Decided on December 22,1967

A.L Sreenivasa Shenoy Appellant


KRISHNAMOORTHY IYER, J. - (1.) THIS appeal is directed against the decision of a learned Judge of this Court dismissing in limine the petition filed by the appellants under Article 226 of the Constitution.
(2.) THE properties comprised in S. Nos. 638/3 and 665/2 in Pallipuram village, Cochin taluk, having an extent of 37 acres and lying in one compact block belonged to A.N. Laxmana Shenoi, father of appellants 1 and 2 and grandfather of the third appellant. After the death of Laxmana Shenoi, the property devolved on the appellants. Even during the lifetime of Laxmana Shenoi the Director of Harijan Welfare, Trivandrum, submitted proposals to the Travancore -Cochin Government for the acquisition of 1.76 acres out of the above -mentioned property, for the formation of a Harijan Colony at Pallipuram. A. N. Laxmana Shenoi filed the original of Ext. P -1 petition dated 12 -4 -1955 before the Board of Revenue, Travancore -Cochin State, objecting to the acquisition. He was served with the endorsement Ext. P -2 dated 21 -4 -1955 to the effect that the matter is receiving the attention of the Board. In the month of May or June 1959, on account of unusual sea erosion in Pallipuram village, nearly 20 fishermen families residing there were rendered homeless and they trespassed into the properties comprised in S. Nos. 638/3 and 665/2 in the Pallipuram village belonging to the appellants, constructed huts and began residing there.
(3.) THE Government of Kerala published a notification dated 25th June, 1959, under Section 3(1) of the Cochin Land Acquisition Act 2 of 1070 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Cochin Act') to the effect that 1 acre 34 cents comprised in S. No. 638/4 and originally forming part of S. No. 638/3 and 44 cents comprised in S. No. 645/7 and originally forming part of S. No. 665/2 in Pallipuram village belonging to the appellants are needed for a public purpose, namely, for the formation of a Harijan Colony. The copy of the notification is Ext. P -3. The notice under Section 3(1) of the Cochin Act was served on the first appellant on 11 -9 -1959. Since the appellants did not file any objections under Section 4 -A of the Cochin Act to the proposed acquisition, their was no enquiry under Section 4 -A(2) of the Act. The declaration of the intended acquisition under Section 5(1) of the Cochin Act is dated 23 -1 -1962 and was published in the Kerala Gazette dated 20 -3 -1982 (Part I, p. 781). Notices issued under Section 8(3) and Section 9 of the Cochin Act were served on the first appellant on 14 -6 -1962. Ext. P -4 is the copy of the notice issued under Section 8 (3) of the Cochin Act. The first appellant on 20 -6 -1962, filed the original of Ext. P -5 petition before the Minister for Harijan Welfare, Kerala State, for dropping the land acquisition proceedings. The petition was forwarded to the District Collector, Ernakulam, for his remarks and Ext. R -1 is the copy of his reply dated 11 -2 -1963 addressed to the Government. Paragraphs 2 and 4 of Ext. R -1 are in these terms : - "'2. From the enquiries made through the Special Tahsildar, Harijan Welfare, Ernakulam, on the objection petition the following facts are revealed. The petitioner had not raised any objections against the acquisition within the statutory period after the publication of the notification under Section 3(1). The site proposed for acquisition is it good coconut garden. But it is not correct to say that the coconut trees will have to be cut down for putting houses there. Small houses can be put up in between the spaces left by the cocoanut trees. The owner of this land is a landlord who possesses about 87 acres of land in one block in this locality and hence the proposal for the present acquisition. x x x x ''4. However, in view of the strong objections of the petitioner, the acquisition for the colony can be restricted to 76 cents which would be sufficient to provide 20 families with 3 or 4 cents for a colony. The cost of acquisition can also be reduced in this way. A convenient block of 76 cents of land has been selected with a view to require land with his improvements thereby reducing the cost of acquisition The District Welfare Officer, Ernakulam, has also agreed to this proposal." ;

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