l, 1973, was 'without jurisdiction' and was, thus, not executable. The learned Additional District Judge, therefore dismissed the execution application as fully satisfied.
4. After hearing the learned counsel for the parties, 1 find that this appeal must succeed. Mr. D. S. Nehra, learned counsel for the appellant, has submitted that the learned Additional District Judge while dismissing the execution application had fallen into an apparent error in holding that his earlier order passed on Ist September, 1973 Was not executable as the same was without jurisdiction. The only ground on which this finding has been given is that in the-claim application filed by the appellant at the initial stage, no compensation was claimed for the 1/3rd share in 17 marlas of land, in respect of which the modified order was passed by the learned Additional District Judge on 1st September, 1973. The argument is twofold Firstly it is contended that in the claim application there is a reference to the above land and furthermore even in the award of the Additional District Judge, granting enhanced compensation to the appellant, it was specifically observed that the appellant was the owner of 1/3rd share of 17 marlas of land.. Another argument is that even if such a claim was not made at the initial stage, by making an application before the Additional District Judge, which was ultimately disposed of by him on 1st September, 1973 the claim for compensation of the aforesaid land can be deemed to have been made. I am in agreement with the contention of the learned counsel. A party cannot be allowed to take benefit and avoid payment of compensation an mere technicalities. It is material to note that the order passed by the Additional District Judge on 1st of September, 1973 was a result of contest between the parties and was not, passed just behind the back of the respondents. After an adverse decision was recorded against them, these respondents never challenged the verdict of the Additional District Judge in appeal or otherwise. The result, therefore, is that the order passed by the Additional District Judge became final for all intents and purposes. To say, therefore, that the order was without jurisdiction is not a correct approach to the matter. There is an essential difference between an inherent lack of jurisdiction and an, erroneous exercise of jurisdiction vested in Court on account of some circumstances. An executing Court can go behind the decree of original Court only if there was an inherent lack of jurisdiction to deal with the matter by that Court. The proposition is so well settled that hardly any case law is required to be cited. In any case if any reference has to be made, the same is found in Hira Lal Patni v. Sri Kali Nath, AIR 1962 SC 199 and Vasudev Dhanjibhai Mod! v. Rajabhai Abdul Rehrnan, AIR 1970 SC 1475
Even on merits, the respondents have no case. As already noticed in the earlier part of this judgment, a specific allegation was made in the application moved by the appellant before the Additional District Judge for the modification of the award that no compensation had been paid to him for 1/3rd share in the land mea. suring 17 marlas which had been acquired for the respondents. Instead of refuting this allegation, the respondents rest content by merely saying that the para in question 'is legal'. At the cost of repetition it may he stated that the verdict of the Additional District Judge, as contained In his order dated 1st September, 1973, was not challenged at any stage by' the respondents.
The net result is. that the order passed by the Additional District Judge dated 12th November, 1974, dismissing the execution application as fully satisfield, is set aside. The case is sent back to the learned Additional District Judge, Patialal (or his successor), to proceed with the execution application in accordance with law. There shall be no order as to costs.
5. Case remanded