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Sudhansu Sekhar Maity and ors. Vs. State of West Bengal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Rule No. 3302 (w) of 1969
Judge
Reported inAIR1972Cal320
ActsLand Acquisition Act, 1894 - Sections 4, 5A and 6; ;Constitution of India - Article 226; ;Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Order 1, Rule 1 - Order 2, Rule 3
AppellantSudhansu Sekhar Maity and ors.
RespondentState of West Bengal and ors.
Appellant AdvocateK.P. Sinha and ;Parimal Das, Advs.;B.C. Dutt and ;D.K. Chowdhury, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateS.C. Bose and ;Suprokash Banerjee, Advs.
DispositionApplication fails
Cases ReferredRamendra Nath Ray v. Brojendra Nath Dass
Excerpt:
- orderanil kumar sen, j. 1. two notifications under section 4 of the land acquisition act, 1894 (hereinafter referred to as the said act) and two consequent declarations under section 6 of the said act are the subject-matter of challenge in this rule. 2. it would be necessary to set out the facts in short which are as follows. on may 5, 1959 a notification was issued by the state government under section 4 of the said act. this notification merely recited that some land in the district of midnapore is likely to be needed for a public purpose viz., establishment of a subsidiary port at the mouth of haldia river. this notification further authorised the engineers of the commissioners for the port of calcutta and the local officers for the time being engaged on the undertaking to enter upon.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Anil Kumar Sen, J.

1. Two notifications under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereinafter referred to as the said Act) and two consequent declarations under Section 6 of the said Act are the subject-matter of challenge in this Rule.

2. It would be necessary to set out the facts in short which are as follows. On May 5, 1959 a notification was issued by the State Government under Section 4 of the said Act. This notification merely recited that some land in the District of Midnapore is likely to be needed for a public purpose viz., establishment of a subsidiary port at the mouth of Haldia river. This notification further authorised the Engineers of the Commissioners for the port of Calcutta and the Local Officers for the time being engaged on the undertaking to enter upon and survey land and do all further acts required for the proper execution of their work. The notification further laid down the route for the survey through the sixty-eight villages chronologically set out in the said notification. One of such villages is mouja Hatiberia Police Station Sutahata, District Midnapore. This notification was issued in terms of paragraph 13 and in form 2 of the executive instructions contained in the West Bengal Land Acquisition Manual, 1951 Part I. Obviously, the notification was made to authorise local survey on a preliminary investigation for drawing up the scheme of a proposed project of establishment of a port subsidiary to the port of Calcutta.

3. As a result of the said investigation a proposed scheme was drawn up which was divided into five phases contemplated for its completion. Acquisitions were being made of lands covered by respective phases as and when works on those phases were being taken up by the requiring authority viz., the Commissioners for the port of Calcutta. Accordingly, on August 25, 1967 two notifications were issued again under Section 4 of the said Act. The first bearing No. 13998 L. A. was in respect of several plots set out in the notification in mouja Hatiberia Police Station Sutahata covering an area of 101.42 acres. The second one bearing No. 13991 L. A. was in respect of several other plots of the same mouja covering an area of 89.75 acres. Both these two notifications recited that the plots notified were likely to be needed for a public purpose viz., for the establishment of Haldia Dock at the expense of the Commissioners for the port of Calcutta.

4. On the issue of the said notifications under Section 4 notices inviting objections under Section 5-A of the said Act were also issued. Objections were entertained including one dated December 14. 1969 by or on behalf of the petitioners and others. An enquirv under Section 5-A was held on June 3, 1968 by the Special Land Acquisition Collector himself who submitted a report recommending overruling of the objections taken. The State Government accepted the recommendations and by an order dated November 4, 1968 overruled all objections. Consequently two declarations under Section 6 of the said Act one dated November 20, 1968 and the other dated November 25, 1968 covering the plots specified in the notifications under Section 4 were issued and were published in the Calcutta Gazette dated December 28, 1968. These two notifications under Section 4 and the two consequent declarations under Section 6 are the subject-matter of challenge in this Rule obtained by the sixty-one petitioners.

5. The Rule is being contested by respondents 1 to 4 who are the State of West Bengal and its Local Authorities and also by the added respondent No. 5 viz., the Commissioners for the port of Calcutta who are the requiring authorities for this acquisition. Two sets of affidavits have been filed by them.

