Skip to content


Thakarani Shri Gumankunverba Karamsinhji and anr. Vs. State of Gujarat - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtGujarat High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1970)11GLR956
AppellantThakarani Shri Gumankunverba Karamsinhji and anr.
RespondentState of Gujarat
Cases ReferredState of Gujarat v. Vakhatsinhji
Excerpt:
- - mehta must fail as the tribunal rightly refused to award compensation for wells, step-wells and roads which were dedicated to the public. mehta must fail. therefore, order 41, rule 22 of the civil procedure code would be clearly applicable and even though the state had not filed any appeal, the state could support the compensation award even on the points decided against the state. therefore this categorical provision of section 22 has clearly adopted the general principle by limiting the interest to 3 per cent, even though payment is not in cash but in bonds by 20 equated annual instalments both of principal and interest. in fact the earlier part of section 15 clearly provides for the form of the award as in section 26 of the land acquisition act, while the later part of section.....j.b. mehta, j.1. these are cross petitions filed by the concerned jagirdars and the state against the appellate order of the revenue tribunal dated december 3, 1964 disposing of an appeal against the award of compensation by the jagir abolition officer, dated july 30, 1963.2. the concerned jagirdars challenge the order of the revenue tribunal on the following grounds:(1) that the tribunal has misconstrued the expression 'three multiples' in section 11(2) of the bombay merged territories and areas (jagirs aboli tion) act, 1953, (hereinafter referred to as 'the act'), by treating it to mean three times the assessment instead of six times, (2) that the revenue tribunal committed a patent error of law in not including bagayat kasa as a part of assessment, (3) that the revenue tribunal.....
Judgment:

J.B. Mehta, J.

1. These are cross petitions filed by the concerned Jagirdars and the State against the appellate order of the Revenue Tribunal dated December 3, 1964 disposing of an appeal against the award of compensation by the Jagir Abolition Officer, dated July 30, 1963.

2. The concerned Jagirdars challenge the order of the Revenue Tribunal on the following grounds:

(1) That the Tribunal has misconstrued the expression 'three multiples' in Section 11(2) of the Bombay Merged Territories and Areas (Jagirs Aboli tion) Act, 1953, (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act'), by treating it to mean three times the assessment instead of six times, (2) that the Revenue Tribunal committed a patent error of law in not including Bagayat Kasa as a part of assessment, (3) that the Revenue Tribunal patently erred in awarding no compensation for wells, step-wells and roads, (4) that the Revenue Tribunal erred in awarding no compensation for the river beds, (5) that the Revenue Tribunal erred in awarding no compensation for Vangha, Kotar, Kharaba and unassessed waste lands, (6) that the Tribunal also erred in reducing the rate of compensation which was awarded by the Jagir Abolition Officer for the village site lands in the appeal filed by the Jagirdars, (7) that the award of the Tribunal regarding the value of the trees was completely perverse and based on extraneous materials, and (8) that the Tribunal should have awarded interest for all the period that the Jagirdars has been dispossessed from August, 1954 even as per general principles and as per provision of Section 22 of the Act. The State on the other hand has challenged the award on the following grounds: (1) that the Tribunal erred in fixation of compensation for lands held by permanent holders and Inamdars, (2) that the Revenue Tribunal had given a perverse award as regards village site lands without any evidence on record, (3) that as regards trees the Revenue Tribunal had patently erred in making this award without any relevant evidence.

3. Taking up the points raised by Mr. Mehta on behalf of the concerned Jagirdars, the first two questions are already concluded by the decision of my learned Brother Divan J. in Special Civil Application No. 469 of 1961 decided on February 12, 1964 and Special Civil Applica tion Nos. 629 of 1961 and 630 of 1961 also decided on the same day. My learned Brother has held that the expression 'three multiples of the assessment' would only mean three times the assessment and not six times the assessment as contended by Mr. Mehta. On the other question my learned Brother has also held that the 'Bagayat Kasa' could not be included in the figure of the assessment and it could not be treated as a part of the assessment. Mr. Mehta was, therefore, unable to persuade me to take a different view, as I am in complete agreement with the view expressed by my learned Brother.

