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Union of India Vs. Ram Chander and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberRegular First Appeal No. 430 of 1978
Judge
Reported in16(1979)DLT136
ActsLand Acquisition Act, 1894 - Sections 18; Code of Civil Procedure (CPC), 1908 - Sections 151
AppellantUnion of India
RespondentRam Chander and ors.
Cases ReferredSee Ezra v. Secy. of Slate
Excerpt:
- .....submitted an amended schedule which included khasra no. 1976/1203. in reply to the application the union of india admitted that the position taken by the respondents was correct. mr. sapra, counsel for the union of india, admitted the correctness of the amended schedule which included khasra no. 1976/1203. (3) on december 2, 1968, the additional district judge decided the reference petition but he forgot to award compensation for khasra 1976/1203 in his judgment. this was primarily for the reason that this khasra number was not originally mentioned in the statement of the collector under sec. 19 of the act. (4) after the delivery of the judgment the compensation amount was forwarded to the court of the additional district judge. the respondents found that the amount for khasra 1976/1203.....
Judgment:

Avadh Behari Rohatgi, J.

(1) This is an appeal from the order of the Additiol District Judge dated March 4, 1971.

(2) The respondents' land was acquired by the Government. In due course the collector made the award. The respondents were dissatisfied with the award. They asked the collector to refer the matter to the Court under Sec. 18 of the Land Acquisition Act (the Act.) On receipt of reference in the court of the Additional District Judge the respondents discovered that the collector had omitted to include khasra No. 1976/1203 measuring 2 bighas and 2 bids was of their acquired land. On October 15, 1968, they made an application for amendment of the reference. In the application it was submitted that in the original schedule prepared under Sec. 19(2) of the Act Khasra No. 1976/1203 be also included. The respondents with their application submitted an amended schedule which included khasra No. 1976/1203. In reply to the application the Union of India admitted that the position taken by the respondents was correct. Mr. Sapra, counsel for the Union of India, admitted the correctness of the amended schedule which included Khasra No. 1976/1203.

(3) On December 2, 1968, the Additional District Judge decided the reference petition but he forgot to award compensation for khasra 1976/1203 in his judgment. This was primarily for the reason that this khasra number was not originally mentioned in the statement of the collector under Sec. 19 of the Act.

(4) After the delivery of the judgment the compensation amount was forwarded to the Court of the Additional District Judge. The respondents found that the amount for khasra 1976/1203 had not been sent to the Court. thereforee, on 21st September, 1970 the respondents moved an application under Sec. 151, 152 and 153, Code of Civil Procedure for the amendment of the judgment dated December 2,1968.

(5) The Additional District Judge allowed the application by his order dated March 4, 1971. He corrected his judgment and ordered that his judgment dated December 2, 1968 shall also include khasra No. 1976/1203(2 bighas-2 biswas) to the extent of the respondents' half share therein. Against this order the Union appeals to this Court.

(6) Mr. Sethi on behalf of the Union of India has raised the question of jurisdiction. He submits that though it is true that there was an admission of counsel turn the Union of India, the Court had no jurisdiction to amend the schedule. It is only the collector who can be asked by the owner to make a supplementary statement to the Court, if a defect or error is discovered. It is said that the Court acquires jurisdiction only on the reference containing the particulars as required by S. 19 of the Act. It is contended that if the schedule attached to the statement does not contain a particular Khasra number then the Court does not possess jurisdiction to decide the dispute as regards compensation in respect of the omitted land. In this connection he has referred me to Province of Bengal v. P.L. Nun, : AIR1945Cal312 .

(7) With counsel's broad submission as made there can be no quarrel. Sec. 18 and 19 show that a person who does not accept the collector's award has to ask the collector by a written application to refer the matter for the determination of the Court. The collector thereupon makes the reference. Under S. 19 he is required to state for the information of the Court the situation, extent of the land etc. To his statement he has to attach a schedule. But what has happened in this case is that the application for amendment moved by the respondents on October 15, 1968 was conceded by the Union of India. Their counsel on November 15, 1968 admilted that khasra 1976/1203 had been left out by mistake and that the Union of India had no objection if the amended schedule is accepted as a correct statement under S. 19(2) of the Act. After this concession it is no longer open to the Union of India to contend to the contrary at this stage after the judgment was corrected on March 4, 1971. If the Union of India were not willing they should not have agreed to the amendment. They should have contested the matter.

(8) In Union of India v. Sheruddin 1917 P.L.R. 22 the Court said that :

'it is the duty of the collector under section 19 to give proper information to the Court' and if there is a mistake at the hands of the collector that results in depriving a subject of his due compensation the court has 'ample inherent power to rectify the mistake which had arisen by reason of incomplete statement submitted by the collector under Section 19. It would be unfair to hold that a subject can be depriving of his right because of a mistake made by a collector in supplying proper information.'

(9) These observations apply with equal force to the instant case. It is true that in that case the collector had made a supplementary reference. But in this case the concession made by counsel for the Union of India has made all the difference, if the application had been contested at the proper time in 1968 the respondents would have moved the collector for making a supplementary statement. As there was no opposition from the Union of India to the amendment of the schedule it was not necessary for the respondents to approach the collector and move him for supplementary reference. By bids order dated March 4, 1971, the Additional District Judge has done nothing more than to correct an error or defect in the proceeding by including khasra No. 1976/1203 in his judgment which must necessarily follow once the application for amendment made in 1968 was not opposed by the Union of India. There is neither right nor justice on the side of the Union of India when they contend, as they do now, that they are not liable to pay to the respondents compensation for the khasra in question. It is not disputed that khasra 1976/1203 was acquired land and that the award of the collector related to it and that the collector was duty bound to include the entire acquired land of the respondents in the reference statement under S. 19.

(10) There is yet another reason. The Land Acquisition Collector under the Act is not a judicial officer. He is not a Court. He is only an administrative officer. He is only an officer or agent of the Government for which he acquires the land: {See Ezra v. Secy. of Slate, 32 Cal. 605. If his principal, the Government, agrees to the amendment of the schedule prepared under S. 19(2) of the Act, the defect if cured In such circumstances it would be unjust to permit the principal to raise the objection that the power to amend the schedule was deposited in its agent and not in itself.

(11) MR.SETHI also attempted to raise the question of enhancement of compensation. The compensation was enhanced by the Additional District Judge on December 2, 1968. That order became final as no appeal was taken from it. On March 4, 1971 all that was done was that khasra 1976/1203 was also included in the judgment. At this stage it is not open to the Union of India to challenge the enhancement made by the Additional District Judge.

(12) For these reasons the appeal is dismissed. But I make no order as to costs.


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