Hemendra Prasad Baruah Vs. The
Collector of Sibsagar, Assam  INSC 136 (22 July 1975)
RAY, A.N. (CJ) MATHEW, KUTTYIL KURIEN
FAZALALI, SYED MURTAZA
CITATION: 1976 AIR 908 1976 SCR (1) 68 1975
SCC (2) 322
Assam Land (Requisition and Acquisition) Act,
1948 (Assam Act XXV o; 1948) Section 7(1A)-Acquisition of land lying
unused-Appellant, if entitled to larger scale of compensation.
100 bights of land lying unused were
requisitioned by Government to settle landless people. The appellant, a tea
planter, willingly surrendered the same. But, when the State proceeded to
acquire the land under s. 7(1A) of' the Assam Land (Requisition and
Acquisition) Act, 1948 he disputed the payment of lesser scale of compensation
prescribed under s. 7(1A) of the Act. 'The Courts below concurrently held
Dismissing the appeal,
HELD: The simple statutory test that settles
the issue is lo find out whether the land acquired is Lying fallow or
uncultivated. If it is, a small compensation alone is awardable, as laid down
in s. 7(1A) of the Act. On the other hand, if it is tea garden, the quantum is
as under s. 23 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. Plethora of evidence adduced
in this case clearly proceeds on the basis that the land in question is fallow.
The High Court has, therefore, rightly held that s. 7(1A) appropriately applied
to this case. [68H- 69B]
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal
No. 1264 of 1969.
Appeal by certificate from the judgment and order
dated the 12th Feb., 1968 of the High Court of Assam and Nagaland at Gauhati in
First Appeal No. 21 of 1963.
D. Mookherjee and S. K. Nandy, for the
M. H. Chowdhury and S. N. Chowdhury, for the
respondent The Judgment of the Court was delivered by KRISHNA IYER, J.-The
concurrent conclusions of fact reached by both the courts below regarding the
quantum of compensation payable to the appellant on the acquisition of his land
for a public purpose by the State are assailed by Shri D. Mukherjee before us
on the ground that the amount is grossly inadequate. Having heard him in the
light of the High Court's reasoning, we are persuaded to affirm the finding.
100 bighas of land belonging to the appellant
(a Tea Planter) were first requisitioned by Government to settle landless
people and the owner 'gladly' agreed to surrender the area which, on his own
showing, was lying unused. Later, the State proceeded to acquire the land under
s.7 (1A) of the Assam Land (Requisition and Acquisition) Act, 1948 (Assam Act
XXV of 1948). The sole dispute turns on whether the lesser scale of
compensation proceeded under s.7(1A) or the larger one stipulated under s.7(1)
is attracted to the situation. The simple statutory test that settles the issue
is to find out whether the land acquired is Lying fallow or uncultivated. If it
is, a small compensation alone is awardable, as laid down in s.7(1A) of the
Act. On the other 69 hand. if it is ten garden, the quantum is as under s. 23
of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. This decisive factor lends itself to easy
decision, because a plethora of evidence, to most of which the appellant is a
party, proceeds on the basis that the land in question is fallow. The High
Court has collected and considered the prior statements and other materials
leading to the reasonable holding that s.7(1A) appropriately applied to this
case. It follows that the appeal has no merit and deserves to be dismissed.
We order both parties to bear their
Subject to this direction, the appeal is
V. M. K. Appeal dismissed.