Decided on March 14,1935



John Beaumont, Kt. , C. J. - (1.) THIS is a motion under Section 45 of the Specific Relief Act. asking the Court to direct the Land Acquisition Officer in cases Nos. T. 30-and T. 31 to refer the question as to the amount of compensation allowed to the High Court pursuant to the application dated August 29, 1934. It appears that the Land Acquisition Officer on August 27, 1934, made an award in these cases allowing compensation of Rs. 17,000 odd. The Land Acquisition Officer did not give and was not bound to give a reasoned judgment, but the present applicant applied to the Land Acquisition Officer for a statement of the reasons on which the award was based, and that information was refused. Thereupon on August 29, that is, two days after the award had been made, the applicant wrote to the Land Acquisition Officer through his attorneys acknowledging the receipt of the award and saying- Our clients do not accept the award and request that the question of the amount of compensation be referred to the High Court. So that the objection is to the amount of compensation, and that is the-matter asked to be referred to the Court. The Land Acquisition Officer could, I think, safely assume that the objection to the. amount of compensation was -that it was too low, and not that it was too high. The Land Acquisition Officer did not reply to that letter at all, apparently he did not even acknowledge it, until December 5, when he wrote saying that the application was not, in accordance with the terms of Section 18 (2) of the Land Acquisition Act, and that the requisition, therefore, would not be complied with. I must confess that I am not greatly impressed with the way in which the Land Acquisition Officer as a public official dealt with this matter. He does not even acknowledge the letter, until after the expiration of the six weeks allowed by the Act for making the application, and it is only then that he takes the point that the application is out of order.
(2.) NOW the ground on which the Land Acquisition Officer says that the application is out of order is that it does not comply with the provisions of Sub-section (2) of Section 18 Section 18, Sub-section (1), provides : Any person interested who has not accepted the award may, by written application to the Collector, require that the matter be referred by the Collector for the determination of the Court, whether his objection be to the measurement of the land, the amount of the compensation, the persons to whom it is payable, or the apportionment of the compensation among the persons interested. That is to say, he can require the matter to be referred to the Court whether his objection be on any of the four grounds mentioned. Then Sub-section (2) says : The application shall state the grounds on which objection to the award is taken. NOW, to my mind, all that that means is that the applicant has to state whether his objection is based on all or any one or more of the four grounds mentioned in Sub-section (1 ). In this case he did state that the ground on which he objected was in respect of the compensation, and, as I have said, it may be safely inferred that the suggestion was that the amount of the compensation was too low. The Advocate General argues that that is not stating the ground on which the objection is based and that the applicant ought to give detailed grounds on which he bases his objection that the compensation is too low. But it is difficult to see how he can give any detailed reasons of that nature, when he does not know the basis on which the compensation has been assessed. It may have been assessed on the basis of sales of land in the neighbourhood, or it may have been based on expert, valuation, or some other method. He does not know the reasons which actuated the Collector, and therefore he cannot specify exactly what his objections to those reasons are. The Collector himself knows the ground on which his award is based, and it seems to me that all that the Collector wants to know from the applicant is whether the objection is to the measurement of the land, the amount of the compensation, and so forth. Having got that information, the Collector can comply with the requirements of Section 19, and make a proper reference to the Court. Under Sub-section (1), Clause (d), of that section, it is provided that if the objection be to the amount of the compensation, the grounds on which the amount of compensation was determined have to be stated. It by no means follows that the grounds referred to in Section 19 are the same as those referred to in Section 18. The Collector knows the grounds on which he proceeded in arriving at his valuation, and the applicant has not that information. In my opinion in this case the application of August 29 sufficiently complied with the section, and therefore an order must be made under Section 45 of the Specific Relief Act on the Land Acquisition Officer to make the required reference. Costs costs in the reference. .;

Click here to view full judgement.
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.