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Secretary of State Vs. Shyamapada Banerjee - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Reported inAIR1940Cal56
AppellantSecretary of State
RespondentShyamapada Banerjee
Cases ReferredPramatha Nath v. Secretary of State
Excerpt:
- .....the collector should be enhanced by rs. 822-4-0 and (2) that the respondent is entitled to receive enhanced amounts in the two cases. the province of bengal appeals to this court against this decision with a certificate from the president of the tribunal under section 3(1)(b)(i), calcutta improvement (appeals) act, 1911, that the case is a fit one for appeal to this court. first appeal no. 255 of 1937 arises out of valuation case no. 108 of 1933 and first appeal no. 256 of 1937 arises out of valuation case no. 162 of 1933.3. the first contention of the appellant to that the decision of the tribunal on the amount of compensation is bad in law inasmuch as the tribunal has not come to any finding on the issue raised by the appellant, namely whether kalipada could maintain the valuation.....
Judgment:

Nasim Ali, J.

1. Premises Nos. 13/1 and 13/3 Lake Road were acquired in connexion with Scheme No. 33, Southern Avenue Section by declaration No. 3481-L.A., dated 7th March 1932, which was published in the Calcutta Gazette on 10th March 1932. Five persons including one Kalipada Banerjee claimed interest in No. 13/1 Lake Road, He and a minor named Sunil Kumar Chatterjee through his guardian claimed interest in the other premises, namely 13/3, Lake Road. The Collector gave his award under Section 11, Land Acquisition Act, on 21st August 1933, in respect of premises No. 13/1. He found the area to be 2 cottas, 9 chittacks and 10 square feet which he valued at the rate of Rs. 800 per cottah. He further found that out of the five claimants only two, namely Tara Sundari Dasi and Aswini Kumar Mukherjee were entitled to compensation. Of these two persons in whose favour the award was made by the Collector only Tara Sundari Dasi accepted the award. The Collector published his award in respect of premises No. 13/3 Lake Road on 17th June 1933. He found the area to be 3 cottas 9 chittacks 9 square feet and valued it at the rate of Rs. 1350 per cottah. He found that the minor Sunil Kumar Chatterjee was alone entitled to get the whole compensation. The award was accepted by the guardian of the minor on behalf of the minor. Kalipada Banerjee then applied to the Collector under Section 18, Land Acquisition Act, for reference to the tribunal for determination by the tribunal of his objections to the two awards. His grounds of objection to both the awards so far as they are relevant for the purposes of the present appeals were : (1) to the amount of compensation and (2) to the person to whom the compensation is payable. The Collector accordingly made two references to the tribunal. The reference in respect of premises No. 13/1 Lake Road was registered in the tribunal as Valuation Case No. 162 of 1933, while the reference in respect of the other premises was registered as Valuation Case No. 108 of 1933. Kalipada died during the pendency of the proceedings before the tribunal arid the present respondent as executor to his estate was substituted in his place.

2. On 23rd April 1937, the tribunal arrived at the following conclusions : (1) that the market Value of premises No. 13/1 Lake Road is Rs. 918-8-0 per cottah and that of premises No. 13/3 Lake Road is Rs. 1550 per cottah and, consequently, the award of the Collector in respect of premises No. 13/1 Lake Road1 should be enhanced by Rupees 351-1-13 while the other award of the Collector should be enhanced by Rs. 822-4-0 and (2) that the respondent is entitled to receive enhanced amounts in the two cases. The Province of Bengal appeals to this Court against this decision with a certificate from the President of the Tribunal under Section 3(1)(b)(i), Calcutta Improvement (Appeals) Act, 1911, that the case is a fit one for appeal to this Court. First Appeal No. 255 of 1937 arises out of Valuation Case No. 108 of 1933 and First Appeal No. 256 of 1937 arises out of Valuation Case No. 162 of 1933.

3. The first contention of the appellant to that the decision of the tribunal on the amount of compensation is bad in law inasmuch as the tribunal has not come to any finding on the issue raised by the appellant, namely whether Kalipada could maintain the valuation references, which involves the question whether Kalipada had any title to the lands acquired. In other words, the contention is that the issue about the title of Kalipada is germane to the question of the amount of compensation. I am unable to accept this contention. The jurisdiction of the Court on a reference by the Collector is a special jurisdiction. If the only objection is to the amount of compensation, that alone is the matter referred to, and the Court has no power to determine or consider anything beyond what is referred : see Pramatha Nath v. Secretary of State . The question of title to the land acquired is therefore not relevant in a reference on the question of the amount of compensation only. Much reliance was placed by the appellant upon Section 21, Land Acquisition Act, which provides:

The scope of the inquiry in every such proceeding shall be restricted to a consideration of the interests of the persons affected by the objection.

