Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation Vs. Supai Munda & Ors
 Insc 614 (5
Variava & H.K. Sema
APPEAL NO. 9564 of 2003 SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION ( C ) NO. 19869 OF 1997 SEMA,J
granted in Special Leave Petition (C) No. 19869 of 1997.
two appeals have been preferred against the judgment and order dated 19th February, 1997 passed by the High Court. Civil
Appeal No. 4424 of 1997 has been preferred by Orissa Industrial Infrastructure
Development Corporation and the appeal arising out of SLP) 19869 of 1997 has
been preferred by the State of Orissa. Since both the appeals arise out of the
common judgment of the High Court, they are being disposed of by this common
of this case illustrate a classic example as to how the concerned authority
subjugated and suppressed the rights of the illiterate rustic tribal villagers
of far flung area from the madding crowd and coerced them to accept the price
fixed by the concerned authority despite their protest.
facts of the cases may be briefly recited. For brevity we are taking the facts
from Civil Appeal No. 4424 of 1997.
State Government acquired private land in village Gadpur under Sukinanda Tehsil
in the District of Jajpur, Orissa for development of an integrated industrial
complex. Notification under Sections 4(1) and 17(4) of the Land Acquisition
Act, 1894 (hereinafter referred to as `the Act') was issued on 13.7.90. In the
said Notification land comprising Acre
0.65/5 Kadi belonging to respondent No. 1 (contesting respondent) was also
acquired along with other land owners. Declaration under Section 6 of the Act
was issued on 12.6.91. The Award under Section 11 of the Act was passed on
25.7.92. Notice under Section 12(2) of the Act was issued to the
respondent-claimant on 27.7.92. An agreement was allegedly entered into between
the State and the land owners on 6.8.92 on the basis of which the payment of
compensation was made on that date, allegedly on the agreed terms.
the record it appears that the 1st respondent orally protested as to the
sufficiency of the amount of compensation awarded and wanted to have his
protest recorded but the authority reprimanded him that if any protest or
objection was recorded the amount of compensation would not be paid and the
same would be deposited in the Treasury. It is alleged that the 1st respondent
being an illiterate tribal person was coerced to receive the compensation
amount without having recorded any protest. It is also alleged that the notice
under Section 12(2) of the Act was not received by the respondent. The 1st
respondent, thereafter, preferred an application under Section 18 of the Act
for reference for determining higher compensation by regd. A.D. on 17.9.92 to
the authority and the same was received on 18.9.92.
8.12.92, the Land Acquisition Officer declined to refer the application under
Section 18 of the Act to the competent civil court. Aggrieved by the said
order, the respondent filed civil revision petition before the High Court.
order dated 11.9.95, the High Court disposed of the revision petition by
setting aside the order dated 8.12.92 and directed the Land Acquisition Officer
to re-hear the question of maintainability of the application under Section 18
of the Act after affording an opportunity of hearing to the 1st respondent by
adducing evidence. The Land Acquisition Officer, thereafter, heard the matter
afresh and rejected the application by order dated 15.12.95 which has been
again set aside by the High Court on revision being preferred by the respondent
impugned order, the High Court directed the authority to send the reference to
the appropriate civil court within a period of one month from the date of
receipt of the order.
have heard learned counsel for the parties at length. Two main contentions have
been raised before us: -
Reference under Section 18 is not maintainable being barred by limitation; and
When an Award is made under Section 11(2) of the Act, no reference can be made
under Section 18 of the Act as the same is barred by proviso to Sub-section 2
of Section 31 of the Act.
It is undisputed that the Award was made on 25.7.92. The alleged agreement was
entered into between the authority and the respondent herein on 6.8.92 and the
compensation amount was also paid on 6.8.92. As already noticed the application
for reference under Section 18 of the Act was sent by registered post on
17.9.92 and the authority received the same on 18.9.92.
under sub-section 2 of Section 12 of the Act was sent on 27.7.92.
High Court has dealt with this question elaborately and arrived at the
conclusion that if the period is reckoned from the date of posting of the
application i.e. 17.9.92, the application was filed within 42 days of the receipt
of payment. It is undisputed that the application was received on 18.9.92.
Therefore, there was only one day's delay.
18 of the Act prescribes the procedure for reference to court and provides that
every application for reference shall be made –
the person making it was present or represented before the Collector at the
time when he made his award, within six weeks from the date of the Collector's
other cases, within six weeks of the receipt of the notice from the Collector
under sub-section 2 of Section 12 or within six months from the date of the
Collector's award, whichever period shall first expire.
present case clause (b) is attracted because the 1st respondent was not
present, or represented before the Collector at the time he made his award.
notice under sub-section 2 of Section 12 was sent to the respondent herein on
27.7.92. It was returned on 29.7.92, said to be after proper service. The
evidence on record shows that one Supai Gagrai had put his signatures on the
bottom of the notice and received the notice. The name of the respondent herein
is Supai Munda. The respondent has denied to have received the notice. It is
his say that he is an illiterate person and cannot put his signatures. This will
clearly demonstrate that the respondent herein has not received the notice
under Section 12(2) of the Act personally. If that is so, the notice upon the
respondent was not duly served. The contention of the appellants on this
ground, therefore, fails.
