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A.R.L.S.V.L. Sevugan Chettiar Vs. the Revenue Divisional Officer - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1941Mad198; (1940)2MLJ753
AppellantA.R.L.S.V.L. Sevugan Chettiar
RespondentThe Revenue Divisional Officer
Cases Referred and Yellamma v. Suryanarayanamurthi
Excerpt:
.....therefore that the court must be deemed to have jurisdiction in cases like the present to say whether it shall be the devasthanam or the trustee that should pay the costs. such jurisdiction is given by the wide language of section 35 of the code of civil procedure and there is nothing in the land acquisition act to modify section 35 in anyway,.in a case like the present, where the collector's award has been confirmed. it is clear from the judgment that the land has always been used, as a burial or burning ground and that this fact must ha e been well known to the appellant.king, j.1. this appeal arises out of land acquisition proceedings with regard to about 3 1/2 acres of land acquired by the karaikudy municipality for purposes of a burning ground. the collector awarded compensation at the rate of rs. 100 per acre. the appellant, as the trustee of a devasthanam, claimed before the learned subordinate judge of devakottai that the award ought to have befen at the rate of rs. 6,000 an acre. the learned subordinate judge held that the collector's award was an adequate award and confirmed it, and in deciding the question of costs, he held that it was the appellant himself personally, and not the devasthanam which he represented, who ought to pay costs to the collector. against that order, the appellant has filed this appeal. there is no appeal against the.....
Judgment:

King, J.

1. This appeal arises out of land acquisition proceedings with regard to about 3 1/2 acres of land acquired by the Karaikudy Municipality for purposes of a burning ground. The Collector awarded compensation at the rate of Rs. 100 per acre. The appellant, as the trustee of a Devasthanam, claimed before the learned Subordinate Judge of Devakottai that the award ought to have befen at the rate of Rs. 6,000 an acre. The learned Subordinate Judge held that the Collector's award was an adequate award and confirmed it, and in deciding the question of costs, he held that it was the appellant himself personally, and not the Devasthanam which he represented, who ought to pay costs to the Collector. Against that order, the appellant has filed this appeal. There is no appeal against the decision of the Subordinate Judge with regard to the amount awarded.

2. The main point taken in the appeal is that the Subprdinate Judge dealing with this matter under the Land Acquisition Act had no jurisdiction to order costs to be paid by any person or institution which was not the actual party to the proceedings before him, that the trustee was not personally a party but merley represented the Devasthanam and therefore it was the Devasthanam alone which could be called upon to pay costs.

3. The section of the Land Acquisition Act which confers power upon the Court to award costs in a case where the Collector's award is confirmed, is Section 27, Clause (1), which runs as follows:

Every such award shall also state the amount of costs incurred in the proceedings under this part, and by what persons and in what proportions they are to be paid.

4. It is argued for the appellant that by the word 'persons' can be understood only persons who are parties to the proceedings. I find myself unable to accept this argument. The language of Section 27(1) is perfectly clear and very wide and it must on the face of it give power to the Court to order costs to be paid by any person whether he be a party or not. No doubt there are certain well known principles of law which prevent a Court from ordering costs to be paid by some one who is an utter stranger to the suit or proceedings. But such is not the state of facts with which I have to deal. The appellant was actually present before the Court although he had no personal interest in putting forward the claim. Section 53 of the Land Acquisition Act says:

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.

5. The section of the Civil Procedure Code which deals with costs is Section 35. This section is also drafted in very comprehensive language and it has not been argued that Section 27(1) in any way Conflicts with or limits or restricts the provisions of Section 35.

6. There have been no direct cases cited before me dealing with the same facts as those found in the present appeal, but, it seems to me, on a consideration of Sections 27(1) and 53 of the Land Acquisition Act and Section 35 of the Code of Civil Procedure that I am entitled in disposing of this appeal [to follow any decisions which have been given, not in land acquisition proceedings themselves, but in civil litigation generally under the provisions of Section 35 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

7. Two such decisions have been cited by the learned Government Pleader, Krishnayya v. Ramayya : AIR1928Mad590 and Yellamma v. Suryanarayanamurthi : AIR1929Mad782 . These decisions, interpreting the language of Section 35 of the Code of Civil Procedure hold that, although a guardian-ad-litem is not personally a party to a suit, Section 35 authorizes the Court to order such a guardian to pay costs. It seems to me that the principles governing the relationship between a guardian-ad-litem and a minor and the relationship between a trustee and a religious institution like the one in the case before me are precisely analogous. The question which the Court has to decide in both sets of cases is whether the actual party himself should be called upon to pay the costs for an act done by his representative, or whether the act of the representative is so reckless or ill-advised that it would be unjust to call upon the real party to meet the burden of costs. It seems to me therefore that the Court must be deemed to have jurisdiction in cases like the present to say whether it shall be the Devasthanam or the trustee that should pay the costs. Such jurisdiction is given by the wide language of Section 35 of the Code of Civil Procedure and there is nothing in the Land Acquisition Act to modify Section 35 in anyway,. in a case like the present, where the Collector's award has been confirmed.

8. The question next arises whether the order calling upon the appellant to pay costs should be confirmed. It seems to me that no reason has been put forward for differing from the learned Subordinate Judge in this respect. The learned Judge has pointed out that the appellant actually claimed compensation at no less than sixty times the real value of the land. It is clear from the judgment that the land has always been used, as a burial or burning ground and that this fact must ha e been well known to the appellant. In spite of that, he has claimed a most extravagant sum from the Government. There can be no excuse for such conduct and it is, I thin impossible to accept the appellant's argument that he acted bona fide in this matter. I accordingly see no reason at all to interfere with the order of the learned Subordinate Judge and dismiss the appeal with costs.


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