of Karnataka & Ors Vs. Siddaiah  Insc
602 (6 November 2001)
Lahoti & K.G. Balakrishnan R.C. Lahoti, J.
respondent Siddaiah is a poor person belonging to a downtrodden class of
community. His daughter Bairamma was studying in Xth standard as a boarder in a
7.1.1991 she died an unnatural death. Probably it was a case of food poisoning
in the hostel mess. The respondent filed a civil writ petition before the High
Court of Karnataka seeking compensation for the death of his daughter and also
grant of 10 acres of land out of Survey No.78 of village Doddakallu Balu in Kanakpura
Taluk. The State of Karnataka disputed the entitlement of the
respondent to seek compensation and grant of land putting in issue the cause of
death of Bairamma and the liability of the State to compensate in the manner
claimed by the respondent. The High Court thought that the matter was fit to be
adjudicated in the Civil
Court. However, by
the time the writ petition came up for hearing, the limitation for filing the
civil suit had expired. The learned Single Judge of the High Court directed the
matter to be referred to Arbitration of a local Advocate whose name was agreed
upon by both the parties.
Arbitration proceedings concluded by an award dated 3rd May, 1999. The award was filed by the Arbitrator in the High Court
for making it a rule of the court. The learned Arbitrator directed a sum of
Rs.1,50,000/-, with interest calculated at the rate of 10% per annum from
18.3.1992, the date of filing of writ petition till the date of payment, to be
paid by appellant State to respondent. The award also directed 4 acres of
agricultural land out of 14.05 acres area of land comprised in Survey No.78 of
Village Doddakallu Balu to be allotted to the respondent free of cost subject
to his remaining restrained from making an alienation or encumbering the same
for a period of 10 15 years as may be deemed just and reasonable by the
allotting authority. Cost were also directed to be paid by the appellant to the
to the award being made a rule of court were preferred by the appellant before
the High Court. However, the High Court has by its impugned judgment overruled
the objections and directed the award to be made a rule of court followed by a
decree to be drawn in terms of the award. The aggrieved State has filed this
petition seeking special leave to appeal.
appears that when the respondent, shaken and shattered by the untimely
unnatural death of her young promising daughter, was running from pillar to
post seeking allotment of land so as to settle himself, on 26.3.1991 Taluk
Social Welfare Officer Kanakpura Taluk had sent a recommendation to the Deputy
Commissioner, Bangalore Rural District, Bangalore for grant of 2 acres of land
out of Sy.N.78.
document was brought to the notice of the Arbitrator.
the Arbitrator directed 4 acres of land to be allotted overlooking the
recommendation made by Taluk Social Welfare Officer. On 24.7.2000, this Court
directed a limited notice to be issued to the respondent to show cause why the
award as confirmed by the High Court be not modified by substituting a
direction for allotment of 2 acres of land (as recommended) instead of 4 acres
of land as awarded by the Arbitrator. The parties have joined their pleadings
on this limited issue and they have been heard.
the course of hearing, the learned counsel for the State brought to our notice
letter No.DSW/KAT/CR-32/92-93 dated 12.3.2001 from Director, Department of
Social Welfare, Bangalore wherein it is stated that Deputy
Commissioner, Bangalore was agreeable to the grant of 2
acres of land out of Survey No.41 of Village Vaderahalli, Kanakpura Taluk. It
is pointed out by the learned counsel for the appellant State that Survey No.78
of village Doddakallu Balu out of which some land was proposed to be allotted
initially was situated in a tank bed, and therefore, complications are bound to
arise if the land forming part of tank bed was allotted. The learned counsel
for the respondent did not seriously resist the proposal for change in the
place of land which the State was agreeable to allot.
clear from the proceedings leading up to this Court that the respondent was not
being allotted land in recognition of any statutory entitlement. The allotment
was by way of compassion. The learned counsel for the State stated during the
course of hearing that the State has already paid an amount of Rs.1,55,000/- by
way of compensation and also an amount of Rs.1,29,000/- by way of interest on
the amount of compensation to the respondent. We agree with the submission of
the learned counsel for the appellant that the award made by the arbitrator was
partially vitiated on account of overlooking the contents of the document
brought to his notice, and therefore, to that extent the award should have been
modified by the High Court.
Appeal is partly allowed. The award made by the Arbitrator, as also the
judgment of the High Court making the award a rule of court, are directed to be
modified to the extent that in place of a direction for allotment of 4 acres of
land out of Survey No.78 of Dodakalla Balu Village, a direction for allotment
of 2 acres of land out of Survey No.41 of Village Vaderahalli, Taluk Kanakpura
shall stand substituted. The appeal stands allowed to the extent indicated
hereinabove. The direction for allotment of land, followed by delivery of
vacant and peaceful possession to the respondent, shall be carried out within a
period of 3 months from today failing which the respondent shall be entitled to
costs of these proceedings quantified at Rs.5,000/- over and above the
allotment of land.
LAHOTI ) J.