reference can be made under Section 18 of the Act when the Award is allegedly
made under Section 11(2) of the Act? To answer this question first it will be
relevant to consider whether the Award was made under Section 11 or under
Section 11(2) of the Act.
to an order of 4th
September, 2003 passed
by this Court, the State Government filed a translated copy of the Award dated
25.7.1992 (shown as 25.8.1992 through inadvertence which has been subsequently
corrected as 25.7.1992). Even otherwise the Award was made on 25.7.1992 is not
disputed. The copy of the Award dated 25.7.1992 is accompanied by an affidavit
dated 12.11.2003 sworn in by Mr.J.K.Das, Advocate on behalf of the appellants
in Civil Appeal arising out of SLP) No. 19869 of 1997.
of 25.7.1992 was clearly passed in a proceeding under Section 11 of the Act. At
the time of the hearing learned counsel for the State, Mr. J.K. Das, also
produced an English version of the Award dated 6.8.1992 said to have been
passed pursuant to the agreement dated 6.8.1992. The subsequent Award dated
6.8.1992 is shown to have been passed under Section 11(2) of the Act. We are
surprised to note as to how the subsequent Award dated 6.8.1992 was made
pursuant to the alleged agreement made on 6.8.1992. We smell the rats. When the
Award is made by the Collector under Section 11 of the Act, the proceedings
before him stand terminated as soon as the Award is made. The provision of
sub-section 2 of Section 11 is attracted only at any stage of the proceedings
before the Collector, that is to say, if the Collector has not passed the Award
under Section 11 of the Act and the proceedings before him were still
subsisting. In the present case, it clearly appears from the Award dated
25.7.1992 itself that it was made under Section 11 of the Act. The claimant Shri
Supai Munda (respondent herein) has categorically stated that he received the
compensation amount pursuant to the notice under Section 12(2) of the Act,
which was issued on 27.7.1992. That statement remains uncontroverted. In our
view, therefore, there was no occasion for the learned Collector to have
recourse to sub- section (2) of Section 11 of the Act. There can never be two
awards - one under Section 11 of the Act and another under Section 11(2) of the
Act over the same land acquired.
the Land Acquisition Officer, the respondent herein examined himself as witness
No. 1; Gourang Ch. Jamuda (co-villager) as witness No. 2; and Ramai Munda as
witness No. 3. The respondent-claimant deposed that he received the
compensation amount for his land measuring an area Acre 0.65/5 Kadi in Mouza Gadpur by putting his thumb
impression on the relevant papers, the contents of which were not explained to
him. He further stated that the officer told him that unless he put his thumb
impression, the compensation amount would not be paid and the same would be
deposited into the treasury. The officer further told him that the compensation
amount would not be paid to him if he put objections. Witness No. 2 has deposed
that he was present at the camp when the claimant received the compensation
amount. He further deposed that the officer did not explain about the contents
of the paper when the claimant put his thumb impression on the same. The
officer also said that the compensation amount would not be paid to the
claimant if he would raise objection. He further deposed that the claimant then
put his thumb impression on the paper out of fear. The same is the deposition
of witness No. 3. The appellant has not rebutted the statements of witness Nos.
1, 2 and 3 by adducing evidence. The deposition of witness Nos. 1, 2 and 3,
therefore, remain uncontroverted. Therefore, the fact that the State Authority
coerced the claimant to accept the amount of compensation fixed by them is
established by convincing evidence. It is also evidently apparent that the
claimant made oral protest as to the sufficiency of the amount of compensation,
which has been cowed down by resorting to coercive method.
counsel for the appellants stressed to press the proviso to Section 31(2) of
the Act, which provides that the reference under Section 18 of the Act is
incapable unless a person has received the compensation amount under protest.
This benefit will not be available to the appellants in the present case
because, as already noticed, the claimant has received the compensation under
counsel for the appellants has drawn our attention to the observations made by
the learned Land Acquisition Officer in his order dated 8.12.92 to the effect that
he explained to the respondent the actual market value of the land on the basis
of sale statistics. He also observed that the claimant had received the
compensation amount without protest. No reliance can be placed on the
observations made in the judgment and order dated 8.12.92 inasmuch as the same
has been set aside by the High Court by its order dated 11.9.95.
facts and circumstances as alluded above, the judgments in State of Gujarat
& Ors. v. Daya Shamji Bhai & Ors. (1995) 5 SCC 746; and Ishwarlal Premchand
Shah & Ors. v. State of Gujarat &
Ors. (1996) 4 SCC 174; relied on by the counsel for the appellants have no
relevance on the facts of this case. Consequently, the appeals are dismissed.
court below is directed to proceed to hear the reference application and
dispose it of as quickly as possible, preferably within six months from the
date of receipt of this order as the matter is pending since 1992. It is open
to the appellants to urge any grounds as are available to them under law.
to the aforesaid observations, the appeals are dismissed.
order as to costs.