Union of India Vs. Smt. Pratap Kaur & Anr  INSC 93 (27 January 1995)
K. Ramaswamy, K. Hansaria B.L. (J)
1995 SCC (3) 263 JT 1995 (2) 569 1995 SCALE (2)118
appeals by special leave arise from the judgment and Order dated 14.5.95 and
20.11.92 of the High Court of Punjab & Haryana made in Review Application
No.20 CII of 1993 and C.M. 2262 of 1993 and C.R. No.3019/92 respectively.
notification under s.4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, for short the Act,
was published initially on March 3 1, 1981 acquiring a large extent of land in Gobindpura
and other places for extension of military cantonment at Bhatinda. In the
determination of compensation, the Division Bench of the High Court in L.P.A.
No. 13 49/89 and batch ultimately held that:
we venture to make the modification in the order of the Single Judge, to the
effect that the land failing within a depth of 500 meters an either side of Bhatinda-Bibiwala Road shall also be assessed at the rate
of Rs.90,000/- per acre as its market value.........
order appears to have become final. Subsequently the respondents filed an
application before the Additional Dist. Judge in Civil Misc. No.75 of 10.8.1991
for demarcation and award of compensation to the 500 meters as ordered by the
High Court. By order dated 16.12.1991 the Addl. Dist. Judge held that-,
"From the evidence discussed above, it is crystal clear that the Land
measuring 70 kanals 13 Marlas belonging to Naib Singh etc., land measuring 141 kanals
1 marla belonging to Gurdial Singh etc. land measuring 30 kanals 3 marlas
belonging to Pratap Kaur etc. land measuring 40 kanals 10 marlas belonging to Bhagwan
Kaur etc. land measuring 48 kanals belonging to Gurdial Kaur etc., and land
measuring 3 kanals i.e. 1/12 share of 35 kanals 9 marlas belonging to Sadhy
Singh are with 500 meters from Bathinda Bibiwala road.
may add here that the evidence of the applicants remained unchanged despite
opportunities given to the UOI. On the other hand, the officials of the
concerned department have appeared in the witness box as AW 1, AW 2 and AW 5 to
support the case of the claimants. Even otherwise from the interpretation ofjudgment
Ex.A3 it clearly goes to show that the land which falls within the depth of 500
meters from either side of Bathinda Bibiwala Road, should be assessed at rate
of Rs.90,000/- per acre. The land of the applicants adjoins the land which as
per evidence on record, was assessed at the rate of Rs.90,000/- per acre. I
therefore accepting the applications direct the Naib Tehsildar (MLA) Bhatinda
to prepare the amende d memo of costs in respect of the above said land of the
applicants at the rate of Rs.90,000/- per acre. The parties are left to bear
their own costs".
in question the above order the appellants filed revision in the High Court.
The High Court dismissed the revision in limine. Thereafter the review
petitions also stood dismissed. Thus these appeals by special leave.
question that arises in these appeals is whether the District Judge has power
and jurisdiction to award compensation @ Rs.90,000/- per acre to the area
coming within the belt of 500 meters as ordered by the Division Bench of the
Section 26 of the Act gives power to the Civil Court to give award thus:
Every award under this Part shall be in writing signed by the Judge, and shall
specify the amount awarded under clause first of sub-s.(1) of s.23,
and.........." Section 13-A of the Act as amended under Act 68 of 1984
provides power for correcting clerical error% thus:
Correction of clerical errors, etc....
The Collector may, at any time but not later than six months from die date of
the award, or where he has been required under s. 18 to make a reference to the
Court, before the making of such reference, by order, correct any clerical or
arithmetical mistakes in the award or errors arising therein either on his own
motion or on the application of any person interested or a local authority.
that no correction which is likely to affect prejudicially any person shall be
made unless such person has been given a reasonable opportunity of making a
representation in the matter." (Sub-ss.(2) and (3) are not material for
the purpose of this case. hence omitted).
Perforce, it has no application to the, Civil Court.
if the principle is extended to the Civil Court, the Court committed manifest error of jurisdiction in
allowing the application, as it did not correct any clerical error.
conjoint reading of ss.26 and 13-A of the Act clearly indicates that while
making the award and determining the compensation under clause firstly of
subs.(1) of s.23 the Collector had jurisdiction to determine the compensation
including belting for the purpose of determining market value and correct
clerical and arithmetical mistakes committed in making the award. The High
Court had exercised appellate power under s.54 of the Act. Appellate power is
co-extensive with that of the Civil Court. Therefore,
the High Court, while exercising the appellate power, could 572 also decide
belting. The Division Bench in the LPA while determining the compensation under
clause firstly of sub- s.(1) of s.23, had identified belting upto a depth of
500 meters and directed payment of compensation for that land at 90,000/- per
acre. When the High Court exercised the appellate power, without any order of
remand or calling for a finding, the District Judge was devoid of power or
jurisdiction to correct any error either under s. 13-A of the Act or under s.
152 CPC, that too beyond the limitation prescribed under s. 13A itself The
identification of the land is not a clerical or arithmetical mistake within the
meaning of s. 13-A or s. 152 CPC. It is an independent exercise of the power
for the purpose of determination of the compensation under clause firstly of
sub-s.(1) of s.23 of the Act. With making the award under s.26 of the Act the Civil Court ceased to have power to alter the
award except to correct clerical or arithmetical errors. The action of the
Additional District Judge was an independent one without reference or an order
of remand or the High Court calling a finding from it. The Civil Court,
therefore, was devoid of jurisdiction and power to pass the impugned award or
order, as stated by the Additional District Judge; and that too af- ter it had
made the award.
Since the Addl. Dist. Judge was not called upon to determine the compensation
after identification of the land within the belting of 500 meters as determined
by the Division Bench, the order of the District Judge is clearly without
jurisdiction and power and is a nullity. Therefore, the High Court was not
right in dismissing the application without adverting to these material
questions touching the jurisdiction and power of the Addl. Dist. Judge. Though
Sri Arun Jetley, the learned Senior counsel repeatedly requested this Court not
to interfere under Art.136, it is necessary to correct legal error to set the
procedure in order.
The, appeals are accordingly allowed. It is open to the respondents, if so
advised, to approach the High Court for appropriate relief and it is for the
High Court to consider and dispose of it according to law. No costs.
C.A. Nos. 3182-87 of 1995 @ SLP (C) Nos. 18320-25194:
Leave granted. Substitution allowed.
view of the above judgment, these appeals also are allowed. No costs.