Decided on October 30,1963



Manohar Pershad, J. - (1.) In this appeal, important questions of law, relating to the Hyderabad Land Acquisition Act are involved. The questions involved are: (1) Whether under a reference made to the Court under Section 25 of the said Act, that Court could question the legality of the reference; and (2) Whether a party, who had not appeared before the Collector and whose name is not mentioned in the reference, could claim compensation? So far as the first point is concerned, in the case of Kantimahanthi Ramamurthy & another v. Special Deputy Collector, Harbour Acquisition, Vizagapatam it has been held that the land acquisition court has no jurisdiction under the Act to consider the legality of the acquisition or of the reference, whereas a Bench of the Mysore High Court in the case of Boregowda v. Subbaramaiah held that the Court can go behind the reference and see whether it is competent. As there is no bench decision of this court and both the points involved are important questions of law, I think it is better if the case is decided by a Bench. I therefore refer the case to a Bench.
(2.) This appeal has been referred to the Bench by our learned brother Manohar Pershad, J. as involving an important question relating to a reference under Sec. 25 of the Hyderabad Land Acquisition Act corresponding to Sec. 30 of Indian Land Acquisition Act. It appears that 35 guntas of land, 40 guntas making an acre, were ac.juired for building a civil supplies go-down in 1954. Notice under Sees. 3 and 5 were duly given and also individual notice was given to the Bahadur Khan Education Trust which appears to have been in possession of the land in question. An enquiry was held under Section 10 and a compensation of Rs. 4, 235/- was fixed, but before an award could be passed three claimants put in applications claiming to be entitled to compensation. The first application is by Ahmed Hussain made on 6-5-1356 F. which on enquiry was dismised by the Collector. Then Abdul Karim made an application on 16-11-1358 F. This was also likewise dismissed. After this application was disposed of, one Ahmed Bi made an application after which Basheerunnissa Begum filed a claim. Both these claims were also dismissed by the Collector. Thereafter Abdul Karim who was the second claimant, again filed an application before the Additional Collector whereupon the Collector made a reference to the civil Court by an order of reference dated 15-4--1954 in the following terms : "Sri Hakeem Moiuddin Hilal says that he is Secretary of Bahadur Khan Educational Society and that the land acquired belongs to that Society and therefore he claims the compensation. Another gentleman by name Syed Ahmed Hussain and a third one by name Abdul Kareem, a fourth lady by name Ahmed Bi, claim the same compensation, each one claiming himself as the sole owner of the land. The case is complicated and the claimants are many. This dispute can only be decided by civil court according to Sec. 25 of L. A. Act."
(3.) The letter to the court enclosing the files and the reference order was sent to the District Judge, Nalgonda on 13-5-1954. On 15-5-1954 the District Judge directed notices to be given to the parties. Two of the parties were served, namely, Syed Mohiuddin Hussain Hilal on behalf of the Bhahadur Khan Educational Trust and Abdul Karim. They were represented by their advocates- It was stated that Ahmed Hussain died and the address of Ahmed Bi was not known. The District Judge directed notice to be given to the Collector not only for submitting a summary of the reference but also for depositing costs to servo the legal representatives of Ahmed Hussain and Ahmed Bi and the Chairman of the Municipality of Nalgonda town. Pursuant to this the Collector filed the summary on 28 -9-1954 and deposited the costs. It appears that Ahmed Hussain was the husband of Basheerunnissa Begum and since he had made the application on her behalf he was sought to be served in the first instance, but later the heir of Basheerunnissa Begum alias Sanjli Begum, was brought on record and after the parties were served, enquiry was duly held and the claim of the Bahadur Khan Educational Trust was upheld, and a declaration was given to that effect. Against this judgment and decree an appeal has been filed by the Municipality. of Nalgonda. When the appeal came up for hearing before our learned brother Manohar Pershad, J. a preliminary objection was raised as to whether the appellant who was not a party before the Collector and whose name was not mentioned in the order of reference, could be made a party before the Civil Court after die reference is made and whether he could claim compensation. It was also sought to be argued that the Court could not question the legality of a reference made under Sec. 25. As already observed our learned brother having regard to these questions referred this matter to the Bench. Before us the learned Advocate of the appellant has cited several decisions for and against the proposition that the Court has jurisdiction to entertain the claim of a person who has not filed his claim before the Collector. But before we refer to these dicisions it would facilitate a better understanding if we refer to the relevant provisions of the Hyderabad Land Acquistion Act. Section 10 says: "At the close of the inquiry, the Taluqdar shall make an Award, under his hand, of the following matters, and obtain therein the signatures of such of the persons interested as have appeared before him in person or by representatives: - the true area of the land: the amount of compensation which, in his opinion, should, subjet to the provision of Sections 18 and 19, be allowed all for the land the apportionment of the amount of compensation among all the persons interested in the land." Section 14 is in the following terms: "14 (1) Any person interested, who has not accepted the Taluqdar's Award may within two months from the date of receiving notice of such Award, require the Taluqdar by written application that the matter be referred to the Court for determination, whether his objection be to the measurement of the land, or to the amount of the compensation, or the persons to whom it is payable or to the apportionment of the compensation among the persons interested. (2) The application shall state the grounds on which objection to the Award is taken." Section 25 states: "When the amount of compensation has been settled under Section 10, if any dispute arises as to the apportionment of such amount or any part thereof, or as to the persons to whom the same or any part thereof is payable, the Taluqdar shall refer the dispute to the decision of the Court." Section 26 is as under: 26 (1) On making an Award under Section 10, the Taluqdar shall pay the compensation awarded to the persons entitled thereto. But it such persons do not agree to receive it, or if there be no person among them competent to receive it, or it there be any dispute as to the title to receive the compensation, or as to the apportionment thereof, the Talaqdar shall deposit the amount of such compensation in the Court, to which a reference under Section 14 would be made. (2) Any person interested may receive payment of the compensation awarded, under protest as to the sufficiency of the amount; and it any person receives the amount without such protest, he shall not be entitled to make an application under Section 14. (3) Nothing contained in this section shall affect the liability of any person receiving any compensation, to pay the same to the person lawfully entitled thereto. (4) The Taluqdar may, instead of awarding a money compensation make a grant to any person interested, of land with his consent and with the sanction of Government or a remission of land revenue on his other lands, or an adequate compensation in some other way. Explanation: The trustee or guardain of a person interested shall not be competent to receive any compensation on behalf of the person interested , it the trustee or gurardian has not the power to alienate the land, o. if, in such land, he has any personal interest adverse to that of the person interested.";

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