COLLECTOR LAND ACQUISITION THEIN DAM PROJECT, BASOLI Vs. SUNIT SHARMA
HIGH COURT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR
Collector Land Acquisition Thein Dam Project, Basoli
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(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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