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Cautamlal Naranlal Vs. the Additional Special Land Acquisition Officer, Ahmedabad and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtGujarat High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. Appln. Nos. 547 to 549 of 1966, 662 to 665 and 277 of 1967
Judge
Reported inAIR1970Guj81; (1970)11GLR484
ActsLand Acquisition Act, 1894 - Sections 50(2), 53 and 59(2); Code of Civil Procedure (CPC), 1908 - Order 1, Rules 3 and 10
AppellantCautamlal Naranlal
RespondentThe Additional Special Land Acquisition Officer, Ahmedabad and anr.
Appellant Advocate V.S. Parikh, Adv. in C.R.A. Nos. 547 to 549 of 1966,; J.M. Thakore, Adv. General and;
Respondent Advocate G.H. Desai, Govt. Pleader in C.R.A. Nos. 547 to 549 of 1966,; J.M. Thakore, Adv. General and;
Cases ReferredA. Thangal Kunju Musaliar v. M. Venkitachalam Potti
Excerpt:
property - award - section 50 of land acquisition act, 1894, section 3 of gujarat housing board act, 1961 and order 10 of code of civil procedure, 1908 - whether board established under act becomes necessary party under provisions contained in order 10 by reason of their being directed to appear or adduce evidence if any under act - a party is one against whom there exist any relief and that court can grant it so that it can challenge it even in appeal - proviso to section 50 does not give him right to demand reference - local authority contemplated under section 50 (1) does not become part against whom award is passed - held, applicant shall be allowed to appear for adducing its evidence in case as contemplated in section 50 (2) of act. - - in other words, it is said that it has.....shelat, j.1. this group of eight revision applications raises a common question as to whether the gujarat housing board established under the gujarat housing board act, 1961 which is said to be a local authority contemplated in section 3, sub-section (3) of the said act, becomes a necessary or proper party so called under the provisions contained in o.x. of the civil procedure code, by reason of their being directed to appear and adduce evidence, if any, under section 50, sub-section (2) of the land acquisition act, 1894, hereinafter to be referred to as 'the act', as amended by act xx of 1965 by the gujarat state, in the land acquisition proceeding taken out by the local government for the benefit of the housing board. in the event of our finding that the gujarat housing board is not a.....
Judgment:

Shelat, J.

1. This group of eight revision applications raises a common question as to whether the Gujarat Housing Board established under the Gujarat Housing Board Act, 1961 which is said to be a local authority contemplated in Section 3, sub-section (3) of the said Act, becomes a necessary or proper party so called under the provisions contained in O.X. of the Civil Procedure Code, by reason of their being directed to appear and adduce evidence, if any, under Section 50, sub-section (2) of the land Acquisition Act, 1894, hereinafter to be referred to as 'the Act', as amended by Act XX of 1965 by the Gujarat State, in the Land acquisition proceeding taken out by the Local Government for the benefit of the Housing Board. In the event of our finding that the Gujarat Housing Board is not a party either necessary or proper in the proceedings under the Act, we are required to consider as to the meaning given to the words 'to appear and adduce evidence, if any so as to include the right of audience as also to cross-examine the claimant's witnesses etc., in the matter.

2-5. x x x

6. The Gujarat Housing Board is constituted under the provisions contained in Gujarat Housing Board Act, 1961 and as contemplated in sub-section (3) of the Section 3 thereof, it shall be deemed to be a local authority for the purposes of the Act as also for the relevant Land Acquisition Law. It is common ground that this Board is interested in the land acquisition proceedings as the compensation amount is to come from its funds for the acquisition of those lands and since it is a Local Authority as required in Section 50(2) of the Land Acquisition Act, (hereinafter to be referred to as 'the Act') it has a right to appear and adduce evidence for the purpose of determining the amount of compensation. We may set out Section 50 of the Act. It runs thus:-

'50. (1) Where the provisions of this Act are put in force for the purpose of acquiring land at the cost of any fund controlled or managed by a local authority or of any Company, the charges of and incidental to such acquisition shall be defrayed from or by such fund or Company.

(2) In any proceeding held before a Collector or Court in such cases the local authority or Company concerned may appear and adduce evidence for the purpose of determining the amount of compensation: Provided that no such local authority of Company shall be entitled to demand a reference under Section 18.'

