Rajasthan Vs. Sardar Pushpendra Singh 
INSC 266 (27 April 1994)
K. Ramaswamy, K. Venkatachala N. (J)
1994 SCC Supl. (2) 363 1994 SCALE (2)918
December 1971, an extent of 2519 bighas 03 biswas, equivalent to 1801.1875acres
of land comprised in Chak Nos. 2Z and 3Z, situated in Sriganganagar, State of
Rajasthan, it is said, were required for defence purposes. Possession of the
said land appears to have been taken thereafter, even without issuance of a
formal notification of requisition.
by a notification issued under Section 4 of the Rajasthan Land Acquisition Act,
1953, for short 'the Act' and published in the State Gazette on 21-7-1978, the self- same land has been proposed for acquisition.
That has been followed by the declaration made under Section 6 thereof on 23-8-1979. While the Land Acquisition Officer (the LAO)
determined the amount of compensation payable for the acquired lands, by his
award dated 31-3-1980, observed in para 20 thereof, that the ceiling
proceedings were since pending either in the High Court or in this Court, it
was not possible to decide the amounts of compensation payable to respondents,
in that, what were the surplus lands were yet to be identified. Admittedly some
of the areas in Chak Nos. 2Z and 3Z were in excess of ceiling area under the
Rajasthan Tenancy Act, 1955 and the Rajasthan Imposition of Ceiling on
Agricultural Holdings Act, 1973. The Act had come into force on 1-1-1973 and the notification thereunder was published on 1-4-1966 under Section 30-E of 1955 Act.
the surplus land under the Acts stood vested in the State with effect from 1-4-1966. But the actual extents of the lands which the
respondents were entitled to retain and which they had to surrender as surplus,
was pending in the courts due to stay orders granted either by the High Court
or this Court and the cases could not be settled. It is why, the LAO had stated
in para 20 of the award that the payment of compensation would be made to such
landowners who are not affected by the ceiling law prevailing in the State of Rajasthan.
Challenging this part of award in para 20, the landowners filed writ petitions
in the High Court. By a common judgment, the Division Bench of Rajasthan High
Court at Jaipur in WP No. 65 of 1982 and batch, dated 17-9-1987 directed thus:
we allow all the writ petitions and hold that the Land Acquisition Officer
could not have deferred the payment of compensation till the ceiling cases, if
any, of any of the petitioners are decided. We direct the Land Acquisition
Officer to make payment of the amount of compensation determined under Section
11 of the Act to each of the petitioners who may be entitled for the same under
the award. Because the ceiling cases are pending, we leave it open to the
competent authority to make any order in respect of the amount of compensation
and for that purpose we make a further order that to enable the State to secure
any order from th e competent authority against payment to the petitioners, the
amount of compensation shall not be paid within a period of two months
only." The present appeals have been filed against the above-quoted
direction of the High Court.
was held by a Constitution Bench of this Court in Bansidhar v. State of
Rajasthan' that the effect of operation of Section 6 of the Rajasthan General
Clauses Act read with Section 30-E of the 1955 Act, is that the rights and
obligations needed to be determined was with reference to the notified date
i.e. 1-4-1966. So the right of the State to take over surplus land arose as on
the appointed date, and only the quantification remained to be worked out.
liability of the landowner to surrender the surplus land as on 1-4-1966 was a liability "incurred" within the
meaning of the said provision. Accordingly it was held that the determination
of the surplus land dates back to 1-4-1966, the date on which the notification
was issued, and the surplus land stood vested in the State on and w.e.f. 1-4-
Since the respondents landowners are governed by the ceiling laws and as the
ceiling proceedings are pending in the courts, the LAO while making the award,
could not decide as to which extent of the land he could make the award for the
payment of compensation. He, therefore, stated that such payment would be
subject to the decision by the High Court or this Court in the ceiling cases.
We are informed that this Court had already disposed of the cases of the
respondents under the ceiling law and so the matter, has to, necessarily go
back to the ceiling authorities to determine the excess area which the
landowners are liable to surrender after opting to retain the land within
ceiling limit for which they would be entitled to obtain payment of
compensation under the Land Acquisition Act. Until that is determined, the
question of payment of compensation would remain uncertain and in a nebulous
state. Considering from this perspective, we think that the High Court was not
justified in giving the impugned directions extracted hereinbefore.
Instead, and on the facts and in the circumstances of this case, the
appropriate course to be adopted would be, that a direction should be issued
and accordingly issued to the ceiling authorities to take immediate action under
the ceiling law; give notices to the landowners, calling upon them to exercise
their option of retaining the land within the ceiling limit and to surrender
the lands in (1989) 2 SCC 557 : (1989) 2 SCR 152 366 excess of ceiling areas.
To the extent of surplus lands, the need to make payment of their market value
under the Rajasthan Land Acquisition Act does not arise. That the amount
payable for such surplus land would be as is prescribed under the Land Ceiling
Act. If the ceiling authorities had already done this exercise, then the need
to make fresh determination does not arise. In case, it was not done, it should
be done within a period of six months from the date of the receipt of this
order. This order should be communicated to the ceiling authorities to take
expeditious action in this behalf. After this exercise is done, in case it has
not already been done, the matter should be reported to the Land Acquisition
Officer. The LAO in turn should work out the amount of compensation payable to
the owners to the extent of the land within the ceiling area and make payment
of compensation under the Act to them expeditiously. In case there is any
dispute as to the person who is entitled to receive the compensation, then
recourse could be had to Section 30 of the Act. In cases where there is no
dispute, then the compensation determined under his award should be paid to the
landowners within a period of two months from the date of receipt of the
proceedings from the land ceiling authorities.
appeals are accordingly disposed of. No costs.