Skip to content


Giles Seddon Vs. the Deputy Collector of Madras - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in17Ind.Cas.117
AppellantGiles Seddon
RespondentThe Deputy Collector of Madras
Cases ReferredSarat Chandra Bose v. The Secretary of State
Excerpt:
land acquisition act (i of 1894), sections 49 and 54 - 'award or any part thereof--decision of court under section 49, whether an award--appeal. - .....in the purchase of other land under section 32. all these decisions being either parts of the award or awards in particular circumstances would appear to be appealable under section 54. it was expressly decided in balaram bharamaratar roy v. sham sunder narendra 23 c.k 526 that a decision on an apportionment under section 30 was an award and appealable and the same view was taken by the allahabad high court in sheo rattan rai v. mohri 21i a. 354 and it has been decided by this court in shiva rao v. nagappa 29 m.k 117 that an appeal lies from an order for investment under section 32. it is urged by the appellant that appeals from decisions of the court made on a reference under section 49 have been heard by the various high courts of this country and our attention is drawn to a case.....
Judgment:

1. This appeal arises out of a reference by the Deputy Collector of Madras to the Chief Judge of the Court of Small Causes under Section 49 of the Land Acquisition, Act, I of 1894. The Chief Judge decided that the plot of ground referred to did not form 'part of the house, manufactory or building' within the meaning of the section. Against that decision, the claimant appeals and the preliminary objection is taken on behalf of the Government that no appeal lies. The Question turns on the construction of Section 54 of the Act, and to make out a case for appeal, it must be shown that the decision of the Court under Section 4) is 'the award or any part of the award of the Court in any proceedings under this Act.' Before disposing of the question whether this is an award, it is well to dispose of the argument on the words 'any part of the award.' It was suggested that these words would include any proceeding prior to the final award; but it is obvious that this language is used in exactly the same sense as it is used in the Civil Procedure Code of 1882, Section 540, where the language is 'an appeal shall lie from the decrees, or from any part of the decrees of the Courts, etc.' It could not, of course, be suggested that under the Civil Procedure Code these words meant any thing but a part of the actual decree drawn up and the words in the Land Acquisition Act can have no wider meaning. The word 'award' is not defined in the Act and its meaning must, therefore, be ascertained from the sections in which it is used and from an examination of the whole Act. It is applied to the adjudication of the Collector as well as that of the Court; but, in this section, it is confined to the adjudication of the Court. It has to be noted that the language of the section is not the decision of the Court, but the 'award' and, therefore, applying the analogy of the Civil Procedure Code, it would presumably be confined to the result of the decision as embodied in a formal document and would not include the judgment on which it is based. The first section to be considered is Section 23, which has reference to the proceedings of the Court on a reference by the Collector under Section 18 at the application of any person interested who has not accepted the award of the Collector. The language is: 'In determining the amount of compensation to be awarded for land acquired under this Act, the Court shall take into consideration etc.' And Sections 26 and 27 provide that 'every award under this part shall be in writing signed by the Judge and shall specify the amount awarded' (under the various clauses of Section 23) as also the amount of costs and the proportions in which they are to be paid. These are the only proceedings of the Court which are specifically called an award by the Act. There are, however, other proceedings Under Section 30, where the amount of compensation has been settled by the Collector but a dispute arises as to the apportionment or as to the persons to whom the same is payable, the Collector may refer such dispute to the decision of the Court. Under Sections 31 and 32, where the Collector has tendered payment of the Compensation awarded by him to the persons he considers entitled and they do not consent to receive it or where there is no person competent to alienate the land or where there is a dispute as to the title to receive the compensation or as to the apportionment of it, the Collector is required to deposit the amount of compensation in Court and then, if it appears to the Court that the land belongs to a person who has no power to alienate it, the Court is required to order the money to be invested in the purchase of other land to be held under the like title. Again, under Section 35, where land is required for temporary occupation, if the persons interested do not agree as to the sufficiency of the compensation or apportionment thereof, the Collector is required to refer such difference to the decision of the Court, and, lastly, under Section 48, where Government withdraws from the acquisition of any land, the Collector is required to determine the amount of compensation due to the owner for damage suffered by him and the provisions of part III which embody the reference to the Court are made applicable to such proceedings. There are, therefore, several matters on which the Courts has to pass orders which are not styled 'awards' in the Act other than this decision by the Court under Section 49. The language of Section 49 is--: 'In deciding on such a reference.' Section 30 only uses the language, 'the Collector may refer such dispute to the decision of the Court.' Section 32 says: 'The Court shall order the money to be invested' and 'direct the payment of the interest;' and Section 35 says: 'The Collector shall refer such difference to the decision of the Court.' It is important to consider at what stage these various decisions to be given by the Court arise and it is obvious that the decisions in the case now being considered must properly be given before the Collector can make his award. The first question that arises in land acquisition is what Government is to pay, for Section 49 provides that the provisions of this Act shall not be put in force for the purpose of acquiring a part only of any house, manufactory or other building.' It is, therefore, necessary to ascertain what area must be acquired by Government at any particular place where Government wishes to take up land. Section 8 requires the Collector to cause the land declared to be needed for a public purpose to be marked out, measured and a plan to be made and Section 9 provides for public notice to be given requiring all persons interested in the land to appear before the Collector to make any objections to the measurement and state the nature of their interests and the particulars of their claim to compensation. Such notice has also to be served on all persons known or believed to be interested in the land. On the date fixed for hearing, the Collector proceeds to inquire into the objections and the interests and to determine the compensation; and, in his award, he has to set out the true area of the land, the compensation and the apportionment. It is obvious that this cannot be done until the question has been decided whether Government is seeking to acquire a part only of a house, manufactory or other building contrary to the wishes of the owner. That being so, the decision of the Court on a reference for this purpose must be a proceeding prior to the Collector's award, and it follows from this that it cannot be an award of the Court, as the award of the Court only comes into existence after the Collector's award.