6. Mr. Sinha appearing on behalf of the petitioners has raised four points in support of this Rule. In the first place, he has contended that establishment of a dock or a port is a Union purpose and for such a purpose the State Government could not have acquired the lands proposed to be acquired and certainly not in the manner proposed to be done. Secondly Mr. Sinha has contended that the actual purpose for which the lands are being acquired is materially different from the purpose declared in the notifications and the declarations and as such the proposed acquisition is unauthorised. Thirdly Mr. Sinha has contended that out of the sixty-eight villages covered by the first notification under Section 4 dated 5-5-1959, the State Government had already acquired vast tracts of lands covering thirty-eight villages which would be more than sufficient to meet the requirements of establishment of a dock and as such further acquisition of lands not really needed for such a purpose is colourable -- more so when the requiring authority is transferring vast tracts of acquired lands to private companies and corporations at high premium though the lands are being acquired for the declared purpose of establishment of a dock. Lastly Mr. Sinha has contended that on June 24. 1968 and on several dates thereafter the petitioners had prayed for a copy of the report submitted by the Land Acquisition Collector on the enquiry under Section 5-A but their prayer for a copy of the said document having been denied they were denied a reasonable opportunity to make a representation to the State Government before disposal of the objections under Section 5-A; therefore, according to Mr. Sinha the declarations which followed in such a proceeding held in breach of the principles of natural justice are not in accordance with law and as such should be set aside.

7. Mr. Bose appearing on behalf of the State and its Authorities has contested each of the points raised by Mr. Sinha. Mr. Dutt, the learned Advocate for the added respondent, has also contested each of the points so raised by Mr. Sinha. Mr. Dutt has further raised a preliminary objection that the Writ petition is not maintainable both on the ground of misjoinder of petitioners and causes of action and on the ground that the petitioners had not made out specifically how they are affected by the impugned notifications or the declarations. As I do not propose to dispose of the rule solely on the preliminary objection raised by Mr. Dutt I will deal with these objections hereinafter. Farther details of the arguments of the respective learned Advocates on the merits would be referred to hereinafter when I deal with the points raised by Mr. Sinha which I now propose to do in the same order as they have been raised by Mr. Sinha.

8. The first objection raised by Mr. Sinha appears also to have been raised in the objection under Section 5-A. Mr. Sinha relies on Entry 27, List I of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution. This entry runs as follows: 'ports declared by or under law made by Parliament or existing law to be major ports, including their delimitation and the Constitution and powers of port authorities therein'. Mr. Sinha next draws my attention to Entry 31, List 3 of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution which reads: 'ports other than those declared by or under law by Parliament or existing law to be major ports'. According to Mr. Sinha the proposed acquisition is expressly for establishment of a port subsidiary to a major port like that of Calcutta or for the dock thereof. As such Mr. Sinha contends that it would come within Entry 27 of the Union list of the Seventh Schedule and the purpose of the acquisition must accordingly be construed to be Union purpose. Mr. Sinha next contends that if the purpose of acquisition is a purpose of the Union the acquisition must have been made either by the Union Government or by the State Government acting on the authority of the Union Government. He has drawn my attention to forms attach-ed to the executive instructions to show that if the acquisition was for a purpose of the Union the notification under Section 4 should have been issued in form 2-A and not in form 2 and the declarations should have been issued in Form 3-A and not 3 as done in the present case. From the use of the forms and the manner of the issue of the notifications and the declarations Mr. Sinha contends that there can be no doubt that the acquisition is being made for a purpose other than a purpose of the Union. Accordingly Mr. Sinha contends that neither the notifications nor the declarations were validly made in the present case.

9. In dealing with this point it should first be noted that after the seventh amendment to the Constitution both entries 33 & 36 respectively of the Union list and the State list have now been deleted and entry 42 of the concurrent List has been appropriately amended to cover 'acquisition and requisitioning of property'. On this amendment acquisition is on the concurrent list and both the Union and the State are equally authorised to legislate on the subject of acquisition irrespective of purpose of such acquisition but subject to the usual limitations otherwise imposed by the Constitution. Thus acquisition irrespective of whether it is for the purpose of the State or the Union being within the legislative competence of the State is also within its executive powers. According to Baneriee. J. in the case of Gadadhar v. State of West Bengal, (1963) 67 Cal WN 460 at p. 470, after such amendment it is wholly inconsequential as to whether the acquisition is made for a purpose of the Union or the State. To quote his words:

'the disclosure that acquisition of land was being made for a purpose which was not the purpose of the Union, in the notification and the declaration, was possibly made under the time worn idea that since the State could legislate in the matter of land acquisition, for its own purpose only, every land acquisition by the State must be justified on that ground. After the Constitution Seventh Amendment Act, 1956 it was not necessary to make such a statement in the notification or the declaration, even if it was at all so necessary at a time when the Constitution had not been so amended'.