Sub-section (2) of Section 50 of the Act, however, has come to be amended by Gujarat Act No. XX of 1965 of the Land Acquisition (Gujarat Unification and Amendment) Act, 1963. By reason of Section 23 thereof, in Section 50 of the Principal Act, in sub-section (2) for the words 'may appear and adduce evidence' the words 'shall be called upon to appear and adduce evidence, if any' shall be substituted. In other words, by reason of this amendment the duty is cast on the Collector or the Court as the case may be, to call upon any such local authority or Company concerned to appear and adduce evidence., if any, for the purpose of determining the amount of compensation, instead of a mere right given to it under the principal Act to appear and adduce evidence for the said purpose. This amended provision has come in force with effect from 9th July, 1965. The Gujarat Housing Board thereupon filed applications in the various Compensation Cases pending before the City Civil Court, Ahmedabad, for being joined as party to the proceedings, and that has raised a question whether such a right given to it under Section 50, sub-section (2) of the Act required the Court to join it as a party to the proceeding having all the rights that a party to a suit or a legal proceeding can claim. In other words, the Housing Board by reason of its being a Local Authority (acquiring body of the lands in question) as contemplated in Section 50(1) of the Act becomes a necessary or proper party in these cases for the purpose of determination of the compensation. Much though the applications are made by the Gujarat Housing Board under the provisions contained in O.I. R. 10 of the Civil Procedure Code, the claim is made by reason of Section 50(2) as amended, inasmuch as it requires the Court to call upon the Board to appear and adduce evidence, if any, in the proceeding. In other words, it is said that it has been made obligatory on the Court to issue notice in that regard to the Board and that is as good as a notice to the interested parties in the proceedings. When that is so, there is no reason to treat it as a body appearing as something other than a party to the proceeding. Besides, except that it has no right to demand a reference as provided in S. 50(2) proviso, it has all the rights of a party in any such legal proceeding. It should, therefore, be joined as a party in all those Compensation Cases. The contention on the other hand is that such a Body, much though the funds for the acquisition of the land come from it, it does not become the party to the proceedings in any manner, as it is given a limited right to appear and adduce evidence, if any, for the only purpose of determining the amount of compensation Besides, it was said that if it was intended to be joined as a party to the proceeding it must have been shown to be a 'person interested' as defined in Section 3(b) of the Act, and the very fact that it has not been so shown, and on the other hand when it has been specifically denied the right to demand even reference under section 18 of the Act, the Board is not given any such status as that of a party to the proceeding so as the have all the rights of a party or person interested in the same. In fact, he is represented for all purposes by the Local Govt. Through Collector which puts the proceedings in motion for acquisition of the property and it is only the Collector who has been recognised as a party to the proceedings as also for purposes of appeal or so, and no other under the Act. The Board having some interest in meeting the claim of compensation is, however, allowed an access to the proceeding so as to be able to place before the Collector or the Court its evidence in that regard which Collector may not be able to do so. In other words, it was urged that he cannot be treated as a party to the proceeding so as to entitle it to get all the rights of a party in any legal proceeding.

7. Before considering this question as raised before us, it is essential to point out by a reference to Section 53 which says that:

'save in so far as they may be inconsistent with anything contained in this Act, the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure shall apply to all proceedings before the Court under this Act.'

In other words, where there is a provision under Section 50(2) of the Act itself, the provisions of O.I.R. 10 of the Civil Procedure Code may not be available as sought to be invoked by the Board in the Court below. When such a specific provisions has been there for the advantage of any such local authority or Company having a right to be before the Court in any such proceeding, we think the Board could not invoke the aid of provisions contained in O.I.R. 10 of the Civil Procedure Code which relates to joinder of proper parties to the suit.

8. Even if the provisions contained in the Civil Procedure Code were available to the Board, O.I.R. 3 of the Civil Procedure Code would not apply to call such Local Authority as a necessary party to the proceeding for the reason that only those persons can be joined as defendants against whom any right to relief in respect of or arising out of the same act or transaction or series of act or transactions is alleged to exist, whether jointly, severally or in the alternative, where, if separate suits were brought against such persons, any common question of law or fact would arise. There is no right to relief against this Board under the Act. The compensation has to be paid by the Collector - and the land acquired has to be taken possession of also by Collector. The award has to be passed against the Collector and in no case against any such acquiring body. Similarly the Board can hardly be called a proper party as contemplated in O.I.R. 10 of the Civil Procedure Code. This provision entitles the Court to strike out or join any person as plaintiff or defendant if it thought that the name of any such person ought to have been joined or whose presence before the Court was considered necessary in order to enable the Court effectually and completely to adjudicate upon and settle all the questions involved in the same. The same considerations would also arise and since no award can be passed against it or that it would not be entitled to file an appeal against any such award under the Act, it would not be even a proper party without whose being on record, Court cannot decide the matter completely. The Board has been given merely a right to adduce evidence in support of the Collector who represents the State which acquires the property for the local authority. In our view, therefore, even if provisions of Civil Procedure Code were to apply and the application be so made, we think that the Board is neither a necessary nor a proper party to the proceeding as a party defendant in any suit. A party is and has to be one against whom there exists any relief and that the Court can grant it so that it can challenge it even in appeal, like any other party in a suit or a legal proceeding.

