Union of India Vs. Ajaib Singh & Ors  INSC 232 (12 February 1996)
K.Ramaswamy, K.G.B. Pattanaik (J)
JT 1996 (6) 73 1996 SCALE (2)594
O R D
E R Substitution allowed.
under section 7 of Requisition & Acquisition of Immovable Properties Act,
1852 (for short, the "Act") was published on October 13, 1969 and the award was made. Pursuant
thereto an offer was made to the respondents in Form 'F' of the Rules framed
under the Act.
respondents had not agreed for the compensation. As a consequence, the matter
was referred under section 8(1) to the arbitrator. He took up the matter on November 7, 1975 and the award was made on August 19, 1983. The arbitrator awarded higher
compensation with solatium and interest. When the matter was carried to the
High Court by the appellants, the High Court had further enhanced the solatium
and interest applying the amended provisions of the Land Acquisition
(Amendment) Act 68 of 1984 by judgment and order dated 10.2.1984. Thus this
appeal by special leave.
Court in Union of India v. Hari Krishan Khosla [(1993) Supp. 2 SCC 149] has
held that for the property acquired under the Act, the principle of solatium
and interest under Land Acquisition Act 1 of 1894 is not applicable and that,
therefore, the land owners are not entitled to the payment thereof. Noticing a
judgment of another three-Judge Bench which had granted interest due to an
abnormal delay on the part of the Union of India in appointing the arbitrator
interest was awarded. All the cases thereafter were considered in Union of
India & Anr. v. Munsha & Ors. [JT (1995) 8 SC 289]. This Court has held
that where the State is not in any way responsible for the delay in appointing
the arbitrator, the claimants are not entitled to the payment of interest.
Where the State, after the owner objected to the award of the Collector, is
responsible in delaying the appointment of an arbitrator, necessarily the State
has to bear the burden of paying interest to the claimants. Each case has to be
examined on its own facts. In this case since the respondents had informed the
appellant that they were not agreeable to the award of the Collector and made
an offer in Form 'F' and immediately thereafter reference was made to the
arbitrator, the State is not responsible for delay in the award of the
arbitrator. Under those circumstances, the State is not liable to pay interest.
Court has also repeatedly held that when the Court does not award any enhanced
compensation which is a condition precedent for the application of the
provisions of Interest and solatium under the Land Acquisition Act, the Court
lacks inherent jurisdiction to award solatium and interest in the land
acquisition cases. Equally so, of the enhanced solatium and interest under the
Amendment Act 68 of 1984. In these cases, since the Land Acquisition Act itself
does not apply to the acquisition of the land under the Act, the Amendment Act
68 of 1984 equally does not apply. The High Court, therefore, has committed
grave error of law in applying the provisions of the Amendment Act 68 of 1984
to further enhance solatium and interest.
appeals are accordingly allowed. The order of arbitrator as confirmed by the
High Court awarding solatium and interest stands set aside. In other respects,
the determination of compensation stands upheld. No costs.