1. These four appeals have arisen out of four apportionment cases dealt with by the Land Acquisition Judge of 24-Parganas under Section 30, Land Acquisition Act. The claim of the appellant for being awarded the compensation in respect of a ganti interest has been disallowed and hence these appeals. There are cross-objections in connexion with three of these appeals, the same being directed against the compensation, which has been awarded to the appellant on account of his proprietary interest in the touzi. The facts are quite simple. The ganti consists of the lands of a certain village named Rahara, which appertains to seven amalgamated touzis, of which touzi No. 188 is one. The respondents were the owners of the said touzi and were also gantidars in the lands of the said village, having a three annas gantidari interest under their touzi No. 188. For arrears of revenue defaulted on 28th March 1925, the touzi was sold on 18th September 1925. In pursuance of a declaration, dated 11th December 1924, some lands were acquired under the Land Acquisition Act. In respect of the lands concerned in Appeals Nos. 146, 147 and 148 the Collector made his awards and took possession on 16th September 1925, and as regards the lands of Appeal No. 149) he did so on 22nd December 1925. In the awards so made, certain amounts were awarded to the respondents as proprietors of the touzi, and some further amounts were awarded to them for their gantidari interest. The appellant, after his purchase at the revenue sale, applied to the Collector on 3rd October 1925, for a reference praying to be allowed all the amounts so awarded. The Judge, as already indicated, awarded the compensation for the proprietary interest to the appellant and that for the gantidari interest to the respondents.
2. Some argument has been addressed to us on behalf of the appellant to establish that there was no ganti under touzi No. 188, and that the ganti, that there was, was under the other six touzis or some of them. We think the existence of three annas ganti interest under touzi No. 188 has been established beyond doubt, and indeed its existence was not a matter disputed in the Court below. As regards all the appeals, the substantial contention, urged on behalf of the appellant, is that he is entitled to the entire compensation for the lands, that is to say the amounts awarded both to the proprietors and to the gantidars, because, under Section 28, Revenue Sale Law (Act 11 of 1859), his title as purchaser dated back to the date of the default and, as such purchaser, he annulled the ganti at the earliest possible opportunity. On behalf of the respondents, it has been urged, so far as Appeals Nos. 146, 147 and 148 are concerned, that, inasmuch as before the sale these lands had been acquired under the Land Acquisition Act and so lost to the touzi, what the appellant purchased was not the touzi, but the touzi minus the acquired lands, and consequently he was not entitled to get either of the amounts awarded as compensation. In the aforesaid appeals as well as in Appeal No. 149, a further argument was advanced on behalf of the respondents, namely, that what was said in the petition of the appellant of 3rd October 1925, was not sufficient to annul the ganti. Now, Section 15, Land Acquisition Act, says that
in determining the amount of compensation, the Collector shall bo guided by the provisions contained in Sections 23 and 24.
3. Under Section 23(1), Clause 1, the market value at the date of the publication of the declaration under Section 6 has to be taken, and under Section 24, Clause 7, any outlay, for improvements or disposal since that date, but without the Collector's sanction, is not to be regarded. These sections, however, only lay down rules for determining the market-value and do not create any right on the part of the owners of the lands or the holders of interest therein to obtain compensation on the footing of their respective rights as at the date of the declaration. In the case of Surja Kanta Acharjya v. Sarat Chandra Roy AIR 1914 PC 82, the Judicial Committee observed that, on the failure of an owner to pay the Government assessment, his estate or interest in the land is forfeited, or rather determined, and that, under such a sale, what is sold is not the interest of the defaulting owner, but the interest of the Crown subject to the payment of the Government assessment. The same view has also been expressed by their Lordships in the case of Narayan Das v. Jatindra Nath And under Section 28 and Sch. A, Revenue Sale Law (Act 11 of 1859), the title of the purchaser is to be deemed to have vested in him on the date of default. But, as observed by their Lordships of the Judicial Committee in the case of Shyam Kumari v. Rameswar Singh (1904) 32 Cal. 27 at p. 39:
When the Act is considered as a whole it seems clear that when a sale or purchase is spoken of in connexion with time, the time meant is that at which the sale takes place in fact, not that to which its operation is carried back by relation.
