Decided on July 21,1955



- (1.)This is an application for the issue of a writ of Certiorari calling for the records from the Sub Collector Rajahmundry in Land Acquistion Proceedings regarding S. No. 74/1 in Amjuru village, Ramachandrapuram Taluk and to quash the same as being illegal and without jurisdiction.
(2.)The petitioner and his brother Dorayya received a notice dated 31-7-1951 under Sec. 5-A of the Land Acquisition Act stating that the five acres of land belonging to their family in Amjuru was needed for a public purpose, namely, construction of High-school buildings in accordance with the notification under Sec. 4 (1) of the Act published by the Government in the Fort St. George Gazette dated 24-7-1951 and calling upon them to file their objections within 15 days of the receipt of the notice. The petitioner and his brother accordingly filed objections It was stated in the notice that the enquiry would be held on 30-8-1951 at Ramachandrapuram. The petitioner and his brother according to the affidavit, went to Ramachandrapuram with the necessary documents and witnesses to substantiate their objections, but no enquiry was held on that day. According to the counter-affidavit filed by the Land Acquisition Clerk of the Sub Collector's Office, Rajahmundry, the objection petition was sent to the Tahsildar, Ramachandrapuram on 1-9-1951 for enquiry and report. The Sub Collector appears to have inspected the land in the first week of September. It is stated that the inspection was made in the presence of the petitioners, the Tahsildar of Ramachandrapuram and the High School Committee members. After the inspection was over, no enquiry, was held and no evidence recorded as required by rule 3 (c) of the ' Rules framed under the Land Acquisition Act. Rule 3 (c) is in the following terms:
"On the date fixed for enquiry or any other date to which the enquiry may be adjourned by the Collector, the Collector shall hear the objector or his pleader and the representive if any, of the Department or company and record any evidence that may be produced in support of the objections."
The petitioner who was ready with his evidence on 30-8-1951 filed an applica tion on 20-9-1951 before the Sub Collector, Rajahmundry asking him to hold an enquiry into the objections filed by him. No orders whatsoever were passed on the application. In the counter affidavit, no reference is made to this petition. It is therefore clear that such an application was filed but no orders were passed thereon. Instead of holding an enquiry, in the last week of Juneif e., after a lapse of nearly nine months a notice under Sees. 9 (c) and ' 10 was served on the petitioner. He was consequently obliged to file this writ.
(3.)I have no doubt in my mind that the Sub Collector did not follow the procedure laid down under R. 3 (c). The inspection made by him is no substitute for an enquiry. The contention on behalf of the Government Pleader was that as the petitioner was present at the time of the inspection and did not ask for further enquiry it was not necessary for the Sub Collector to hold any enquiry and it is, in my opinion, untenable. The allegations in paragraph 6 of the counter-affidavit are as follows :
"The President, District Board, also reported to the Sub Collector of Rajahmundry that the Amjuru site was the most suitable one. The Sub-Collector inspected the lands on 6-11-1951 and in his inspection notes it is found that he preferred S. No. 74, Amjuru village."


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