Decided on July 24,1952



Subba Rao, J. - (1.) This is an application under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, for issuing a writ of prohibition restraining the 1st respondent from proceeding with the enquiry under the Land Acquisition Act in respect of R. S. No. 3762/7 in Mylapore Western section area Town Planning scheme. The petitioner is the owner of a bungalow bearing D. No. 79 Mow-bray's Road, Alwarpet, Madras. He purchased the site on 4-11-1936 from one C. V. Raja- ' gopalachariar. After having obtained the sanction of the Corporation, he put up the bunga-low in accordance with the plan sanctioned by the Corporation. On 14-8-1934, the Provincial Government required the Council of the Corporation, Madras, to prepare, publish and submit for their sanction a draft scheme in respect of Mylapore Western section area. Town Planning scheme on or before 1st July 1935. From time to time, the time was extended and finally on 14-10-1946 it was extended to 30-11-1946. Pursuant to the directions given by the Government, the Corporation issued notices to the owners of lands asking them to attend a meeting of the owners of lands and buildings in the area affected by the proposed scheme. On 18-3-1942 a notice was served on one T. Ekambaram for the petitioner. The survey number in respect of which the said notice was given was stated to be 3762/3. The meeting so convened was held on 23-31942. A draft scheme formulated at that meeting was published under rule 41 of the Town Planning Rules in the Gazette dated 10-11-1942 and it was also published in the-Hindu and Swadesamitram dated 4-11-1942. After the time prescribed for objections expired, the draft scheme was submitted to Government on 19-8-1946. The Government sanctioned the scheme. The notification regarding the acquisition of the lands reserved for acquisition was published in the Fort St. George Gazette dated 26-7-1949 under Section 14(5) of the Town Planning Act. Under the notification,, the Corporation proposed to acquire an extent of 4 grounds 1787 sq. ft. belonging to the petitioner, more particularly described in the plan filed in this case. The Land Acquisition Officer was proceeding with the acquisition proceedings. At this stage this application was filed for the aforesaid reliefs.
(2.) Learned counsel for the petitioner raised" before me the following points; 1. The Corporation did not give him personal notice under Rule 36 of the rules made under the Town Planning Act. 2. The statements prepared and annexed to the notification under Sections 13 and 14 are inaccurate in material particulars.
(3.) The defects in the statements indicate-that the Corporation acted arbitrarily and did not apply its mind in respect of the property sought to be acquired. 3. It will be convenient at this stage to-read the relevant provisions of the Madras Town Planning Act (Madras Act VII of 1921). Section 12: Notwithstanding anything contained in Sections 9 to 11, the Provincial Government may, in respect of any municipality, after making such inquiry as they may deem necessary, by notification in the official gazette, require the council, before a fixed date, to prepare, publish and submit for their sanction a draft scheme as respects any land in regard to which a town planning scheme may be made. Rule 36: (1) The Municipal Council shall convene meetings of owners of lands and buildings in the area affected by the proposed scheme; (2) Notice of every such meeting shall, not less than ten days before the date of meeting (a) be published on the notice board of the Municipal Office, and (b) subject to the provisions of Sub-rule (3) be sent in the manner prescribed therein to all persons known or believed, to have rights in any land or building in the area included in the proposed scheme and to other persons known or believed to be affected by the scheme. Rule 50 : The rules contained in Part B, except rules 32 to 34, shall, as far as may be, apply to schemes required to be prepared under Section 12. Section 13 : Every draft scheme shall contain the following particulars-- (a) a plan showing the lines of existing and proposed streets; (b) the ownership of all lands and buildings in the area to which the scheme relates ...... Section 14(1) : If within sixty days from the date of the publication of a draft scheme any person affected by such scheme communicates in writing any objection or suggestion relating thereto, the Council shall consider such objection or suggestion and may modify the scheme as it thinks fit. (2) The scheme as passed or adopted by the Council together with all written objections and suggestions shall thereupon be submitted to the Provincial Government for sanction and the fact of such submission shall be published in the prescribed manner. (3) The Provincial Government, may, after considering the objections and suggestions, if any; and making such enquiry as they think fit, sanction the scheme with or without modifications, or may refuse to sanction the scheme or may return the scheme to the Council for reconsideration. (5) The sanction of the Provincial Government to a scheme under Sub-section (3) shall be published by the notification in the official gazette and such notification shall state at what place and time the scheme will be open to -the inspection of the public. (6) A notification published under sub-s. (5) shall be conclusive evidence that the scheme has been duly made and sanctioned. The scheme shall have effect from the date of publication of such notification, and the execution of the scheme shall be commenced forthwith. Section 33: Immoveable property required for "the purposes of a town-planning scheme shall be deemed to be land needed for a public purpose, within the meaning of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, and may be acquired: (a) under the said Act, or (b) under the said Act as modified in the manner hereinafter provided in this chapter. Section 34: In cases falling under clause (b) of Section 33, a notification under Section 14 shall, not-withstanding anything contained in the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, operate in respect of any land for the purposes of the scheme as a declaration under S. G of the said Act, and no further declaration shall be necessary, but it shall not be incumbent on the Provincial Government, or officer authorised in that behalf, to take immediate steps for the acquisition of such land. Provided that if the land is not acquired within three years from the date of the notification, it shall cease to have effect as a declaration under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. Section 35 (2): In such cases, the Collector and the Court shall, in determining the amount of compensation to be awarded for the land acquired, take into consideration: (a) the market value of the land at the date of publication of the notification under Section 10 or Section 12, as the case may be: A gist of the aforesaid provisions may be stated thus: The Government asks the Council to prepare a scheme for a particular area. The Council convenes a meeting of all the landowners interested in the proposed scheme for the purpose of formulating one in consultation with the interests of parties. The notice of such a meeting shall be personally served on the owners of the property. The draft scheme and the final scheme will be published to enable the interested parties to raise objections. After all these formalities have been complied with and after every opportunity has been given to all the interested parties to put forward their objections or make their suggestions, the scheme finally evolved will be sent to the Government for sanction. After it is sanctioned by the Government it comes into force. If under the scheme any property will have to be acquired, the said property will be acquired through the machinery of the Land Acquisition Act but no further notice under Section 6 is necessary. A declaration made under Section 14 of the Town Planning Act shall be deemed to be a declaration made under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act. The Land Acquisition Officer will assess the market value of the property as on the date when the notification under Section 12 was made. It will therefore be seen that the Town Planning Act which was enacted for the improvement of town provides opportunity at every step for the interested parties to raise their objections and make their suggestions. But if the proceedings drag on for years, which the Act perhaps did not contemplate, the unfortunate result will flow-as in this case, namely, that though the property was sought to be acquired recently, the market value of the land on the date of the publication under Section 12, which may have been made many years ago, will be given to the owner.;

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