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Sri Kanyaka Parameswari Devasthanam and Charities by Its Secretary, N. Venkataraman Vs. His Holiness Sri La Sri Ambalavana Pandara Sannadhi Avl. Adheena Kartha Thiruvaduthurai Adheenam and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Civil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1981)1MLJ42
AppellantSri Kanyaka Parameswari Devasthanam and Charities by Its Secretary, N. Venkataraman
RespondentHis Holiness Sri La Sri Ambalavana Pandara Sannadhi Avl. Adheena Kartha Thiruvaduthurai Adheenam and
Cases ReferredRajenaranagar v. Mahmoodunnissa Begum and Anr.
Excerpt:
.....on the part of the cooperative society to raise any question of jurisdiction as regards the acquisition its and being considered by the civil court. this provision enables the court to order the name of any person to be substituted or added as plaintiff if the suit had been instituted in the name of a wrong person or where it is doubtful whether it has been instituted in the name of the right plaintiff, in such a case if the court is satisfied that the suit has been instituted through a bona fide mistake and that it is necessary for the determination of the real matter in dispute to do so may order any other person to be substituted or added as plaintiff. the appeals were bun by the owner of the property as well as by the government. this is clearly prohibited by the provisions of..........act. 2 grounds and 183 sq. ft. together with building, structures etc., were acquired under the land acquisition act for the purpose of providing additional accommodation to s.k.p.d. boys' high school run by the devasthanam. the relevant notification under section 4(1) of the act was issued on 11th march, 1964, and the declaration under section 6 was made on 26th june, 1966. the property is built up to the entire extent except for 745 sq. ft. approximately which remained as open space. the land acquisition officer took the value of the property at rs. 57,656 including solatium. in arriving at this value he took the monthly income from the property and capitalised it. for taking the capitalised value, he took the market quotation of gilt-edged securities. the capitalised value was.....
Judgment:
ORDER

V. Sethuraman, J.

1.These petitions have been filed by Sri Kanyaka Parameswari Devasthanam and Charities and relate to the, proceedings under the Land Acquisition Act. 2 grounds and 183 sq. ft. together with building, structures etc., were acquired under the Land Acquisition Act for the purpose of providing additional accommodation to S.K.P.D. Boys' High School run by the Devasthanam. The relevant notification under Section 4(1) of the Act was issued on 11th March, 1964, and the declaration under Section 6 was made on 26th June, 1966. The property is built up to the entire extent except for 745 sq. ft. approximately which remained as open space. The Land Acquisition Officer took the value of the property at Rs. 57,656 including solatium. In arriving at this value he took the monthly income from the property and capitalised it. For taking the capitalised value, he took the market quotation of gilt-edged securities. The capitalised value was taken as Rs. 48,305 with the addition of solatium. The total compensation payable was calculated to be Rs. 57,656-63 P. The owner of the property was not content with the amount so awarded as compensation, and, therefore, there was a reference under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act. When the matter came before the City Civil Court, the compensation was fixed at Rs. 60,000 with further additions thereto of solatium and interest. The claimant was not satisfied even with that amount and he, therefore, brought the matter on appeal before this Court. In the appeal the respondent was the Collector of Madras and after hearing the appellant's counsel learned Government Pleader, it was held that the claimant will be entitled to Rs. 1,48,015 as compensation along with solatium and interest in accordance with law. The Judgment in appeal was rendered on 1st September, 1977.

2. As already mentioned, Sri Kanyaka Parameswari Devasthanam and Charities has now come forward with these applications. In C.M.P. No. 2790 of 1981 purporting to be under Order 1, Rule 10(2) of the Code of Civil Procedure the prayer is for impleading the Devasthanam as a party respondent. In C.M.P. No. 3529 of 1980 the prayer is for condoning the delay of 461 days in filing the petition and in C.M.P. No. 3530 of 1980 purporting to be under Order 41, Rule 21 read with Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure the prayer is for setting aside the decree and judgment, dated 1st September, 1977.

3. When these petitions came up for hearing, there was a preliminary objection on behalf of the claimant that the Devasthanam had no locus standi in making these petitions by seeking to come on record and getting the judgment set aside. For the applicant Devasthanam, the submission was that it was the person which was affected by the judgment, that the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act envisaged participation in the proceedings by the person for whom the acquisition was made and that the applicant was, therefore, justified in seeking the several prayers in the respective petitions.