4. As regards third question raised by Mr. Mehta the Revenue Tribunal has agreed with the finding of fact arrived at by the Jagir Aboli tion Officer that the wells and step-wells were dedicated to the public as they were Sarvajanik wells. Similarly, roads have been dedicated to the public. In that view of the matter these properties having been dedicated to the public, there would be no value which could be paid to the Jagir dars for these properties. In Vakhatsinhji v. State IX G.L.R. 285 at page 292, the Division Bench, consisting of S.T. Desai, C.J. and Bakshi J., in terms held that there should be no claim of compensation for the roads which have been dedicated to the public. This view of the Division Bench have now been approved in case of State of Gujarat v. Vakhatsinhji : [1968]3SCR692 . At page 1488 Their Lordships held that there was no error of principle in the award of compensation in regard to the roads for which the High Court had refused compensation on the grounds that the roads had been dedicated to the public. In view of this settled legal position even this third ground raised by Mr. Mehta must fail as the Tribunal rightly refused to award compensation for wells, step-wells and roads which were dedicated to the public. Mr. Mehta in this connection argued that there was some evidence showing some instances that some parts of the roads were sold. The Revenue Tribunal has considered all the relevant facts and has confirmed the finding arrived at by Jagir Abolition Officer and this finding cannot be said to be perverse so as can be challenged in this petition. Therefore, this third ground raised by Mr. Mehta must fail.

5. As regards the river beds the legal position is now finally settled by the aforesaid decision of the Supreme Court in Stale of Gujarat v. Vakhatsinhji : [1968]3SCR692 . At page 1488 Their Lord ships pointed out that the Jagirdars were owners of the river beds but the submerged river beds were of no value to them, and, therefore, for river beds no compensation could be claimed. Their Lordships, however, pointed out that if the claim was confined to Bhatha lands and other portions of the river beds where crops could be raised during some parts of the year particularly during summer, such Bhathas and other portions, if any, where crops could be raised would require to be compensated and the matter was remanded for that purpose. In the present case also adopting the same approach, the matter must be remanded to the Revenue Tribunal for Bhatha lands, if any, and other portions of the river beds, where crops could be raised or any value realised from the river beds as that part of the claim could be compensated and the Tribunal had committed a patent error of law in totally rejecting this claim.

6. As regards Vagha, Kotar, Kharaba and unassessed lands, the Revenue Tribunal has disallowed any compensation on the grounds that there was no assessment. The Revenue Tribunal completely ignored Section 11(3)(i) with its proviso which provides for all such waste lands where assessment is done or which have not been assessed. Therefore, that part of the award of the Revenue Tribunal must be quashed and the matter must go back to the Revenue Tribunal for determination of compensation for this land under Section 11(3) read with the proviso.

7. As regards the village site lands; the Tribunal has increased the area than the one which could be found in the different villages by the Jagir Abolition Officer. That finding is not challenged even by the State. That finding of fact could not be challenged and has rightly not been challenged by Mr. Shah. The Revenue Tribunal, however, reduced the rate awarded for this village site lands and that is why Mr. Mehta has challenged this part of the award. Mr. Mehta argued that in this appeal the Tribunal could not reduce the rate which was awarded by the Jagir Abolition Officer. Mr. Mehta tried to equate the Jagir Abolition Officer with the Collector who made only an offer for compensation payable for the land acquired under the Land Acquisition Act. The analogy is wholly mis-conceived. The concerned officer is required under Section 13(1) when an application is made under Section 11 to determine the amount of compensation payable to the Jagirdars under the said section. Under Section 13(2) on receipt of an application under Sub-section (1), the Collector shall, after making formal enquiry in the manner provided by the Code, make an award determining the amount of compensation. Under Section 16 an appeal shall lie against the award of the Collector to the Revenue Tribunal. Under Section 17(1) the Tribunal shall, after giving notice to the appellant and the State Government, decide the appeal and record its decision. Under Section 17(2) in deciding an appeal under this Act the Tribunal shall exercise all the powers which a Court has and shall follow the same procedure which a Court follows in deciding appeals from the decree or order of an original Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. From this scheme of relevant sections it is clear that the Jagir Abolition Officer who was the competent Collector for determining the claim under Section 13(1) had to adjudicate this dispute and his award is appealable to the Revenue Tribunal under Section 16. In that appeal the Tribunal had to follow the same procedure as a Civil Court has to follow and to exercise the same powers as under the Code. Therefore, Order 41, Rule 22 of the Civil Procedure Code would be clearly applicable and even though the State had not filed any appeal, the State could support the compensation award even on the points decided against the State. Therefore, the Revenue Tribunal did not commit any patent error of law in allowing the State to support the compensation award even when the area was increased of the village site lands by reducing the rate payable for the village site lands.

