Sriramulu, J. -
(1.) TWO parcels of land measuring 22 acres 24 guntas, and 8 acres 23 guntas, situated in Moosapet village, belonging to one Rashid Shapoor Chenai, were, during his lifetime, acquired for the synthetic drugs project by the Andhra Pradesh Government by notifications dated June 19, 1961, and January 18, 1962, issued under the Land Acquisition Act. Awards fixing compensation for those lands were made by the Special Deputy Collector on March 31, 1963. Compensation was received by Rashid Shapoor Chenai during his lifetime. Later, two more parcels of land measuring 131 acres 10 guntas, and 224 acres 24 guntas situated at Qutbillapur in Medchal Taluk, were acquired by the Andhra Pradesh Government for Hindustan Machine Tools, Units I and II, by notifications dated November 1, 1963, and February 1, 1964, issued by the Government under the Land Acquisition Act. Possession of those lands was taken by the Government on December 4, 1963, and between 13th and 15th March, 1964, respectively. Awards were made by the Special Deputy Collector in respect of those lands on March 12, 1965, and March 19, 1965. The compensation awarded by the Special Deputy Collector for the total extent of the land at Qutbillapur was Rs. 4,29,360.68.
(2.) RASHID Shapoor Chenai died on November 4, 1963. The petitioner, who is the widow of the deceased and the " accountable person " under the Estate Duty Act, filed under Section 53(3) of the Estate Duty Act (hereinafter called " the Act. ") an account of the properties passed on 'the death of the deceased, RASHID Shapoor Chenai. The estate duty assessment was completed by the Assistant Controller of Estate Duty on March 29, 1966. With regard to the lands acquired during the lifetime of RASHID Shapoor Chenai and after, their value was taken at the figures of compensation awarded for them by the Special Deputy Collector and on that basis the estate duty assessments were made by the Assistant Controller of Estate Duty under Section 58 of the Act.
Aggrieved by the assessment made by the Assistant Controller of Estate Duty, the accountable person filed an appeal before the Appellate Controller of Estate Duty, but the appeal involved points other than the valuation of the above lands. The Appellate Controller disposed of the appeal on April 5, 1969. A further appeal against the assessment was filed by the accountable person before the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal. Before the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal, two points were raised, but those points did not concern the valuation of the above lands.
The accountable person did not accept the awards made by the Special Deputy Collector in respect of those lands and, under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act, requested the Special Deputy Collector to refer the question of determination of the amount of compensation to the civil court. The Special Deputy Collector, accordingly, referred the matter to the City Civil Court. Those O.Ps. are Nos. 364 of 1965 and 325 of 1965 in respect of lands acquired for H.M.T. and O.P. Nos. 29/64 and 30/64 in respect of the lands acquired for synthetic drugs project. The former two references were disposed of on October 20, 1967, and the compensation awarded by the Special Deputy Collector was enhanced by Rs. 20,45,000. The latter two references were disposed of on March 3, 1967, and the compensation awarded by the Special Deputy Collector was enhanced by Rs. 1,90,000. Government did not accept the decisions of the courts enhancing the compensation and filed appeals in this court which are now pending.
(3.) ON receipt of information that enhanced compensation was awarded by the courts in respect of the above said lands, the Assistant Controller of Estate Duty issued notice dated November 14, 1969, to the petitioner, requiring her to show cause why the mistake apparent from the record should not be rectified under Section 61 of the Act and the enhanced compensation included in the principal value of the estate ?
In this writ petition, the petitioner challenges the legality and validity of that notice, on the following grounds :
1. the notice issued by the Assistant Controller of Estate Duty under Section 61 of the Act for rectification of the alleged mistake is without jurisdiction;
2. the enhanced compensation which became payable to the legal heirs of the deceased was not the property of the deceased which passed at the time of his death;
3. for the first time a right was created in favour of the legal heirs of the deceased by virtue of the orders of the courts passed long after the death of the deceased, to receive enhanced compensation. It is not open to the department to relate back this property to the time when the deceased died, because there was no legal right created in favour of the deceased or his legal heirs at the time of death of the deceased to receive the enhanced compensation as determined by the courts in the proceedings subsequently taken; and
4. when on the enhanced compensation awarded after the death of the deceased, estate duty is not leviable, under Section 5 of the Estate Duty Act, there was no mistake apparent from the record with could be rectified under Section 61 of the Act.