4. The only question that requires to be considered at this stage is, whether the Devasthanam has any locus standi to apply for being brought on record as respondent. We may set out a few more facts before considering the point formulated above. By a letter dated 16th December, 1966 the Collector of Madras forwarded a preliminary valuation statement of the property sought to be acquired and required the applicant Devasthanam to deposit the said sum so as to enable the Land Acquisition Officer to pass the award in the case. It is not clear whether and when the amount was deposited. The award was passed on 20th November, 1968. At the instance of the claimant, there was a reference under Section 18 of the Act to the Civil Court and there was an intimation on 28th December, 1972 about the Civil Court having passed its order on the reference and the applicant was required to send its opinion on the question of filing an appeal in the High Court against the judgment of the Civil Court. The applicant was not obviously aggrieved by the amount as awarded by the Civil Court and, therefore it did not suggest any appeal against the order of the Civil Court. However, the matter came before this Court at the instance of the claimant, that is the owner of the property. It is in that appeal that there was an enhancement of the compensation. By the letter dated 24th April, 1978 a copy of the judgment of this Court dated 1st September, 1977 was forwarded by the Special Deputy Collector for Land Acquisition, Madras. In the letter dated 4th May, 1978, to the Special Deputy Collector, the applicant expressed surprise at its not being informed at any stage that there was an appeal preferred and that the High Court had delivered an order increasing the compensation. The Government Pleader had apparently not recommended any further appeal against the judgment of this Court and by the letter dated 22nd September, 1978 the applicant was requested to rrexamine the matter in the light of the Government Pleader's opinion and offer its remarks. There was a reminder on 1st December, 1978 and on 8th December, 1978 the applicant informed the Government that in view of the Government Pleader's opinion the Committee of Management had dropped the matter. The grievance that the Devasthanam had not seen intimated about the filing of the appeal by the owner of the property was reiterated. It is thereafter, that is, in January, 1979 the applications under consideration came to be filed.

5. Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, provides for the appropriate Government, issuing a notification if it appeared to hat Government that the land in any locality was needed or was likely to be needed for any public purpose. In Section 3(f) the word 'public purpose' has been defined in an inclusive manner. It is unnecessary for present purposes to go into the connotation of the expression 'public purpose', as there is no dispute that the present acquisition has been made for such a purpose. After the notification it would be lawful for any Officer authorised by the Government to enter upon the land and to do certain things referred to in Section 4(2). Any person interested in any land which has been notified under Section 4, Sub-section (1), may, within thirty days after the issue of the notification, object to the acquisition of the land. The expression 'person interested' has been defined in Section 3(i) as including all persons claming an interest in compensation to be made on account of the acquisition of land under this Act : and a person shall be interested in an easement affecting the land. The Collector is required to give an opportunity of being heard to the person interested and he has to make a report to the Government containing his recommendations on the objections of the person interested. For the purpose of Section 5-A, a person is deemed to be interested in the land if he would be entitled to claim an interest in compensation if the land is acquired under the Act. Section 6 provides for the declaration that the particular had is seeded for a public purpose. The declaration so made is conclusive evidence that the land is needed for a public purpose, and after such declaration, the appropriate Government may acquire the land in the manner provided by the Act Section 9(1) provides for the Collector causing public notice being given stating that the Government intends to take possession of the land and that claims to compensation for all interests in such land may be made to him Notice has to be served on the occupier of such land and on all such persons known or believed to be interested therein. Section 11 authorises an enquiry to be made by the Collector and passing an award fixing the compensation. In determining the amount of compensation, the Collector is to be guided by the provisions of Sections 23 and 24. When the Collector has made an award under Section 11, he may take possession of the land, which would vest absolutely in the Government, free from all encumbrances. Any person interested, who has not accepted the award may, by written application to the Collector, require that the matter may be referred to the Court. The expression 'Court' means the Civil Court of original jurisdiction, unless the State Government has appointed a special judicial officer within any specified local limits to perform the functions of the Court under this Act. There is a provision in Section 19 as to the contents of the reference to the Civil Court. Section 29 contemplates notices being given by the Civil Court to the applicant, at whose instance, the reference has been made, to all persons interested in the objection to the acquisition and if the objection is in regard to the area of the land or to the amount of the compensation, to the Collector. The scope of the enquiry is restricted by Section 21 to a consideration of the interests of the persons affected by the objection. There are provisions in Sections 23 to 27 as to the manner in which the compensation is to be determined and to the procedure to be adopted in regard to the making of the award of compensation. All these provisions are to be found in Parts (sic) and II of the Act. By Section 31, it is the Collector who has to tender the payment of the compensation to the persons interested. In the case of acquisition of land for companies, there are provisions made in Part VI. The word 'company' is defined in Section 3(e) meaning a company registered under the Indian Companies Act, 1882, or under the (English) Companies Act etc., and also includes a Society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, and the Registered Societies Act, 1912, or any other law relating to cooperative societies for the time being in force in any State. The State Government is empowered by Section 38 to authorise any Officer of any company desiring to acquire land for its purposes to exercise the powers conferred by Section 4. An industrial concern, ordinarily employing not less than one hundred workmen and not being a company, desiring to acquire land for the erection of dwelling houses for workmen employed by the concern or for the provision of amenities directly connected with such employment, is to be deemed to be a Company for the purposes of Part VIII, and the provisions of Section 5-A, 6, 7, 17 and 50 are to be interpreted including references also to such concern. The provisions for acquisition were not to be put into force for acquiring the land for any company except with the previous consent of the appropriate Government. It is also necessary that before such acquisition proceedings are started the company executes an agreement in favour of the Government, The consent of the State Government for acquisition could be given in certain circumstances specified in Section 40(1), one of the circumstances being that the acquisition is needed for the construction of some work and that such work is likely to prove useful to the public. Under Section 41, the company can enter into an agreement with the State Government in relation to: (i) the payment of the cost of acquisition to the State Government; (ii) the transfer, on such payment, of the land to the company; (iii) the terms on which the land is to be held by the company (iv); the time within which and the conditions on which the work is to be executed and maintained; and (v) the terms on which the public would be entitled to use the work. The agreement is to be published in the Official Gazette as required by Section 42. Section 50 enacts that where the provisions of the Act were put in force for the purpose of acquiring land at the cost of any fund controlled or managed by a local authority or any company, the charges of and incidental to such acquisition is to be defrayed by the company, local authority etc. In any proceeding held before the Collector or Court in such cases (the expression 'Court' has been defined as seen already) the local authority or company concerned may appear and adduce evidence for the purpose of determining the amount of compensation. Under the proviso to Section 50(2), no such local authority or company is entitled to demand a reference under Section 18. The result of this provision is that as far as the compensation awarded by the Land Acquisition Officer is concerned, the company or the local authority would be bound by it and it is only the owner of the property, who can demand a reference to the civil Court. Section 53 attracts the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code to all proceedings before the Court (defined as seen already) in so far as those provisions are not inconsistent with anything contained in the Land Acquisition Act. These are the material provisions in the context of which the present applications have to be considered.

6. The summary of provisions of the Act would clearly indicate that there are really only two parties to the reference in the civil Court and the further proceedings that may emanate from it, the two parties being the Collector and the owner of the property. The person for whom the land is being acquired has no locus standi even to demand a reference under Section 18 after the award has been passed and can only appear and adduce evidence for the purpose of determining the amount of compensation. See Section 50(2) and the proviso. But for the provisions of Section 50(2) the entity for which the land acquisition is made would not be in position even to appear and aduce evidence the for determination of the compensation. Thus, some special rights are conferred by the statute on the body for whose benefit the acquisition is made When once it specifically provided that the rights of the entities for which the acquisition is made are only to appear and adduce evidence in relation to the compensation and does not extend to demanding reference under Section 18, it would be clear that they are not really parties to the reference in the civil Court and the further proceedings that may emanate from it, the two parties being the Collector and the owner of the property. When they are not parties even before the Collector, they cannot seek to intervene in the appeal or after the appeal is disposed of to come forward with any application as has been done is the present case.

