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Smt. E.P. Janu Amma Vs. the Revenue Divisional Officer, Kozhikode - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtKerala High Court
Decided On
Case NumberO.P. No. 1764 of 1977-I
Judge
Reported inAIR1980Ker175
ActsKerala Land Acquisition Act, 1962 - Sections 20(2); Interpretation and General Clauses Act, 1125 - Sections 8; Land Acquisition Act, 1894 - Sections 18(2); General Clauses Act, 1897 - Sections 9 and 12(2)
AppellantSmt. E.P. Janu Amma
RespondentThe Revenue Divisional Officer, Kozhikode
Appellant Advocate P.K. Appa Nair, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateGovt. Pleader
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
- .....the period of limitation as per clause (b) of the proviso to sub-section (2) of section 20, the date of receipt of the notice under section 12 (2) should be excluded. according to counsel, the period would begin to run only from the next day. if that is the correct principle, the application which was received by the land acquisition officer on 7-4-1977, was presented within time.3. section 8 of the interpretation and general clauses act reads:'in any act, it shall be sufficient, for the purpose of excluding the first in a series of days or any other period of time, to use the word 'from', and for the purpose of including the last in a series of days or any other period to use the word 'to'.'if the legislature had used the word 'from' in the relevant portion of clause (b) of the.....
Judgment:

T. Kochu Thommen, J.

1. The only question which arises is whether the petitioner's application for reference under Section 20 (2) of the Kerala Land Acquisition Act, 1961 ('the Act') was presented within time. The proviso to Sub-section (2) reads:

'Provided that every such application shall be made--

'(a) if the person making it was present or represented before the Collector at the time when he made his award, within six weeks from the date of the Collector's award;

(b) in other cases, within six weeks of the receipt of the notice from the Collector under Sub-section (2) of the Section 12 or within six months from the date of the Collector's award, whichever period shall first expire'.

The notice under Section 12 (2) was served on the petitioner on 24-2-1977. The petitioner's application under Section 20 (2) was received by the Land Acquisition Officer on 7-4-1977. If the period of six weeks is computed as from 24-2-1977, which is what the officer has done, the application was received one day late as the time in that event had expired on 6-4-1977.

2. Petitioner's counsel Shri Mohan C. Menon relying upon Section 8 of the Interpretation and General Clauses Act, 1125, contends that for the purpose of reckoning the period of limitation as per Clause (b) of the proviso to Sub-section (2) of Section 20, the date of receipt of the notice under Section 12 (2) should be excluded. According to counsel, the period would begin to run only from the next day. If that is the correct principle, the application which was received by the Land Acquisition Officer on 7-4-1977, was presented within time.

3. Section 8 of the Interpretation and General Clauses Act reads:

'In any Act, it shall be sufficient, for the purpose of excluding the first in a series of days or any other period of time, to use the word 'from', and for the purpose of including the last in a series of days or any other period to use the word 'to'.'

If the legislature had used the word 'from' in the relevant portion of Clause (b) of the proviso to Sub-section (2) of Section 20 of the Act, there would have been no difficulty, for Section 8 of theGeneral Clauses Act would, in terms, have applied to save the petitioner's application. The word used however is not 'from', but 'of'. In the latter part of Clause (b) where the time is reckoned from the date of the Collector's award, the period of six months begins to run 'from' the date of the award. Likewise in Clause (a) of the proviso which refers to the period of limitation when a person was present or represented before the Collector the word 'from' is consciously used. Nevertheless in the earlier portion of Clause (b) dealing with receipt of notice under Section 12 (2) the period is mentioned as six weeks 'of' the receipt of the notice. That is the provision which is relevant to the petitioner's application. The question is, does the use of the expression 'of' instead of 'from' make any difference? I do not think it doer the legislature, in my view, would not have intended a different meaning when it used the word 'of in Clause (b) instead of 'from'. The meaning of 'of' in this context is the same as 'from'. 'Six weeks of the receipt of the notice' would mean exactly what it would be if the expression was 'six weeks from the date of receipt of the notice'. The legislature has not evinced any intention to exclude the principle of Section 8 of the General Clauses Act. 4. In my view counsel is justified in submitting that the date of receipt of the notice under Section 12 (2) has to be excluded for reckoning the period of limitation as provided under Clause (b) of the proviso to Sub-section (2) of Section 20 of the Act. The petitioner's application in my view was therefore made within time. Ext. P3 which is impugned by the petitioner is accordingly quashed, and the respondent is directed to accept the petitioner's application for reference as a proper application under Section 20. The Original Petition is allowed in the above terms. No costs.


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