Dattatray Thirthkar Vs. State of Maharashtra  INSC 481 (4 March 2009)
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO.
1526 OF 2009 (Arising out of SLP) No. 9782 of 2005) Mahesh Dattatray Thirthkar
...Appellant Versus State of Maharashtra ...Respondent
This appeal has been filed by the appellant to challenge the
judgment and order dated 6th of December, 2004 passed by the High Court of
Judicature at Bombay, Bench at Aurangabad in First Appeal No.875 of 2003
reversing the order dated 27th of April, 1994 of the Reference Court, under
Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereinafter referred to as the
`Act') whereby the High Court had reduced the quantum of compensation, as
enhanced by the Reference Court from Rs.83,000/- to Rs.40,226/-.
The relevant facts as arising from the case made out by the
parties, leading to filing of this appeal, and which will help us in
understanding the controversy involved, can be summarized as follows.
property in acquisition belonged to the appellant, bearing House No. 100/5 at
village Deolali, Tal. & District Osmanabad (hereinafter referred to as the
`acquired property'). The same was sought to be acquired by the State
Respondent for the Ruibhor Medium Project. On 10th of September, 1985, the
State Respondent issued a notification under section 4 of the Act regarding the
need of the acquired property for purposes mentioned in the notification. This
notification was published on 16th of October, 1985. On 17th of March, 1986,
the State Respondent issued a notification under section 6 of the Act regarding
the need of the acquired property for purposes mentioned therein. Thereafter,
on 30th of March, 1988, the Land Acquisition Officer passed an award of
compensation under section 11 of the Act, granting an amount of Rs.40,226/- as
compensation to the appellant, the said amount being inclusive of statutory
benefits under Section 23 of the Act.
Dissatisfied with the quantum of compensation awarded to him, the
appellant in 1991 filed a Reference case under section 18 of the Act. On 27th
of April, 1994, the learned Civil Judge, Senior Division, Osmanabad, on hearing
the parties, held that the compensation awarded by the Land Acquisition Officer
was inappropriate and, therefore, increased the same to Rs.83,000/-, in addition
to Rs.5,000/- towards the loss and damages incurred by the appellant. He also
awarded other statutory benefits under Section 23 of the Act. Being aggrieved
by this order of the Reference Court, the State Respondent filed an appeal
before the Aurangabad Bench of the High Court of Bombay in December 1996. By
the impugned Judgment dated 6th of December, 2004, the High Court had set aside
the order of the Reference Court and reduced the compensation in respect of the
acquired property from Rs.83,000/- to Rs.40,226/- as granted by the Land
For the purposes of deciding this appeal, it is pertinent to note
the grounds on which the High Court had set aside the order of the Reference
Court, so that the same is kept in consideration while appreciating the
contentions of both the parties and finally adjudicating on the issues
The High Court was of the opinion that the evidence produced by
the appellants for proving their claim of inadequacy of the compensation
awarded was insufficient. The High Court also held that the witnesses produced
for examination by the appellant were inconsistent in their testimony,
especially Dattatraya Trimbakrao Tirthkar, father of the appellant, and
Ramchandra Shankarrao Baraskar, an engineer and also the valuer in respect of
the market value of the acquired property.
the High Court, the father of the appellant was unable to show how the acquired
property was mutated in the name of the appellant, whether by partition or
purchase by his guardian. Further, the valuer was unable to say in his
deposition the date of his visit to the acquired property for the purpose of
valuation. The evidence on record adduced by the claimant was also
unsatisfactory, as he could not prove the factum of having answered the notice
under Section 9 of the Act and his claim for Rs.7000/- for the vacant plot.
Moreover, the third witness, Tanaji Madhukar Kshirsagar, who claimed to have
purchased property in the vicinity of the acquired property, was unable to
prove that the property purchased by him was adjacent to the acquired property
and that the 5 transaction of its purchase could be considered similar to the
acquisition of land of the appellant. Thus, the High Court was of the view that
there was nothing to support reliance on his testimony.
Given these findings, the High Court held that evidence adduced by
the appellant was unsatisfactory, on which the Reference Court ought not to
have placed reliance. The High Court has even held that the deposition of the
father and the expert seems to be concocted merely in order to garner support
for the claimant's case. Upon the aforesaid findings arrived at by the High
Court, it has set aside the order of the Reference Court and held that the
order of the Land Acquisition Officer valuing the acquired property at
Rs.40,226/- was just, reasonable, proper and adequate.