4. Also, under Section 16, Land Acquisition Act, on the Collector taking possession of land after making an award under Section 11, the land vests absolutely in Government free from all encumbrances. If these propositions are applied to the concrete facts of these cases, the position seems to be the following: So far as the lands of all the four cases are concerned, the respondents' interest as proprietors of the touzi and so of all the lands thereof was forfeited or rather determined on 28th March 1925. The acquired lands of Appeals Nos. 146, 147 and 148 vested in the Collector free from incumbrances on 16th September 1925, and those of Appeal No. 149 on 22nd December 1925. At the sale, which took place on 18th September 1925, the appellant purchased the interest of the Grown in the lands of the touzi, which were subject to the payment of the Government assessment. By the awards that were made, on 16th September 1925, in the eases, out of which Appeals Nos. 146, 147 and 148 have arisen, abatement of Government revenue was allowed for the acquired lands from the kist previous to the date of taking possession; and so, at the time of the sale, the said lands were no longer subject to the payment of Government assessment and the capitalized value of the Government revenue due on them had already been realized under the award that had been made. The appellant never purchased the said acquired lands, though, in respect of the lands that he purchased, his title on purchase related back to the default. In our opinion therefore the appellant cannot be regarded as having acquired any interest in the lands of Appeals Nos. 146, 147 and 148 by the purchase that he made. The late proprietors, that is to say, the respondents, were entitled to the surplus of the purchase money under Section 31, (Act 11 of 1859 as regards the lands that were sold. They are, in our opinion, the persons also entitled to compensation for what could not bo sold, the acquisition having taken place in the mean-time. So far as these three appeals are concerned, no question of annulment of the ganti arises, because the appellant never purchased the lands themselves.
5. As regards Appeal No. 149, the award not having been made for possession taken by the Collector till 22nd December 1925, and the sale having taken place on 18th September 1925, the appellant purchased at the sale the lands which were subsequently acquired. He was therefore clearly entitled to the compensation in respect of the proprietary interest in the lands as lands of the tauzi. On 3rd October 1925, he made the petition, in which he claimed the compensation that was to be awarded for the ganti, and thus signified his intention to annul the ganti. As he did so before the award was made and when the ganti was yet subsisting, though liable to annulment at his option, he was entitled to get the compensation for the land which the award, subsequently made, divided into two parts, one for the proprietary interest and the other for the gantidari interest. His title as proprietor related back to the date of default, but the annulment could only operate from the date it was made The result, in our opinion, is that Appeal No. 149 should be allowed to the extent of 3/16ths of the compensation awarded for the gantidari interest, and Appeals Nos. 146, 147 and 148 being dismissed, the cross-objections therein should be allowed to the extent of the entire amounts claimed. There will be no order for costs in any of these appeals and cross-objections.
6. I agree. Appellant bought estate No. 188 at a revenue sale on 18-9-1925. What then passed was the interest of the Crown subject to the payment of revenue, the estate on which the Crown assesses revenue and which can be sold for arrears. This estate has been limited to the land, which is subject to the payment of revenue and in respect of which the proprietor is entered in the general register of revenue paying estates: Narayan Das Khettry v. Jatindra Nath Roy Chowdhury . Now in three of these appeals, there was acquisition on 16th September 1925, two days before appellant bought certain lands of the estate vested absolutely in the Crown, and the interests then existing in these lands were assessed at a money value payable to the respective owners. At the same time an abatement of land revenue was granted. I take the effect of this to have been that, on the one hand, the amount of land subject to the payment of revenue decreased, and on the other, the interest of the Crown diminished, as is evidenced by the fact that the Crown assessed that interest, the land revenue, at a lower figure.
7. The appellant, who, on 18th September 1925, bought the interest of the Crown, bought something less than had existed before 16th September 1925, the date of the acquisition, though his title to what he bought related back to March. In this view of the matter, appellant is entitled to nothing in respect of the lands acquired on 16th September 1925. In the last case, he took the interest of the Crown, with a right to annul the ganti. If his claim to the value assessed on it in the subsequent land acquisition proceedings is construed as a formal annulment, he gets both sums and I accept this construction.