Lilawati Agarwal (Dead) by LRS.& Ors. Vs. State of Jharkhand  INSC 581 (4
DR. ARIJIT PASAYAT & P. SATHASIVAM
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 1363 OF 2007 WITH
(Civil Appeal No. 2468/2008 @ SLP (C) NO. 15653 OF 2004 (Civil Appeal No.
2469/2008 @ SLP (C) NO. 15657 OF 2004 (Civil Appeal No. 2470/2008 @ SLP (C) NO.
15683 OF 2004 (Civil Appeal No. 2471/2008 @ SLP (C) NO. 20741OF 2004) Dr.
ARIJIT PASAYAT, J.
1. Leave granted in SLP(C) Nos. 15653, 15657, 15683 and 20741 of 2004.
2. All these appeals involve identical questions and are therefore, taken up
together for disposal. The basic issues involved in these appeals relate to
entitlement of the claimants/appellants for benefits under Sections 23(1-A),
23(2) and Section 28 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (in short the 'Act').
3. Factual position is almost undisputed and essentially as follows:
Notification under Section 4(1) of the Act was issued on 21.4.1965, Section
6 notification was issued on 10.11.1966 and the Land Acquisition Collector's
Award was made on 6.4.1972.
Section 30 of the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act, 1984 (in short the
'Amendment Act') was introduced and made operative with effect from 24.9.1984.
The reference court decided reference on 30.9.1985, the High Court held that
in view of the decision of this Court in K.S.
Paripoornan v. State of Kerala [1994(5) SCC 593] the appellant was not
entitled to the benefit under Section 23(1-A), 23(2) and Section 28 of the Act.
4. Learned counsel for the appellants submitted that the benefit under Section
23(1-A) may not be available in view of what has been stated in K.S.
Paripoornan's case (hereinafter referred to as 'Paripuranan I') yet in view of
the decision of this Court in Union of India v. Raghubir Singh [1989(2) SCC
754] and in K.S. Paripoornan v. State of Kerala [1995(1) SCC 367] (hereinafter
referred to as 'Paripoornan II' )the benefit under Section 23(2) and Section 28
of the Act are available.
5. Learned counsel for the respondent-State and Bharat Coking Coal Ltd. (in
short the 'BCCL') the beneficiary for whose benefit the land was acquired
submitted that the view in Paripuranan II is not correct as a three judge Bench
had taken a view clearly contrary to what has been stated by the Constitution
Bench in Raghubir Singh's case (supra).
6. By way of reply learned counsel for the appellant submitted that even
recently in Panna Lal Ghosh v. Land Acquisition Collector [2004(1) SCC 467]
this Court has adopted a view taken in Paripuranan II's case (supra).
7. In order to appreciate the rival submissions it is necessary to take note
of what has been stated in Raghuveer Singh's case (supra) which is as follows:
"31. In construing Section 30(2), it is just as well to be clear that
the award made by the Collector referred to here is the award made by the
Collector under Section 11 of the parent Act, and the award made by the Court
is the award made by the Principal Civil Court of Original Jurisdiction under
Section 23 of the parent Act on a reference made to it by the Collector under
Section 19 of the parent Act.
There can be no doubt that the benefit of the enhanced solatium is intended
by Section 30(2) in respect of an award made by the Collector between 30-4-1982
Likewise the benefit of the enhanced solatium is extended by Section 30(2) to
the case of an award made by the Court between 30-4-1982 and 24-9-1984, even
though it be upon reference from an award made before 30-4- 1982.
34. Our attention was drawn to the order made in State of Punjab v. Mohinder
Singh [1986(1) SCC 365], but in the absence of a statement of the reasons which
persuaded the learned Judges to take the view they did we find it difficult to
endorse that decision. It received the approval of the learned Judges who
decided Bhag Singh v Union Territory of Chandigarh [1985(3) SCC 737] but the
judgment in Bhag Singh's case (supra) as we have said earlier, has omitted to
give due significance to all the material provisions of Section 30(2), and
consequently we find ourselves at variance with it. The learned Judges
proceeded to apply the principle that an appeal is a continuation of the
proceeding initiated before the Court by way of reference under Section 18 but,
in our opinion, the application of a general principle must yield to the
limiting terms of the statutory provision itself. Learned counsel for the
respondents has strenuously relied on the general principle that the appeal is
a rehearing of the original matter, but we are not satisfied that he is on good
ground in invoking that principle. Learned counsel for the respondents points
out that the word 'or' has been used in Section 30(2) as a disjunctive between
the reference to the award made by the Collector or the Court and on an order
passed by the High Court or the Supreme Court in appeal and, he says, properly
understood it must mean that the period 30-4-1982 to 24-9-1984 is as much
applicable to the appellate order of the High Court or of the Supreme Court as
it is to the award made by the Collector or the Court. We think that what
Parliament intends to say is that the benefit of Section 30(2) will be
available to an award by the Collector or the Court made between the aforesaid
two dates or to an appellate order of the High Court or of the Supreme Court
which arises out of an award of the Collector or the Court made between the
said two dates. The word 'or' is used with reference to the stage at which the
proceeding rests at the time when the benefit under Section 30(2) is sought to
If the proceeding has terminated with the award of the Collector or of the
Court made between the aforesaid two dates, the benefit of Section 30(2) will
be applied to such award made between the aforesaid two dates. If the
proceeding has passed to the stage of appeal before the High Court or the
Supreme Court, it is at that stage when the benefit of Section 30(2) will be
applied. But in every case, the award of the Collector or of the Court must
have been made between 30-4-1982 and 24-9- 1984. (underlined for emphasis)
8. In Raghubir Singh's case (supra) two terminus points were fixed i.e.
Award by the Collector or decision of the reference Court must have been taken
between 30.4.1982 and 24.9.1984. It has been clearly stated in the last line of
para 34 that every case "must" have been decided between the
aforesaid terminus. In Paripuranan II's case (supra) at para 4 it was observed
that restrictive interpretation should not be given. With great respect we are
unable to subscribe to the view. As a matter of fact a three judge Bench was
trying to give an interpretation different from what was specifically given by
the Constitution Bench.
9. Therefore, we think it appropriate to refer the matter to a larger bench
to consider correctness of the view expressed in para 4 in Paripurnan II's case
(supra) holding that a restricted interpretation should not be given, on the
face of what has been stated in para 34 of Raghuveer Singh's case (supra).
Records may be placed before the Hon'ble Chief Justice of India for necessary