2. The decisions of the Court under the other sections stands on a different footing. The decision on a reference under Section 30 is after the Collector has made his award. So is the order for the purchase of other lands where the owner has no power to alienate. The decision of the Court as to the amount of compensation payable for temporary occupation of land is a proceeding analogous to the ordinary award of the Court under Section 23. These matters stand, therefore, on an entirely different footing to the decision of the Court under Section 49. The apportionment of the amount of compensation or the persons to whom the same is payable must form part of the actual award just as such decisions would form part of the decree of a court and would be covered by the words in the appeal section, Section 54, 'award or any part of the award.' The same will apply to the order of the Court for the investment of the compensation money in the purchase of other land under Section 32. All these decisions being either parts of the award or awards in particular circumstances would appear to be appealable under Section 54. It was expressly decided in Balaram Bharamaratar Roy v. Sham Sunder Narendra 23 C.k 526 that a decision on an apportionment under Section 30 was an award and appealable and the same view was taken by the Allahabad High Court in Sheo Rattan Rai v. Mohri 21i A. 354 and it has been decided by this Court in Shiva Rao v. Nagappa 29 M.k 117 that an appeal lies from an order for investment under Section 32. It is urged by the appellant that appeals from decisions of the Court made on a reference under Section 49 have been heard by the various High Courts of this country and our attention is drawn to a case in Vencataratanam Naidu v. The Collector of Godaveri 27 M.k 350 where such an appeal was heard. In that, case, however, the Collector had given his award under Section 11 and the claimant, in refusing to accept the same, filed a petition asking for the whole house to be taken. The Collector, therefore, referred the whole question under Sections 18 and 49. We express no opinion whether the question could be taken up at this stage but in the present case, the reference was before any award by the Collector. The point that no appeal lay on this question was pot taken. The case of Nita Ram v. Secretary or State for India in Council 5 A.L.J. 166 relied on, was certainly a reference under Section 49 only, but the point was not taken that no appeal lay and the same remark applies to the decision in Sarat Chandra Bose v. The Secretary of State for India in Council 10 C.W.N. 250. It is contended before us that it is unlikely that the Legislature would have intended that no appeal should lie on an important question of this sort; but it is by no means clear that a decision by the Court on this point would prevent a claimant getting compensation for severance under Section 23 sub Section (1) Clause (3). We are inclined to the view that it would be open to the Appellate Court, at all events, to re-open this question and as far as the claimant is concerned, it would not matter to him whether he received the compensation for the land on the footing that Government was compelled to acquire it under Section 49 or on the footing of severance under Section 23. (Whether this be so or not, we are unable, on the construction of this Act, to hold that the words award or any part of the award' in Section 54 include the decision of the Court on a reference under Section 49. We, therefore, uphold the preliminary objection and dismiss the appeal with costs.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //