Assistant Commissioner, Gadag Sub-Division, Gadag Vs. Mathapathi Basavannewwa
& Ors  INSC 406 (17 August 1995)
K. Ramaswamy, K. Hansaria B.L. (J)
1995 AIR 2492 1995 SCC (6) 355 JT 1995 (6) 242 1995 SCALE (5)39
O R D
interesting question has been raised by Shri Nagaraja, learned counsel for the
petitioner, in this case.
admitted facts are that the petitioner had taken possession of the lands on
23.1.1971, but the notification under s. 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act (for
short, 'the Act') was published in the Gazette on 2.8.1984. The award came to
be made by the Land Acquisition Officer on 15.1.1986. The question is from what
date the respondents- owners are entitled to the benefit of s. 23(1-A) of the
Act as amended by Act 68 of 1984.
23(1-A) reads thus :
In addition to the market value of the land, as above provided, the court shall
in every case award an amount calculated at the rate of twelve per centum per
annum on such market value for the period commencing on and from the date of
the publication of the notification under Section 4, sub- section (1), in
respect of such land to the date of the award of the Collector or the date of
taking possession of the land whichever is earlier." (emphasis supplied)
Learned counsel contended that conjoint reading of the dates of notification
and making of award would connote that taking possession referable under the
expressions "commencing on and from the date of publication of the notification"
and "whichever is earlier" would be relatable to the date of the
notification published under s. 4(1). of the Act and the date of passing of the
award by the Collector and not anterior to the date of publication of the
notification under s.4(1). Therefore, the owners of the land are not entitled
to additional amount at 12 per cent per annum of the compensation commencing
from the date of taking possession till date of publication of the notification
under s.4(1). We find no force in the contention.
object of introducing Section 23(1-A) is to mitigate the hardship caused to the
owner of the land, who has been deprived of the enjoyment of the land by taking
possession from him and using it for the public purpose, because of
considerable delay in making the award and offering payment thereof. To obviate
such hardship, Section 23(1-A) was introduced and the Legislature envisaged
that the owner of the land is entitled to 12 per cent annum additional amount
on the market value for a period commencing on and from the date of the
publication of the notification under s. 4(1) of the Act in respect of such
land up to the date of the award of the Collector or the date of taking
possession of the land, whichever is earlier.
times, after publication of the notification under s.
by invoking power of urgency under s. 17(4), possession is taken before making
the award. The additional amount at 12% per annum was intended to be paid as
compensation from the date of taking possession.
strict construction leads to unjust result, hardship to the owner and defeats
legislative object. Take a case like one in hand. Possession was taken long
before publication of the notification. In the meanwhile the owner was deprived
of enjoyment of his property. In other words, if the possession is taken
earlier and notification is issued later but the award is subsequently made,
the owner or the claimant is entitled to the compensation from the date of
taking possession till date of the award, though possession was taken before
the notification under s. 4(1) was published. The expression "whichever is
earlier" has to be to be construed in that backdrop and the claimant would
be entitled to additional amount from the date of taking possession.
this case, since advance possession was taken before the publication of
notification under s. 4(1), which was never questioned by the owners in a court
of law, the claimants, by necessary implication are entitled to the payment of
the additional amount by way of compensation from the date of taking over the
possession for loss of enjoyment of the land. A different situation may arise
where the claimants themselves may question the notification and its invalidity
is upheld by the court. There under, the claimants may not be entitled to the
additional compensation since they are not willing to surrender the possession
under the notification and the State did not in law come into possession under
the notification referred to in s. 23 (1A).
we are of the considered view that though the notification under s. 4(1) was
issued after taking possession of the acquired land from the owners of the
land, the owners of the land would be entitled, in the case at hand, to
additional amount at 12 per cent per annum of market value from the date of
taking possession though notification under s. 4(1) was published later.
petition is, therefore, dismissed.