7. In Kottaiyur Nattar's Estate represented by its Receiver v. The Special Land Acquisition Officer and Anr. C. R. P. No. 1235 of 1954 Rajamannar, CJ., had to consider a civil revision petition to revise the order in which a party for whom the acquisition was made was permitted to raise a question of jurisdiction and competency of the reference. The learned Judge observed, after referring to Section 50(2) as follows:

In most unambiguous language, it provides that the local authority or Company may appear and adduce evidence for one particular purpose, namely, the purpose of determining the amount of compensation. The learned Judge was therefore wrong in overruling the objection raised on behalf of the claimant and in permitting the Society to appear and take part in the arguments on the petition.

In that case the learned Subordinate Judge had expressed the view that the Court's jurisdiction could not be limited to the purpose of taking evidence and fixing the amount of compensation and that if any question of jurisdiction and competency of the reference was raised, the Court was bound to consider those objections before deciding the amount of compensation to be awarded. Rajamanner, C.J, pointed out that the learned Judge had totally misconceived the scope and extent of his jurisdiction on a reference under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act, which was a special jurisdiction conferred for a special purpose. The learned Chief Justice condemned in no uncertain terms and in unusually strong language the attempt on the part of the Cooperative Society to raise any question of jurisdiction as regards the acquisition its and being considered by the civil Court.

8. It is necessary, to remember, as pointed out in the judgment cited above, that the jurisdiction conferred on the civil Court in the first instance and the appellate Court is a special jurisdiction. They relate only to the determination of the compensation. The parties to the proceedings could only be the owner of the property and the person who acquired viz., the Government.

9. Mr. P. Venkataswamy, the learned counsel for the Devasthanam submitted that the Collector was acting only as its agent and that the principal was, therefore, entitled to intervene in these proceedings. This contention cannot be accepted for more than one reason. There is no question of any agency, as such. It is the Government which makes the acquisition and transfers the land to the party concerned, if any public purpose is involved in the works to be executed by the said authority. Throughout the Act the underlying idea is that the person who pays the compensation to the owner is only the Collector and the person who can dispute the compensation as awarded by the Land Acquisition Officer is the person interested and not any one else. If these statutory provisions are borne in mind, then there is absolutely no scope for the acceptance of the contention urged by Mr. P. Venkataswamy.

10. As already seen, the present applications purports to be made under Order 1, Rule 10, Civil Procedure Code. This provision enables the Court to order the name of any person to be substituted or added as plaintiff if the suit had been instituted in the name of a wrong person or where it is doubtful whether it has been instituted in the name of the right plaintiff, in such a case if the Court is satisfied that the suit has been instituted through a bona fide mistake and that it is necessary for the determination of the real matter in dispute to do so may order any other person to be substituted or added as plaintiff. The Court has also suo motu powers on an application to order that the name of any party improperly joined, be struck out or to join any other party as plaintiff or defendant, or whose presence before the Court may be considered necessary in order to enable the Court to effectually and completely to adjudicate upon and settle ail the questions involved in the suit. Whether this provision is attracted under the Land Acquisition Act came to be considered by the Andhra Pradesh High Court in Sree Mullapudi Venkatarayudu Memorial Medical Trust, Tanuku v. Chirapu Varada Raju and Anr. (1972) 1 An LT 136 : AIR 1972 AP 392 in that case a Trust had set in motion the proceedings under the Land Acquisition Act. After the award of the compensation by the Land Acquisition Officer the Trust wanted to implead itself as a party in the appeals filed before the High Court against the judgment of the civil Court. The appeals were bun by the owner of the property as well as by the Government. The question was whether the Trust could seek to implead itself as a party and intervene in the proceedings. A Division Bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court held that by enacting the special provision of Sub-section (2) of Section 50 of the Act, the general application of Order 1, Rule 10 and section of the Code of Civil Procedure, must be held to have been positively excluded. This judgment was approved by the Full Bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in the Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University, Rajenaranagar v. Mahmoodunnissa Begum and Anr. : AIR1976AP134 . In that case the acquisition was for the purposes of an Agricultural University. The question as to whether it was a company or local authority was not argued. In that case the University wanted to file an appeal against the judgment of the civil Court and the question was whether it could be granted leave to file an appeal. At page 139 it was observed as follows:

