Union of India Vs. Rangila Ram  INSC 431 (28 August 1995)
K. Ramaswamy, K. Hansaria B.L. (J)
1996 AIR 206 1995 SCC (5) 585 JT 1995 (7) 655 1995 SCALE (5)178
O R D
On December 2, 1977, a notification under Section 4 of
the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 [for short, `the Act'] was issued acquiring
267.2675 acres of land in village Bhatotarwan for defence purposes. The award
was made by the Land Acquisition Collector on October 23, 1979. Against the award, the District Judge-arbitrator by his
award dated February 7,
1981, enhanced the
compensation and further award Rs. 700/- per acre for loss of
thereof, both the State as well as the respondent writ petitions in the High
Court which by judgement dated March 15, 1982 enhanced the compensation to Rs.
11,000/- and 10,000/- per acre respectively. Following that, respondent's
R.F.A. No.1209 of 1981, was disposed of on November 5, 1982.
application under Sections 151 and 152, Civil Procedure Code [for short, `CPC']
was filed in 1986 before the High Court for amendment of the decree in the
cross- objections to award them 30% of the solatium 9% interest for the first
year and 15% interest thereafter till the date of deposit as per S.23(2) and
proviso to S.28 pursuant to the Amendment Act 68 of 1984. The High Court
allowed the application on November 26, 1987.
Thus, this appeal by special leave.
point is no longer res integra. This Court has considered the scope of the
power of the High Court under Ss. 151 and 152, CPC and also under S.13(A) of
the Act. This Court has held that once civil court made an award as per law
then in force which became final and that there is no error of law as on that
date. Subsequent amendment does not give power to the court to amend the decree
under Ss. 151 and 152, CPC. This was held in State of Maharashtra vs. Maharau Sravan Hetkar [(1995) 3
SCC 316] and Union of India and Ors. v. Pratap Kaur (dead) through Lrs. and Anr.
[(1995) 3 SCC 263]. In Maharau Sravan Hetkar's case, this Court held that the
civil court lacked inherent jurisdiction and was devoid of the power to
entertain an application to award additional benefits under the Amendment Act
68 of 1984. The facts therein were that the award had become final and the
Amendment Act 68 of 1984 had come into force on September 24, 1984. The respondents made an application under Sections 151 and
152, CPC to award enhanced solatium and additional benefits etc. and the civil
court allowed and granted the same. In that context, considering the civil
court's power under Sections 151 and 152, CPC, this Court laid the above law.
Kaur's case, after the award became final, the respondents filed miscellaneous
application to demarcate and award compensation on the rates were ordered by
the High Court which were accordingly granted and the jurisdiction of the
District Court was challenged. Though the High Court had affirmed the order,
this Court held that after the award became final, the civil court was devoid
of power or jurisdiction and there was no arithmetical or clerical error in the
award. The exercise of the power was independent of reference. Therefore, the
civil court ceased to have any power after the great became final, to alter or
correct clerical or arithmetical errors. The civil court was, therefore, devoid
of jurisdiction and power to award or order additional benefits.
would, therefore be clear that the claimant was not entitled to the additional
benefits and Sections 151 and 152, CPC cannot be invoked to award the
additional benefits under the Amendment Act 68 of 1984. The High Court,
therefore, has no power to amend the decree to award enhanced statutory
benefits. The decree passed by the High Court is clearly without jurisdiction
appeal is accordingly allowed. No costs.