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Special Tahsildar (La), P.W.D. Schemes Vs. M.A. Jabbar [1995] INSC 39 (11 January 1995)

Ramaswamy, K. Ramaswamy, K. Manohar Sujata V. (J)

CITATION: 1995 AIR 762 1995 SCC (2) 142 JT 1995 (1) 383 1995 SCALE (1)144

ACT:

HEAD NOTE:

ORDER

1. The short point that arises for consideration in these appeals is whether the claimant-respondent in CA No. 1891 of 1989 would be entitled to the additional amount in terms of Section 23(1-A) of the Land Acquisition Act of 1894 (for short "the Act") from the date of taking possession, namely, 15-2-1965. Indisputably, facts are that the notification under Section 4(1) of the Act was published on 6-3-1980, though possession of the land was taken on 15-2-1965. The award under Section 11 was made by the Collector on 30-9- 1983. The High Court of A.P. in AS No. 95 of 1987 while determining the compensation at Rs 120 per sq. yard awarded solatium @ 30% on enhanced compensation. The additional amount @ 12% per annum on the market value from the date of the notification from 6-3-1980 till the date of the award, namely, 30-9-1983 and interest @ 9% after taking possession from 15-2-1965 till 14-2-1966 and thereafter @ 15% till the date of payment.

2. This Court while granting leave confined the question of entitlement of the benefits under Amending Act 68 of 1984. In view of the fact that the award itself was made after the Amending Act came into force, the claimant entitled to the benefits under sub-section (2) of Section 23, solatium on the enhanced market value at 30% and also interest under Section 28. The only area of dispute is whether the claimant is entitled to additional amount under Section 23(1-A) and if so from what date. It is contended for the State that since possession had already been taken prior to the Amending Act 68 of 1984 coming into force, the claimant is not entitled to the additional amount. On the other hand it is contended for the claimant that since possession was already taken and the owner was deprived of the enjoyment of the land, additional amount should be paid from the date of taking possession since it was stated under Section 23(1-A) that the amount shall be payable from the date of the award or taking possession, whichever is earlier. Since possession was taken earlier, the claimants are entitled to the additional amount @ 12% per annum from the date of taking possession, namely, 15-2-1965.

+ From the Judgment and Order dated 8-9-1988 of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in A. No. 95 of 1987 144 3.On a true interpretation of sub-section (1-A) of Section 23, we are of the considered view that the High Court is right in concluding that the claimants are entitled to the additional amount at the rate of 12% per annum from 6-3- 1980, the date of publication of the notification till the date of award, namely, 30-9-1983. Sub-section (1-A) of Section 23 adumbrates that:

"in addition to the market value of the land, 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(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." In other words, the owner of the land who has been deprived of the enjoyment of the land by having been parted with possession, the Act intended that the owner be compensated by awarding an additional amount calculated at the rate of 12 per centum per annum on the enhanced market value for the period between the date of notification and the date of award or date of taking possession of the land whichever is earlier. Admittedly, possession having already been taken on 15-2-1965, before publication of the notification under Section 4(1) on 6-3-1980, the award of additional amount for the period from 6-3-1980 to 30-9-1983, i.e., the date of making the award under Section 11 is perfectly correct. In addition to other statutory benefits, the owner also is entitled to the additional amount but to give in award additional amount from 15-2-1965, i.e., from the date of taking possession, though apparently earlier in point of time mentioned in Section 23(1-A), in effect it amounts to giving retrospective effect to sub-section (1-A) to Section 23 under the Amendment Act 68 of 1984, even though the Amendment Act was prospective and the transitory provision had only retro-limitedactivity.

4.Therefore, we hold that the claimants would be entitled to additional amount of the enhanced market value at 12% per annum from the date of the publication of the notification under Section 4(1) till the date of the award, since possession had already been taken before the Amending Act has come into force. Both the appeals by the State and cross-appeal by the claimant are accordingly dismissed. No costs.

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