This statement of the principle by Banerjee, J. can be well supported so long -- as is usually the case--the State Governments are duly authorised on delegation of powers by the Union Government to acquire lands for a purpose of the Union. Because in the absence of such delegated authority on the statutory provisions of Sections 4 and 6 of the said Act read with the definition of the term 'appropriate Government' in Section 3(ee). the power of acquisition would otherwise be limited to the State Or the Union Government respectively for purposes of the State or the Union

10. Now in the present case it appears from the affidavit filed by the respondents Nos. 1 to 4 that by an appropriate notification dated May 14, 1955 issued under Article 258(1) of the Constitution the State Government in West Bengal was duly authorised by the Central Government to acquire land for the purposes of the Union. This factum of delegation is not disputed. If that is so, even if I assume that the purpose of the disputed acquisition is a purpose of the Union it would still be within the powers of the State Government to acquire and the acquisition cannot be struck down as beyond the competence of the State Government. Mr. Sinha, however, contends that in the present case neither the notifications under Section 4 nor the declarations under Section 6 invoke the delegated powers nor are the notifications and declarations issued in appropriate forms. In my view even if that be so, that would not vitiate the notifications or declarations. It would be a mere irregularity not affecting the substance which would not vitiate the acquisition. If the authority has the power for any action taken, the act is competent and non recital or wrong recital of the authority for the action would not make the act incompetent or without jurisdiction. Reference may be made to the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Lekhraj v. Dy. Custodian, Bombay, : [1966]1SCR120

11. That apart, in my view there is great substance in the contention of Mr. Bose that simply because the acquisition is for the purpose of setting up a subsidiary port, the purpose of the acquisition does not necessarily become solely a purpose of the Union. According to Mr. Bose it is a project which would not only be highly beneficial to the general public in this State but would serve public purposes in this State and as such the acquisition would be well supported on the ground that it is for a public purpose. It is clearly so when the acquisition is being made at the expense of the local authority. Mr. Bose rightly relies on the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of State of Bombay v. Ali Gulshan, : [1955]2SCR867 in contending that there is no merit in the contention that merely because the purpose involves establishment of a port it serves no public purpose other than a purpose of the Union. In my view the following observations of the Supreme Court are clearly instructive, 'that there is another way of looking at the question involved. An undertaking may have three different facets or aspects, and may serve the purpose of a State, the purpose of the Union and a general public purpose. Even if one may regard the requisition of a room for the accommodation of a member of a consulate as one appertaining to a Union purpose. It does not necessarily cease to be a State purpose or a general public purpose'. Similar also was the view taken by this Court in the case of (1963) 67 Cal WN 460 (supra). Therefore, following the above view I must hold that when establishment of a subsidiary port or a dock therein would undoubtedly serve at least the general public purpose even if it otherwise involves a purpose of the Union, it would not be beyond the authority of the State Government to acquire lands in exercise of its own powers and irrespective of the powers delegated by the Union Government in this respect. In either view therefore this objection of Mr. Sinha must be overruled,

