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Sri Rajah Vyricherla Narayana Gajapati Raju Bahadur Varu Vs. Perla Annapurnamma Garu and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1941Mad660; (1941)1MLJ527
AppellantSri Rajah Vyricherla Narayana Gajapati Raju Bahadur Varu
RespondentPerla Annapurnamma Garu and ors.
Cases ReferredNatesa Aiyar v. Kaja Maruf Sahib I.L.R.
Excerpt:
- - there are no circumstances from which a waiver can be inferred, and on the other hand it is clearly seen from the judgment of the court below that an objection to jurisdiction was actually taken and was decided by the lower court......due to the melvaramdar and give a decree for anything more than what was awarded by the land acquisition officer, in- the absence of any reference made to the lower court by the land acquisition officer at the instance of the melvaramdar. the land acquisition officer awarded in one case about rs. 64 and in the other case about rs. 48 to the melvaramdar perla annapurnamma garu, while the appellant before us, who is the zamindar of chemudu was awarded in one case rs. 11,000 and odd and in the other case rs. 8,800 and odd as the permanent ryot of the land. a sub-lessee appears to have been given nothing as compensation. there was a reference made to the district judge under section 18 of the land acquisition act at the instance of the zamindar of chemudu, but there was no.....
Judgment:

Pandrang Row, J.

1. These three connected appeals arise out of certain acquisitions of land made for the Andhra University buildings at Waltair in the Vizagapatam District. Appeals 123 and 133 may be dealt with together as they raise the same question. That question is whether the lower Court had jurisdiction to decide the amount of compensation due to the melvaramdar and give a decree for anything more than what was awarded by the Land Acquisition Officer, in- the absence of any reference made to the lower Court by the Land Acquisition Officer at the instance of the melvaramdar. The Land Acquisition Officer awarded in one case about Rs. 64 and in the other case about Rs. 48 to the melvaramdar Perla Annapurnamma Garu, while the appellant before us, who is the Zamindar of Chemudu was awarded in one case Rs. 11,000 and odd and in the other case Rs. 8,800 and odd as the permanent ryot of the land. A sub-lessee appears to have been given nothing as compensation. There was a reference made to the District Judge under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act at the instance of the Zamindar of Chemudu, but there was no reference asked for and no reference made at the instance of the respondent Perla Annapurnamma Garu. Nevertheless the Court below has awarded a much larger amount out of the total amount awarded, namely, 1/6th of the total amount to Perla Annapurnamma as compensation for her rights as melvaramdar. The point appears to us to admit of no doubt. It was decided so long ago as 1907 in Abu Bakar v. Peary Mohan Mukherjee I.L.R.(1907) Cal. 451 that (1) a party who raises no objection to the apportionment of the compensation made by the Collector must be taken to have accepted the award in that respect and (2) that under Sections 18, 20 and 21 of the Act all that the Court can deal with is the objection which has been referred to it, and it cannot go into a question raised for the first time by a party who had not referred any question or any objection to it under Section 18 of the Act. This decision was followed in a number of other cases and it is enough to refer to Gobinda Kumar Roy Chowdhury v. Debendra Kumar Roy Chowdhury 12 C.W.N. 98 and Gangadara Sastri v. The Deputy Collector of Madras : (1912)22MLJ379 . It is perhaps desirable that we should refer to a clear pronouncement by their Lordships of the Judicial' Committee in Pramatha Nath Mallick v. Secretary of State for India in Council . It was held in that case that on a reference made to the Court under Section 18 of the Act the jurisdiction of the Court is confined to considering and pronouncing upon the objection which had been raised in the written application for the reference. At page 1152 their Lordships make the following observations:

Their Lordships have no doubt that the jurisdiction of the Courts under this Act is a special one and is strictly limited by the terms of these sections. It only arises when a specific objection has been taken to the Collector's award, and it is confined to a consideration of that objection. Once therefore it is ascertained that the only objection taken is to the amount of compensation, that alone is the 'matter' referred, and the Court has no power to determine or consider anything beyond it.