Feeling aggrieved by this judgment and order of the High Court,
the appellant has filed the present special leave petition, which was heard by
us on grant of leave in the presence of the learned counsel for the parties.
The first question that arose for our consideration in this appeal
is whether the High Court was justified in reversing 6 the finding of fact
arrived at by the Reference Court on reappreciation of evidence under Article
136 of the Constitution of India.
If the first question is answered in the affirmative, the next
issue is with respect to the sufficiency and reliability of the evidence
adduced by the appellant to discharge his burden of proving that the compensation
awarded by the Land Acquisition Officer was inadequate, thus justifying
enhancement as ordered by the Reference Court.
The learned counsel for the appellant submitted that the impugned
judgment and order of the High Court was passed not after considering the fact
that the appellant had proved through examination of three witnesses and
production of the sale deed of a sale transaction in the vicinity that he was
legally entitled to an enhanced compensation, and that the order of the
Reference Court was fully justified. Further, he contended that the High Court
had failed to consider the fact that the Respondent was unable to produce for
examination any witness or any other evidence to rebut any of the submissions
of the appellant. The contention of the learned counsel for the appellant was
also that the High Court did not give proper 7 weightage to the fact that the
acquired property was situated near Osmanabad Latur Road and that the
Aurangabad Solapur Highway is just 3 k.m. from it, indicating that it was in an
area which was developed, lucrative from the point of view of further
development and hence capable of yielding a high price for the owner on its
sale. The learned counsel for the appellant has brought to our notice the
aforesaid factual situation of the acquired property and then relying on the
principles laid down by this Court in Suresh Kumar v. Town Improvement Trust,
Bhopal [AIR 1989 SC 1222], submitted that "in order to ascertain the
market value of the land taking into consideration the special value which
ought to be attached to the special advantage possessed by the land; namely,
its proximity to develop urbanized area, the Court has to ascertain as best as
possible from the materials before it what a willing vendor might reasonably expect
to obtain from a willing purchaser, for the land in that particular position
and with that particular potentiality. The value of the potentiality has to be
determined on such materials as are available and without indulgence in fits of
imagination." According to the learned counsel for the appellant, the High
Court also ignored the ratio in Bhag Singh 8 & Ors. v. Union Territory of
Chandigarh (AIR 1985 SC 1576) in giving importance to technicalities in a
matter of land acquisition by relying on minor inconsistencies in the testimony
of the witnesses. It was also the contention of the learned counsel for the
appellant that the claim of the State Respondent regarding absence of
permission from the gram panchayat for construction of the property cannot be
accepted. This was because the claimant had specifically deposed that such
permission was obtained. Further, this was evident from the fact that the
property was numbered as house no 100/5 by the gram panchayat. There is nothing
to suggest that no permission has been obtained and the respondent has not
examined anybody from the gram panchayat to substantiate its assertion.
the learned counsel for the appellant contended that the High Court was not
justified in allowing the appeal in the first instance merely on suggestions
made by the respondents in cross-examinations, when they had failed to derive
any admissions on the basis of these suggestions. The learned counsel for the
appellant submitted that the High Court was not justified in considering
grounds that were not at all raised by the State Respondent in the appeal
before it. Lastly the 9 learned counsel for the appellant argued that judgment
of the High Court was not, therefore, at all a proper judgment of reversal.
On the other hand, the learned counsel for the State Respondent
submitted that there was no documentary evidence to prove that the appellant
submitted a reply under section 9 of the Act. Further, he contended that the
Reference Court enhanced the award of compensation without considering the true
nature of the evidence, which was rightly set aside by the High Court after
properly considering the evidence brought in by the appellant and the actual
distance of the acquired property from the developed organized area and the
allegedly similar sale. On the issue of sufficiency of the evidence adduced by
the appellant, he submitted that the appellant could not produce any material
evidence in support of his claim for enhanced compensation and the Reference
Court was thus wrong in placing reliance on the same. More specifically,
according to the learned counsel for the State Respondent the testimony of the
expert, the father of the appellant and Tanaji (who allegedly purchased
proximate property) was fabricated and hence unreliable. He contended that
there was no evidence 10 to prove that the construction on the acquired
property was done with the permission of the gram panchayat, as required.
counsel further contended that since the High Court had reversed the finding of
the Reference Court after considering the materials on record, it was not open
for this Court to interfere with the findings of fact under Article 136 of the
Constitution of India.
