D.B. Lal, J.
1. This writ petition under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India is filed by Dr. Chura Mani, wherein he has asked for the quashing of a Notification issued under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act (hereinafter to be referred as the Act), in respect of acquisition of land comprising of village Mangwal, within which falls the land of petitioner, for the public purpose of the construction of Pong Dam on the river Bias. The petitioner's case is, that the Notification under Section 4 (1) of the Act was published on 1-4-1963 (Annexure P-A), for this acquisition of land. Thereafter, according to the petitioner, objections were not invited under Section 5-A and after a lapse of sufficient time, on 17-1-1969, the impugned Notification under Section 6 was made which was published in the Rajpatra on 18-10-1969 (Annexure P-B). Neither a notice under Section 9 was issued nor award was announced. Despite this, the authorities proposed to store water inundating the land belonging to the petitioner. The grievance of the petitioner was that without the award and payment of compensation the land could not be acquired and the petitioner could not be deprived of his ownership and possession. It is also contended that the Notification under Section 6 is also illegal inasmuch as, that it was made more than three years after the publication of the Notification under Section 4 of the Act. As such, according to the petitioner, the acquisition proceedings are null and void and the Notification under Section 6 need to be quashed.
2. The respondents who are the State of Himachal Pradesh and the authorities of the Pong Dam, have contended, that since the filing of the petition, the award has been made and a sum of Rs. 88 thousand and odd is already accepted by the petitioner as compensation. According to respondents, for this reason, the petition has become infructuous. In relation to the Notification under Section 6, it is contended that the same was made within two years from the commencement of the Land Acquisition (Amendment and Validation) Ordinance, 1967 (hereinafter to be referred as the Ordinance of 1967) and as such the notification was valid. Besides that, the respondents contend that in view of Section 5 (3) of the Ordinance of 1967 the acquisition itself would not be rendered illegal and the petitioner would be entitled to claim interest which the respondents are willing to pay.
3. The pre-eminent feature of the case is that the award is made and the amount of compensation is received by the petitioner. It may even be stated that the fact of acquisition under the Act has been conceded by the petitioner. The learned Counsel, nonetheless, urged that the petitioner cannot be stated to be estopped from agitating the acquisition to be illegal because the Notification under Section 6 should be held to be invalid, with reference to Section 5 of the Ordinance of 1967. The central question would therefore, relate to the validity or otherwise of the Notification under Section 6 and it is indeed contended that the said Notification is illegal because under Sub-section (2) of Section 5 of the Ordinance of 1967 it could not be made after the expiry of two years from the commencement of the Ordinance of 1987. As manifest, the date of commencement of the Ordinance is 20-1-1967. The Notification under Section 6 was made on 17-1-1969 although it was published in the Gazette on 18-10-1969. It is, therefore, canvassed as to whether the Notification can be stated to be made on 17-1-1969 and the learned Counsel submits that the Notification was required to be published in the Official Gazette and unless that publication took place, it could not be stated to have been made within the meaning of Section 5 (2) of the Ordinance of 1967.
4. The learned Advocate-General pressed on my attention Section 6 of the Act and its Sub-section (1) points out when the declaration is 'made' to that effect under the signatures of a Secretary to such Government or of some officer duly authorised to certify the same. Under Sub-section (2) of Section 6 the declaration so made is to be published in the official Gazette and it is with effect from the date of publication, that the legal consequence follows, which is this, that the said declaration becomes conclusive evidence that the land was needed for a public purpose. Therefore, the Legislature has used the expression 'made' in Sub-section (1) and the expression 'published' in Sub-section (2) of Section 6 of the Act. If this state of language as existing, in Section 6 is imported in Section 5 (2) of the Ordinance of 1967 where the expression 'made' is used, the appropriate interpretation would be that the relevant date is when the declaration is made and not published within the meaning of Sub-sections (1) and (2) of Section 6 of the Act. If the Legislature intended that the relevant date should have referred to the publication in the official Gazette, they, would have provided in the like manner. This has not been done. Therefore, in my opinion, the relevant date for Sub-section (2) of Section a of the Ordinance of 1967, is the date when the declaration was made within the meaning of Sub-section (1) of Section 6 and that is decidedly the date which is 17-1-1969 in the instant case. Therefore, the declaration was made on 17-1-1969 while the Ordinance of 1967 came into force on 20-1-1967. As such it would not be difficult to infer that the declaration under Section 6 was made within two years from the commencement of the said Ordinance. This would answer the objection raised by the learned counsel for the petitioner.
5. Apart from what has been stated above, it has to be understood that the very acquisition has been admitted by the petitioner. The award is given and the compensation has been accepted. It is not required of me in this case to consider the plea as to whether the requirement as to the period when a declaration can be made within the meaning of Sub-section (2) of Section 5 of the Ordinance of 1967 is a mandatory requirement of law. This is so, because of the interpretation accepted by me of the expression 'made' used in Sub-section (2) of Section 5 and also because of the petitioner having agreed for the acquisition itself by accepting the award and receiving payment thereunder. Moreover under Sub-section (3) of Section 5 of the Ordinance of 1967, the respondents are willing to pay interest to the petitioner. According to the learned Advocate-General, this provision as to payment of interest, is indicative of the fact that the provision as to the period within which the declaration can be made under Sub-section (2) of Section 5 is not mandatory. At any rate, the respondents are willing to pay interest and the petitioner is prepared to apply for payment of such interest.
6. The relief under a writ petition is always discretionary and as at present advised, I consider that no relief should be granted to the petitioner inasmuch as he has already accepted the award and has also received the payment under it.
7. In this view of the matter, I do not find sufficient grounds to quash the impugned declaration under Section 6 of the Act. The petitioner cannot be granted any other relief. The petition is, therefore, dismissed. In the special circumstances no order is made as to costs.