8. Mr. Mehta next argued that in any event the Tribunal had ignored all the material instances and had wrongly reduced the rate especially when the Jagir Abolition Officer had taken into account all the relevant factors. There is no substance in this contention of Mr. Mehta. The Revenue Tribunal had pointed out by citing all the relevant instances that the instances which were relied upon by the Jagirdar were instances of either Angna lands or small pieces of lands given to the neighbouring purchasers and, therefore, those prices could not be taken as the sole basis for giving those higher amounts. The Revenue Tribunal has also rightly discarded the list tendered by the Mamlatdar as there was no instance of sale cited in the Court giving opportunity to the Jagirdars by cross-examining the witness and as there was nothing on record to show the nature of the lands and whether they were Angna lands or other similar instances where special factors were responsible for the higher prices. In that view of the matter the Revenue Tribunal cannot be blamed if it did not accept these instances of those small pieces as the sole criterian to arrive at a fair market value. Therefore, the petitioners' grievance as regards the price fixed for the village site lands is wholly unjustified.

9. Coming to the question of trees, the petitioners are right in pointing out that the table of prices given of the various kind of trees by the Tribunal is not based on any evidence on the record. In fact the Tribunal has mentioned in terms that it was taking these values from other cases which it had decided. As those materials were not brought on record the petitioners have no opportunity to meet the same and they have been considered by the Tribunal at the back of the petitioners. Besides this, there was evidence of Mistry Mulshanker Narbheram who had deposed about the values of various trees, which was completely brushed aside by the Revenue Tribunal. In that view of the matter, the Revenue Tribunal's order in respect of trees is vitiated by ignoring relevant evidence on record and the matter must go back to the Revenue Tribunal for fresh decision as regards the trees. Even in the State's petition the grievance is made regarding the trees, and, therefore, this remand order would serve the interest of justice as both the parties would have the opportunity to point out all the relevant evidence on record for enabling the Tribunal to fix the proper price as regards trees.

