COLLECTOR LAND ACQUISITION THEIN DAM PROJECT, BASOLI Vs. SUNIT SHARMA
LAWS(J&K)-2006-4-32
HIGH COURT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR
Decided on April 26,2006

Collector Land Acquisition Thein Dam Project, Basoli Appellant
VERSUS
Sunit Sharma Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) AGGRIEVED by award dated 18.02.1999 of learned District Judge, Kathua, on a reference under Section 18 of the State Land Acquisition Act, 1990, awarding compensation for seven kanals under survey No.1386 at the rate of Rupees sixteen thousand per kanal and for two kanals and eleven marlas (2 K 11 M) at the rate of Rupees eight thousand per kanal alongwith solatium at the rate of 15 % and interest at the rate of 6% per annum, Collector Land Acquisition, Thein Dam Project, Basoli, has filed this appeal questioning the finding of the District Judge awarding enhanced compensation to the respondent.
(2.) DURING the pendency of this appeal, appellants counsel pointed out that respondent, Amrit Paul, had passed away in 1997 and award made by the learned District Judge without impleading legal representatives of the deceased respondent as respondents in the proceedings, stood vitiated.
(3.) SH . Qazi, learned counsel for the appellant, submits that the award made by the learned District Judge, on reference under Section 18 of the State Land Acquisition Act, 1990 (hereinafter referred to as the Land Acquisition Act), was nullity in law because the same had been passed in favour of a dead person and the legal representatives of the deceased respondent having omitted to get themselves impleaded as party respondents in the reference proceedings were disentitled to contest the present appeal of the appellant. Learned counsel further submits that reference proceedings under the State Land Acquisition Act are civil proceedings, governed by the Code of Civil Procedure and Order XXII of the Code, was, thus, applicable to the proceedings with all its rigour. Omission of the legal representatives of the deceased respondent to file an application before the learned District Judge for their impleadment as party respondents, would result in abatement of the reference under Order XXII of the Code of Civil Procedure, debarring the legal representatives to take benefit of the award made in favour of the deceased respondent, which award according to the learned counsel was nullity in law. Relying on Section 51 of the State Land Acquisition Act and Rule 59 of the Land Acquisition Rules for Public Purposes, learned counsel seeks to invoke Order XXII of the Code of Civil Procedure, to support his submission that reference proceedings had since abated. He consequently seeks the annulment of the award by allowing the appeal of the appellant. Mr. Qazi relies on 'Mst. Ram Piari and others v. The Union of India reported as AIR 1978 Delhi 129; 'State of West Bengal v. Dwijendra Chandra Sen reported as AIR 1979 Calcutta 182; and 'Shrimati Dhani Devi and others V/s Collector, Land Acquisition, Talwara and another reported as AIR 1982 Himachal Pradesh 42. Sh. D. R. Khajuria, learned counsel for the legal representatives of deceased - Amrit Paul, on the other hand, submits that the Code of Civil Procedure is not applicable to the proceedings before District Judge on a reference made by the Collector and omission of the legal representatives of the deceased respondent to get themselves impleaded as party respondents in the reference proceedings would not result in abatement of the proceedings because the proceedings on reference under Sections 18/31 of the State Land Acquisition Act are not governed by the provisions of Order XXII of the Code of Civil Procedure. Learned counsel submits that invoking Order XXII to the reference proceedings would be doing violence to the expression 'save in so far as they may be inconsistent with any thing contained in this Act occurring in Section 51. Learned counsel submits that the Legislature had not intended the reference proceedings to be governed by all the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure and it was for this reason that procedure for trial of a reference has been specifically prescribed in part III of the Land Acquisition Act, which part does not contemplate impleadment of legal representatives of deceased applicant seeking reference to get themselves impleaded as party respondents in the reference proceedings. Learned counsel refers to 'Abdul Karim and another v. State of Madhya Pradesh through the Collector, Bilaspur reported as AIR 1964 Madhya Pradesh 171; and 'Shyam Shankar Sahai and others v. State of Bihar reported as AIR 1974 Patna 176 besides a judgment of this Court in 'Tej Ram and others v. Collector Land Acquisition Railways, Jammu and ors reported as 1985 KLJ 133.;


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