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Mahant Durga Dass Vs. State of Punjab and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1980Supp(1)SCC209; 1980(12)LC413(SC)
ActsPunjab Town Improvement Act, 1922 - Sections 36 to 40; Constitution of India - Article 226
AppellantMahant Durga Dass
RespondentState of Punjab and ors.
Excerpt:
.....was outside municipal limit - high court dismissed petition in limine - apex court observed that improvement trust (it) hears objections of appellant in terms of sections 36 to 40 - objections to be considered by chairman of it - appellant not to be dispossessed of his land until decision of chairman. - indian evidence act, 1872 section 3: [dr. arijit pasayat & dr. mukundakam sharma, jj] circumstantial evidence held, where a case rests squarely on circumstantial evidence, the inference of guilt can be justified only when all the incriminating facts and circumstances are found to be incompatible with the innocence of the accused or the guilt of any other person. - having heard submissions on either side we think that a fair course to be adapted by the statutory body concerned..........body, has no jurisdiction to acquire land outside the municipal limits and that in this case the land acquired from the appellant partly spills over beyond municipal limits.2. shri soli sorabjee appearing for the respondent trust, refutes these three contentions. no objections have been received by the trust, according to him, and so no question of considering them arises. secondly, it is argued, that the actual 'samadhi' is not sought to be acquired and, therefore, there is no reason to comply with the formula under the standing orders. lastly, it is stated that the whole land acquired falls within the municipal limits.3. the high court after hearing the arguments dismissed the writ petition under article 226 in limine. having heard submissions on either side we think that a fair.....
Judgment:

V.R. Krishna Iyer, J.

1. In this appeal by special leave, Shri V.C. Mahajan appearing for the appellant has challenged the compulsory acquisition of land on three grounds. He contends that his objections, statutorily permitted under Section 36 to 40, have not been considered and in that view the further proceedings are banned in law. Secondly, he urges that the property acquired is a 'samadhi' or a shrine and in the event of any religious shrine being acquired, the Punjab State has framed standings, in particular standings Order No. 88, which prescribes certain exercise before taking over such lands having regard to the sentiment attached by communities to such sanctified pleaces. The third contention is that the Town Improvement Trust, which is the acquiring body, has no jurisdiction to acquire land outside the municipal limits and that in this case the land acquired from the appellant partly spills over beyond municipal limits.

2. Shri Soli Sorabjee appearing for the respondent Trust, refutes these three contentions. No objections have been received by the Trust, according to him, and so no question of considering them arises. Secondly, it is argued, that the actual 'samadhi' is not sought to be acquired and, therefore, there is no reason to comply with the formula under the standing orders. Lastly, it is stated that the whole land acquired falls within the municipal limits.

3. The High Court after hearing the arguments dismissed the writ petition under Article 226 in limine. Having heard submissions on either side we think that a fair course to be adapted by the statutory body concerned without seriously prejudicing the rights of the appellant, may well be to maintain provisionally the order of acquisition of the scheme subject to the directions that we make. We use the word 'provisionally' advisedly because we are not upsetting the order of acquisition or the further steps taken. Nevertheless, the interests of justice may well be met if, Improvement Trust (respondent) hears the objections of the appellant in terms of Sections 36-40 of the Punjab Town Improvement Act, 1922. The objections which the appellant has, are already at page 23 of the paper book, that as, Annexure 'A' to the special leave petition. These objections will be considered by the Chairman of the Improvement Trust within three weeks from today after notice to the appellant. To avoid further complications, we fix 20th of March, 1980 as the date on which the appellant directly or through Counsel will appear before the Chairman of the Trust in support of his objections, and, thereafter, the Chairman considering the merits of the objections, will pass appropriate order, modifying the acquisitions, or cancelling the acquisition or otherwise making any suitable adjustments with reference to the acquision. We make it clear it this is with substantial reference to the land of the appellant only.

4. Similarly, in regard to the objection based upon paragraph 9 of the standing orders which relate to religious property sought to be acquired, the Chairman will consider that objection also on the same date we have indicated earlier and pass an appropriate order. He will take note of legal and fictional aspects of the matter and come to a decision. Likewise, the third question as to whether any part of the land of the appellant falls outside the municipal limits, will also be decided by the Chairman after applying his mind to the relevant public documents and if need be by a local inspection.

5. He will dispose of the entire matter, as we have stated earlier, expeditiously and will see that such relief as may equitably be needed is given to the appellant if otherwise justified by the circumstances. Until the decision of the Chairman the appellant will not be dispossessed of his land. With these directions we dispose of the appeal.


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