Decided on May 01,1953



Venkatarama Aiyar, J. - (1.) This is an application under Article 226 of the Constitution for the issue of a writ of certiorari to quash the notification of the Government of Madras dated 22-11953 under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act. The land proposed to be acquired is a vacant site of the extent of about 1 acre and 39 cents situated in the village of Pithapuram. Just to the north of this plot is a market where weekly shandies are held. The market is bounded on the east by a public road and on the north and west by a channel called "The Cherugula kalvai". If the market is to expand, it can be only on the south. The Maharajah of Pithapuram to whom the site belonged offered it for sale in the year 1945. On 153- 1945 the Panchayat Board of Pithapuram passed resolution No. 74 to acquire it from the Maharajah by private sale for the purpose of the market. As the negotiations did not make much of a progress, a further resolution No. 53 was passed on 17-6-1948 requesting the Maharajah to grant the site at a reasonable cost to the Panchayat and by a further resolution No. 230 dated 31-1-1947 the Panchayat Board offered a price of Rs. 10,000 for the site. It was at this stage that on 25-3-1947 the petitioner purchased the site from the Maharajah for a price of Rs. 10,200. The Panchayat Board then passed a resolution on 30-9-1947 requesting the Government to acquire the plot under the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act. The petitioner raised objections to the acquisition before- the Revenue Officers and after protracted correspondence the Panchayat Board passed finally resolution No. 108 on 31-10-1950 agreeing to the acquisition in the terms mentioned by the Revenue Divisional Officer. Thereafter, a notification under Section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act was published on 12-12-1950. The petitioner filed his objections to the acquisition under Section 5 of the Act. He also endeavoured to get the Panchayat Board itself to rescind its resolution dated 31-10-1950 and to withdraw from the acquisition and offered to make a gift of 16 cents to the Panchayat if they would drop the acquisition proceedings. It is stared In the affidavit in support of the petition that resolutions were passed on 20-4-1951 and 26-5-1951 cancelling the previous resolution dated 30-9-1947, for acquisition of the plot. This is, however, denied on behalf of the respondents. They state that a requisition was received from the Revenue Divisional Officer informing the panchayat that the acquisition would be completed during 1951-52 and asking the Panchayat to be ready with the necessary funds and that in reply to this, resolution No. 6 was passed on 20-41951 stating that the Panchayat Board had already that information; that on 26-51951 when a resolution was moved for reconsidering the matter it was ruled as out of order and that thereafter the payment of Rs. 11750 by the president towards the cost of the acquisition was ratified by the Panchayat Board by its resolution No. 88 dated 31-5-1951.
(2.) After this the petitioner moved the Board of Revenue for withdrawing from the proceedings alleging various irregularities and stating that the site was worth Rs. 45000 and that there was no need to acquire the same. It is stated in the affidavit of the petitioner that the Inspector of Municipal Councils and Local Boards was asked to report on the necessity for the acquisition of this plot, that he held an enquiry and sent a report that there was no need for the acquisition and that the Panchayat Board was not acting bona fide in attempting to acquire the land. The report however is not among the records. Eventually, the Government considered the entire matter and decided to acquire the site and issue a notification under Section 8(1) of the Act on 23-1-1953. It is the validity of this notification that is now in question.
(3.) Two points have been urged by the petitioner in support of this petition: (1) There was no need to expand the market; the real object of the acquisition was to deprive the petitioner of his property and the proceedings are therefore 'mala fide' and liable to be set aside; and (2) there was no compliance with the provisions of the Act and therefore the acquisition was illegal.;

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