Prabhu Vs. Kerala State Electricity Board & Ors  INSC 550 (7 July 1997)
RAMASWAMY, D.P. WADHWA
O R D
E R Leave granted. We have heard learned counsel on both sides.
appeals by special leave arise from the judgment and order of the learned
single Judge of the High Court, made on 19.4.1996 in C.R.P. Nos. 832 and 834 of
admitted facts are that the appellant is having the land (with trees standing
thereon) admeasuring 6 acres and 21 cents in Survey No. 560/2 and 60-1/2 cents
in survey No.
and 5 acres and 42 cents in survey No. 634/2 of pulluttu village . The
respondents invoked by notification dated 21.6.1969, the provisions of section
51 of the Indian Electricity Act, 1910 and section 10 to 18 of the Indian
Telegraph Act, 1885 for acquiring the land of the appellant for laying electric
lines by cutting the tress, standing thereon. The appellant laid the claim
before the District Court under section 1092) to 16(3) of the Indian Telegraph
Act and section 51 of the Indian Electricity Act, 1910 for compensation. The
District Judge determined the compensation. The Dissatisfied therewith, the
appellant filed revisions in the High court. The High Court in the impugned
order confirmed the compensation paid for the trees, but set aside the
determination of the compensation with regard to the diminution of value of the
land on account of laying of the electric lines across the land of the
appellant. Thus, these appeals by special leave.
we were not familiar with the nature of the procedure followed in this behalf,
we directed Mr. G.
Iyer, learned senior counsel for the respondent - Electricity Board in
acquiring the trees for erection of the electricity Board in acquiring the
trees for erection of the electric lines across the land of the appellant. An
affidavit by the competent officer together with the proceedings has been filed
in that behalf.
dated June 21, 1969 does indicate as under:
S.R.O. No. 270/69.-- In exercise of the powers conferred by section 51 of the
Indian Electricity Act, 1910 (Act 9 of 1910), and in supersession of
PW dated 6th January 1960, published on page 50 of Part I of the Gazette dated
12.1.1960, The Government of Kerala hereby confer upon the Engineers of the Kerala
state Electricity Board of and above the rank of Assistant Engineers to
exercise, for the purpose of placing of appliances and apparatus, for the
survey and construction of lines etc, etc. of our the transmission distribution
or use of electrical energy within their respective jurisdictions, all the
powers which the Telegraph Act, 1985 (Act 18 of 1885) with respect to the
placing of telegraph lines and posts for the purposes of a telegraph
established or maintained by Government or to be established or
maintained." In furtherance thereof, sanction has been accorded for
acquisition of the trees as mentioned in the sanction order which reads as
Sanction is hereby accorded for an estimate amounting to Rs. 95,000/- (Rupees
ninety five thousands only) for constructing
of 11 kv. Kodwagallur- parur feeder outgoing feeder from Kodungallu sub-section
under Electrical Division Irinjalakuda Sub-Divn. Iringalakuda Expenditure to
the extent of Rs. 95,000/- may be met form the budget provision for 76-77
Electrical Division Iringalakuda under voltage improvement basis." The
Board has vide Resolution dated July 1, 1992 decided to follow the procedure
provided in the Land Acquisition Act and the Land Acquisition Manual for
determination of the compensation for trees. It postulates the notice to the
owner and powers of entry.
of the trees as provided in paragraph 13 and then preparation of the valuation
statement as provided in paragraph 17 of the Manual and the diminution of the
land value on account of the instalation of electric lines over private
properties as provided n paragraph 30 of the Manual.
the award s required to be passed under paragraph 33 of the Manual in that
thereto, notice in this behalf was given to the appellant and on the basis
thereof, the appellant filed the claim in O.P. Nos. 20/87 and 202 of 1986
before the District Court for determination of the compensation.
it could be seen that the claim has been made by the appellant under section 51
of the Electricity Act, 1910 and section 10 to 16(3). Section 16(3) f the
Indian Telegraph Act reads as under :
16(3) If any dispute arise concerning the sufficiency of compensation to be
paid under section 10, clause (d), it shall, on application for that purpose by
either of the disputing parties to the District Judge within whose jurisdiction
the property is situate, be determined by him." It would clearly indicate
that if any dispute arises between the parties concerning the sufficiency of
compensation, they are entitled to lay the claim before the District court and
the District court is required to determine the compensation since the
procedure prescribed under the Munal of the Land Acquisition was adopted by the
Electricity Board. the appellant has rightly availed of the procedure as
indicated in the petition itself. thus, the appellant has perfectly followed
the procedure prescribed by law and needs no interference.
question then is: whether the courts below have committed any error in
determining the compensation? With regard to the quantum, we are of the view
that the District court has minutely gone into the question. The High Court has
also addressed itself in this behalf. It being a finding of fact, we do not
like to interfere with the findings. with regard to the diminution of the
extent of the land. the trial court has recorded a finding and it was confirmed
by the High Court. We feel that since no contra finding was recorded by High
Court as regards the extent of the land and only diminution of the value is in
issue, we do not express any opinion in this behalf. The District Judge should
go into the question and decide it in accordance with law.
appeals are accordingly dismissed. No costs.