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Shanti Devi Vs. State of Rajasthan [1994] INSC 441 (31 August 1994)

Ramaswamy, K. Ramaswamy, K. Venkatachala N. (J)

CITATION: 1994 SCC (6) 9 JT 1994 (5) 472 1994 SCALE (3)883

ACT:

HEAD NOTE:

The Judgment of the Court was delivered by K. RAMASWAMY, J.- Leave granted.

2. Notification under Section 4 of the Rajasthan Land Acquisition Act 24 of 1953 (for short 'the Act') was published in the State Gazette on 13-5-1960 acquiring large tracts of land including the land in Khata Nos. 261, 263- 267, 269, 270, 272, 273, 520 and 521 situated in Bhojpura Village which is now part of Jaipur City for planned development. Declaration under Section 6 was published on 11-5-1961. Following the procedure, an award was made on 9- 1-1964. Possession was taken on 6-4-1971 and was handed over to the Jaipur Urban Development Authority on the same day under a duly drawn panchnama. Thus the title in the property of Bhurelal, the original owner was divested and stood vested in the Jaipur Urban Development Authority free from all encumbrances. Bansidhar Aggarwal and his partner Surajmal purchased the lands from the Khatedar Bhurelal who in turn sold on 28-2-1970 to Apollo Cooperative Housing Society. A writ petition was filed by Surajmal questioning the acquisition. The Single Judge by his judgment dated 31- 3-1971 dismissed the writ petition which was confirmed in appeal on 12-4-1973, reported in Surajmal v. State of Rajasthan1. On further appeal to this Court, this Court dismissed the appeal on 17-9-1974 reported in Indrapuri Griha Nirman Sahakari Samiti Ltd. v. State of Rajasthan2.

Thus the notification under Section 4(1) stood confirmed.

The Apollo Nagar Housing Society is said to have sold the plots to the appellants and allotted the same on 31-5-1971.

It would appear that during the pendency of the writ petition and writ appeal stay of dispossession was obtained and it was claimed that the Chairman, U.I.T., Jaipur had offered allotment of the lands 1 AIR 1974 Raj 116 : 1973 Raj LW 635 2 (1975) 4 SCC 296 11 to the Apollo Nagar Housing Society on 5-1-1972 @ Rs 8 per sq. yard which Apollo was claimed to have accepted on 15-1- 1972 and started construction on the land. When the Munsif Magistrate was moved for stay of unauthorised construction, ultimately petition was dismissed. But when the Urban Development Authority resisted their construction they invoked the jurisdiction on the civil court by filing a suit for perpetual injunction. Ultimately in Civil Revision No. 769 of 1985 dated 14-2-1986, the High Court dismissed the revision with certain observations to wit that Apollo Nagar Greh Nirman Sehkari Samiti had neither prima facie title nor had balance of convenience been proved nor had irreparable loss that would be caused been established.

3. On 30-8-1988 when the Jaipur Development Authority started demolition of the structures, the appellants filed Writ Petition No. 2956 of 1988 and sought for declaration that the land in question stood acquired or construction regularised in their favour and for perpetual injunction to restrain the respondents from interfering with their constructions in respect of their plots. It may be relevant to mention at this juncture that the appellants amended the writ petition and also filed additional affidavit. In the writ petition the case set up was that the Government invited, by public notice, applications for conversion of the agricultural lands into urban lands and regularisation of the construction made thereon and pursuant thereto they had deposited the total sum of Rs 91,006.58 p. The Government had accepted the same. A letter in proof thereof was issued by the Additional Collector (South) on 22-11-1985 and marked in the High Court as Annexure 8. And it was also pleaded that the appellants were hopeful that the Government would reacquire the property and regularise the unauthorised construction they had made. Instead, the respondents had chosen to demolish part of their construction on 30-8-1988 and repeated the demolition of the remaining construction by 31-8-1988. The Division Bench of the High Court in the impugned judgment dated 26-11-1988 dismissed the writ petition. Thus this appeal by special leave.

4. Shri Rangarajan Kumaramangalam, the learned counsel for the appellants contended that the Additional Collector in his proceeding dated 4-11-1985 converted the agricultural lands into non-agricultural lands and allotted the lands to the appellants under Rajasthan Land Revenue (Allotment, Conversion and Regularisation of Agricultural Lands) Rules, 1981 (for short 'the Rules'). Under Section 17-A of the Act, unless by an order, possession is transferred to JDA, the land remains to be the property of the Government, though the Collector had acquired the land and taken possession under Section 16 or 17 and make over to the local authority upon payment of the cost of the acquisition. So the land did not vest in the JDA, local authority. There is no evidence placed on record that JDA had paid the cost of the acquisition to the State and an order of transfer was made by the Collector in its favour. The land, therefore, continues to vest in the Government. The Additional Collector as a delegate of the Collector under the Rules had regularised the construction by receiving conversion charges 12 etc. Thereby the title in the land stood vested in the appellants and that (sic) they are the owners. The action taken by the respondents in demolishing their houses or attempt of demolition of part thereof is illegal, unwarranted and unauthorised. The High Court, therefore, committed error of law in dismissing the writ petition in this behalf. It is also contended that the appellants are challenging the very notification issued under Section 4(1) in the writ petition.

