UKHRA FOREST AND FISHERIES P LTD Vs. STATE OF WEST BENGAL
LAWS(CAL)-1963-3-1
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
Decided on March 19,1963

UKHRA FOREST AND FISHERIES (P) LTD. Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF WEST BENGAL Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

JIVANDAS KHIMJI VS. NARBADA BAI [REFERRED TO]



Cited Judgements :-

SADASHLVALAH VS. STATE OF KARNATAKA [LAWS(KAR)-2003-8-76] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

R.S.Bachawat, J. - (1.)This Rule is directed against an order of the Special Land Acquisition Judge, Asonsol, dated the 12th September, 1960, in L.A. Case No. 159 of 1960 by which he held that he had jurisdiction to hear the case because there was no award and no reference in respect of Schedule B lands in the case.
(2.)The point in issue is whether there is a valid award and a valid reference by the Collector in respect of Schedule B lands (jungle lands). The award of the Collector was that as the jungle lands vested in the State under the amended Estates Acquisition Act and as the petitioner owner had no subsisting interest in the same after the date of vesting, no compensation should be assessed for those lands and accordingly he awarded nil compensation to the petitioner. The petitioner was dissatisfied with the award and by a writ application to the Collector required that the matter be referred by the Collector to the Court under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. The petitioner categorically alleged that the refusal of the Collector to assess compensation for the lands and to give compensation to and to make an award in favour of the petitioner in respect thereof was illegal, that the lands ought to have been assessed and compensation for the same ought to have been awarded in favour of the petitioner, that the amendment of the Estates Acquisition Act did not affect the right of the petitioner to get the compensation, that the lands vested in the State Government under the Land Acquisition Act and the petitioner became entitled to compensation long before the amendment of the Estates Acquisition Act, that the lands should be assessed at not less than Rs.6501/- per acre, that the costs of afforestation was Rs.1402-2-6 pies, and the petitioner was entitled to get compensation on the basis aforesaid. Accordingly the petitioner prayed that the Collector be pleased to refer the matter to the District Judge for awarding compensation for the "B" Schedule lands as claimed above. Thereupon the Collector made a reference to the Court under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act stating that the petitioner had not accepted the award and had by the accompanying application required that the matter be referred to Court. The letter of reference gave the area or the lands, stated that the petitioner and the State of West Bengal were interested therein, that the amount of compensation awarded was nil, that the amount of compensation was so determined on the ground that "as the jungle-lands vested in the State under amended E.A. Act and the owners had no subsisting interest in the same after the date of vesting, no compensation was allowed" and that the nature of the objection taken to award was "determination of valuation."
(3.)The learned Judge held that as the Collector did not determine the value of the lands and refused to assess the compensation therefor one of the essentials of an award under Section 11 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 viz. the compensation which in the opinion of the Collector should be allowed for the land was wanting and consequently there was no award, and as the very basis of the reference was lacking, there was no valid reference to Court. We are unable to accept this finding. According to the Collector no compensation should be allowed for the lands as the lands had already vested in the State of West Bengal and consequently the State was not liable to pay any compensation therefor. The substance of the award is that as the acquiring authority itself owned the lands no compensation should be assessed or paid to the claimant. Having held that claimant had no subsisting interest in the lands and having further held that no person other than the State of West Bengal was interested therein, the Collector thought that no useful purpose would be served by assessing the value of the lands by Section 11 the Collector is required to make an award or the compensation which in his opinion ought to be allowed for the lands. The Collector decided that no compensation was payable to claimant and he thought that on his finding he was not bound in assess the value of the lands and the compensation to be paid therefor. The award cannot be said to be a nullity because under these circumstances the Collector refused to assess the value of the lands and the compensation to be paid therefor, see Jivandas Khimji v. Smt. Narbada Bai, AIR 1959 Cal 519. In his final speech Mr. Das conceded that in view of the decision cited he could not contend that the award was a nullity on the ground that value of the lands and the compensation to be paid therefor had not been assessed by the Collector.


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