Decided on April 08,1982



- (1.) On coming to know that their lands were sponsored for acquisition for home sites to Harijans, the petitioner (Chinthalacheruvu Chenchamma) submitted a representation to the District Collector Nellore on 4th Feb., 1976 against the proposal. The Collector called for report and the Block Development Officer, Indukurpet in his D. O. letter dated 12/02/1976 informed the collector that there was no proposal to acquire her land. Accordingly, the District Collector by his endorsement dated 1/05/1976 informed her that there was no proposal to acquire her lands. Again in the middle of 1976, she came to know that the District Social Welfare Officer had sent a proposal afresh for acquisition of her land for provision of house sites for harridans of Jagadevpet. Once again she made a representation to the District collector (1st respondent) on 25/06/1976. The District Collector forwarded her representation along with the letter of the District Social welfare Officer (Land Acquisition) Nellore (2nd respondent) to the Revenue Divisional Officer, Nellore with instructions to inspect the land and send up his report. The Revenue Divisional Officer, after personal inspection, informed the District Collector in his proceedings dated 16/08/1976, that there was no immediate need for providing house sites to the harijans in the village, that in any case there was sufficient vacant space in the existing Harijanawada itself to provide house sites for another twenty families, that she has no other land except Ac. 2-12 cents, that she had installed filter points and reclaimed the land at huge cent, that the lands are 3 to 4 feet deep from the adjoining road level and unfit for human habitation, and according to the guidelines, the lands served by filter points should not be selected for acquisition and it was not desirable to take up the land for acquisition. Thereupon, the District Collector in the proceedings dated 25/08/1976 passed an order that the proposal for acquisition of lands was dropped and directed the District Social Welfare Officer (Land Acquisition) Nellore, not to take any further action.
(2.) Subsequently, on receiving notices under Sections 9 (3) and 10 of the Land Acquisition Act from the 2nd respondent calling upon the petitioners to appear before him on 25/11/1978, the petitioners have filed these two writ petitions.
(3.) In the counter-affidavit filed by the 2nd respondent it is stated that the lands are jointly held by Smt. Saradamba and Smt. Chenchamma who are co-daughters-in-law, that Smt. Chenchamma has no right to enjoyment in the aforesaid lands and that Smt. Saradamba is reported to be paying land revenue and enjoying the lands with absolute ownership, that Smt. Chenchamma is not a resident of the village that the name of Chenchamma had been included in the holding with an intention to show a share and unit in the joint properties, that Sri Radhakrishniah, husband of Smt. Saradamba is working as Assistant Engineer at Thungabhadra Project, and that Smt. Saradamba is owning about Ac. 21-42 cents in Jagadevpet village and also purchased Ac. 1-81 cents of wet land in Gudipallipadu village. It is further stated that the lands are situate very near the main road and the Harijanawada, quite suitable and fit for house sites and the beneficiaries were also willing to construct their houses after some reclamation by levelling the lands. It was denied that Smt. Chenchamma is owning Ac. 2-12 cents only and her livelihood would suffer if the lands were acquired. It is admitted that there are filter points and the extent covered by filter points with the surrounding area was eliminated from acquisition to enable the land owner to cultivate the other lands owned by her. It is stated that there are 80 poor families who are mostly harijans, that there is no vacant land in the present Harijanawada, that there are no other suitable lands in the vicinity and there are no other Government lands available and hence these lands have been proposed for acquisition. It is admitted that the previous District Collector had dropped the proposal on 25/08/1976 on the basis of the report of the Revenue Divisional Officer dated 16/08/1976. It is stated that subsequently on a representation made by the harijans, the Joint Collector, Nellore, visited the village on 28/05/1978 and observed that the Harijanawada was quite congested and there are many adult male married members who are living in congested houses, that the poosalas who had encroached the road side also represented for the provision of house sites, and therefore, the Joint Collector instructed the second respondent to go ahead with the acquisition proceedings. Accordingly, proposals were initiated and the notification under Ss. 4 (1) and 6 of the Land Acquisition Act was published in the District Gazette dated 19/09/1978. Since the lands were urgently needed for providing house sites to poor harijans and de-notified tribes, enquiry under Section 5-A was dispensed with, under Section 17 (4) of the Land Acquisition Act. It is also stated that the substance of the notification was published in the village by beat of tom-tom on 7/11/1978 and award enquiry was posted to 25/11/1978 when this writ petition was filed.;

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