Decided on July 12,1960


Referred Judgements :-



S.T.DESAI - (1.)The petitioner was given certain Giras lands in appenage including the ownership of an irrigation lake in the village of Dhedhuki by the former State of Sayla and he owns a half share in that lake and has been enjoying the recurring income arising from supply of water from that lake for irrigation of neighbouring lands. The other half of the property was held by Mulgirasdars of the village and the petitioner being the representative of the principal Bhagdar looked after the management of the lands and the irrigation lake and upon acquisition of the same adopted proceedings for compensation in that capacity. The Saurashtra Estates Acquisition Act 1952 became applicable to various properties including the irrigation lake owned by the petitioner and the Mulgirasdars. The Act as we had occasion to observe in another case was enacted to acquire certain estates of Girasdars and Barkhalidars of Saurashtra and to regulate certain matters affecting the acquisitions of such estates. According to the petitioner the property in the irrigation lake consisted of constructions for storing water and-canals for distribution and supply of the water of the lake for irrigation purposes and there was a recurring income from the same. It was his case that the value of the constructions at the time of the acquisition was Rs. 92 0 and the annual recurring income for water supplied during Samvat Years 2001 to 2009 varies from Rs. 1800/to about Rs. 1100/-. The lake was acquired by the Government under a Notification dated 6/05/1953 and the petitioner and the Mulgirasdars applied to the Collector for determination of compensation payable to them in respect of the property. The Deputy Collector visited the site and made necessary inquiry about the quantum of compensation. He assessed the original cost of construction of the embankment of the lake at Rs. 23 500 and after deducting the amount of depreciation he fixed the amount of compensation payable to the petitioner and the Mulgirasdars at Rs. 1880/ on the basis laid down in section 7(1)(vii) of the Act read with rule 5 of the Saurashtra Estates Acquisition Rules. Against that award an appeal was preferred to the Revenue Tribunal.
(2.)Two contentions were pressed on behalf of the appellant before the Revenue Tribunal:- (1) that the case was governed by section 14 and not by section 7 of the Estates Acquisition Act and (2) the compensation payable in respect of the irrigation bund should be determined on the basis of the present cost of construction and not the actual cost of construction when the embankment was constructed about 26 years ago. The Tribunal has stated in its judgment that there is no dispute about the facts that the bund in question is an embankment constructed for the purposes of irrigation. It was strongly urged before the Tribunal that the case was not covered by any of the clauses of section 7 and it was section 14 of the Act which was applicable. In order to appreciate that argument it is necessary to set out the relevant and material part of section 7 and 14 of the Act.
"7. Compensation payable to Girasdars and Barkhalidars for extinguishment of their rights:- (i)Every Girasdar of Barkhalidar having any right in any property which vests in and becomes the property of the State under section 4 shall be entitled to compensation in the manner provided in the following paragraphs namely:- (c) The Collector shall hold a formal inquiry in the manner provided in the Code and if the Collector is satisfied that the applicant had any rights in the land and that such rights have been extinguished under section 4 shall make an award in the manner prescribed in section 11 of the Land Acquisition Act 1894 as adapted subject to the following conditions namely:- (vii) If there is any reclamation bund or other structure on the land the amount of compensation shall be the cost of construction making deductions for the depreciation. 14. Method of compensation for the extinguishment or modification of any other rights. (1) If any person is aggrieved by any of the provisions of this Act as extinguishing or modifying any of his right in any land other than those in respect of which provision for the payment of compensation has been made under section 7 and if such person proves that such extinguishment or modification amounts to the transference to public ownership of such land or any right in or over such land such person may apply to the Collector for compensation within a period of twelve months from the date on which such rights are extinguished or modified. (2) The Collector shall after holding a formal inquiry in the manner provided in the code make an award deciding such amount of compensation as he deems reasonable and adequate. In deciding the amount of compensation the Collector shall be guided by the provisions of sub-section (1) of section 23 and section 24 of the Land Acquisition Act 1894 as adapted."

(3.)The Principal contention stressed before the tribunal was that clause (b) vii) of sub-section (1) of sec. 7 related only to a reclamation bund and the words following or other structure on the land should be read ejusdem generis. The Tribunal acceded to the latter part of the contention namely that the words other structure on the land were used ejusdem generis. The Tribunal however decided the point of construction of clause (b) (vii) against the petitioner relying on an earlier Full Bench decision of the Tribunal where it was held:-
"Sec. 7(i) (b) (vii) of the said Act refers to reclamation bunds and similar structures. The words similar structures will take their colour from the words reclama tion bunds. They will mean bunds or embankment of a similar nature. The bund in the present case is said to be an irrigation bund or embankment used for the storage of water. It is admitted that it would fall under sec. 7(i)(b)(vii) of the said Act. The object of a reclamation bund would be to reclaim lands which are liable to floods whereas the object of an irrigation bund would be to supply water to lands. In either case it would be in the nature of an improvement work and would add to the value of lands served by it."
In the result the Tribunal negatived the contention of the petitioner founded on construction of section 7(i)(b)(vii). It also negatived the contention of the petition relating to the mode of assessing the compensation. The Tribunal dismissed the appeal and the petitioner has come to this Court on this petition.

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