13.We have heard and considered all these contentions of the
learned counsel for the parties and also perused the materials on record
including the Judgment of the Reference Court and also the impugned Judgment.
14.It is not in dispute that the High Court, in the exercise of
its first appeal jurisdiction, was entitled to come to a different findings of
fact and after considering the evidence and materials on record can come to a
different conclusion based on such consideration. Accordingly, we are of the
view that in the event we hold that this Court would not be permitted to
interfere with the findings of fact arrived at by the High Court on
consideration of the materials on record, oral and documentary, in that case,
the question of going into the other aspects of the 11 matter, which was argued
by the learned counsel for the parties, would not arise at all. In this view of
the matter, before we proceed further, we may take note of the fact that
whether this court, in the exercise of its power under Article 136 of the
Constitution of India, would be entitled to examine the findings of fact
arrived at by the High Court while reversing the findings of fact arrived at by
the Reference Court and whether this Court in the exercise of its power under
Article 136 of the Constitution of India is also entitled to set aside the
findings of fact arrived at by the High Court on the ground that the judgment
of the High Court was not a proper judgment of reversal. Accordingly, let us
first examine whether in the exercise of our power under Article 136 of the
Constitution of India, we can upset the judgment of reversal on facts and come
to a finding that on the evidence already on record, the order of the Reference
Court was just, proper and adequate. Therefore, let us examine whether this
Court would be entitled to examine the findings of fact arrived at by the High
Court on consideration of evidence on record and the power to set aside the
findings of the High Court under Article 136 of the Constitution of India in
the matter of reversal of findings of fact.
It is not in dispute that power under Article 136 of the
Constitution of India is exercisable not only against a judgment of reversal on
facts but also in cases of concurrent findings of fact and such powers are wide
enough. This view was expressed by this Court way back in the year 1958 in the
case of State of Madras v. A.Vaidyanatha Iyer (AIR 1958 SC 61). In Para 13 at
page 64 of the aforesaid decision, this Court observed as follows "in
Article 136 the use of the words `Supreme Court may in its discretion grant
special leave to appeal from any judgment, decree, determination, sentence or
order in any cause or matter passed or made by any court or tribunal in the
territory of India' show that in criminal matters no distinction can be made as
a matter of construction between a judgment of conviction or acquittal."
is ours] A reading of this observation of this Court, as quoted herein above
and considering the expressions used in Article 136 of the Constitution, it
would not be difficult to understand that this Court in its discretion may grant
leave to appeal from any judgment, decree, determination, sentence or order in
any cause or matter passed or made by 13 any court or tribunal in the territory
of India which would be apparent also in cases of judgment of reversal and
affirmance in civil proceedings. It is true that the aforesaid observation was
made by this Court while dealing with a criminal case but the scope of Article
136 of the Constitution of India cannot be different in civil or criminal
proceedings. It is also true that this Court while exercising its power under
Article 136 of the Constitution of India will not readily interfere with the
findings of fact given by the High Court but it can interfere with such
findings of fact if the High Court acts perversely or otherwise improperly.
Again in Himachal Pradesh Administration v. Shri Om Prakash
((1972) 1 SCC 249), this Court while considering its power under Article 136 of
the Constitution of India on the question of interference with the findings of
fact, observed as follows:
appeals against acquittal by special leave under Article 136, this Court has
undoubted power to interfere with the findings of the fact, no distinction
being made between judgments of acquittal and conviction though in the case of
acquittals it will not ordinarily interfere with the appreciation of evidence
or on findings of fact unless the High Court "acts perversely or otherwise
In Arunachalam v. P.S.R. Sadhanantham & Anr. ((1979) 2 SCC
297), this Court while agreeing with the views expressed in the aforementioned
decisions of this Court stated thus:
power is plenary in the sense that there are no words in Article 136 itself
qualifying that power. But, the very nature of the power has led the court to
set limits to itself within which to exercise such power. It is now the
well-established practice of this Court to permit the invocation of the power
under Article 136 only in very exceptional circumstances, as when a question of
law of general public importance arises or a decision shocks the conscience of
the court. But within the restrictions imposed by itself, this Court has the
undoubted power to interfere with the findings of fact, making no distinction
between judgments of acquittal and conviction, if the High Court, in arriving at
those findings, has "acted perversely or otherwise improperly."
Again in State of U.P. v. Babul Nath ((1994) 6 SCC 29), this Court
observed as follows:
the very outset we may mention that in an appeal under Article 136 of the
Constitution this Court does not normally reappraise the evidence by itself and
go into the question of credibility of the witnesses and the assessment of the
evidence by the High Court is accepted by the Supreme 15 Court as final unless,
of course, the appreciation of evidence and finding is vitiated by any error of
law of procedure or found contrary to the principles of natural justice, errors
of record and misreading of the evidence, or where the conclusions of the High
Court are manifestly perverse and unsupportable from the evidence on
In Pattakkal Kunhikoya (Dead) by LRs. v. Thoopiyakkal Koya &
Anr. ((2000) 2 SCC 185) it was held that when an appeal arises under Article
136 of the Constitution of India, "it is not the practice of the Supreme
Court to reappreciate the evidence for the purpose of examining whether the
findings of fact arrived at by the High Court and the subordinate court is
correct or not. Exception can only be taken in the event of serious miscarriage
of justice or manifest illegality but not otherwise."
In Mithilesh Kumari & Anr. v. Prem Behari Khare ((1989) 2 SCC
95) this court has held that where findings of subordinate courts are shown to
be "perverse or based on no evidence or irrelevant evidence or there are
material irregularities affecting the said findings or where the court feels
that justice has failed and the findings are likely to 16 result in unduly
excessive hardship, the Supreme Court could not decline to interfere merely on
the ground that findings in question are findings of fact."
As noted herein earlier, this Court does not normally reappreciate
evidence under Article 136, but when the High Court has redetermined a fact in
issue in a civil appeal, and erred in drawing interferences based on
presumptions, the Supreme Court can reappreciate the evidence to prevent
further delay instead of remanding the matter (See : Dr.N.G. Dastane v. Mrs.S.
Dastane, (1975) 2 SCC 326).
22.From a close examination of the principles laid down by this
Court in the aforesaid series of decisions as referred to herein above on the
question of exercising power to interfere with findings of fact by this Court
under Article 136 of the Constitution, the following principles, therefore,
powers of this Court under Article 136 of the Constitution of India are very
17 7 It
is open to this Court to interfere with the findings of fact given by the High
Court if the High Court has acted perversely or otherwise improperly.
evidence adduced by the parties in support of their respective cases fell short
of reliability and acceptability and as such it is highly unsafe and improper
to act upon it.
appreciation of evidence and finding is vitiated by any error of law of
procedure or found contrary to the principles of natural justice, errors of
record and misreading of the evidence, or where the conclusions of the High
Court are manifestly perverse and unsupportable from the evidence on record.
appreciation of evidence and finding results in serious miscarriage of justice
or manifest illegality.
findings of subordinate courts are shown to be "perverse or based on no
evidence or 18 irrelevant evidence or there are material irregularities
affecting the said findings or where the court feels that justice has failed
and the findings are likely to result in unduly excessive hardship.
High Court has redetermined a fact in issue in a civil appeal, and erred in
drawing interferences based on presumptions.
judgment was not a proper judgment of reversal.
Keeping the aforesaid position as enunciated and settled by the
aforesaid series of decisions of this Court on the question of the power of
this Court to interfere with the findings of fact on reversal in the exercise
of our power under Article 136 of the Constitution of India, we shall now
proceed to examine the evidence as well as reasonings given by the Reference
Court and the High Court and the materials on record to find out whether the
findings of fact arrived at by the High Court while 19 reversing the findings
of fact arrived at by the Reference Court had satisfied the basic principles as
noted herein earlier.
In our view, in the facts and circumstances of the present case
and evidence and materials before us, which was duly considered by the Reference
Court, the High Court was not justified in interfering with the findings of the
Reference Court based on mere suggestions made by the State Respondent and
setting aside its order. In our view, the findings made by the High Court were
arbitrary and improper inasmuch as the High Court had failed to consider the
total lack of evidence adduced by the State Respondent and disregarded the
witnesses produced before it without sufficient justification for doubting
their credibility. Such arbitrariness in findings has caused serious
miscarriage of justice as against the appellant by denying him a just and
reasonable compensation for property acquired from him by the State Respondent.
25.The High Court upheld the contentions of the State Respondent
even though there was no evidence adduced 20 by the State Respondent to support
the same. Thus, its findings are based on no evidence at all.
26.Keeping this in mind, we are inclined to reconsider evidence on
record in this appeal and assess the findings of fact made by the courts below.
We now turn to the issue of sufficiency of evidence adduced by the
appellant to prove its claim of enhancement of compensation. It is a
well-established proposition of law that the burden of proving the true market
value of acquired property is on the State that has acquired it for a
particular purpose (See Land Acquisition Officer & Mandal Revenue Officer
v. V. Narasaiah, (2001) 3 SCC 530). It appears from the record that the State
had only produced a valuers' report of a government engineer in order to
substantiate its claim of market value, whereas the claimant has produced a
valuation report and sale transaction from which it will appear that the
claimant has successfully proved the market value of the acquired property as
determined by the Reference Court. Therefore, it can be legitimately concluded
21 that the burden of proving inadequacy of the amount which lay on the
claimant was successfully discharged by him.
In Special Land Acquisition Officer v. Sidappa Omanna Tumari &
Ors. (1995 Supp (2) SCC 168) it was held that a report of an expert for
establishing the market value can be acted upon by the Court if "relevant
factual data or material which constituted basis for the report is also
produced and the same is proved to be genuine and reliable and the method
adopted by the expert is found to be recognized and correct." In this
appeal, the report of the engineer engaged by the appellant to prove the market
value of the acquired property, is based on his personal visit to the site of
the acquired property, the map drawn by him after taking the measurements of
the acquired property and the valuation report made by him after deducting the
cost of depreciation. The valuer of the appellant has also submitted a map as
well as the cost of depreciation report and the valuation report. He has also
given details of the date of his visit to the said property in 1985. Further,
it is not disputed that he has used the PWD practice and standard engineering
norms while 22 deciding the value of the acquired property. All these factors
seem to make the valuation of the expert valuer worthy of credence, as per the
ratio of the above-stated case.
Given that the appellant has been able to show, by the testimony
and valuation report of the expert valuer, that the award of compensation
passed by the Land Acquisition Officer was inadequate, the onus now shifts on
the Respondent to adduce sufficient evidence to sustain the award, as was held
clearly in the case of Special Land Acquisition Officer v. Sidappa Omanna
Tumari (1995 Supp (2) SCC 168). We firmly feel that the State Respondent has
completely failed to discharge this burden. The Respondent has been unable to
produce any evidence at all to support its claim of sufficiency of the award
and the High Court judgment, leave alone the question of having adduced
It is clear that the High Court has completely overlooked the lack
of evidence in support of the contentions of the Respondent and the conclusion
of the High Court is backed only by assertions rather than by acceptable 23
reasoning based on proper appreciation of evidence. This being the case, the
order of the High Court cannot be sustained, as held in the case of Othayath
Lekshmy Amma & Anr. v. Nellachinkuniyil Govindan Nair & Ors. ((1990) 3
SCC 374). We are thus inclined to accept the contention of the appellant that
the High Court has relied merely on suggestions made by the State- Respondent
in cross-examinations, when they have failed to derive any admissions on the
basis of these suggestions.
As regards the evidence of Mr. Tanaji, who claimed to have
purchased property in the vicinity of the acquired property, it is held that
section 51A of the Act permits acceptance of the certified copy of the sale
transaction, as produced by the witness in this case, even without examination
of the vendor or vendee. However, the use of the term "may" in the
said provision shows that there is discretion with the court to the extent of
reliance to be placed on the same. This has been explicitly held in the case of
Cement Corpn. Of India Ltd. V. Purya & Ors.