5. Having given our anxious consideration to the contention, our prima facie view was that the contention is unexceptionable and that the appellants have a case for interference. But, when we went deep into the facts it shocked our conscience to notice that the order of regularisation by the Additional Collector, Jaipur (South) purported to have been made on 4-11-1985 appeared to be a propped-up document brought on record for the first time in this Court. That document had never seen the light of the day when proceedings in two stages were pending in the High Court and a new case, for the first time, has been advanced before us on its foundation. It is seen that in the High Court, though the appellants had opportunity which they availed of to amend the pleadings and file additional affidavit, had not .pleaded that the Additional Collector had converted the agricultural lands into urban lands regularised the authorised constructions and that allotment of the Government plots of land was made in their favour nor was it argued before the Division Bench. Though we have doubt whether Additional Collector could allot Government land after regularisation under the Rules, we need not go into nor record any findings in the view we are taking on the facts. The intrinsic evidence on record falsifies the stand and leads us to an irresistible inference that the said order of the Additional Collector must have been a document brought up subsequent to the dismissal of the writ petition by the High Court. The Additional Collector in his letter dated 17-6-1985 to the JDA stated that Apollo Nagar Greh Nirman Cooperative Society made an application on 21-7- 1974 for conversion. The JDA had not recommended for transfer of the land to that society and, therefore, their letter was rejected on 31-10-1984. This letter is made part of the record as Annexure R-1. In the order dated 4-11- 1985, the Additional Collector has purported to note that a total sum payable towards transformation fee and penalty for constructed area and land allotment fee would be Rs 92,189.48 p and the amount deposited was Rs 91,006.58 p and direction was given to deposit the balance amount of Rs 1182.90 p. In the letter dated 15-10-1985 addressed by Apollo Nagar Housing Cooperative Society, he requested the Additional Collector to issue receipt for a deposit of Rs 91,006 and also requested for allotment of the land in accordance with the Government decision dated 1-9-1984. In the letter addressed by the Additional Collector to the Senior Town Planner of JDA while intimating of the letter it was stated as 22-11-1985 i.e. after the date of the purported regularisation that the appellants had deposited only Rs 91,006.58 p.

In other words as on 22-11-1985 there is no mention of either deposit made by the appellants for the balance amount of Rs 11 82.90 p or of the order dated 4- 11-1985 of the 13 alleged regularisation and allotment. Moreover, there is no reference in that letter to the letter dated 4-11-1985 regularising the illegal construction by converting agricultural lands into non-agricultural lands and collection of the total amount and calling upon the appellant to pay the balance amount of Rs II 82.90 p. It is not the case of the appellants that they had ever deposited the balance amount pursuant to the letter of allotment dated 4-11-1985. The High Court dismissed civil revision petition on 14-2-1985 (2nd stage of the litigation) holding that there is no prima facie title established for issuance of an injunction order in their favour. One would legitimately expect the production of the purported order dated 4-11-1985 and pressed the appellant's case of its basis as title for claiming an injunction. As seen from the admission in the pleadings, the writ petition (3rd stage) is that the Government have not chosen to regularise the conversion and that the relief was for the declaration of deemed regularisation. During the course of the arguments when the counsel for the JDA asserted that the land stood vested in them, no attempt was made even at that stage of the assertion of the alleged regularisation and conversion of the land into urban area and adjustment of deposit amount towards the conversion charges, allotment charges and penalty and allotment of the land. Thus it is clear that as on date of disposal of the writ petition in the High Court, the alleged regularisation order dated 4-11-1985 did not see the light of the day. Obviously it must be a fabricated document propped up thereafter and for the first time it was made part of the record in this Court and a new plea was found for the relief on its basis. Thus not only a new case has been set up in this Court on the basis of fabricated document but also the fabricated document is pressed into service for consideration by this Court. The case thus clearly indicates the need for the amendment of the Supreme Court Rules to insist upon raising grounds only on the case set up and argued in the courts below on the basis of the pleadings and the evidence placed before the High Court or the courts below unless leave of this Court is sought and obtained. If any additional evidence is to be made part of the record, an application in this behalf under the Rules and Order 41, Rule 27 CPC should be made. Until then they cannot be looked into lest the party gets scot- free introducing new documents which have no foundation or fabricated documents find free passage into the record of this Court for which no one takes responsibility. The respondents would have no opportunity to properly verify the authenticity of the documents etc. The case, therefore, is absolutely a case of blatant abuse of the process of the court. The appeal is, therefore, liable to be dismissed with exemplary costs of rupees one lakh. The Government of Rajasthan shall get investigation made into the fabrication of the order purported to be issued by the Additional Collector, Jaipur (South) and said to be dated 4- 11-1985 and to take appropriate steps in that behalf. The writ petition is also a blatant abuse of the process of the court. The acquisition proceedings have become final and the notification was upheld by this Court, as stated already. Therefore the writ petition also stands dismissed with exemplary costs of Rs 1,00,000. The appeal is accordingly dismissed with costs of rupees one lakh. Cost 14 should be paid to the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee.

In case of nonpayment, the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee is free to have it recovered by execution of this order.

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