V.S. SUBRAMANIA CHETTIAR AND ANR. Vs. STATE OF MADRAS REPRESENTED BY THE SPECIAL DEPUTY COLLECTOR FOR LAND ACQUISITION, VELLORE
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
V.S. Subramania Chettiar And Anr.
State Of Madras Represented By The Special Deputy Collector For Land Acquisition, Vellore
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Krishnaswami Nayudu, J. -
(1.) THIS appeal is against the judgment in O. P. No. 51 of 1949 of the Subordinate Judge of Vellore on a reference under Section 19, Land Acquisition Act 1 of 1894 in respect of acquisition of certain lands belonging to the appellants.
(2.) THE appellants were the owners of lands of the extent of 8 acres and 40 cents in Kalinjur village near Vellore town, North Arcot district. By notifications made in October 1948, and published in the Gazetts, the Government notified the land as one which would be acquired. The land is in proximity with the Katpadi Veliore Cement road. Notices under Sections 9(3) and 10, Land Acquisition Act were issued calling upon the appellants to put in a statement in writing showing the nature of their interest in the lands and the amount of compensation for such interest with particulars and to appeal in person on 30 -11 -1948 before the Special Deputy Collector for Land Acquisition, Vellore. The appellants acquired the lands sometime in 1946 for the purpose of construction of a bungalow and putting up an oil mill for which necessary licences were issued by the District Board authorities and plans for the construction of factories were also approved by them. On 30 -11 -1948, appellant 1 made a statement (Ex. B. 3) almost similar in terms to the one made by him earlier before the Revenue Inspector on 17 -8 -1948. Appellant 1 stated that he wanted the land for constructing a bungalow for his own use & for starting an oil mill and therefore he was not then willing to state anything about the rate, for the land. There is a mistake in the English translation of the statement furnished to Court, as the translation roads "Hence 1 am not willing to state anything about the rate for this land", whereas a reading of the original statement in Tamil would show that the word "now" is omitted in the translation and the translation should be "Hence I am not 'now' willing to state anything about the rate for this land". On 30 -11 -1948, the Special Deputy Collector adjourned the enquiry to 21 -12 -1948 for pronouncing the award. On that date, the Officer pronounced the award fixing the value at Rs. 5088 -2 -10 including the 15 per cent, solatium assessed at the rate of Rs. 450 per acre. The first appellant presented a petition under Section 18 of the Act asking that the matter of compensation payable may be referred to the determination of the Court. The lower Court held on the evidence adduced before it that the compensation awarded was low, that the property must have been valued at Rs. 4250 per acre instead of Rs. 450, but that the appellants were not entitled to the increase by reason of their having refused or omitted, without any sufficient reason to make a claim before the Acquisition Officer as required under Section 9, Clause (2) and that, by reason of such failure, Section 25(2) of the Act was a bar to any increase in their claim. The lower Court on this ground rejected the reference.
(3.) NOTICE under Sections 9 and 10 has been duly served and the notice requires that the claimant should state the amount and particulars of their claims to compensation, and, admittedly, the amount of the compensation was not given as required, as the statement made by the appellant before the Land Acquisition Officer on 30 -11 -1948 shows that he did not give any particulars; but be stated that he was not then willing to state anything about the rate for the land. His attitude, as could be seen from the statement, was that he required the land for the purpose of constructing a bungalow and starting an oil mill, for which he had already obtained the necessary sanctions and licences, and in his view the question of going into compensation did not arise at that stage. He also states in the petition under Section 18 of the Act that he was under the impression that no award would be passed before the representation to the Government was finally disposed of and that he should specify the exact amount of compensation payable to him only in the event of an adverse order being passed and communicated to him by the Government on his above representation, and that having thus not been aware, or made aware, of the correct position the 'bona fide contented himself with stating that his land was, in fact, very valuable.
Earlier, appellant 1 sent a communication to the Board of Directors of the Katpadi Cooperative Township Ltd., for whom the_ Government was acquiring the land for laying out a housing scheme stating that he has already made arrangements for the construction of the factory, that he will be put to heavy loss, if the land was to be acquired, and requesting them to exclude this land from the scheme area. This communication was transmitted to the Special Deputy Collector for Land Acquisition, Vellore, who returned the same with the endorsement dated 16 -11 -1948 mentioning that the stage of objections was gone, that it was open to the Township to withdraw the acquisition and that it was for the directors to dispose of the request. The Secretary of the Cooperative Society by his endorsement dated 17 -11 -1948 intimated to the party that the Directors do not propose to give up the location of the scheme including the area belonging to the" appellants. Appellant 1 appears to have approached the Government for withdrawing the notification and on 11 -12 -1948, he sent a petition to the Honourable Minister for Housing, copies of which were sent to the Board of Revenue and other authorities, requesting for a withdrawal of the notification in so far as the appellants' properties were concerned.;
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