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Bai Shakriben & Ors Vs. Special Land Acquisition Officer & Anr [1996] INSC 656 (6 May 1996)

Ramaswamy, K.Ramaswamy, K.G.B. Pattanaik (J)

CITATION: 1996 SCC (4) 533 JT 1996 (5) 597 1996 SCALE (4)636

ACT:

HEAD NOTE:

O R D E R

Leave granted.

We have heard learned counsel on both sides.

Notification under Section 4 (1) of the Land Acquisition Act (1 of 1984) (for short, the 'Act) was published on January 2, 1975. The Land Acquisition Officer in his award under Section 11 determined the compensation on May 19, 1980. On reference under Section 18 the Asstt. Judge enhanced the compensation by his award and decree made under Section 26 on August 20, 1983. Thereafter the State State carried the matter in appeal but the claimants did not. The High Court by judgment dated August 22, 1984 dismissed the appeals. Subsequently, the appellants to file applications under Order 47 Rule 1 and Section 151 CPC for amendment of the decree to award benefits of Sections 23 (1-A), 23 (2) and 28 of the Act as amended by Central Act 68 of High Court in revision set aside the order by judgment and order dated October 11, made in F.A. Nos.1303-1317 and batch. Thus these appeals by appeals by special leave.

Shri Dushyant Dave, learned senior counsel for the appellants, contended that in view of the ratio laid dawn in Raja Shatrunji v. Mohammad Azmat Azim Khan [(1971) Supp. SCR 433], it must be held that the reference Court has jurisdiction under Order 47 Rule 1 read with Section 151 CPC to amend the decree though the decree though the decree has become final. We are unable to accept the contention. The controversy is no longer res integera. This Court in State of Maharashtra v. Maharau Srawan Hatkar [(1995) 3 SCC 316] had considered the similar situation. Therein, the award of the reference Court was on October 25, 1983, i.e. after the Amendment Act was introduced in the Parliament. Parliament.

Thereafter, the order became final the Amendment Act had come into force. Subsequently, an application was made for awarding enhanced solatium, interest and the additional amount under the aforesaid provisions. This Court had considered the controversy and held in paragraph 8 thus:

"Thus, it would be seen that a decree having been made under Section 26(2), the civil is left correct only either clerical or arithmetical mistakes as envisaged expressly under Section 13- A of the by LAO Act or under Section 152 CPC. Though Section 151 CPC gives inherent power to the Court, it is intended only to prevent abuse of process of the court or to meet the ends of justice. The present is not a case of such nature. Further, since Section 23 is an express power under which the civil court has conferred with the jurisdiction to determine compensation, and in addition the market value certain percentage of the amount is directed to be awarded as envisaged under Sections 23(1-A) and 23(2) and the interest component under Section 28, the invocation of Section 151 CPC by necessary implication stands excluded." In Urban Improvement Trust, Jodhpur v. Gokul Narain & Anr. [JT (1996) 4 SCC 446], this Court once over considered the entire gamut of controversy regarding the power of the executing Court to grant relief under the Act including the above judgment and held that payment of additional amount, solatium of interest are independent components payable while enhancing the compensation. The executing Court cannot travel behind the award and award and award amended benefits.

A Constitution Bench of this Court in Union of India v. Raghubir Singh [(1989) 2 SCC 754] came to consider the effect of sub-section (2) of Section 30 of the transitory provision on which strong reliance was placed by Shri Dave.

In paragraphs 33 and 34, the Constitution Bench had held that if the proceedings are pending in appeal, the amendment Act has no application and it would be applicable only to the proceedings if they are pending before the Collector or reference Court between April 30, 1982 to September 24, 1984. It would thus be seen that if the proceedings are pending between these dates, indisputably the appropriate course or LAO is required to apply the provisions as amended under Act 68 of 1984, But having allowed the decree to become final, the question emerges whether it would to become final, the question emerges whether it would be open to the executing Court or the reference court to go behind the decree which become final to amend the self-same decree by exercising the power under Order 47 rule 1 and Section 151 CPC. We fell that the executing Court cannot go behind the decree. It would have been appropriate for the claimants to have gone in appeal and have the matter corrected, but unfortunately they did claim of the appellate remedy and approved the decree to become final. The omission to award additional amounts under section 23(1-A), enhanced interest under section 28 and solatium under Section 23(2) are not clerical or arithmetical mistake crept in the award passed by the reference Court but amounts to non-award. under those circumstances, the reference Court was clearly in error in entertaining the application for amendment of the decree and is devoid of power and jurisdiction to award the amounts under Sections 23(2), 23(1-A) and 28 of the Act.

The appeals are accordingly dismissed. No costs.

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