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
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
"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.";