10. Finally, Mr. Mehta vehemently argued the question of interest, which was not allowed by the Revenue Tribunal on the ground that the proviso to Rule 5 precluded any such award of interest. In Satinder Singh v. Umrao Singh : [1961]3SCR676 Their Lordships of the Supreme Court have at page 915 and 916 pointed 'out that even when Section 23(1) only was applied and Section 23(2) of the Land Acquisition Act was excluded, it could not mean that the Legislature had provided that only one part of Section 23 should be applied and that it would not be reasonable to hold that by the application of Section 23(1) the principles underlying the provisions of Sections 23 and 34 were excluded. Their Lordships also further pointed out that there was a general rule in the matter of payment of interest resting on settled principles that the act of taking possession was an implied agreement to pay interest. Therefore at page 916 Their Lordships held that when a claim for payment of interest is made by a person whose immovable property has been acquired compulsorily he is not making claim for damages properly or technically so called; he is basing his claim on general rule that if he is deprived of his land he should be put in possession of compensation immediately; if not, in lieu of possession taken by compulsory acquisition interest should be paid to him on the said amount of compensation. Therefore, we have only to see whether this alutory principle which is crystalised into a general rule has been excluded by the Legislature. There is no dispute that the petitioners have been dispossessed of these properties vesting in the State from Agugust 1, 1954, when the Act came into force and, therefore, on the general rule the petitioners would be entitled to get interest from August, 1954 as they have lost their properties and they have not received any compensation. Instead of any such exclusion in the scheme of the Act, we find a categorical provision which provides for interest. Explanation to Section 11 for the purposes of this section, defines 'market value' to mean the value as estimated in accordance with the provisions of Sub-section (1) of Section 23 and Section 24 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, in so far as the said provisions may be applicable. Section 15 provides that every award made under Section 13 shall be in the form prescribed in Section 26 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, and the provisions of the said Act shall so far as may be, apply to the making of such award. Section 22 in terms provides as under: 'The amount of compensation payable under the provisions of this Act shall be payable in transferable bonds carrying interest at the rate of three per cent per annum from the date of the issue of such bonds and shall be repayable during the period of twenty years from the date of the issue of such bonds by equated annual instalments of principal and interest. The bonds shall be of such denomination and shall be in such forms as may be prescribed.' From this scheme of the relevant provisions it is clear that even in the determination of the market value for the purposes of Section 11 it is only Section 23(2) which is excluded. Besides, under Section 15 all other provisions of the Land Acquisition Act including this provision of payment of interest under Sections 28 and 34 would apply as far as it would be possible. Section 22 in terms provides that the compensation shall be payable in bonds carrying interest at 3% per annum from the date of the issue and which shall be repayable during the period of 20 years from the date of the issue of such bonds by equated annual instalments of principal and interest. Therefore this categorical provision of Section 22 has clearly adopted the general principle by limiting the interest to 3 per cent, even though payment is not in cash but in bonds by 20 equated annual instalments both of principal and interest. Therefore, instead of exclusion of general principles of interest as contended by Mr. Shah we get categorical recognition of the payment of interest and a mandatory direction that the bonds shall carry 3 per cent running interest from the date of issue, and they shall be repayable in 20 equated instalments of principal and interest.

11. The Revenue Tribunal has further spelt out an exclusion from the procedural rule because Section 22 provides that the bonds contemplated by Section 22 shall be of such denomination and shall be in such forms as may be prescribed. The Rules which are prescribed under Section 25 are the Bombay Merged Territories and Areas (Jagir's Abolition) (Compensation Bonds) Rules, 1956, which are published in Bombay Government Gazette Part IVB dated 19th April, 1956 at page 625. Rule 4 provides that the date of issue of bonds shall be the date of coming into force of the Act that is to say August 1, 1954. Rule 5 which is material for the purpose runs as under:

Every such bond shall be repayable in equated annual instalments in accordance with the repayment Schedule in Form B and and Tables I to VII in Form C: Provided that if one or more instalments have fallen due before the delivery of the bond and have not been paid already, such instalments or any balance thereof shall be payable immediately after the delivery of the bond.

