Decided on June 04,1997

KHUB RAM Appellant
STATE OF H.P. Respondents


M.SRINIVASAN,C.J. - (1.)The petitioner is aggrieved by a proceeding initiated by the respondents under Section 13 -A (2) of the Land Acquisition Act, calling upon him to refund a sum of Rs.7,569.93 paid to him as compensation for 3 Deodar trees under the supplemetary award passed on 21.11.1987.
(2.)When the original award was passed and the compensation for the land was fixed, it was deserved that the assessment/valuation of 84 fruit trees and 3 non -fruit trees had not been received from the Horticulture/Forest Departments respectively and it was announced that the compensation for those trees would be paid later on through a supplementary award. It was only in pursuance of that reservation, the Land Acquisition Collector passed a supplementary award on 21.11.1987. In that award, it has been clearly stated that as per assessment reports received from Horticulture and Forest Departments, the compensation of 53 apple trees, one Nashpati, one Palti and three deodar trees was being awarded to the interest holders as mentioned there under. The petitioner is at Sr.No.10 and a sum of Rs.10.695.18 was awarded to him as compensation. There is no dispute that we are concerned in this case only with three deodar trees.
(3.)After payment of such compensation, a notice was issued by the respondents on 27.1.1988 under Section 13 -A of Land Acquisition Act, informing the petitioner that there were no deodar trees on his land in Khasra No.53 7 1 at the time of construction of the road and, that, he had been wrongly paid an excess amount of Rs.7, 569.93. He was called upon to state why the said amount should not be recovered from him and on his failure to make such a statement, it would be presumed that there was a wrong payment which would be recovered as arrears of land revenue. The petitioner sent a reply on 28 -2 -1988 pointing out that the possession of the land was taken prior to the year 1978 and at that time there were three Deodar trees of I -B category with seven feet diameter as evident from the proceedings of Land Acquisition Case No. 165 of 1978. The reports were also procured from the various agencies at that time and the existence of the trees was verified not only by the Patwari but also by the Kanungo and Naib Tehsildar concerned. The petitioner has also stated that the said fact was verified duly by the forest authorities. The petitioner also pointed out that there was no clerical or arithmetic mistake which would warrant the invoking of Section 13 -A of the Act.

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