PERMOD KOHLI, J. -
(1.) LEGALITY and propriety of the Order dated 15th December, 03 passed by Second Additional District Judge, Jammu in the execution petition filed by the petitioners herein has been challenged in the present revision petition.
(2.) BRIEFLY stated the facts as emerge from the record are that land measuring 5 kanals 10 marlas comprising Khasra No. 657 situated at Nagrota, Jammu owned by the petitioners was requisitioned by the Collector for defence purposes. This requisition ]was made in accordance with the provisions of Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act, 1968 vide Government Order No. JK/2682/REQ dated 1st October, 1972. The property was taken over on 15th November, 76. Monthly rental was determined at Rs. 750/ -. Rental compensation was received by the petitioners up to 1996. Petitioners filed a writ petition (OWP) No. 62 of 95 seeking a direction for the de -requisition or in the alternative for acquisition of the requisitioned property. This writ petition came to be decided by the writ court on 24th May, 1996 directing the respondents either to de -requisition the property or acquire the same in accordance with law. An appeal LPA(W)No. 131/97 also came to be dismissed and the respondents in the writ petition were allowed time to implement the direction.
It appears that the property remained under requisition, as neither it was de -requisitioned nor proceedings for acquisition thereof were initiated. Petitioners herein filed a Civil Suit No. 141/2002 in the court of Second Additional District Judge, Jammu claiming rental compensation @ Rs. 10,000/ - per month and claimed a sum of Rs. 3.50 lacs for a period of 35 months. This suit came to be decreed vide judgment and decree dated 3rd January, 03 whereby a decree for an amount of Rs. 3.50 lacs alongwith pendentilite and future interest @ 8% per annum came to be passed in favour of the petitioners and against the defendants. It is relevant to mention that the suit was filed against three defendants namely the State of J&K; through Commissioner/Secretary, Home Department, J&K; Government and Deputy Commissioner, Competent Authority under the Requisition and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act, 1968. This decree was put to execution by the decree -holders/petitioners in the court passing the decree. On being put to notice, defendants/judgment debtors appeared and objected the execution of the decree is in -executable against the defendants, the property being in possession of the Army i.e. Union of India having not been impleaded as party in the suit. This objection prevailed and the impugned judgment came to be passed.
(3.) I have heard learned Counsel for the parties at length. With a view to determine the liability under the decree, it is convenient to refer to certain provisions of Requisition and Acquisition of the Property Act, 1968. Relevant extracts are being noticed: (3) Power to requisition immovable property : -
(1) Where the Government is of the opinion that any property is needed or likely to be needed for any public purpose, being a purpose of the State, it may be an order notify that the property should be requisitioned....
(2) Upon such declaration the competent authority -
(a) shall call upon the owner or nay other person who may be in possession of the property by notice in writing to show cause, within fifteen days of the date of the service of such notices on him, why the property should not be requisitioned ; and
(b) may, by order, direct that neither the owner of the property nor any order person shall without permission of the competent authority dispose of or structurally alter, the property or let it out to a tenant until the expiry of such period, not exceeding two months, as may be specified in the order.
(3) If, after considering the cause, if any, shown by any person interested in the property or in possession thereof, the competent authority is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient so to do, it may be order in writing, requisition the property and may, make such further orders as appear to it be necessary or expedient in connection with the requisitioning....
(4) Power to take possession of requisitioned property - (1) Where any property has been requisitioned under Section 3, the competent authority may, by notice in writing, order the owner as well as any other person who may be in necessary of the property to surrender or deliver possession thereof to the competent authority person duly authorized by it in this behalf within thirty days of the service of the notice.
(2) If any person refuses of fails to comply with an order made under Sub -section (1), the competent authority may take possession of the property and may, for that purpose, use such force as may be necessary.
(5) Rights over requisitioned property - Where any premises are requisitioned under Section 3 or Section 21, the competent authority may order the landlord to execute repairs as may be necessary and are usually made by landlords in that locality and as may be specified in the notice, within such reasonable time as may be mentioned therein and if the landlord fails to execute any repairs in pursuance of such order, the competent authority may cause the repairs specified in the order to be executed at the expense of the landlord and the cost thereof may, without prejudice to any other mode of recovery, be deducted from the compensation payable to the landlord.
(6) Release from requisitioning - (1) Subject to the approval of the Government the competent authority may at any time release from requisition any property requisitioned under this Act and shall, as far as possible, restore the property in as good a condition as it was when possession was thereof was taken subject only to the changes caused by reasonable wear and tear and irresistible force...
(9) Payment of compensation - The amount of compensation under an award shall, subject to any rules made under this Act, be paid or given by the competent authority to the person or persons entitled thereto in such manner and within such time as may be specified in the award.
(24) Power to recover rent or damages in respect of requisitioned property as arrears of land revenue - (1) Subject to any rules that may be made in this behalf by the Government, any sum due by way of rent in respect of any requisitioned property which is in arrear may be recovered by the competent authority from the person liable to pay the same in the same manner as an arrear of land revenue.
(2) Where any person is in unauthorized occupation of any requisition property , the competent authority may, in the prescribed manner, assess such damages on account of the use and occupation of the said property as it thinks fit and may, by notice served by post or in such other manner, as may be prescribed by rule made in this behalf, order that person to pay the damages within such time as may be specified in the notice.
(3) If any person refused or fails to pay the damages within the time specified in the notice under Sub -section (2), the damages may be recovered in the same manner as an arrear of land revenue.