1. This petition is preferred by the Secretary of State against an order passed by the Subordinate Judge of Kumbakonam in a land acquisition case. Certain land of the respondent was acquired and under Section 10 of the Act (1 of 1894) he put in a claim to compensation which was made up of the value of the land, of some cocoanut trees, and of two walls, together with a sum claimed as compensation for depreciation of his property. In due course an award was made and subsequently the respondent asked the Collector under Section 18 to refer the matter for the determination of the Court. Before the Court he supplemented his claim by the addition of two new items, the cost of constructing new walls and the cost of erecting latrines. It was objected on behalf of the Government that the Court had no power to entertain such newly preferred claims. The learned Subordinate' Judge, however, found that in certain circumstances Section 25 gave him jurisdiction. He disallowed the claim in respect of the latrines but allowed it in respect of the walls. Against the latter part of the order this petition is filed.
2. Section 25 of the Act, upon Sub-section (3) of which the Lower Court has relied, runs as follows:
Section 25. (1) When the applicant has made a claim to compensation, pursuant to any notice given under Section 9, the amount awarded to him by the Court shall not exceed the amount so claimed or be less than the amount awarded by the Collector under Section 11.
(2) When the applicant has refused to make such claim or has omitted without sufficient reason (to be allowed by the Judge) to make such claim, the amount awarded by the Court shall in no case exceed the amount awarded by the Collector.
(3) When the applicant has omitted for a sufficient reason (to be allowed by the Judge) to make such claim, the amount awarded to him by the Court shall not be less than, and may exceed, the amount awarded by the Collector.
3. It will be been that the section is concerned with the maximum and minimum amounts which the Court may award in each of the three cases: (1) where the applicant has made a claim before the Collector (2) where without sufficient reason he has failed to make a claim, and (3) where with sufficient reason he has so failed. In the last of these cases the minimum is not to fall below the amount of the Collector's award, but no maximum has to be observed. That, it appears to me, is all that the section says, and 1 can read into it no authority whatever for the course which the Subordinate Judge has found himself open to take under it. It deals with the amount of compensation and not with the grounds upon which compensation should be awarded, and 1 see no reason to hold that because the amount awarded by the Collector may be exceeded, therefore grounds other than those on which the award was made may be entertained.
4. If, therefore, it is open to the Court to entertain fresh grounds, it must be by virtue of other provisions of the Act, or at least those other provisions must not conflict with such a course. Sections 23 and 24 respectively lay down what matters the Court shall, and what it shall not, take into consideration; but I do not think that it is sufficient to find the item of claim admissible under Section 23 to hold that the Court may grant it. Under Section 9 claims to compensation for all interests are to be made to the Collector, and under Section 15 the Collector, equally with the Court, is to be guided by the terms of Sections 23 and 24. In all ordinary circumstances, therefore, a claimant can and should present his case fully before the Collector, and should be held bound throughout the proceedings by what may be termed his pleadings. Turning then to Section 18, it enables a person interested to require the Collector to refer the matter for the determination of the Court, 'whether his objection be to the measurement of the land, the amount of the compensation, the persons to whom it is payable, or the apportionment of the compensation among the persons interested.' Under Sub-section (2) he has to state the grounds on which objection to the award is taken. The proceedings before the Court are thus of the nature of objections to the Collector's award, and not a judicial inquiry independently undertaken into such questions as the- claimant may raise. On this view, it would not be open to a claimant to make out a fresh case, whether by way of supplementary claims to compensation or otherwise. The point is practically bare of authority, the only apposite case cited to me being a decision to this effect by a Judge of the Punjab Chief Court in Umar Bakhsh v. The Secretary of State (1918) 46 I.C. 906.
5. It is objected that it ought to be within the power of the Court where, as here, grounds have been shown for failure to make the claim, or some part of the claim, before the Collector, to entertain it. 1 agree that Section 25 might well have been so drafted as to provide not only, as it does, that the amount may be enhanced but that fresh grounds may be adduced ; but in point of fact it does not so provide. Hardship from the absence of such a provision is not likely to arise often or in an acute form, and is, of course, no justification for the Lower Court's action if jurisdiction so to act is lacking. I allow the revision petition and set aside the order so far as it declares the claim admissible. Respondent will pay petitioner's costs in this Court.