When we turn to the relevant tables they show how the 20 equated annual instalments of principal and interest at 3 per cent payable on a bond on the awarded amount redeemable in 20 years shall be worked out. Those tables are prepared on the assumption that every year the equated instalment is paid with the result that the amount outstanding for the succeeding year is reduced to that extent. It is on this basis that the equated annual instalment is worked out. Such a table could have hardly any application in this particular case. Before 1963 no bonds were issued or could have been issued prior to the date of award of the Jagir Abolition Officer, and, therefore, no instalment could have been paid. It is true that the proviso to Rule 5 required that if one or more instalments have fallen due before the delivery of the bond and have not been paid already, such instalments or any balance thereof shall be payable immediately after the delivery of the bond. That proviso would have no reference to the interest which has not been paid all these years, even though the bond amount would carry 3 per cent interest from August 1, 1954. Mr. Shah vehemently argued that the Rule 5 or its proviso has not been challenged as ultravires. Mr. Mehta even does not challenge the Rule. Mr. Mehta bases his claim under this rule. Whatever bond which will now would have to be issued on the basis of claim awarded in 1963 must carry 3 per cent interest as required under Section 22. If no instalment has been paid up, there can be no assumption that such an instalment was paid every year when it became due after 1-8-1954, the deemed issue date, as fixed by the relevant Rule 4. Therefore, the whole contention of Mr. Shah is thoroughly misconceived. The revenue Tribunal has patently erred in invoking proviso to Rule 5 for holding that there was exclusion of general principle of interest which in fact was recognised as I have already mentioned in terms in Section 22. Therefore, that part of the award of the Revenue Tribunal must be quashed and it must be held that whatever amount is to be payable shall be payable by bonds which should be issued from 1-8-1954, but the entire amount should be paid with interest at 3 per cent and on that basis the equated annual instalment should be worked out from the relevant tables.

12. Turning now to the petition filed by the State, there is no substance in the contention of Mr. Shah that the compensation of land held by permanent holders or by Inamdars whether it was a service Inam or by other tenure, was not properly awarded. In all these cases the Competent Authority held them to be permanent holders, and the compensa tion which is required to be awarded under Section 11(2) in the case of such persons is only three multiples and nothing more. Therefore, no error whatsoever is made as regards this part of the order.

13. The question as regards the trees does not require any further consideration as the matter is remanded as mentioned earlier, where both the parties would have an opportunity to point out before the Tribunal the relevant evidence so that the price of the trees could be fixed on the evidence on record. Therefore, no further direction is necessary on that score.

14. Mr. Shah, however, vehemently argued the question regarding village site lands. At the outset Mr. Shah argued that though village site lands vest in the State under Section 8 and all rights held by Jagirdars shall be deemed to have been extinguished, there is no provision made for compensation for these lands. Mr. Shah wanted to urge that this being an agrarian reform the Legislation was saved from challenge under Articles 14, 19 and 31 even if no compensation was provided. Section 11(3) which is the material section as regards compensation payable to Jagirdar runs as under:

(3) Any Jagirdar having any right or interest in any property referred to in Section 8 shall, if he proves to the satisfaction of the Collector that he had any such right or interest, be entitled to compensation in the following manner, namely:

(i) if the property in question is waste or uncultivated but is cultivable land, the amount of compensation shall not exceed three times the assessment of the land:

Provided that if the land has not been assessed the amount of compensation shall not exceed such amount of assessment as would be leviable, in the same village on the same extent of similar land used for the same purpose;

(ii) If the property in question is land over which the public has been enjoying or has acquired a right of way or any individual has any right of easement, the amount of compensation shall not exceed the amount of the annual assessment leviable in the village for uncultivated land in accordance with the rules made under the Code or if such rules do not provide for the levy of such assessment, such amount as in the opinion of the Collector shall be the market value of the right or interest held by the claimant.

(iii) If there are any trees or structures on the land, the amount of compensation shall be the market value of such trees or structures, as the case may be.

Explanation.--For the purposes of this section, the 'market value' shall mean the value as estimated in accordance with the provisions of Sub-section (1) of Section 23 and Section 24 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, in so, far as the said provisions may be applicable.

15. Mr. Shah, therefore, argued that for all the properties mentioned in Section 8 in respect of all rights of Jagirdars the compensation is exhaustively provided in these 3 sub-clauses. Even the last Sub-clause (iii) would be applicable to any trees or structures on the land but not to the land itself. Mr. Shah, therefore, argued that Section 11(3) does not provide for the village site lands. Mr. Shah in this connection ignores the material Sections 13 and 15. Section (13)(1) provides that any Jagirdar entitled to compensation under Sections 11 or 12 shall (on or before the 31st day of July 1958) apply in writing to the Collector for determining the amount of compensation payable to him under the said section. Section 15 then further states that every award made under Section 13 shall be in the form prescribed in Section 26 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, and the provisions of the Act shall, so far as may be, apply to the making of such award. Therefore, it is obvious that for village site lands all the provisions of Sections 23 and 24 would be applicable for determining the compensation. Merely because Section 11(3) or its explanation may not apply to the fixation of compensation of village site lands, it does not mean that the Act does not make any other provision, when Section 15 in terms contains such provision. It may be that the effect of the application of Section 15 would be that the entire Section 23 and Section 24 may apply in the case of village site lands and even Section 23(2) may not be excluded so that the solatium may be payable for the village site lands. In fact the Supreme Court has also taken the same view of the similar Section 7 of the Bombay Taluqdari Tenure Abolition Act, 1949 in the case of State of Gujarat v. Vakhatsinghji : [1968]3SCR692 at page 1487. It is pointed out that Section 7(1) gives compensation to Taluqdars for extinguishment of rights in any property under Section 6. The Collector is required by Section 7(1)(b) to make an award in the manner prescribed in Section 11 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. The Collector has to make an award of compensation under Section 11 and having regard to Section 15 in determining the amount of compensation, he is guided by the provisions of Sections 23 and 24. Section 23(1) requires an award of the market value of the land. Section 23(2) requires an additional award of a sum of fifteen per centum on such market value, in consideration of the compulsory nature of acquisition. Thereafter Their Lordships in terms further held that it follows that under Section 7(1)(b) of the Abolition Act read with Section 11 of the Land Acquisition Act, the Taluqudars are entitled to receive as compensation the market value of all rights in any property extinguished under Section 6 and in addition a sum of 15 per centum on such market value. This right is subject to the conditions and exceptions enumerated in Sub-clauses (i), (ii) and (iii) of Section 7(1)(b). Under the corresponding Section 11 of this Act the Jagirdars would be entitled to receive as compensation the market value for any property the rights in which are extinguished under Section 8 and in addition a sum of 15 per centum subject to the conditions or exceptions enumerated in 3 sub-clauses of Section 11(3). It is not disputed that Section 11(3) would not cover these village site lands. Therefore, full market value with 15 per cent solatium must be paid for the village site lands. Therefore, that part of the argument of Mr. Shah must be rejected. Mr. Shah in this connection also argues that Section 15 incorporates the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act only so far as they relate to the formal making of the award. This argument is wholly misconceived for smilar Section 7(1)(b) of the analogous Act was interpreted by the Supreme Court as incorporating the entire Section 23 and 24 of the Land Acquisition Act. In fact the earlier part of Section 15 clearly provides for the form of the award as in Section 26 of the Land Acquisition Act, while the later part of Section 15 incorporates all other provisions of the Act relating to the making of the award as a whole, including the principles for determination of the compensation embodied in Sections 23 and 24. Therefore, there is no substance whatsoever in this contention of Mr. Shah that no village site lands' compensation is provided in the Act. It is, therefore, not necessary to consider the alternative contention of Mr. Mehta that if such a construction is adopted it must be held that the Legislature would never have intended to deprive owners of their proprietory rights in the Jagir in respect of these valuable lands without providing for compensation, unless the specific saving provision was made as mentioned in Section 3, by enacting Section 5 that the Jagirdar would become occupants of the lands in their possession. As I have mentioned above compensation is provided for, and therefore, it is not necessary to consider this alternative arguments of Mr. Metha. Mr. Shah also argued in this connection that the decision of the Supreme Court proceeds on a slightly different scheme of the Bombay Taluqdari Tenure Abolition Act, where the residuary Section 14(1) gives a right of compensation to any person aggrieved, if no provision for compensation is made under Section 7. In that context Mr. Shah pointed out that the residuary Section 14(1) of the present Act uses expression 'any person other than a Jagirdar' is aggreived by the provisions of this Act as abolishing or modifying any of his rights and if no compensation is provided for in the provision of this Act, he may apply under Section 14(1). Therefore, the Jagirdars could not come in under the residuary provision under this Act and it was this difference which was responsible for the decision of the Supreme Court. There is no substance in this contention of Mr. Shah for Their Lordships did not base the decision in Vakhatsinhji's case on the residuary Section 14, for in that case in view of Section 14(2) the compensation payable to the Jagirdars would not have included solatium, which would be payable over if Section 23(2) was also incorporated. When we turn to the decision of the Supreme Court in State of Gujarat v. Vakhatsinhji : [1968]3SCR692 at p. 1487, the decision proceeds not on Section 14 but because of Section 7(1)(b), which provides that the Collector shall make the award in the manner prescribed in Section 11 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. The manner prescribed under Section 11 of the Land Acquisition Act 1894 would include Section 15 of the Land Acquisition Act 1894 under which the amount of compensation is to be fixed in accordance with Sections 23 and 24. The same effect is achieved in the present Act by providing an independent provision in Section 15 to the effect that all the provisions of Land Acquisition Act regarding the making of the award shall as far as possible be taken into account. That is why the said ratio of the Supreme Court decision would in terms apply to the present case where the question arises as regards compensation for acquisition of village site. As there is do specific provision of exclusion of Sections 23(2) and 24 or of their limited application in any of the sub-clauses laid down in Section 11(3), it is obvious that full market value along with 15 per cent solatium must be paid in respect of the village site lands for which the compensation is to be assessed under Sections 13 and 15.