4. The dictionary meaning of the word 'affect' is to produce material effect. In an inquiry as to the amount of compensation only the question is how much more the claimant is to get and how much more is the Government to pay. The only question is the additional amount of compensation. It does not involve the determination of question of the right to claim or the liability to pay any additional compensation. I therefore overrule this contention. The second contention of the appellant is that the decision of the tribunal on the amount of compensation is bad in law inasmuch as it is based on the award of the tribunal on the market value of 13/1 Lake Road which has been set aside by this Court in appeal. There is no material before us to show that this award has been set aside by this Court. This contention therefore fails. I therefore affirm the decision of the tribunal on the question of the amount of compensation.

5. The next contention of the appellant is that the tribunal was wrong in declaring that the respondent is entitled to receive the enhanced amounts, namely Rs. 822-4-0 and Rs. 351-1-6, from the appellant. The tribunal has made the declaration on the basis of settlements between the claimants of this property. The terms of these settlements are embodied in two petitions of compromise filed before tribunal. By these settlements the compensation awarded by the Collector was divided between Kalipada and the other claimants and Kalipada was given the right to get the excess amount of compensation, if any, to be awarded by the tribunal. There are certain admissions about Kalipada's or his representative's title to the lands acquired by the other claimants in these petitions of compromise. The President sitting alone recorded the terms so far as the apportionment of the compensation awarded by the Collector is concerned. The terms of compromise so far as they relate to the right of Kalipada or the respondent to get the enhanced amounts were not recorded by him. He also did not declare the title of Kalipada or the respondent to the lands acquired on the basis of the admissions contained in the petitions of compromise. The tribunal therefore declared the right of the respondent to the enhanced amounts not on any previous decision on the question by the President (apparently he was authorized to decide the question by virtue of Section 77, Calcutta Improvement Tribunal Act) but on the petitions of compromise filed by the claimants before the President. It is a decision relating to objections referred by the Collector to the tribunal as regards persons to whom the compensation is payable. The tribunal therefore has given this decision on the footing that the references so far as they related to the question as to whom enhanced amounts were payable, remained undisposed of by the President sitting alone.

6. The point for determination therefore is whether this decision of the tribunal is wrong. The contention of the appellant is that the decision of the tribunal on this point is wrong and should be set aside inasmuch as (1) the tribunal has refused to take into consideration the evidence adduced by the appellant; (2) that the petitions of compromise on which the decision is based are no evidence against the appellant; and (3) that in any view of the case the petitions of compromise on which the tribunal have relied to declare the respondent's title to the enhanced amounts do not establish the respondent's title. These points involve the question whether the appellant is a necessary party in the proceeding relating to the determination of the question about the claimants' title to the enhanced amounts. The claimants other than Kalipada are not entitled to claim the enhanced amounts as they accepted the award of the Collector as to the amount of compensation and did not apply for reference on this ground. If the respondent claims the enhanced amounts on the basis of any title derived from the other claimants by the compromise after the latter had accepted the awards, he is not in a better position and cannot claim them. If his claim to the enhanced amounts is based upon Kalipada's title to the lands acquired the Tribunal will have to determine that claim.

7. The question then is in whose presence this determination is to be made. The only person who will be affected by this determination is the appellant because he will have to pay the enhanced amounts. In the determination of this question in view of the facts of the present case the persons interested are the respondent who claims the money and the appellant against whom the money is claimed. The appellant is the only person interested in opposing the respondent's claim. In the events that have happened in this case the appellant is not only a proper party but is also a necessary party. There is nothing in Section 20, Land Acquisition Act which militates against this view. If the dispute about the title of the property is decided in the presence of the appellant it would not in any way enlarge the scope of the inquiry on the basis of the references. The Tribunal has declared the respondent's title to the enhanced amount on the basis of the two petitions of compromise to which the appellant is not a party and which the appellant characterizes as illegal and void under the provisions of Section 23, Contract Act. The fraud alleged by the appellant is that the respondent has no title and that admissions about the respondent's title were made in the petition of compromise in order to saddle the appellant with the liability to pay additional compensation which the claimants who are the real owners precluded themselves by their conduct from claiming. Prom whatever point of view the matter be looked at it is clear that the respondent is bound to prove his right to claim enhanced amount in the presence of the appellant.

8. The result therefore is that the decision of the tribunal, so far as it relates to the amount of compensation, is affirmed. The decision of the tribunal, so far as it declared that the respondent is entitled to get enhanced amounts from the appellant, is set aside and the cases are sent back to the tribunal. The tribunal is directed to determine the question as to whom the enhanced amounts are payable in the presence of the appellant. The appellant and the respondent and the other persons who were parties to the reference will be entitled to adduce such evidence in support of their respective cases as they may choose to adduce before the tribunal. The tribunal is directed to take that evidence into consideration and to dispose of the question as to whom the enhanced amounts are payable according to law. Costs in these two appeals will abide the result, the hearing-fee for the two appeals being assessed at 10 gold mohurs.

Narsing Rau, J.

9. I agree.


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