12. The second point raised by Mr. Sinha is of some importance. Although the initial notification under Section 4 recited the purpose to be establishment of a subsidiary port the same is now overridden by the impugned two notifications under Section 4 dated August 25. 1967. These two notifications along with the declarations under Section 6 undisputedly declared the purpose of the acquisition to be 'establishment of the Haldia Dock.' According to the petitioners establishment of the dock will not require more than 42 acres of land. Petitioners further state that much more than 42 acres had already been acquired for the said purpose in the thirty-eight villages in respect of which earlier acquisitions had been made. Petitioners allege that much of the lands already acquired are not being used for the establishment of the dock but are being used for various other purposes. Some of the lands have even been leased out to corporations and companies carrying on public and private enterprises Petitioners' further grievance is that under the disputed acquisitions lands are being acquired not really for the purpose of establishment of dock but for other collateral purposes. The respondents 1 to 4 having broadly denied this allegation in paragraph 5 (c) of their affidavit-in-opposition, however, concede in paragraph 5 (e) that lands already acquired or sought to be acquired are being used for purposes other than establishment of the dock itself but claim such purposes to be incidental to the establishment of the dock; they have not denied the fact that some of the acquired lands are being leased out to corporations and companies but they have gone on to say; 'it is difficult to imagine a dock without having ancillary industries surrounding it which are all interconnected with the existence of a dock and or which are part and parcel of a dock'. This affidavit had been sworned by the Land Acquisition Collector himself and although the affidavit does not furnish any detailed information as to how the acquired lands are being used or for what actual avowed purpose the disputed acquisitions are being made such materials are to be found in the report submitted by the deponent of the said affidavit on an enquiry under Section 5-A of the said Act. This report has been made an exhibit in this case being exhibit A. I will quote in extenso from this report which clearly supports the complaint of the petitioners that actual purpose of the acquisition is not limited to the declared purpose. In page 4 of the report the Land Acquisition Collector states 'preliminary notification was published for the purpose of establishment of a subsidiary port covering an area of 17 sq. miles and thereafter acquisitions are being made step by step according to the priority and the acquired lands are also being utilised for the project work. As regards the questions as to the purpose of notifications and the acquisition. I find little difference between the terms Port and Dock, which are almost the two coincident terms in the true sense of their meanings and purpose. There cannot be a port without a dock and vice-versa. The purpose of the Dock is to receive vessels for loading and unloading of goods and materials for export and import, for repair to the vessels and for construction and re-construction of vessels or ships. A port is a harbour where ships of all nations may load and unload and may be kept in safety. To serve the aforesaid purpose a vast area is necessary for making an artificial water basin and sidings for loading and unloading purpose and for making different parts of a vessel for its construction and repair, accommodation of offices, quarters for labourers and other staff, market place etc. Growth of various types of port based industries is quite likely within the port or dock area and such industries are absolutely necessary. For the greater national benefit the Port or the Dock area ultimately turns into an industrial town with all sorts of modern developments all centering round the Port or the Dock. From the view points of the very purpose stated above the Port and the Dock have practically no difference at all. Hence the purposes mentioned in the preliminary notification, as well as, in the subsequent notifications are the same and for this purpose a vast area including the objector's lands is necessary'. The Collector then goes on to observe, 'so the possibilities of the growth of port based industries, if any, within the area notified or the port or dock can hardly be considered as a purpose different from what has been mentioned in the notifications',

13. The affidavit read along with this report clearly establishes that the respondents were equating dock with the port and again were thinking of the port to include therein the entire complex of the project. This position is further clarified by the affidavit of the requiring authority the respondent No. 5. The material part of paragraph 6 of this affidavit recites 'I deny the allegations contained in paragraph 7 of the said petition and state that all lands acquired uptill now have been utilised for the following works (a) Construction of Dock (b) Dock Basin (c) Installation of Electricity (d) Police Station and Out-post (e) Staff quarters (f) Stabilisation Pond, (g) Railways' link for South Eastern Railway and C. P. C. (h) Oil jetty (i) Offices of the State and Central Government (i) Port Administrative office and Commercial offices (k) Internal Road connected with National High Way No. 6 (1) Pumping Station for supplying water, (m) Market, (n) Warehouse (o) Halipad (p) Post Office and Bank (q) Construction of building and re-building vessels (r) Training Institute and schools and colleges (s) Township of Port. State Govt. and Commercial establishment (t) Establishment of oil and fertilising factory (i) Indian Oil Corporation (ii) Fertilizer Corporation of India and fu) Rehabilitation for the evicted persons due to acquisition of land for the purpose of the establishment of Haldia Dock Project. I state in this connection that for the purpose of functioning of the Dock, factories. Oil industries. Chemical industries become ancillary to the main purpose i. e. the establishment of Dock and for these ancillary purposes, land is required to be allotted'. The added respondent further admits that the establishment of the dock would require 92.80 acres of land and it is not denied that such quantum had already been acquired but asserts that for the establishment of the entire pro-ject 92.80 acres of land would be necessary and tile acquisition is being made for the said purpose. There is candid admission in this affidavit by the added respondent that the acquisitions are being made to support completion of the project which contemplates a complex and a township.