16. Mr. Shah next argued that in any event the order of the Revenue Tribunal on this question is perverse. The instances relied on by Jagirdars were of small pieces of Angna lands specially suitable to the neighbours. The other instances listed by the Mamlatdar were excluded as actual sale deeds were not produced and witnesses were not examined. Mr. Shah, therefore, argued that there being no evidence on record the Revenue Tribunal's decision is completely perverse. There is no substance in the argument. This was an after thought. No appeal was filed by the State against the original award. In fact the Revenue Tribunal reduced those rates which were awarded by the Jagir Abolition Officer on the ground that the instances of Angna land and other instances being of smaller pieces of land, some adjustment must be made when fixing this compensation of different village sites in different villages was assessed. The Revenue Tribunal by considering all the relevant evidence and the award cannot be said to be perverse. That disposed of all the questions raised by the State.

17. The only question which now remains for consideration is a request by Mr. Mehta that for village site lands, in view of the fact that the solatium is payable, the order of the Revenue Tribunal may be altered to that extent. Mr. Shah vehemently objected to this request being allowed on the ground that this was a mixed question of law and facts and not a pure question of law. While determining this question I have come to the conclusion that the compensation being payable for the village site lands according to Sections 23 and 24 of the Land Acquisition Act, the solatium would be clearly payable on village site lands. Mr. Shah is completely wrong in his submission that it is not claimed in this petition. If we turn to grounds 19 and 64 in paragraphs 6 of the petition we find a specific contention raised that the Revenue Tribunal has erred in not granting solatium in respect of those properties where compensation had to be considered in confirmity with Section 15 of the Act which incorporates Section 23 and Section 24 of the Land Acquisition Act. Therefore, the petitioners Jagirdar have specifically raised this contention and there being a patent error of law in not granting solatium the order of the Tribunal must be altered to that extent.

18. In the result both these petitions must be disposed of by the following order. The order of the Revenue Tribunal is quashed and the appeal is sent back to the Revenue Tribunal for disposal in accordance with law on the following heads:

1. River beds lands.

2. Vangha, Kotar, Kharaba and unassessed lands.

3. Trees.

4. Interest at 3% from August 1, 1954 till actual issuance of bonds shall be included in the amount of compensation for which bonds shall be issued from 1-8-1954 on the basis of 20 equated annual instalments of principal and interest.

5. As for village site lands the Tribunal shall add to the compensation the amount of solatium at 15%.

19. Appeal shall now be disposed of as expeditiously as possible as sufficient time has now been elapsed.

Rule is accordingly made absolute in these petitions. There shall be no order as to costs in the circumstances of the case.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //