SINNAIYAN AND ORS. Vs. THE UNION TERRITORY OF PONDICHERRY, REPRESENTED BY THE UNDER SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT, REVENUE AND DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT AND ANR.
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
Sinnaiyan and Ors
Union Territory of Pondicherry, represented by the Under Secretary to Government, Revenue and Development Department and Anr
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(1.) This petition is filed under Article 226 of the Constitution to issue a writ of certiorari for quashing the proceedings initiated under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, against the petition schedule properties belonging to the petitioners. For the purpose of starting small scale industries, the Government of Pondicherry issued a notification under Section 4(1) of the Act on 17th January, 1969. In the schedule to the notification, three items of properties Were described with survey numbers and extents, which were 1682, 1683 and 1684, the extends being 25.90 acres, 38.90 acres and 17.40 acres respectively. A notice under Section 5-A was issued to the petitioners on 1st April, 1969, containing the same description as regards survey numbers and extents. That notice was served on the petitioners on 11th April, 1969. The notice inter alia stated that if there was any objection to the proposed acquisition, it should be filed within 30 days from the date of service of the notice and that if such objections were filed, an enquiry would be held on 10th May, 1969. On 29th April, 1969, the petitioners sent up a memorial to Lt. Governor, Pondicherry protesting against the proposed acquisition. On 10th May, 1969, they appeared before the acquisition officer and signed a statement reiterating their objections already filed. On 4th June, 1969, the acquisition officer sent up proposals suggesting the overruling of the objections and proceeding with the acquisition. The declaration under Section 6 was issued on 12th June, 1969, in which a different schedule of property was given. In this schedule, survey numbers and extents are mentioned respectively as 1682, 1685 and 1684, with corresponding extents of 25.90 acres, 18.75 acres (out of the total extent of 38.90 acres) and 17-40 acres. It would thus be seen that, whereas the notification under Section 4 and the declaration under Section 6 were consistent with regard to two survey numbers, namely, 1682 and 1684, the declaration under Section 6 was at variance with regard to the other survey number, giving the survey number as 1685 as against the survey number 1683 shown in the notification under Section 4(1). It is to quash this notification under Section 6 that this writ petition has been filed.
(2.) Two contentions are urged in support of this writ petition. First is that the petitioners had no reasonable opportunity of substantiating their objections to the acquisition as there was no enquiry at all under Section 5-A of the Act. The second contention is that the declaration under Section 6 is void and inoperative in regard to the survey number 1685 which is not the item notified under Section 4(1).
(3.) In the counter-affidavit filed on behalf of the respondent, it is contended that the petitioner attended the enquiry under Section 5-A on 10th May, 1969 and that the objection taken in this behalf is, therefore, untenable. It is further contended that the declaration under Section 6 gave correct details, and that a slight mistake in regard to the description of the survey number in the notification under Section 4(1) cannot invalidate the proceedings.;
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