14. On these facts Mr. Sinha contends that the acquisition is not being made really for the declared purpose of establishment of a dock. On the other hand, according to him acquisition is being made also for certain other purposes not declared either in the notification under Section 4 or on the declaration under Section 6. Petitioners, according to him. having been given no Opportunity to file any objection against any proposed acquisition for such purpose other than establishment of dock, no enquiry was directed as to whether any land would be necessary for such a purpose or the disputed plots would be suitable for such purposes or not and above all there is no satisfaction arrived at by the State Government that acquisition of the disputed plots would be necessary for such other purposes. Mr. Sinha therefore contends that such an acquisition really for such an undeclared purpose is not in accordance with law. Strong reliance is placed by Mr. Sinha on the decision of Banerjee. J in the case of (1963) 67 Cal WN 460 (supra) which indeed well supports him.

15. Mr. Dutt appearing on behalf of the added respondent has put forward four answers to this contention. In the first place, Mr. Dutt wanted to support the stand taken by the Land Acquisition Collector that within term 'establishment of dock' would come all the purposes set out in paragraph 6 of the affidavit-in-opposition of the added respondent. The term 'dock' is denned in Section 3(3) of the Calcutta Port Act. 1890. This definition is 'dock shall include all basin, cuts. quays, wharfs, warehouses, tramways and other works and things appertaining to any dock'. He has also drawn my attention to Article 860, Vol. 39 Halsbury's Laws of England 3rd Edn. where the term 'Port' has been explained to mean 'port denotes a natural or artificial haven or access of the sea to which ships may conveniently come and at which they may load and unload. Consequently there will be in a port facilities either natural or artificial for loading and unloading, the latter being such facilities as quays, wharfs, warehouses docks, piers and jetties and a village or town in which those operating and using the port may dwell'. Mr. Dutt has also drawn my attention to Article 1250, Vol. 35 of the Halsbury's Laws of England 3rd Edn. which sets out the meaning of the term 'dock' as 'a dock is an artificial enclosure, connected with a harbour or a river, provided for the reception of vessels, and is generally shut off from the harbour or river by gates for regulating the inflow or the outflow of water. A dock may be a dry or graving dock, that is, one which is used for the inspection and repair of vessels, or a wet dock, which is used for loading and unloading them. A dock may include a lock leading from it to a river'.

16. In my view, however, there remains a fundamental distinction between a dock and a port and one cannot be equated with the other. Even definitions relied on by Mr. Dutt from Hals-bury clearly establish the distinction. Port is a wider term of which dock may be a part but the dock itself cannot be equated with the port so that if the declared purpose of acquisition be establishment of a dock but the undeclared purpose be establishment of a Port the undeclared purpose cannot be supported by the declared purpose. It should be noted that in the present case the declarations under Section 6 are not resting on the notification of the year 1959 but are resting on the notifications dated August 25, 1967 which declare the purpose to be establishment of a dock. Mr. Dutt seriously contends that when the definition of the term 'dock' in the Calcutta Port Act is an inclusive definition and includes works or things appertaining to dock it would cover within it all the purposes set out in paragraph 6 of the affidavit-in-opposition of the respondent No. 5. I am unable to accept this suggestion of Mr. Dutt. Many of the purposes set out in paragraph 6 do not come within the sanction of the works which could De carried on by the Commissioners under the Calcutta Port Act. Reference may be made to Section 35 of the Calcutta Port Act which enumerates the different construction works which could be carried out by the Commissioners as part of their normal activity. Many of the purposes set out in paragraph 6 of the affidavit of respondent No. 5 are widely extraneous to the works so authorised by the Statute. In my view it would be improper construction of the definition clause to construe all these wide ranges of purposes set out in paragraph 6 of the affidavit of respondent No. 5 as included within the term 'works and things appertaining to any dock'. In order to be appertaining to dock it should necessarily be a requisite for the dock or proximately connected therewith. Unfortunately many of the purposes like establishment of Oil and Feritilizer Factories, Indian Oil Corporation, Fertilizer Corporation of India and others are so widely different that they cannot be brought within the meaning of the term 'works and things appertaining to a dock'. Many of the purposes set out in this para. 6 may themselves be valid public purposes justifying acquisition by themselves but they do not by any strecth of the meaning of the term 'dock' come within the declared purpose of the acquisition. In this view I must overrule the suggestion and contention of Mr. Dutt as also the stand taken by the Land Acquisition Collector that all these purposes including the establishment of dock based industries would come within the sanction of the declared purpose oi establishment of a dock.

17. The second answer of Mr. Dutt is to the effect that notwithstanding the fact that some of the lands already acquired are being used for purposes other than establishment of dock the lands under disputed acquisitions are to be used solely for the purposes of establishment of dock itself. It is true that Mr. Dutt tried to impress upon me this position with reference to the map produced by him but in the absence of any proper evidence explaining the same it is difficult to come to any finding that all the disputed lands would be used as suggested by Mr. Dutt. It must, however, be conceded that on the pleadings of the parties it is not at all clear as to how the disputed plots are intended to be used. Petitioners' grievance is with reference to the user of the land already acquired and on an apprehension that the disputed lands would also be so used. The respondents having broadly denied the case of the petitioners have also made admissions which support the apprehension that the actual user of the disputed plots may not be restricted to the declared purpose of establishment of dock. This is how the uncertainty on the pleadings come in. But upon the respondent's admission that establishment of the dock would require only 92.80 acres of land, it cannot but be held that at least a part of the land sought to be acquired under the disputed acquisition must be for a purpose other than establishment of the dock. In this view this contention of Mr. Dutt must also be overruled.

18. Mr. Dutt has next suggested that subsequent use of the acquired land for purposes other than for which they are being acquired would not vitiate the acquisition. Mr. Dutt relies on the decision of the Privy Council in the case of Luchmeswar Singh v. Darbhanga Municipality, (1891) ILR 18 Cal 99 (100) (PC) and in the case of Secy. of State v. Amulya Charan. AIR 1927 Cal 874. It should, however, be noted that the principles laid down in the decisions relied on by Mr. Dutt are wholly inapplicable so far as the present case is concerned. These cases are distinguishable from the present one and no issue as in the present case did arise for consideration in these decisions. In the Privy Council decision land was acquired at the expense of the Darbhanga Municipality for the purpose of construction of a public ghat. The lands so acquired having been used for the purpose of the ghat left a surplus which was then used for establishing a market. The acquisition was validly and lawfully made and a bona fide purpose viz., construction of a ghat supported the acquisition. User of the surplus for purpose other than the ghat for which it was originally acquired was held to be inconsequential. But here on the complaint of the petitioners the very purpose of acquisition is not the one declared in the notifications and the declarations. Their complaint is that the acquisition is being made for undeclared purposes on the cover of a sham declaration of a purpose. If this complaint be upheld the decisions relied on by Mr. Dutt will not support the resDondents in any manner. In this view this contention and suggestion of Mr. Dutt must also be overruled.

19. The last answer put forward by Mr. Dutt appears to me to be sound. Mr. Dutt contends notifications and the declarations are somewhat defective in not setting out the real purpose of the acquisition which is quite known to all viz., the acquiring authority, the requiring authority as also the petitioners. Mr. Dutt has rightly pointed out that in the present case acquisition in a special manner was being made. Initially a preliminary notification was made under Section 4 for survey and framing of a scheme. The scheme was framed to include not only establishment of a dock but a complex of Haldia port. This complex included various items within it including the items specified in para. 6. The scheme itself was sub-divided phase-wise and acquisitions are being made for completing the project. It is on the basis of this scheme that the subsequent notifications under Section 4 impugned in the present case were issued. Although the declared purpose therein is establishment of a dock, on the known background and on the plan referred to in the notifications themselves it was well known to all that the acquisition was being made for the entire project. Petitioners also fully knew about it when they directed their objections to the fact that the declared purpose was not the real purpose for which the acquisition was being made. The authorities holding the enquiry under Section 5-A may have misconceived the legal position to think that the dock includes the entire project but it was quite known both to the objectors and the authorities that it is the project itself which was the purpose behind the acquisition of these plots. Petitioners' objections under Section 5-A clearly proceed on the basis that the lands are being acquired for the project itself. So also is basis for the recommendation of the Collector. State Government too took into consideration all the factors when it overruled the objection and directed completion of the acquisition. Mr. Dutt is well supported on this point by the following decisions relied on by him: Radha Swami Satsang Sabha v. Tara Chand. AIR 1939 All 557 (63) and Muhammad Qamar v. State of Bihar. : AIR1966Pat420 On the conclusions as above I hold that although the different purposes as set out in Paragraph 6 of the affidavit of respondent No. 5 and as referred to in the report of the Collector do not come within the purpose of establishment of dock, yet on a proper reading of the notifications and declarations on their well known background and along with the maps referred to therein, I must hold that the real declared purpose is not limited to establishment of the dock only. In spite of the defect and the irregularity in the terms of the notifications and declarations, the real declared purpose of the acquisition was completion of the Haldia project. On my finding such purpose was quite known to all concerned and as such the defect does not vitiate the acquisition and the acquisition is still well supported by a public purpose as there can be no doubt that the completion of the project by itself would be a public purpose within the meaning of Sections 4 and 6 of the said Act. In this view I must overrule the contention of Mr, Sinha that acquisition is being made for a purpose other than the declared purpose and as such it is not in accordance with law.

20. On the conclusions as above the third contention raised by Mr. Sinha must also necessarily fail. The third point raised by Mr. Sinha is to the effect that the acquisition is colourable because it was made for purposes other than those declared. On my findings made hereinbefore there might have been some defect or irregularity in the terms of the notifications and the declarations but the real purpose of the acquisition covers the purposes for which the lands are being used and as such there can be no foundation for a complaint that the acquisition is being made in colourable exercise of powers.

21. Incidentally Mr. Sinha also contended with reference to the statements made in paragraph 6 of the affidavit of respondent No. 5 that Indian Oil Corporations or Fertiliser Corporations of India are not departments of the Government and no land can be acquired for them except under Part 7 of the Act. Mr. Sinha strongly relied on the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation v. Income-tax Officer. : [1994]52ITR524(SC) as also the decisions in the case of Charan Singh v. State of U. P., : AIR1964All42 and Raiaram v. The State, to support his contention that these Corporations incorporated under specific statutes cannot be considered to be a part of the Government establishment for which acquisition can be made without following the specific provisions of Part 7, Without disputing the position that these corporations are not departments of the Government, the point raised by Mr. Sinha can otherwise be met. In the present case the acquisition is not specifically made for these corporations or at their cost. The acquisition is for the project or the complex of which these corporations or their establishments constitute an integral part. There can be no doubt that the establishments which would be run by these corporations as a part of the complex would be highly beneficial to the interest of the public. This being the position when the acquisition itself is for the proiect and at the cost of a local authority it can well be supported under Section 6 of the said Act and no question of following the provisions of Part 7 does at all arise.

22. I will now consider the last point raised by Mr. Sinha in support of this Rule. It is not in dispute that objections under Section 5-A were preferred on December 14. 1967 and were enquired into by the Collector on June 3, 1968. The Collector submitted a report on June 10. 1968. The petitioners prayed for a certified copy of the report on June 24, 1968. This prayer, however, was refused on the ground that the report had already been sent to the Government. The Government disposed of the matter on November 4, 1968. On these facts Mr. Sinha contends there had been grass violation of principles of natural justice resulting in serious prejudice to the petitioners. According to Mr. Sinha had the petitioners been made aware of the contents of this report they could have effectively met the same and also supported their objections before the State Government. Reliance is placed on the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of State of Madhya Pradesh v. Vishnu Prasad. : [1966]3SCR557 and Gandalal v. State of Gujarat, : AIR1963Guj50 But neither of these two decisions relied on by Mr. Sinha is an authority for a proposition that the objectors must have two opportunities or opportunities at two stages in objecting to the proposed acquisition. The Statute contemplates that before the Government forms the final opinion persons interested must be given an opportunity to object (subject however to the other provisions where Section 5-A is ruled out). Therefore, when the petitioners preferred their objections to the proposed acquisition they were given ample opportunity to make out their case. An enquiry was then held to hear the petitioners and record any evidence if adduced on the objections preferred to the proposed acquisition. In my view this gives ample opportunity to the objectors. The report that follows is the recommendation of the Collector for consideration by the State Government along with the objections in the light of the enquiries held by him. No second opportunity to make further representation at this stage is contemplated by the statute and as such denial of a copy of the report could not have materially affected the petitioners' right to object. The Supreme Court in the case of Abdul Hussain v. State of Gujrat, : [1968]1SCR597 specifically held that the Land Acquisition Act contemplates no second: opportunity for making a representation after the enquiry under Section 5-A. In this view the last point raised by Mr. Sinha must fail and is overruled.

23. As all the points raised in support of this Rule fail this applicationfails on merits.

24. Nonetheless, I feel it proper to express my views on the preliminary objections raised by Mr. Dutt on the maintainability of the Writ petition although for disposal of the rule a decision on this point may no longer be necessary. Mr. Dutt's objections are two fold. In the first place Mr. Dutt has objected to the maintainability of the application on the ground that the petitioners have not made out any case as to how they are affected by either of the two notifications or the two declarations. Due to unfortunate defects in the pleading I find much substance in this contention of Mr. Dutt. Nowhere in the Writ petition or in the annexures thereto there is any material to indicate that any of the petitioners are in any way interested in any of the plots covered by either of the two notifications or the two declarations. Only statement made is that the petitioners are residents of village Hatiberia Police Station Sutahata and have right, title and interest in different plots recorded in their respective names in the last settlement records. It is, however, not stated that any of the plots so recorded in their names are the subject-matter of acquisition under the disputed notifications and declarations. It is indeed true that the petitioners in order to entitle them to challenge the acquisition, must make out a prima facie case that they are affected by such acquisition. No such case, however, having been made out in the entire Writ petition is not truly maintainable in law.

25. The next objection of Mr. Dutt is to the effect that the petition suffers from the defect of misjoinder of petitioners and causes of action. There can be no dispute that two independent acquisition proceedings based on two independent notifications and two independent declarations are the subject-matter of challenge in this joint Writ petition at the instance of sixty-one petitioners. It is not the case of the petitioners that any or all of the petitioners are jointly interested in lands involved in the two acquisition proceedings. The two proceedings in my view give separate cause of action and the question is whether they could be joined together in one Writ petition. According to Mr. Dutt unless the petitioners make out a case that they were jointly interested in both the acquisition proceedings such a joint application is not maintainable in law. Mr, Dutt is well supported by the decision relied on by him in the case of Balak v. State of U. P., AIR 1962 All 208 (209). Mr. Sinha on the other hand, contends that Civil P. C. is applicable to these Writ proceedings and the application as framed is maintainable under Order 1, Rule 1 and Order 2. Rule 3. There is no dispute that the Code has its application to these proceedings but in my view neither of the provisions thereof relied on by Mr. Sinha helps him in any manner. In order to apply Order 1, Rule 1 the right to relief must arise out of the same act or transaction or series of acts and transactions. But this test is not fulfilled if the different petitioners are differently and independently affected by the two independent acquisition proceedings. Similarly in order to join several causes of action by several plaintiffs in one suit under Order 2, Rule 3 the several plaintiffs must iointly be interested in the causes of action and the defendants also must iointly be interested in the causes of action. But Mr. Dutt has rightly pointed out that in the present case the petitioners have failed to make out any case that they or any of them are jointly interested in both the acquisitions. In this view it is not possible to uphold the contention or Mr. Sinha that the application as framed can be supported by the provisions of either Order 1, Rule 1 or Order 2, Rule 3 of the Code. Mr. Sinha relies on the decision of this Court in the case of Manindranath v. Baranagar Municipality, : AIR1956Cal291 but in the said decision the point at issue was left undecided. Similarly the decision of the Allahabad High Court in the case of Basharat Beg v. Hiralal, AIR 1932 All 401 is of no help to Mr. Sinha as on the findings of the Court in the said case the defendants were joint tortfeasors acting In pursuance of a common object so that the causes of action arose out of one act or series of acts. The other case relied on by Mr. Sinha--Ramendra Nath Ray v. Brojendra Nath Dass, ILR 45 Cal 111 = (AIR 1918 Cal 858) -- does not also help him as on the finding of this Court the right to relief against all the defendants was based upon the same act viz., fraud of the first defendant. The result is that Mr. Dutt's objection, in this respect also must be upheld.

26. On the conclusions as above this application fails and the Rule is discharged.

27. There will be no order for costs.

28. Let the operation of this order remain stayed for a week.


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