COLLECTOR Vs. VIRRINDER KUMAR
HIGH COURT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR
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(1.) THIS judgment will govern the disposal of Civil First Miscellaneous Appeal No. 26 of 1981 and the related Cross-objection Petition No.42 of 1981, as they both arise from the same judgment of District Judge, Rajouri, given in a reference made to him under Section 18 of the State Land Acquisition Act, 1990, hereinafter to be referred to as the Act.
(2.) LAND measuring 13 kanals and 4 marlas, comprising Khasra Nos. 563 (5 kanals) and 564-min (8 kanals 4 marlas) situate at village Rampur, Rajouri, was acquired by Land Acquisition Collector, Rajouri, for the public purpose of constructing a building for the office of Executive Engineer'. Rural Electrification Division, Rajouri. Notification under Section 6 was issued by the Government on 20-7-1974. On the material collected by him, he awarded a sum of Rs. 30,360/- i.e. Rs. 26,400/- by way of compensation and Rs. 3,960/- on account of Jabirana in favour of the respondents by his award dated 21-1- 1975. He worked out the compensation at the rate of Rs. 2,000/- per kanal. The respondents not being satisfied with the award made an application to him seeking a reference under Section 18 to District Judge, Rajouri, which was made by him accordingly. The learned District Judge recorded evidence on the issue of the market value of the land acquired and granted compensation at the rate of Rs. 13,000/- per kanal, besides Jabirana. In all, he enhanced the amount awarded from Rs. 30,360/- to Rs. 2,03,090/- i.e. Rs. 1,76,600/- as market value of the land and Rs. 26,419/- is Jabirana. Besides this he also awarded interest at the rate of 4% per annum on the aforesaid sum from the date possession of the land was taken by the Collector. Neither the Collector nor the respondents appear to be satisfied with the award. Whereas the Collector has come up in appeal against the aforesaid award, the respondents too have challenged it by way of cross-objections.
A preliminary objection has been raised that the cross-objection petition is not maintainable. The objection is based upon two grounds: one, that right to file cross-objection is a substantive right and no such right has been conferred by the Act, and two, that the requisite court-fee payable on the memorandum of cross-objection not having been paid, it is non-existent in the eye of law. It is necessary to dispose of the preliminary objection first.
(3.) ORDER 41, Rule 22 of the C. P. C. says that a respondent, even though be may not have preferred an appeal against any part of the decree, may still attack it by taking cross-objection to it, provided be files the memorandum of cross-objection within one month from the date of his service in the appeal, and provided further that he could have taken the cross-objection as a ground in the appeal, if he were to file an appeal against that part of the decree. Section 52 of the Act makes the procedure prescribed for ordinary civil appeals applicable to appeals under the Act and sub-section (2) of Section 26 declares that every award made by a District Judge under Section 18 of the Act shall be a decree as defined by Clause (2) of Section 2 of the C.P. C. For the sake of ready reference these provisions are reproduced as below:
"(2) Every such award shall be deemed to be a decree and the statement of the grounds of every such award a judgment within the meaning of Section 2, Clause (2) and Section 2, Clause (9) respectively of the C.P.C." X X X X X "52. Subject to the provisions of law in force for the time being in the State relating to the procedure in civil action applicable to appeals from original decree, an appeal shall lie to the State High Court from any part of the award of the Court in any proceedings under this Act" ;
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