Raju Vs. The Special Lend Additional Land Acquisition Officer & Anr 
INSC 847 (24 July 1996)
K.Ramaswamy, K.G.B. Pattanaik (J)
JT 1996 (7) 109 1996 SCALE (5)558
24TH DAY OF JULY,1996 Present:
Mr. Justice K. Ramaswamy Hon'ble Mr. Justice G.B Pattanaik C.S. Vaidyanathan, Sr.Adv.
S.R. Setia, Shivram, Advs., with him for the Appellant P.R. Ramasesh, Adv. for Surya
Kant and M.T. George, Advs. for the Respondents.
O R D
following Order of the Court was delivered:
Govinda Raju V. The Special Land
Additional Land Acquisition Officer & Anr. etc.
APPEAL NOS.12007-8/95 & 4832-37/94 We have heard learned counsel on both
appeals arise from the judgment of the Division Bench of the Karnataka High
Court made on November
21, 1989 in MFA
No.2114/85 and batch. The only controversy raised and argued before us is:
whether the High Court was justified in refusing to permit the appellants to
pay the deficit court fees and to enhance the compensation @ Rs.75,000/- per
acre The admitted facts are that notification under Section 4(1) of the land
Acquisition Act, 1894 (For short, the 'Act') was published on September 29,
1977 acquiring large extent of land by the Bangalore Development Authority for
the formation of a layout called "Byrasandra Tavarekere Madiwala
Scheme" (for short, 'BTM Layout'). The Land Acquisition Officer awarded
compensation ranging from Rs.10,000/- to Rs.16,000/- per acre in 1981. On
reference by judgment dated October 18, 1985,
the Civil Judge enhanced the compensation to Rs.45,000/- per acre. The
appellants filed the appeals in 1986 and though they valued the appeals at
Rs.75,000/- per acre, they paid court fee @ Rs.60,000/- per acre on the basis
of which the Appeals came to be numbered.
while the appeals were pending, it would appear that in another acquisition,
the XVI Addl City Civil Judge, Bangalore enhanced the compensation in respect
of some other lands @ Rs.75,000/- per acre and on that basis, the appellants
filed an application in August 1989 for permission to pay deficit court fee.
That application was directed to be posted along with the appeals. When they
came up before the Division Bench, it held that since the appellants had restricted
their claim only to Rs.60,000/- and paid the court fee accordingly, they are
not entitled to make payment of the additional court fee and compensation @
Rs.75,000/- per acre. Thus, these appeals.
learned senior counsel for the appellants, contended that in Bhag Singh vs.
United Territory of Chandigarh [(1985) 3 SCC 737] referred to in Scheduled
Caste Co-operative Land Owning Society Ltd., Bhatinda vs. Union of India &
Ors. [(1991) 1 SCC 174], though the appellants therein had filed LPA and had
paid deficit court fee, they had reserved the right, to claim higher
compensation and this Court had awarded higher compensation after condonation
of delay in payment of deficit court fee. That ratio was not upset by another
three-Judge Bench in Schedule Caste-Co-operative Land Owning
Ltd. case (supra). The ratio in the later case was upheld by the Constitution
Bench on reference in Buta Singh (Dead) by Lrs. vs.Union of India [(1995 5 SCC 284]. Therefore, the
appellants having kept the claim alive for higher compensation, though paid
deficit court fee, are entitled to make good the deficit court fee and to be
allowed higher compensation @ Rs.75,330/- per acre.
find no force in the contention. It is true that in Bhag Singh's case, the
appellants were directed to pay the deficit court fee and were granted enhanced
compensation. In that case, since some of the claimants covered by same
notification were given higher compensation and other were denied, this Court
appears to have proceeded on the premise to pay them equal compensation. In
Scheduled Caste Co- operative Lend owning Society's case, this Court pointed
out that whereas in that case, the parties allowed the appeals to become final
in the former case and the party filed an appeal and kept the matter alive and
denied the relief. In later case, no opinion was expressed in that behalf on
keeping alive the claim though no court fee was paid. In Buta Singh's case,
after the reference was answered by the Constitution Bench, similar situation
had arisen therein.
parties filed the appeal, paid the court fee paid at a particular amount and
after the arguments were heard in the matter, they filed an application for
permission to pay the deficit court fee. The Division Bench did not permit them
and dismissed the petition. Dealing with that situation, this Court had held
claim cannot be kept in uncertainty. If in an appeal under Section 54 of the
Land Acquisition Act, the amount is initially kept low and then depending upon
the mood of the appellate court payment of deficit court fee is sought to be
made, it would create an unhealthy practice and would become a game of chess
and a matter of chance. That practice would not be conducive and proper for
orderly conduct of litigation." It would be seen that an appeal was filed
under Section 54 of the Act. The Memo of Appeal in terms of Order 41, CPC came
to be raised that the party is at liberty to determine what would be the rate
at which compensation would be payable for his acquired land. The relevant
provisions of the Court Fees Act, State Legislature prescribes the court fees
payable on money claims on the Memo of Appeal. When a party chooses to value
the appeal and court fees paid at a particular rate, it would be obvious that
the party is seeking to determine the compensation in respect of his land, at
the rate he claims, subject to determination by the Court whether he would be
entitled to the rate at which he valued the appeal and laid the claim or would
not at all be entitled etc. If higher compensation is sought for, necessarily
he has to pay court fee thereon. When higher amount was stated in Memo of
Appeal but court Fee was paid at a lessor amount, it would be obvious that the
appellant had valued And restricted his claim to the extent to which the court
fee had been paid.
question arises: whether the party would be permitted to pay the deficit court
fee at a later stage on the difference of the amount claimed in the appeal? As
indicated earlier, party makes a conscious decision and fixes the valuation and
the court fee paid; it would be unhealthy practice and it will not be conducive
to encourage the practice to keep on changing the valuation and then to pay
deficit court fee thereon. As seen, after the appeal was filed by the appellants
they claimed compensation @ Rs.75,000/- but paid the court fee at Rs.60,000/-
the Civil Judge in another case had enhanced the compensation, they came
forward to claim higher compensation on the basis of that judgment. It will not
be conducive to permit the parties to go on changing the valuation and giving
permission to pay the deficit court fee for higher compensation. The Division
Bench, therefore, was right in refusing to permit them to pay the deficit court
fee to award enhanced compensation @ Rs.75,000- per acre.
vs. S.B. (Mrs.) & Ors. [(1994) 4 SCC 662] was pressed by the learned
counsel for consideration . In view of the fact that this Court in Banta Sing's
case had laid the above principles per incuriam, it is not necessary for us to
go into the same that being not a good law.
appeals are accordingly dismissed No costs.