Hazara Ram And Anr. vs Municipal Committee, Sirsa … on 5 January, 2001

Punjab-Haryana High Court
Hazara Ram And Anr. vs Municipal Committee, Sirsa … on 5 January, 2001
Author: M Singhal
Bench: M Singhal


JUDGMENT

M.L. Singhal, J.

1. This civil revision has been filed under Article 227 of the Constitution of India read with Section 151 Civil Procedure Code by Hazara Ram and Ram Chand sons of Salamat Rai, whereby they have prayed for the setting aside of the order dated 7th April, 1997 passed by the Land Acquisition Collector, Sirsa dismissing their application under Sections 4 and 28-A of the Land Acquisition Act for payment of Rs. 19,02,108.53. They have prayed that 3/4th share of the amount of compensation be released in their favour as per the law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.

2. Hazara Ram and Ram Chand had filed an application under Section 28-A of the Land Acquisition Act on 29th August, 1988 before Sub Divisional Officer (Civil)/Land Acquisition Collector, Sirsa, praying that they be awarded compensation in accordance with the judgment dated 20th June, 1988 passed by the High Court in R.F.A. No. 1280 of 1986.

3. Land was acquired for setting up of Auto Vehicle Commercial Market by Municipal Committee, Sirsa. Petitioners did not file any reference under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 in any Court but approached the High Court. High Court awarded l/4th share of the compensation to them, being the tenants’ share. Petitioners filed petition praying that they be given the same compensation which has been given to others, after the award dated 18th March, 1985, which was given to the petitioners in which High Court enhanced the compensation amount and announced l/4th share of the compensation money for the tenants. Sub Divisional Officer (Civil)/Land Acquisition Collector, Sirsa, vide order dated 12th April, 1989, Annexure P-2, held the petitioners entitled to l/4th share of the compensation money being tenants’ share. Since the Punjab Wakf Board has obtained stay from the High Court on the payment of the amount, the case was adjourned till the decision of the High Court. Case was ordered to be re-heard after the judgment of the High Court.

4. Vide Annexure P-l dated 7th April 1987 passed by Land Acquisition Collector, Sirsa, the application of Hazara Ram and Ram Chand made under Section 28-A for payment of Rs.19,02,108.53 was dismissed. It was claimed by the petitioners that they are entitled to 3/4th share of the compensation amount being the tenants’ share and the Punjab Wakf Board is entitled to I/4th share of the compensation amount being the land owners’ share. Land measuring 28 kanals, bearing khasra No. 60, Kila No. 4(6-0), 5(6-0), Khasra No. 59, Kila No. 18(8-0), 13(4-0) belonged to the Punjab Wakf Board. Municipal Committee has not paid any money to the petitioners. They prayed that after deducting the principal amount of Rs. 65,680.62, they are entitled to receive an amount of Rs. 19,02,108.53. In nutshell, the plaintiffs’ case was that they were tenants of the Punjab Wakf Board and as such, were entitled to 3/4th share of the amount of compensation. For claiming 3/4th share of the amount of compensation being tenants of the Punjab Wakf Board, the petitioners are invoking the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Civil Appeal Nos. 8879-88 of 1996 arising out of S.L.P (C) Nos. 535-36 of 1994, titled Mangat Ram etc. v. State of Haryana and others etc., While reciting the facts, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has said that:-

“the notification under Section 4(1) was published on 16th August, 1983 for acquiring 49 acres 1 kanal 15 marlas of land for establishing a commercial market of Auto Vehicles and for commercial purposes in Sirsa. The Land Acquisition Officer determined the compensation at the rate of Rs. 25,000/- per acre. On reference, the
Additional District judge, enhanced the compensation to Rs. 30,000/- per acre. When the matter was carried in appeal, the learned Single Judge enhanced the compensation to Rs. 27.50 per square yard. In L.P.A. the compensation was enhanced to Rs. 40/- per square yard.

The Municipal Committee filed appeals arising out of S.L.P. Nos.23334-35/94 and 20331-32/94. The appeals arising out of S.L.P. Nos.9046/94, 8448/94 and 7231/94 are filed by the Punjab Wakf Board. The appeals arising out of S.L.P. Nos.535-36/94 are filed by the tenants for the apportionment in a reference under Section 30.”

5. As regards the apportionment of the compensation, the High Court has directed to pay l/4th to the tenant and 3/4th to the Wakf Board. In view of the judgment of Co. Sir Harinder Singh Brar Bahadur v. Bihari Lal and others etc. 2 (1994-2)107 P.L.R. 195 (S.C.) and Inder Parshad v. Union of India and others, 3 (1994) 5 SCC 239, the tenants are entitled to 3/4th of the compensation while the landlord is entitled to l/4th of the compensation. In view of the above law, the order of the High Court in appeals arising from reference under Section 30 is modified to the extent that appellants/tenants – Man-gat Ram and others are entitled to 3/4th while the Wakf Board is entitled l/4th of the compensation amount.

6. On the strength of this judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the learned counsel for the petitioners submitted that as the petitioners are similarly situated, they should be given the same treatment which has been given to Mangat Ram etc.

7. Learned Land Acquisition Collector has failed to consider that once he had found them to be entitled to share the compensation amount with the land owners, how could it be said later that they are not entitled to any compensation. Petitioner’s right to claim compensation to the extent of 3/4th share cannot be effected even, if they had been awarded l/4th share of the compensation amount by the High Court and they had not gone in appeal to the Hon’ble Supreme Court as they are entitled to take benefit of the principal of law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in respect of Mangat Ram etc., who are similarly situated as they. Law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court must operate equally, favourably or harshly as the case may be among persons similarly situated. Even otherwise, Municipal Committee has no right to contest so far as the apportionment of compensation between the Punjab Wakf Board (land owner) and the land tenant is concerned as, as between the land owners and the tenants, the issue as to apportionment of compensation has been decided once for all by the Hon’ble Supreme Court and the law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court is the law of the land which everyone has to respect. In Anil Kumar and others v. Haryana State through the Executive Engineer, SYL, Division Kurukshetra, 4 (1994-1)106 P.L.R. 406 the learned Single Judge of this Court held that other land owners who did not seek any reference under section 18, on re-determination will be entitled to the same rates which other land owners have got either from the Court of District Judge or from the High Court or from the Supreme Court of Indian. The use of the words in section 28-A that “award of the Court does not and can not possibly mean the award of the Court of the District Judge.” The award of the Court would be that award which is final whether finality is attained at the stage of District Judge or High Court or Supreme Court. The award of the District Judge merges into the award of the High Court. If the view of the Collector is to be upheld, it would create an anomalous position. In a particular case, the amount awarded by the District Judge may be reduced by the High Court. Can in such a situation be contended by the claimants that they are entitled to the compensation awarded by the District Jude which is a higher one and not the compensation which is awarded by the Court. The answer would certainly be in the negative.

8. For the reasons given above, this revision is allowed. Petitioners are held entitled
to 3/4th share of the compensation for the land acquired in which they were lessees and
their land owner would be entitled to 1/4 share of the amount of compensation.

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