BURN AND COMPANY LTD Vs. STATE OF WEST BENGAL
LAWS(CAL)-1976-5-13
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
Decided on May 20,1976

BURN AND COMPANY LTD. Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF WEST BENGAL Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

FISHERIES LTD. V. SUB-DIVISIONAL LAND REFORMS OFFICER,ASANSOL [REFERRED TO]
RAJA ANAND BRAHMA SHAH VS. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH [REFERRED TO]
GIRIWAR PRASAD NARAIN SINGH VS. DUKHU LAL DAS DEAD [REFERRED TO]
KATRAS JHARIA COAL CO LTD VS. STATE OF WEST BENGAL [REFERRED TO]



Cited Judgements :-

MANEKA CO OP HOUSING SOCIETY LIMITED GANDHINAGAR VS. STATE OF GUJARAT [LAWS(GJH)-1993-1-27] [REFERRED TO]
M/S. BACHHRAJ FACTORIES LTD. VS. CHIEF SECRETARY AND THREE OTHERS [LAWS(MPH)-2018-2-49] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

R.Bhattacharya, J. - (1.)This is an appeal against the judgment and "Nil" award passed by the Land Acquisition Judge, Asansol, in L. A. Case No. 35 of 1963 started by a reference under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act sent by the Collector on the application of the claimant Messrs. Burn and Company Limited challenging the order of the Collector refusing to pass any award for compensation in connection with a land acquisition proceeding. The claimant is the appellant before us.
(2.)The relevant facts of this case are simple. A proceeding wag started under the Land Acquisition Act for acquisition of land in C. S. Plot No. 2 (Part) in Mouza Birbhanpur, P. S. Faridpur, District Burdwan for the development of industries in Durgapur area. The land in question was taken lease of by the claimant, hereinafter referred to as the Company, on diverse dates, from different co-owners of the land for a period of 999 years. During the pendency of the proceeding, the West Bengal Act XXV of 1957 came into operation in respect of forest land which was to be vested in the State. Retrospective effect was given by an amendment which came into force with effect from January 8, 1956. The Land Acquisition Collector took possession of the land on October 6, 1958, under Section 17 (1) of the Land Acquisition Act. The Company preferred a claim for compensation claiming title and possession in the land in question and it was stated in its application that the land sought to be acquired was valuable and that the price of the land would be Rupees 3,000/- per bigha. Admittedly during the revisional settlement operation, the land was shown as jungle land. The Collector, while considering the claim preferred by the Company, was of the view that as the acquired land being a forest land had vested in the State by virtue of the amendment of the West Bengal Estates Acquisition Act, the petitioner was not entitled to any compensation under the Land Acquisition Act and hence he passed a 'Nil' award. At the instance of the Company the matter was referred to the Land Acquisition Judge under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act. The learned Judge on hearing the parties was of the view that the award passed by the Collector was correct and that as the land was a forest land and as it had vested in the State, the claimant was not entitled to any compensation. Against that decision the present appeal has been preferred,
(3.)We have heard Mr. Mitter, the learned Advocate appearing on behalf of the claimant Company and Mr. Dutt for the State of West Bengal. Mr. Mitter urged several points. His first contention was that the State having accepted that the claimant had title to the land acquired and having taken possession of the land under Section 17 (1) of the Land Acquisition Act, cannot have any reason to say that the claimant had no interest in the land and that it is not entitled to get any compensation. The point of Mr. Mitter in this respect is that the State took possession of the land under Section 17 (1) either as arable land or waste land and this possession was taken after the amendment of the West Bengal Estates Acquisition Act had come into force. The State, therefore, cannot turn round and say that the land is a forest land. Another point has been taken by Mr. Mitter, namely, that after the amendment of the West Bengal Estates Acquisition Act, the Government ought to have issued fresh notification under Section 4 of the West Bengal Estates Acquisition Act for the purpose of vesting and unless that notification was issued the forest land could not have vested in the State even if it is assumed that the land acquired is a forest land.
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