2. Their Lordships make particular reference to the words found in Section 21 of the Act which restrict the scope of the inquiry before the Court to a consideration of the interests of the persons affected by the objection. It is therefore clear to our minds that what the lower Court did was something which it had no jurisdiction to do. It purported to decide the question whether the respondent Perla Annapurnamma was entitled to a larger amount as compensation as the melvaramdar than what was awarded by the Land Acquisition Officer, in spite of the fact that she had made no objection to the award and had not asked the Land Acquisition Officer to make any reference claiming a larger amount, than what was awarded to her, and in spite of the fact that no reference really was made at her instance. There was no doubt a reference made, but that was one not made at her instance but by the Land Acquisition Officer on his own accord under Section 31 of the Act because she was not competent to alienate the land being a limited owner. That reference, however, gave the Court no jurisdiction to decide what compensation should be paid to her as the melvaramdar or to decree any amount over and above what was awarded to her by the Land Acquisition Officer. On this sole ground these appeals have to be allowed apart from any question of hardship for, this is a matter which affects the jurisdiction of the Court, and where there is no jurisdiction there can be no plea of either hardship or waiver and so on. As a matter of fact we have no reason to suppose that there was any waiver in this case. No doubt want of jurisdiction was not expressly pleaded in the written claim presented by the appellant in the lower Court, and that was because his claim was put forward long before the respondent appeared on the scene and filed her claim. There are no circumstances from which a waiver can be inferred, and on the other hand it is clearly seen from the judgment of the Court below that an objection to jurisdiction was actually taken and was decided by the lower Court. The lower Court relied on a case the judgment in which makes no reference at all to the particular point of jurisdiction. These appeals must therefore succeed and they are allowed and the decree of the Court below so far as it awards any amount over and above what was awarded to the respondent as the melvaramdar by the Land Acquisition Officer is set aside. In other words, the award of the Land Acquisition Officer in these two cases is confirmed. The appellant will be entitled to have his costs in this Court in these two appeals from the respondent.

3. Appeal 126 raises a different question. It relates to a similar acquisition in which a larger amount was awarded to the same melvaramdar than what was awarded by the Land Acquisition Officer. But in this case there was a reference by the Land Acquisition Officer under Section 30 of the Act because there was a dispute about the apportionment. It cannot therefore be said that the Court had no jurisdiction to decide the question of apportionment. It is urged, however, on behalf of the appellant that the reference itself was incompetent but there is really no substance in this contention because the award itself shows that there was a dispute regarding the apportionment and it cannot be said that the Land Acquisition Officer acted illegally or without jurisdiction in making the reference which he did under Section 30 of the Act.

4. The other point argued in this appeal is that the amount awarded as compensation for the melvaram right to the respondent is excessive. Reference was made to the fact that in the claim made by the respondent she stated that she would be entitled to not less than fifty times the kattubadi payable for the land and it was argued that nothing more than this amount should be awarded namely fifty times the kattubadi. It is however seen that she did claim rights in the land other than the right to collect kattubadi, namely her right of reversion etc. Presumably the words 'et cetera' would include mining rights. In any case it is not possible to regard the wording of her claim as disqualifying her from receiving what would otherwise be a reasonable compensation for her rights. Paragraph 4 of her claim makes it clear that she claimed the benefit of the rise in the value of land in this locality over and above what was claimed as fifty times the kattubadi. This is not a case in which a party who has been awarded more compensation has disqualified herself from getting it by limiting her claim to a lesser amount.

5. On the merits there is really no reason to interfere because it has been decided in more cases than one that even as much as one-third of the compensation paid for the entire land can be apportioned as the share of the melvaramdar. It is enough to refer to one such case namely Natesa Aiyar v. Kaja Maruf Sahib I.L.R.(1926) Mad. 706. That case is somewhat similar because here also there has been a windfall, the land having risen enormously in value owing to the location of the University at Waltair and the harbour at Vizagapatam. There is no reason why part of the benefit of this enormous rise in value should not go to the melvaramdar. On the merits therefore there is no reason to interfere with the decree or the apportionment made by the Court below. This appeal therefore fails and is dismissed with costs of the respondent.


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