9. We would now consider the arguments advanced before us and find out by reference to the provisions of the Act as to what is intended by giving such a right to the Board under Section 50(2) of the Act as amended by Gujarat State.

10. Now, as already pointed out hereabove, by reason of sub-section (2) of Section 50 of the Act, any such Local Authority or the Company, as the case may be, does get a right to appear and adduce evidence for the purpose of determining the amount of compensation both before the collector as also before the Court in any such proceeding under the Act. His right to appear, therefore, commences with the inquiry that the Collector is required to hold for making an award under Section 11 of the Act. Since that right to appear is merely in relation to and for the purpose of determining the amount of compensation, the Collector is not required to issue any notice to him before he reaches that stage, as in that inquiry he may have to consider other matters relating to the land of the claimant in respect of the land to be acquired by the Govt. At the instance of such Local Authority or the Company. But such a local authority is entitled to a notice to appear and adduce evidence, if any, in respect of the compensation for the land acquired that may be fixed by the Collector. In an award to be made by the Collector under Section 11 of the Act, he has to set out his decisions with regard to the true area of the land, the compensation which in his opinion, should be allowed for the land, and the apportionment thereof to be made among all the persons known or believed to be interested in the land, of whom, or of whose claims, he has information, whether or not they have respectively appeared before him. Then comes Section 12 under which such an award shall be filed in the Collector's office and it shall be final and conclusive evidence, as between the Collector and the persons interested, whether they have respectively appeared before the Collector or not, of the true area and value of the land, and the apportionment of the compensation among the persons interested. The Collector has to gave immediate notice of his award to such of the persons interested as are not present personally or by their representatives when the award is made. It would appear therefrom that the 'persons interested' before him are no other than those contemplated under Section 3(b) of the Act which defines the expression 'persons interested'. That includes all persons claiming an interest in compensation to be made on account of the acquisition of the land under this Act. It becomes, therefore, plain that the persons interested referred to so far in the award that may be passed by the Collector, would be those persons claiming interest in compensation which may be made on account of their land having been acquired by the Government. They are thus no others than the claimants in respect of the compensation amount meaning thereby the persons who are either owners or having any interest in the land acquired for which they can claim compensation or a share therein. Thus that expression does not contemplate any such local authority for whose benefit land is acquired and from whom the compensation is to come. At that stage the Govt. Becomes a party proposing the amount of compensation to be made to those persons having interest in land and that creates a liability on the Govt., so much so that the award under Section 11 of the Act binds it. Even the Govt., has no right to demand a reference against that award of the Local Authority or the Collector as the case may be. Thus so far there is no voice given to the Local Authority except having a right to appear and adduce evidence for showing that the compensation claimed was not proper or that it should be fixed at a particular rate on the basis of evidence let by it.

11. If we now turn to Section 18 of the Act, it appears clear that a reference to the Court against any such award can only be made by any person interested, and the two who has not accepted that award. As provided therein, he has to make a written application to the Collector stating his objection. If any, to the measurement of the land, the amount of the compensation or as to apportionment of the compensation among the persons interested. It is worth nothing at this stage that the Local Authority or the Company at the case may be, is not given any right to demand a reference under Section 18 in view of a clear Proviso to Section 50 of the Act. In other words, just as Collector is bound by the award, the Loval Authority for whom the State Government has chosen to acquire the land is also bound by it. They have no right to have the compenstaion in any manner reduced once it is given by an award under Section 11 of the Act. The reference, therefore, is intended for the benefit of those persons interested in the compensation made in the award on account of acquisition of their land or any rights therein. In the reference that the Collector is required to make under Section 19 of the Act, he has to set out:-

(a) the situation and the extent of the land etc.,

(b) the names of the persons whom he has reason to think interested in such land

(c) the amount awarded for damages and paid or tendered under Sections 5 and 17, or either of them, and the amount of compensation awarded under Section 11, and

(d) if the objection be to the amount of the compensation, the grounds on which the amount of compensation was determined.

Then comes Section 20 which provides for service of notice. On receipt of any such reference made by the Collector under Sections 18 and 19 of the act, the Court shall cause a notice, specifying the day on which the Court will proceed to determine the objections, and directing their appearance before the Court on that day, to be served on certain persons set out therein. Those persons are (a) the applicant i.e., the person at whose instance the reference is made by the Collector, (b) all persons interested in the objection, except such (if any) of them as have consented without protest to receive payment of the compensation awarded, and (c) if the objection is in regard to the areas of the land or to the amount of the compensation, the Collector. It is from the reference made by the Collector that the Court has to find out the persons who are parties to the proceeding before him. There is no other person contemplated in Section 20 of the Act on whom any such notice is required to be served. As we said above, the Local Authority is not a person interested as could come under Section 3(b) of the Act and where the question involved in the reference is amount of compensation or area, the Collector and that way a representative of Local Government which acquires the land is required to be a party to the proceeding. In fact, we find nowhere any term - such a party - to the proceeding used, and all that they refer to are persons interested in the compensation or where there arise questions of compensation or area of the land, the Collector has to be before the Court in that proceeding. They can be styled as parties of which claimant can well be characterised as it were a plaintiff- and the Collector - a defendant in a suit. The Collector represents all the interests viz., of the State as also for any such acquiring body with whose funds and for whose benefit any land is acquired.

12. Examining the scheme of the Act further, if we refer to Section 26 of the Act, it provides for making the Award by the Judge specifying the amount awarded under clause first of sub-section (1) of Section 23, and also the amounts (if any) respectively awarded under each of the other clauses of the same sub-section, together with the grounds of awarding each of the said amounts. Sub-section (2) of Section 26 says that every such award shall be deemed to be a decree and the statement of the grounds of every such award a judgment within the meaning of Section 2, clause (2), and Section 2, clause (9), respectively, of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. Thus, this Award refers to the amount awarded by the Court in favour of the claimant or a person at whose instance a reference for an additional claim etc., is made. That claimant becomes a decree-holder, if more amount is awarded, and the party which has to pay is the Collector representing the Local Government. Section 27 related to an order to be passed in respect of costs while passing any such award and as to by what persons and in what proportion such costs are to be paid. Sub-section (2) thereof says that when the order of the Collector is not upheld, the costs shall ordinarily be paid by the Collector, unless the Court shall be of opinion that the claim of the applicant was so extravagent or that he was so negligent in putting his case before the Collector that some deduction, from his costs should be made or that he should pay a part of the Collector's costs. Section 28 then says that if the sum which in the opinion of the Court, the Collector ought to have awarded as compensation is in excess of the sum which the Collector did award as compensation, the award of the Court may direct that the Collector shall pay interest on such excess at the rate of six per centum per annum from the date on which he took possession of the land to the date of payment of such excess into Court. In other words, the effect of all these provisions is that the Court reognises only the Collector as a party against whom any such award has to be passed. Neither the Company nor any Local Authority as contemplated in Section 50 of the Act comes in the picture or is recognised as a party against whom any such orders can be passed while making any award either by the Collector under Section 11 or by the Court under Section 26 of the Act. After leaving some sections which deal with apportionment of compensation, there comes Section 31 which provides that the Collector on making an award under Section 11, shall tender payment of the compensation awarded by him to the persons interested entitled thereto according to the award, and shall pay it to them unless prevented by some one or more of the contingencies mentioned in the next sub-section. Section 34 then says that when the amount of such compensation is not paid or deposited on or before taking possession of the land, the Collector shall pay the amount awarded with interest thereon at the rate of six per centum per annum from the time of so taming possession until it shall have been so paid or deposited. It may be stated here that it is the Collector who is entitled to take possession of the land after the award is made under Section 11 and the land shall thereupon vest absolutely in the Government as contemplated under Section 16 of the Act. It is by virtue of an agreement between the Local Authority such as the Housing Board in this case and the Government that on being satisfied about the requirements of any such corporate body that it would initiate the enquiry towards the acquisition of any such lands. All that can come in Chapter VII of the Act and it is thereafter under Section 50 that such Local Authority or Company for whom any such land is acquired is given a right to appear and adduce evidence for the purpose of determining the amount of compensation. We may at this stage refer to Section 54 which provides for appeals in proceedings before Court and there also no other person except the persons interested as we pointed out hereabove or the Collector as the case may be, would become entitled to file appeal against the Award passed under Section 26 of the Act by any Court. It would, thus, appear that at no stage down from the time when the proceedings are initiated, till the stage of appeal, any such Local Authority such as the one in these cases comes in as a party to the proceedings so as to enable any Court to pass any orders against it.

13. With such a scheme of the Act before us, and keeping in mind even the general principles referred to in O.I. of the Civil Procedure Code relating to parties -either necessary or proper -to any such or a legal proceeding. We think that a Local Authority or Company as the case may be, has no status of a party as such, for it has no right to demand a reference, and against whom no award having the force of a decree can be passed. In other words, even if it is on record by reason of its being given a right to appear and adduce evidence, in regard to the compensation, no order either for payment or for costs can be passed against it by the Court. Nor has it been given even a right to appeal against the Award of the Court. A necessary or a proper party is one against whom there is any relief claimed, or that his presence is so essential to enable the Court to effectively decide any such claim. It must be such a party who if dissatisfied can well be entitled to a right of appeal against any such decision. No such right is at all given to it much less contemplated in the provisions of the Act. That right is given to the Govt. Through its representative the Collector and to no other. The mere fact, therefore, that it is allowed a right to appear and adduce evidence would not make it a party to the proceeding as such unless these rights are given to it by the statute. Thus, the scheme of the Act tends to indicate clearly that such a Local Authority or the Company as the case may be, contemplated under Section 50 of the Act should be given an opportunity to meet any claim of compensation made by the persons interested in the land acquired by the Govt., giving it a proper intimation to appear and adduce evidence if any, in relation to the question of the amount of compensation. It can help the party-Govt. - in reducing its burden in that direction - and more so, as the party required to pay may well take all care to see that adequate evidence is procured and placed before the Land Acquisition Officer or the Court, so that an adequate and reasonable compensation may have to be paid. But in no case, it would mean that by having to issue any such notice under Section 50(2) of the Act as amended by Gujarat State, it changes its character, and makes it a party to the proceeding giving all the rights of a party to any legal proceeding in law. In our view, it is a limited right given to it under Section 50(2) and that too for a limited purpose, and in no case, it an be joined or added as a party-defendant, either because it is a necessary or a proper party as understood in relation to a legal proceeding.

14. Mr. Parikh has in this connection invited a reference to two decisions. The first is a decision in the case of Municipal Corporation, Pabna v. Jogendra Narain Raikut, (1908) 13 Cal W.N. 116. The facts were that certain lands were acquired by the Government for a Municipal market in Raghabpur, in the town of Pabna, at the instance of the Pabna Municipality. Claims for compensation were preferred by six sets of claimants. After the award was given by the Land Acquisition Deputy Collector under Section 11 of the Act the claimants applied for references under Section 18 of the Act to the Court of the District Judge of Pabna. In those references the Secretary of State for India in Council was not made a party to the proceedings. In appeal a company or corporation for whose benefit any land may be acquired by the land acquisition proceeding and S. 50 of the Land Acquisition Act allows such company or corporation to appear simply for the purpose of watching the proceedings or assisting the Secretary of State. It was further held that such a company or corporation has no power to ask for a reference under Section 18 of the Act and that it has no right to appeal against the decree made upon a reference. The proceedings, however, came to be set aside and the matter was remanded as the Secretary of State for India in Council was not made a party to the same. An emphasis was laid by Mr. Parikh, the learned advocate for some of the claimants in revision applications before us. That the only right that is given to any such Company or Local Authority under Section 50, sub-section (2) of the Act was to appear and adduce evidence for the purpose of determining the amount of compensation and that was in the nature of an advantage to a party simply for the purpose of watching the proceedings or assisting the Secretary of State now the State and no more. While we do agree with the decision that such a Company or Corporation is in no way a necessary or proper party in the proceedings and that the only necessary or proper party would be the Govt., or the Collector in such a case, we are unable to go to the length of agreeing with the decision when it says that the Local Authority or the Company as the case may be, is put in the nature of an additional party simply for the purpose of watching the proceedings or assisting the Secretary of State. It appears that the effect of the words 'may appear and adduce evidence for the purpose of determining the amount of compensation' has not been considered. In our view, it involves something more than mere watching of the proceedings or assisting the Secretary of State or the Collector as the case may be, in such proceedings. Another decision referred to by him is the case of Corporation of the City of Nagpur v. Naendrakumar Motilal. : AIR1959Bom297 . In the proceedings before the Land Acquisition Officer, the Corporation of the City of Nagpur for which the land was sought to be acquired, was permitted to intervene under the provisions of Section 50(2) for the purpose of determining the amount of compensation. The Corporation was dissatisfied with the award made by the Land Acquisition Officer and had applied under Section 18 of the Act to the Land Acquisition Officer to make a reference to the Civil Court. That application was rejected in limine upon the ground that the applicant Corporation was not a person interested in the compensation within the meaning of Section 18 and was therefore not entitled to move an application for making a reference. The matter was taken to the High Court and after considering the scheme of the Act it was held that in every case of acquisition, it is only the Local Government that can acquire land and for every acquisition, compensation has to be paid. A perusal of Part V of the Act indicates that the duty to pay compensation is solely that of the Local Government. Therefore, in the entire proceedings from the time of the issue of the notification under Section 6 till the payment of compensation, the parties interested in the acquisition are in law the owner of the property and Government who acquires the property. Then it has been observed that no doubt Government acquires property on behalf of an individual company or statutory Corporation, but having regard to the scheme of the Act it does not appear that these parties can become parties to the proceedings except to the limited extent indicated in Section 50(2) of the Land Acquisition Act. Going further it has been observed that the only parties who may be so to be interested in the payment of compensation are the Government which alone can legally acquire the land, and of course the owner whose land is being acquired. It further held that Section 50(2) cannot be construed to enlarge the right of the Local Authority or Corporation beyond the right expressly mentioned therein, namely, to appear and adduce evidence for the purpose of determining the compensation. The Local Authority or Company do not by virtue of that right become parties to the acquisition proceedings. Later on, the words 'claiming an interest in compensation' in Section 3(b) of the Act were held to be limited to the person who pays the compensation under the Act, namely, the Government, and in any event, it cannot include within that expression the person for whom the acquisition is being made. In the case of Mandalay Municipal Committee v. Manung It, AIR 1929 Rang, 115, the expression 'persons interested' in sub-section (b) of Section 4 of the Act came to be explained as meaning persons interested by reason of their interest in the land acquired as owners, tenants and the like, and not persons interested as acquiring the land through the Secretary of State. Such a person is not entitled to separate notice under Section 20 though he has the right to appear and adduce evidence under Section 50(2) of the Act. The same view appears to have been taken in the case of State of Orissa v. Amarendra Pratap Singh : AIR1967Ori180 . As observed in that case, Sections 3(b), 18, 20, 21 and 50 make it clear that a company or a local authority for whose benefit the acquisition is made is not entitled to demand a reference under Section 18 and is not a necessary party to such proceeding through it can in any proceeding before the Collector or the Court appear and adduce evidence for the purpose of determining the amount of compensation. It also follows that it has no right to file any appeal against the judgment of the Court. It would thus appear that having regard to the definition of the expression 'persons interested' in Section 3(b) and taking into account the scheme of the Act as a whole, much though the funds for acquisition of the land were to be paid by them, they cannot be said to be persons interested as to claim any right to have a reference made or to have any appeal filed against any such award passed by the Court. They are not recognised under the Act as parties to the proceedings.

15. It was, however, pointed out by the learned Advocate General appearing for the Gujarat Housing Board that these decisions were prior to the amendment that come to be effected by Act 20 of 1965 which provides or casts a duty on the Court to issue notice on such Local Authority or the company as the case may be, to appear and adduce evidence, if any, in regard to the determination of the amount of compensation under Section 50(2) of the Act. According to him, once the duty is cast on Collector or the Court to direct notice to be issued to appear, even for a limited purpose, he is before the Court, a party and more so when he is given a right to adduce evidence. He urged that the effective meaning should be given to those words used in Section 50(2) in such a manner as to meet the intention of the Legislature, that except that it cannot demand a reference as forbidden by the Proviso to Section 50 of the Act, for all other purposes he is a party to the proceeding and should be treated as such. Now it is true that by reason of the amendment to Section 50(2) of the Act, a duty is cast on the Collector or the Court to issue a notice, but in our view, it has made no difference in the substantial part of the section and in fact that has remained the same. Before amendment, it had a right to appear and adduce evidence and it depended upon it to so appear, if it chose. That discretion has remained the same. The difference now is that a notice is issued to him in regard to the matter to be heard which before the amendment, it had itself to remain on the look out if it so desired to appear. It is in our view an intimation sent to it so as to avail of the opportunity given to it to help the Collector by adducing its own evidence relating to the determination of the compensation for the land. In our view, the right has remained the same, and by reason of any such notice given to it, it is in no way enlarged as is sought to be claimed viz., of being treated as a party to the proceeding.

16. We do, however, feel that the words 'appear and adduce evidence, if any,' in any such proceeding even though for a limited purpose viz., in regard to the question of compensation, should be given an effective meaning and that it cannot be allowed to remain or leave it as an illusory right to any such local authority or the company as the case may be, by saying that it has merely a right to watch or assist the Collector in the proceeding. The learned Advocate General urged that the words 'appear and adduce evidence' have to be given full meaning so such so that the expression 'adduce evidence' would be included within the meaning of the term 'pleading' as used in the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code. As to the expression 'appear', it was pointed out that in respect of Local Authority there was no question of any physical appearance of any such Board and that appearance was to be by some authorized person on its behalf. Now it cannot adduce evidence, without appearing, and therefore, as provided therein such a Local Authority becomes entitled to appear through its representative and that the appearance is obviously intended for the purpose of meeting the case in regard to compensation for the land acquired, to be determined in the case. Thus it can appear even through an advocate or any authorised agent for the purpose of adducing evidence. This right of adducing evidence may well be treated as a part of pleading as pointed out by a reference to the observation made in a decision in the case of Aswin Shambhuprasad Patel v. National Reyon Corporation Ltd. : AIR1955Bom262 . Those observations are:-

'The contention put forward by Mr. Bengeri before me is that 'pleading' is included in the expression 'appearance, application or act in or to any Court'. In my opinion it is clear that 'pleading' would not be included in any of these expression. The right of audience in Court, the right to address the Court, the right to examine and cross-examine witnesses, are all parts of pleading with which Order III does not deal at all.'

While therefore the expression 'appear' may not include a claim for pleading, the 'right to adduce evidence, if any,' would certainly be included in the term 'pleading' and therefore such a right would include a right to examine and cross-examine witnesses. In our view, the expression 'adduce' used therein appears to have wider meaning and not merely confined to leading its own evidence. Thus a right of appearance is for the purpose of adducing evidence, and that evidence must necessarily include a right to bring before the Court every type of relevant evidence, inclusive of bringing on record the same through cross-examination of the claimant's witnesses in the case. In Prem's Judicial Dictionary at page 79, the term 'adduce' has been explained as meaning 'to bring forward proofs or evidence in support of some statement or proposition already made.' The right to given evidence is in relation to an inquiry for determining compensation, and any evidence led by the Board would be of hardly any effective use unless it is also allowed to challenge the evidence led by the claimant by being allowed to cross-examine his witnesses in the case. It can then meet the evidence of the claimant, both oral or documentary, and unless that right is included in any such right of merely examining or leading evidence by Local Authority, it would not be enough or proper. That right, in our opinion, is impliedly there once it is given a right to appear and adduce evidence. It would include demolition of evidence led by the claimant and that can be done also in cross-examination. Not to give such a meaning to those words, would make the right if not entirely illustory or ineffective, highly unsatisfactory so much so that it may not be as effective a right given to it for the purpose intended thereby. That appears to be the only way of making those expressions effective in meaning intended to be given by Section 50(2) of the Act. But that right cannot further stand enlarged to an extent as to be styled as a party to the proceeding so as to have full rights of a party in any such legal proceeding. It is difficult to say that for that purpose it can be called a party as understood in law and all that therefore, we may say is that while it is entitled to be on record and for the purpose mentioned in Section 50(2), it has a right to appear and adduce evidence, if any, as explained above. It gets no other right under Section 50(2) of the Act. It was urged by Mr. Desai, the learned Government Pleader appearing for the State, that with the direction to issue notice to the acquiring body, it has to be taken that it was a notice issued for appearing in the matter for all purposes as would be issued to the claimant and the Collector under Section 20 of the Act. Besides, it was said that the Legislature added or amended those words in Section 50(2) as it related to the Local Authority or Company referred to in Section 50 of the Act and that otherwise it would have been required to add words to that effect both in Section 9 and Section 20 of the Act the former touching the proceedings before the Land Acquisition Officer and the latter before the Court. Now it is true that the Courts below have taken the view that Section 20 would have been so amended, but that does not determine the question. The provisions of the Act have to be read as a whole and it would not make any difference, if any such provision were clear enough to give the indication that it was to be a notice as contemplated in Section 20 viz., as if to a party to the proceeding. But proviso to Section 50 does not give him a right to demand a reference. As already pointed out hereabove, the Local Authority or the Company contemplated in Section 50(1) of the Act, does not become a party against whom an award could be passed, or even given it a right of appeal under the Act. Besides, it is allowed to appear only for a limited purpose of adducing evidence and that too for only the determination of the amount of compensation to be passed for the land acquired by the Government for it.

17. An attempt was, however, made to take into account the objects and reasons given in the Bill No. XIII of 1963 published in the Gujarat Government Gazettee of 7th March 1963 in so far as the amendment to S. 50(2) of the Act is concerned. The reasons given for that amendment in clause 23 thereof are as under:

'In the case of acquisition of land for company etc., the company ultimately pays for the acquisition of the land. It is, therefore, fair and equitable that the company should be joined as a party in the proceedings because mere right to lead evidence as provided in the existing Section 50 is not enough. This clause therefore provides for an amendment to Section 50 to achieve the object.'

If this clause were to be read for enabling the Court to give proper meaning to Section 50(2) of the Act as amended. It can be said that the intention was to join the Local Authority or the Company, as the case may be, as a party to the proceedings, as in its opinion, a mere right to lead evidence as provided in the existing Section 50 of the Act was not enough. It, was however, pointed out by a reference to the decision in the case of Aswini Kumar Ghose v. Arabindo Bose : [1953]4SCR1 where it was held that the statement of objects and reasons appended to the Bill should be ruled out as an aid to the construction of a Statute. The relevant observations are as under:-

'The Statement of Objects and Reasons, seeks only to explain what reasons induced the mover to introduce the bill in the House and what objects he sought to achieve. But those objects and reasons may or may not correspond to the objective which the majority of members had in view when they passed it into law. The Bill may have undergone radical changes during its passage through the House or Houses, and there is no guarantee that the reasons which led to its introduction and the objects thereby sought to be achieved have remained the same throughout till the Bill emerges from the House as an Act of the Legislature, for they do not form part of the Bill and are not voted upon the members. The statement of Objects and Reasons appended to the Bill should be ruled out as an aid to the construction of a statute.'

This proposition has not been challenged by the learned Advocate General though no doubt he invited to two other decisions of the Supreme Court in this regard. The first as the decision in the case of S.C. Prashar, Income-tax Officer v. Vasantsen Dwarkadas ( : [1963]49ITR1(SC) some observations made by the Court were referred to:

'But the Statement of Objects and Reasons can be referred to for the purpose of ascertaining the circumstances which led to the legislation in order to find out what was the mischief when the legislation aimed at.'

Another decision in the case of A. Thangal Kunju Musaliar v. M. Venkitachalam Potti : [1956]29ITR349(SC) . The observations referred to are at page 1237 (of SCR) = at p. 265 (of AIR). The are as under:-

'It has been said that although the statement of the objects and reasons appended to a bill is not admissible as an aid to the construction of the Act as passed see Aswini Kumar Ghose's Case : [1953]4SCR1 , yet it may be referred to only for the limited purpose of ascertaining the conditions prevailing at the time which necessitated the making of the law (see Subodh Gopal Bose's case : [1954]1SCR587 .')

It follows therefrom that the objects and reasons appended to the Bill cannot be made use of when the construction of any provision in the statute is to be made though no doubt they may be looked into for the purpose of finding out the mischief aimed at. Now it is clear that the amended part of Section 50(2) of the Act is neither ambiguous nor is such as would require us to look into the circumstances then prevailing which necessitated the amendment. In our view, while construing the effect of the amended provision, no such reference is called for and we cannot look into the same to say that thereby it was intended to allow the Local Authority or the Company as a party in a legal proceeding. We have considered the effect of this part of Section 50(2) after taking into consideration the scheme of the Act and the relevant provisions negativing any such effect being given to the same as urged before us. It is equally clear to us that the amended provision contained in Section 50(2) of the Act does not alter the position as it stood before except in the sense that the Collector or the Court, as the case may be, is required to give an intimation to any such Local authority or the Company for appearance and adducing evidence, if any, in respect of the determination of the question of the amount of compensation for the land acquired. However, in our view the proper order that should have been passed was to allow it to be on record of the case, so as to enable it to appear and adduce evidence, if any, for the limited purpose contemplated under Section 50(2) of the Act. Besides, in our view these words 'appear and adduce evidence if any,' used in Section 50(2) of the Act, have to be given effective and proper meaning so as to entitle it to cross-examine the witnesses examined by the claimant, and also adduce its own evidence in respect of the determination of the question of the amount of compensation for the lands acquired. That would further entitle it to be heard by the Collector or the court even though the Collector has all the rights of being a party to the proceeding.

18. In the result, therefore, the orders passed in Revision Applications Nos. 277, 662, 663, 664 and 665 of 1967 shall be set aside and we direct that the applicant in each of these applications shall be allowed to be on record of the case though not as a party-defendant to the proceeding as the Collector in the case. The applicant shall be allowed to appear for adducing its evidence in the case as contemplated in Section 50(2) of the Act so much so as to enable it to cross-examine also the witnesses examined by the claimant and also advance arguments in the manner for that limited purpose.

19. Similar orders are passed in the other Revision Applications Nos. 547, 548 & 549 of 1966, and that way the orders passed by the Court below shall stand so modified.

20. In the circumstances, we make no order as to costs in all the applications.

21. Order accordingly.


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