Decided on March 16,1973

Collector And Kadam Rasul, Marfatdar Narun Nabi And Ors. Appellant
Gajendra Khuntia And Ors. Respondents


G.K.Misra, J. - (1.) THE land acquired is 0.55 acre appertaining to plot No. 531 in village Gandarpur, Cuttack. It was acquired for construction of staff quarters and office building of Hydrology Division. The notification under Section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act ') was issued on 18 -7 -1964. The Land Acquisition Collector awarded a total compensation of Rs. 14.334.85 Paise including solatium. Respondents 1 to 4 filed an application before the Collector under Section 18 of the Act for a reference of the following questions for determination by the District Judges: (1) The amount of compensation payable in respect of the land acquired; (2) The persons entitled to obtain the compensation. The Collector, however, made a reference with regard to the second question only, and did not make any reference with regard to the first question. The case was ultimately heard by the Subordinate Judge. He recorded two findings -(1) Respondents 6 and 7 are entitled to the entire compensation in respect of the land acquired and (2) The value of the land acquired including solatium would be Rs. 31,625/ -. On the aforesaid amount he allowed interest at 6 per cent per annum from the date of taking possession till the date of payment. The appeal has been filed by the Collector, Cuttack.
(2.) MR . Patra, the learned Additional Standing Counsel, raised two contentions - (1) The reference having been made by the Collector only with regard to determination of the persons who would be entitled to the compensation, the Subordinate Judge had no jurisdiction to determine the compensation of the land and (2) The Compensation granted by the Subordinate Judge is inflated. On the first question, the Appellant 's contention must succeed. Law is now well settled that the jurisdiction of the Courts under the Act is a special one, and is strictly limited by the terms of Sections 18, 20 and 21 of the Act. It arises when a specific objection has been taken to the Collector 's award and it is confined to a consideration of that objection. Once it is asserted that the only objection taken is with regard to one of the matters covered by Section 18(1), the Court has no jurisdiction to give a decision on any other matter which could have been referred but was not in fact referred. Under Section 18(1) any person interested can ask the Collector to make a reference of his objection with regard to the measurement of the land, the amount of compensation, the persons to whom it is payable, or the apportionment of the compensation amongst the persons interested. The Court gets jurisdiction only to decide that question out of these matters which alone has been referred to under Section 18(1) of the Act. The position of law is settled by the pronouncement of their Lordships of the Judicial Committee in Pramatha Nath Mullick Bahadur v. Secretary of State, A.I.R 1990 P.C. 64. The same view has been taken by three decisions of this Court reported in Joachin Sahu v. State of Orissa and Anr. : 31 (1965) C.L.T. 47, Amrik Singh v. State of Orissa 34 (1970) C.L.T. 546 and Smt. Hemanta Kumari Devi v. Smt. Lochani Devi and Ors., 1971 (2) C.W.R. 970. Identical view has also been expressed in Kothamasukarathamma and Ors. v. State of Andhra Pradesh and Ors. : A.I.R. 1965 S.C. 304.
(3.) AS has already been stated, though Respondents 1 to 4 asked for a reference of their objection as to the amount of compensation payable in respect of this land, the same was not referred to the District Judge. The learned Subordinate Judge had, therefore, no jurisdiction to enhance the compensation. It follows that the compensation so awarded by the Land Acquisition Collector would stand, and the compensation awarded by the Subordinate Judge is to be quashed.;

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