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V. Madhavan Thampi Vs. State of Kerala - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Civil
CourtKerala High Court
Decided On
Case NumberC.M. Reference No. 3 of 1969
Judge
Reported inAIR1971Ker10
ActsTrivandrum City Improvement Trust Act, 1960 - Sections 73; Land Acquisition Act, 1894 - Sections 23(2)
AppellantV. Madhavan Thampi
RespondentState of Kerala
Advocates: G. Viswanatha Iyer,; K. Sreedharan and; K.M. Devadathan
DispositionReference partly allowed
Cases ReferredDalchand v. Delhi Improvement Trust
Excerpt:
- .....of trustees for the improvement of the city of trivandrum. under section 73 of the trivandrum city improvement trust act, 1960, (act 1 of 1961) acquisitions of land for the board have to be under the land acquisition act subject to the modifications specified in the schedule to the former act, one such modification being omission of the provision forpayment of solatium. counsel for the proprietor challenged that omission as discriminatory and therefore void. it is on that challenge, the subordinate judge has referred this case to this court, with his opinion that the challenge is supported by the precedent, balammal v. state of madras, air 1968 sc 1425. that precedent concerned section 73 and the schedule of the madras city improvement trust act, 1950, which are similar in.....
Judgment:

Madhavan Nair, J.

1. This reference under Section 113, Civil P. C. is by the Additional Subordinate Judge, Trivandrum, in a land acquisition case. The acquisition is by the Government for the Board of Trustees for the Improvement of the City of Trivandrum. Under Section 73 of the Trivandrum City Improvement Trust Act, 1960, (Act 1 of 1961) acquisitions of land for the Board have to be under the Land Acquisition Act subject to the modifications specified in the schedule to the former Act, one such modification being omission of the provision forpayment of solatium. Counsel for the proprietor challenged that omission as discriminatory and therefore void. It is on that challenge, the Subordinate Judge has referred this case to this Court, with his opinion that the challenge is supported by the precedent, Balammal v. State of Madras, AIR 1968 SC 1425. That precedent concerned Section 73 and the Schedule of the Madras City Improvement Trust Act, 1950, which are similar in expression to Section 73 and Schedule of the Trivandrum City Improvement Trust Act, 1960. Their Lordships observed:

'... . in our judgment, counsel for theowners arc right in contending that Sub-clause (2) of Clause 6 of the Schedule to Act 37 of 1950, insofar as it deprived the owners of the lands of the statutory addition to the market value of the lands under Section 23(2) of the Land Acquisition Act is violative of the equality clause of the Constitution, and is on that account void. If the State had acquired the lands for improvement of the town under the Land Acquisition Act, the acquiring authority was bound to award in addition to the market value 15 per cent solatium under Section 23(2) of the Land Acquisition Act. Rut by acquiring the lands under the Land Acquisition Act as modified by the Schedule to the Madras City Improvement Trust Act 37 of 1950 for the Improvement Trust which also is a public purpose, the owners are, it is claimed, deprived of the right to the statutory addition. An owner of land is ordinarily entitled to receive the solatium in addition to the market value, for compulsory acquisition of his land, if it is acquired under the Land Acquisition Act, but not if it is acquired under the Madras City Improvement Trust Act. A clear case of discrimination which infringes the guarantee of equal protection of the law arises and the provision which is move prejudicial to the owners of the lands which ate compulsorily acquired must on the decisions of this Court, he deemed invalid.......Wetherefore, hold that Clause 6, Sub-clause (2) of the Schedule road with Section 73 of Madras Act 37 of 1950 which deprives the owners of the statutory right to solatium at the rate of 15 per cent on the market value of the lands is invalid, and the owners of the lands arc entitled to the statutory solatium under Section 23(2) of the Land Acquisition Act in consideration of compulsory acquisition of their lands.'

The acquisition hero is by the Government under the Land Acquisition Act though fur being subsequently transferred to the Board. The above cited dictum in Balammal's case, AIR 1968 SC 1425 is that the law of compensation for acquisitions made by the Government for public purposes is as provided in the Laud Acquisition Act and any Act which provides for a different measure of compensation for acquisitions by Government is discriminatory and void.

2. It may be that, as pointed out in Dalchand v. Delhi Improvement Trust, AIR 3907 SG 87 the Board has power to acquire land compulsorily (See Section 71 of the Act) and, if that power has been exercised by the Board under the City Improvement Trust Act, the proprietor could not have claimed solatium provided by the Land Acquisition Act. But that is not the case here.

3. On the authority of Balammal's case, ATR 1968 SC 1425 which is on all fours with the present case, this reference has to be accepted partly, and the provision for omission of solatium in the Schedule to the Trivandrum City Improvement Trust Act held not to apply to the present case.

4. Order accordingly.


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