K. Veeraswami, C.J.
1. The matter is placed before us by the Master for a decision on the proper Court-fee payable on the memorandum of appeal. The appelant's land was requisitioned under the Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act, 1952. Aggrieved by the alleged inadequacy of compensation under Section 8 as determined by the Arbitrator, the appeal has been preferred under Section 11. The contention is that as this Act makes a difference between requisitioning and acquisition, it should be borne in mind in determining the scope of Section 51 of the Tamil Nadu Court-fees and Suits Valuation Act.
2. Section 3 of the Requisitioning Act provides for the power to requisition any immovable property and on such requisitioning, the appropriate authority can under Section 4 take possession. Rights over the requisitioned property are defined by Section 5. Release from requisitioning is made under Section 6. Where the property requisitioned needs to be acquired for a public purpose, power therefore is found in Section 7. Section 8 provides the principles and method of determining the compensation and in this section no difference is made between requisitioning and acquisition, though Clause (c) of Sub-section (1) does refer to the property requisitioned or acquired. Section 11 which provides for appeals is common to both compensation for requisitioning and acquisition. It is clear therefore that, so far as the Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property is concerned, the concepts of requisitioning and acquisition are distinct and different with different results and the quantum of compensation vis a vis Section 8 may also be not identical.
3. But the question is whether this difference, as is contended for, should be carried into Section 51 of the Court-fees Act. In our opinion, there is no warrant for it. The plain dictionary meaning of acquisition as given in the Shorter Oxford Dictionary is 'come into possession of'. The object of the Court-fees Act is to assess Court-fee on certain principles and, so far as compensation is concerned, the ad valorem rate applies to a memorandum of appeal relating to such a claim. Is there any substantial reason why for purposes of assessing Court-fee, compensation for requisitioning and that for acquisition should be treated differently? As far as we are able to see from the standpoint of Court-fee on a memorandum of appeal, no justification on any conceivable ground presents itself for acceptance. The section deals with compensation in respect of acquisition of property for public purposes. Acquisition is a very broad term which may comprehend within itself were taking of possession or short of it, for use as in the case of a licence, or it may result in deprivation of property in the sense that the title itself is extinguished and vested in the acquiring authority. The word acquisition in Section 51 in our opinion is used in the proper sense of taking, which may mean any one or more of the elements, which as a bundle constitute property. So long as the power of getting at the property is in exercise of the power of eminent domain, it does not matter for purposes of Section 51, whether it is the prime domain on the property or any part or element which goes into the concept of property as generally understood. We are therefore inclined to think that Section 51 of the Court-fees Act covers the memorandum of appeal which relates to compensation for requisitioning of property.
4. It is argued for the appellant that though the Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act speaks of compensation for requisitioning, in fact, such compensation is but rent and therefore the proper section in the Court-fees Act to be applied is Section 43. We are unable to accept this stand because requisitioning under the Act does not involve bringing into existence the relationship of landlord and tenant. Section 43 therefore cannot be applied to the appeal memorandum.
5. Our attention was invited to Ramachandran v. State of Madras : (1974)2MLJ313 a decision of a learned single Judge of this Court. But that case did not decide the point which we are called upon to settle. It is one on a different basis. So too S.G. Bhagade v. Special Deputy Collector, Ahmednagar : 1SCR146 , is not of assistance in deciding the above point.
6. It is true that this Court has struck down Article I schedule I of the Court-fees Act as invalid in a recent judgment. But, at the moment, what will be the quantum of fee that will be payable, we are not concerned with. All that we hold at the moment is that Section 51 of the Court-fees and Suits Valuation Act applies to the appeal memorandum.