The scheme of the Act which emerges from the above consideration of the relevant provisions, it that when an acquisition of land is made either for a public purpose undertaken by the Government or for the benefit of a local authority or company or any other person, the proceeding is only between the owner of the land and the Government Even when the acquisition is made not for the Government but for somebody else, the Government alone is entitled to act and acquire the land. The owner of the land can look upto the Government only for payment of compensation. He has no right of claim against the person for whose benefit the land is being acquired and the statute does not confer any such right on him. When the owner of the land does not have any claim, right or concern against the person for whose benefit the land has been acquired, how could it be postulated that, he could be made to fight a legal battle with that person at the latter's will and volition. To permit it would be going against all conons of jurisprudence, justice and fair play. Likewise the person for whose benefit the land has been acquired has no claim or right against the owner of the land as such. Then how could he litigate against him? That is why the scheme of the Act makes only the owner of the land and the Government parties to the acquisition proceedings and none else. The local authority or the Company can only assist the Government in adducing evidence in regard to compensation and noshing else.... The person for whose benefit the land is proposed to be acquired has no place in the exercise of the sovereign power by the State. This is the patent reason why the Act has limited the scope of the lis in regard to acquisition between the owner of the land and the Sovereign State. As regards the leave being granted to file an appeal, at page 139, the learned Judges stated the position as follows:

Therefore, even if there is anything in the Civil Procedure Code which enables a person to prefer an appeal with leave of the Court, though not a party to the proceeding in the Court below, that is not applicable to the person for whose benefit the land has been acquired to prefer an appeal with leave of the appellate court against the award, because the right is foreclosed under the provisions of the Act. The Act treats such a person as a stranger to the acquisition proceedings with whom the claimant of the land has no concern and has no right in the entire proceedings until the acquisition has been completed.

Again at page 140, the legal position was explained as follows:

What emerges from the above consideration is that the person for whose benefit land has been acquired, the University in this case, could not be a party to the reference even if it applied to be added as one. This is clearly prohibited by the provisions of the Act. A person, who could not be made a party to a proceeding in the lower court, could not by any stretch of imagination, be made a party in the appeal against that decision, much less an appellant. The person for whose benefit land has been acquired is a person excluded from the reference proceedings, before Court, it must follow that he Cannot prefer an appeal to the High Court either with or without leave of the High Court. Order 1, Rule 10, Civil Procedure, C de or the inherent power of the Court under Section 151, Civil Procedure Code cannot be invoiced while preferring those appeals to the extent that they are inconsistent with the provisions of the Act. Thus, on principle and on the statute it can be concluded that the University has neither a right to prefer an appeal ... nor has it any locus standi to prefer one with leave the appellate court.

We are in respectful agreement with the enunciation of the legal position in the above passages. Whatever has been stated above would apply for a party being impleaded. We do not, therefore, think it necessary to discuss the matter further. We would, therefore, held that the application for being impleaded at this stage cannot be granted.

11. In the judgment of the Full Bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, all the earlier decisions of all the Courts have been reviewed and we do not think it necessary to refer to all the earlier decisions bearing on the point. There are, however two decisions. One of the Allahabad High Court in K. B. Co-operative Housing Society v Satya Devi A. I. R. 1971 All. 426 : : AIR1971All426 and of the Punjab High Court (learned single Judge in H. S. and Industries v State A. I. R. 1972 P. and H. 59 : . In these decisions it has been held that the person who had to pay the compensation could be impleaded as a party under Order 1, Rule 10, Civil Procedure Code, in a proceeding before the Civil Court under Section 18. The Full Bench has dissented from this view and we agree with the Full Bench on this aspect also.

12. The judgment of this Court could only be corrected in the manner envisaged by Section 152, Civil Procedure Code, in respect of any clerical error or arithmetical mistake in the judgment or by recourse to the provisions of Order 47, Rule 1, Civil Procedure Code, authorising the review of a judgment under certain specified conditions. The present application does not fall under any of these provisions and, therefore, there is no scope for interfering with or setting aside the earlier judgment. The other applications based on the applicant being impleaded cannot also be granted.

13. The result is that these applications are dismissed. But in the circumstances of the case, there will be no order as to costs.


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