1. This is an appeal by the claimant who is not satisfied with the amount awarded to him by the learned District; Judge as compensation for a piece of land and building acquired from him, in Poonamallee. The learned District Judge has incidentally dealt with the question whether or not there was a contract between the claimant and the District Board of Chingle-put, whereby the price was fixed at Bu-pees 10,500. This question was introduced into the discussion of the amount of compensation payable, because of the reliano placed by the claimant on the decision of the Privy Council in Fort Press Co., Ltd. v. Municipal Corporation of the City of Bombay 1922 PC 365. But as the learned Judge himself points out, the action there was between private parties themselves and their Lordships of the Judicial Committee made it clear that their decision will only be binding as between the parties and will not affect the jurisdiction of the Collector to adopt such course as he may think proper under the Act. Prom the statement of facts in that case it is worth noting that there the action was for a declaration that if the Collector awarded more than the sum agreed to between the parties the excess would belong to the plaintiffs and if he awarded loss the plaintiffs were bound to pay the full agreed sum. Prom the provisions of Section 23 of the Act, it is fairly clear that the Land Acquisition Officer and the Court dealing with the matter on a reference from him have only to decide the market value of the property, subject to the considerations mentioned in that and the following sections. Neither the Land Acquisition Officer nor the Court has got the power to enforce the contract as such in the absence of the contracting parties. The District Board of Chingleput is no party to these proceedings, whatever their ultimate interest in the acquisition may be. In these circumstances, we think it proper to say that the question of concluded contract as between the claimant and the District Board should not have been decided in these proceedings at all and we therefore leave that question open.
2. Restricting ourselves therefore to the question of the fixing of the compensation in accordance with the terms of the Act, we have not been shown any reason for not accepting the decision of the learned Judge. He has allowed proper amounts on the several heads of claim,, and in view of the fact referred to by him, namely, that the original valuation-, by the District Board Engineer proceeded upon a misapprehension that the claimant had an absolute title whereas, in fact he had only a leasehold title,, we do not think the learned Judge erred in adopting a lower value. The appeal therefore fails and is dismissed with, costs.
3. The decree of the lower Court has directed the claimant to pay Rs. 168-5-11 to the respondent for his costs on the amount disallowed. We do not think this direction is justified. Under Section 27' of the Act, the claimant should not be called upon to pay the Collector's costs, unless the Court is of opinion that his-claim was extravagant or the claimant, was negligent in putting his case before the Collector. The fact that we are not. disposed to deal with the question of concluded contract cannot justify the assumption that his claim was unfounded. The fact that there was correspondence in which Rs. 10,500 was mentioned is not denied, though whether it will amount to a concluded contract or not. is another matter. In this view we direct the omission of so much of the lower Court's decree as directs the claimant to pay the respondent his costs. on the amount disallowed.