SCC 270). This Court in the abovenamed 24 decision also held that such a sale
deed is to be believed only if there is no contrary evidence to rebut its
that the State Respondent has been unable to adduce any evidence to rebut this
sale deed, we are inclined to place reliance on the same and consider it
Coming to the findings of the High Court regarding the
inconsistency and infirmity in the testimony of the witnesses produced by the
appellant for examination, it is emphasized that the burden of proof in civil
cases is that of "balance of probability" and not that of
"beyond reasonable doubt". Thus minor inconsistencies in evidence are
not relevant in civil cases in considering the question of discharge of this
burden. This principle has been reiterated by this Court in a number of
decisions namely Sarjudas & Anr. v. State of Gujarat (AIR 2000 SC 403) and
State of Rajasthan v. Netrapal & Ors.
SCC 45). Further, all inconsistencies in evidence cannot impeach the credit of
the witness and hence reliability of its testimony. It has been held by this
Court in Rammi alias Rameshwar v. State of Madhya 25 Pradesh ((1999) 8 SCC 649)
that only contradictory statements would so affect the witnesses' credit. We
are of the opinion that the inconsistencies pointed out by the High Court in
the evidence adduced by the appellant are only minor inconsistencies and do not
warrant non- reliance on the same.
The High Court held that there is inconsistency in the testimony
of the father of the appellant and that of Mr. Tanaji in so far as the distance
between the acquired property and the property purchased by Mr. Tanaji in
Kajali is concerned because the former witness claims the distance as 0.5 kms,
while the latter has stated that it is
1.5 to 2
kms. We are of the opinion that this inconsistency is insignificant since both
the statements go on to prove that the two properties are close to each other
and are hardly contradictory.
Further, the inconsistency pointed out in the testimony of the
expert valuer is that he stated in the cross- examination that it is necessary
for valuation of the acquired property to consider the type of material used in
26 the construction of the same and the place from which the materials were
procured and in the examination-in-chief, he agreed that he did not see any
report regarding the same. These statements are, however, not contradictory.
might be necessary for the valuer to consider the abovementioned factors in the
process of his valuation, it is not necessary for him to rely on the report of
another person with regard to the same. He, being an expert in his field, can
rely on his own knowledge, experience and judgment to come to conclusions
regarding these aspects of the acquired property. Thus, the testimony of the
expert valuer is not rendered discredited on this ground.
The reasons given by the High Court for setting aside the order of
the Reference Court were limited to inconsistency and unreliability of the
testimony of the witnesses produced by the appellants and on the grounds that
were clearly argued by the State Respondent.
It appears that the High Court found doubts in the evidence
adduced by the appellants when none existed.
there is a patent error in rejecting the appellant's 27 evidence. The High
Court sought "consistence in the evidence forsaking the sense the evidence
conveyed and the effect it produced." Such an approach renders the reasoning
of the High Court unsustainable, as held by this Court in State of Karnataka v.
Appa Balu Ingale & Ors. (AIR 1993 SC 1126).
Finally, it is pertinent to note that the appellants have
correctly brought out the opinion of this Court in the case of Suresh Kumar v.
Town Improvement Trust (Supra) and Bhag Singh v. Union of India (Supra). The
former case clearly lays down that proximity to develop urbanized area needs to
be necessarily considered, while deciding on the compensation to be paid for
acquisition of land, on the basis of evidence available. The High Court seems
to have ignored that based on the evidence put forth before it by the
appellant, the acquired property is situated near Osmanabad Latur Road and
Aurangabd Solapur Highway, and the Respondent has not given any evidence to
rebut this contention. Thus, the High Court has overlooked the proximity of the
acquired property to a developed area.
while this Court clearly cautioned against taking 28 up of "technical
pleas to defeat a just claim to enhanced compensation" under the Act in
Bhag Singh v. Union of India (supra), the High Court set aside the order of the
Reference Court merely on grounds of minor inconsistencies and technicalities.
It seemed to have disregarded the fact that the compensation provision of the
Act is in the nature of a welfare stipulation and thus the State government
must be just and fair to those whose land it acquires. It is not just and fair
to deprive the owner of any property without payment of its true market value,
especially when the law provides that the same shall be paid.
38.Before parting with this judgment, we may also state here that
the entire compensation money given by the Reference Court has been allowed to
be withdrawn and therefore, this is one of the aspects that should have been
kept in mind.
39.For the reasons above-stated, we set aside the impugned
judgment of the High Court, thereby restoring the 29 judgment of the Reference
Court awarding enhanced compensation to the appellant.
40.The appeal is accordingly allowed. There is no order as to
.......................J. [Tarun Chatterjee]