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Gulam Mustafa and ors. Vs. the State of Maharashtra and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Appeal No. 675 of 1968
Judge
Reported inAIR1977SC448; (1976)1SCC800; [1976]1SCR875; 1975(7)LC934(SC)
ActsLand Acquisition Act, 1923 - Sections 6(3); Hyderabad Land Acquisition Act - Sections 5(3)
AppellantGulam Mustafa and ors.
RespondentThe State of Maharashtra and ors.
Appellant Advocate S. J. Deshpande and; A.G. Ratnaparkhi, Advs
Respondent Advocate M.C. Bhandare and ; M.N. Shroff, Advs. for Respondent Nos. 1, 2 and 4, ;
Prior historyFrom the Judgment and Order dated January 19, 1967 of the Bombay High Court in S.C.A. No. 16 of 1967
Excerpt:
.....raised by appellant injuries sustained by appellant were simple in nature - evidence of prosecution witnesses was clear, cogent and credible-held, conviction of appellant is proper. - the last plea which has been pressed strenously is that the acqusition exercise is bad being mala fide-an uphill task to make out against a public body. section 5(3) of the act provides for declaration of the public purpose, like section 6(3) of the central act. 5. at this stage shri deshpande complained that actually the municipal committee had sold away the excess land marking them out into separate plots for a housing colony, apart from the fact that a housing colony is a public necessity, once the original acquisition is valid and title has vested in the municipality, how it uses the excess land is..........under the hyderabad and acquisition act for short, the act) which is closely similar to the land acquisition act, 1923 (central act). the first charge is that the high court dismissed the writ petition in limine seven years after the 1968 event, we cannot consider sending back the case even if there be justice in the submission. we have therefore heard counsel shri deshpande on his substantive grievances the second contention is that there is no 'public purpose' to support the acquisition which is allegedly ultra vires the municipality's powers. we disagree. providing a village market is an obvious public purposes and a municipal facility. the last plea which has been pressed strenously is that the acqusition exercise is bad being mala fide-an uphill task to make out against a.....
Judgment:

V.R. Krishna Iyer, J.

1. Brevity will do no inequity in this appeal where three points were urged but only one survives for serious scanning. The subject matter is the validity of land acquisition proceedings whereby a Municipality compulsorily purchased the appellant's land for the stated public purpose of running a country fair or market (Mondha) under the Hyderabad and Acquisition Act for short, the Act) which is closely similar to the Land Acquisition Act, 1923 (Central Act). The first charge is that the High Court dismissed the Writ petition in limine Seven years after the 1968 event, we cannot consider sending back the case even if there be justice in the submission. We have therefore heard counsel Shri Deshpande on his substantive grievances The second contention is that there is no 'public purpose' to support the acquisition which is allegedly ultra vires the municipality's powers. We disagree. Providing a village market is an obvious public purposes and a municipal facility. The last plea which has been pressed strenously is that the acqusition exercise is bad being mala fide-an uphill task to make out against a public body. Was this colourable exercise of power?

2. Striking down any act for malafide exercise of power is a judicial reserve power exercised lethally, but rarely. The charge of malafides against public bodies and authorities is more easily made than made out. It is the last refuge of a losing litigant. Even so, we will examine the merits of the contention here from the point of view of the serious factors placed for our consideration.

3. Was this acquisition done colored officii? The circumstances relied on may by examined from this standpoint. Section 5(3) of the Act provides for declaration of the public purpose, like Section 6(3) of the Central Act. This declaration was made in 1960 and covered at least 28 acres of land belonging to the appellant. His counsel contends that there is no public purpose mentioned in the notification because what is stated is 'government purpose1. There is no force in this terminological devision. The purpose has been set down as for a 'Mondha' or 'country fair' which is obviously a public purpose. So counsel shifted to another shade of the same argument and stated that 'mondha' is not a word known to law and had not been defined anywhere and so such a purpose cannot be taken cognizance of by the law. We cannot agree to the linguistic game masquerading as a legal point. It is plain that a mondha' is a country fair or village market. 'Market' is defined in Section 2(20) and 72(a) that the purpose of providing a market for the townsfolk falls within the powers of a municipality.

4. Failing here, counsel finally stressed that in any case no market for a small municipal town requires 28 acres of land, especially because the Master Plan prepared for the Municipality had alloted only 15 acres for this purpose. It is not for the Court to investigate into the areas necessary for running a market. Moreover there is no malafides emerging from this circumstance. What has to be established is malafide exercise of power by the State Government the acquiring authority although the beneficiary of the acquisition is eventually the Municipality. There is noscintills of evidence suggestive of malus animus in Government.

5. At this stage Shri Deshpande complained that actually the Municipal Committee had sold away the excess land marking them out into separate plots for a housing colony, Apart from the fact that a housing colony is a public necessity, once the original acquisition is valid and title has vested in the Municipality, how it uses the excess land is no concern of the original owner and cannot be the basis of for in validating the acquisition. There is no principle of law by which a valid compulsory acquisition stands voided because long later the requiring authority diverts it to a public purpose other than the one stated in the Section 5(3) declaration.

6. There is no merit in the appeal which is dismissed without costs.


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