Corporation of India Ltd. Vs. Purya & Ors  Insc 622 (7 October 2004)
N.Santosh Hegde S.N.Variava B.P.Singh, H.K.Sema & S.B.Sinha
With C.A. No. 3599/2003 C.A. No. 6987/1999 C.A. No. 9779/2003 C.A. No.
9781/2003 C.A. No. 9782/2003 C.A. Nos. 9783-9784/2003 C.A. No. 9785/2003 C.A.
No. 9786/2003 C.A. Nos. 9787-9791/2003 C.A. Nos. 9792-9798/2003 C.A. No.
9799/2003 C.A. Nos. 9800-9801/2003 C.A. No. 9802/2003 C.A. No. 9803/2003 C.A.
Nos. 9804-9805/2003 C.A. No. 9806-9807/2003 C.A. No. 9808/2003 C.A. Nos.
9809-9810/2003 C.A. Nos. 9811-9812/2003 C.A. Nos. 9813-9814/2003 C.A. Nos.
9815-9816/2003 C.A. No. 9817/2003 C.A. No. 9818/2003 C.A. No. 9820/2003 C.A.
Nos. 9821-9822/2003 C.A. No. 9823/2003 C.A. No. 9824/2003 C.A. No. 9825/2003
C.A. No. 9826/2003 C.A. No. 9827/2003 C.A. No. 9828/2003 C.A. No. 9829/2003
C.A. No. 9830/2003 C.A. No. 9831/2003 C.A. No. 9832/2003 C.A. Nos.
9833-9834/2003 C.A. No. 9835/2003 C.A. Nos. 9836-9837/2003 C.A. No. 9838/2003
C.A. No. 9839/2003 C.A. No. 9840/2003 C.A. Nos. 9842-9843/2003 C.A. No.
9846/2003 C.A. No. 9847/2003 C.A. No. 9864/2003 C.A. No. 9865/2003 C.A. No.
9866/2003 C.A. No. 9867/2003 C.A. No. 9868/2003 C.A. No. 9869/2003 C.A. No.
9870/2003 C.A. Nos. 9871-9872/2003 C.A. No. 9873/2003 C.A. No. 9874/2003 C.A.
No. 9880/2003 C.A. No. 9881/2003 C.A. No. 9882/2003 C.A. No. 9883/2003 C.A. No.
9885/2003 C.A. No. 9886/2003 C.A. No. 9887/2003 C.A. No. 9888/2003 C.A. No.
9889/2003 C.A. Nos. 9891-9893/2003 C.A. No. 9894/2003 C.A. Nos. 9895-9896/2003
C.A. No. 9897/2003 C.A. No. 9899/2003 C.A. No. 9900/2003 C.A. No. 9901/2003
C.A. No. 9909/2003 C.A. No. 9911/2003 C.A. No. 9912/2003 C.A. No. 9916/2003
C.A. No. 9917/2003 C.A. No. 9918/2003 C.A. No. 10090/2003 C.A. No. 10103/2003
C.A. No. 10105/2003 SANTOSH HEGDE, J.
Noticing a conflict between two 3-Judge Benches of this Court in the case of
Special Deputy Collector & Anr. vs. Kurra Sambasiva Rao & Ors. (1997
(6) SCC 41) and Land Acquisition Officer & Mandal Revenue Officer vs.
V.Narasaiah (2001 (3) SCC 530), another 3-Judge Bench of this Court on 31st of
July, 2001 considered it appropriate to place C.A.No.6986/99 for consideration
by a larger Bench. It is in this background, the above appeal and other
connected appeals are now before us.
In Kurra Sambasiva Rao's case (supra), this Court held that by introducing
Section 51A in the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereinafter LA Act) the
Legislature only facilitated the parties concerned to produce a certified copy
of a sale transaction in evidence and nothing more. This is what the Court observed
in the said case.
"Section 51-A only dispenses with the production of the original sale
deed and directs to receive certified copy for the reason that parties to the
sale transaction would be reluctant to part with the original sale deed since
acquisition proceedings would take long time before award of the compensation
attains finality and in the meanwhile the owner of the sale deed is precluded
from using the same for other purposes vis-a-vis this land. The marking of the
certified copy per se is not admissible in evidence unless it is duly proved
and the witnesses, viz., the vendor or the vendee, are examined."
(Emphasis supplied) According to the above judgment Section 51A only dispenses
with the production of the original sale deed and permits the receiving of a
certified copy of such document in evidence. It is further held that the
marking of certified copy per se does not make the contents of such document
admissible in evidence unless it is duly proved and witnessed, that is, by the
examination of the vendor or the vendee.
In the subsequent case of V.Narasaiah (supra), though this Court did not
notice earlier judgment in Kurra Sambasiva Rao's case noticing certain other
judgments which took similar view disagreed with the said view and held that
the object of the Act was not only to permit the production of certified copy
of the sale transactions but was also to accept the same as evidence of the
transactions. This is what the courts had to say in V.Narasaiah's case in
regard to the insertion of Section 51A in the LA Act.
"If the only purpose served by Section 51A is to enable the court to
admit the copy of the document in evidence there was no need for a legislative
exercise because even otherwise the certified copy of the document could have been
admitted in evidence. Section 64 of the Evidence Act says that "documents
must be proved by primary evidence except in the cases hereinafter
mentioned". Section 65 mentions the cases in which secondary evidence can
be given of the existence, condition or contents of a document. One of the
cases included in the list is detailed in clause (f) of the section which reads
"65 (f) When the original is a document of which a certified copy is
permitted by this Act, or by any other law in force in India, to be given in
evidence", Section 57 of the Registration Act,
1908 enables anyone to apply for a copy of the entries in Book No. 1 (the
said Book is meant for keeping the register of the documents as well as
non-testamentary documents relating to immovable property). When any person
applies for a copy of it the same shall be given to him.
Sub-section (5) of Section 57 of that Act says that:
"57.(5) All copies given under this section shall be signed and sealed
by the registering officer and shall be admissible for the purpose of proving
the contents of the original documents." If the position regarding
admissibility of the contents of a document which is a certified copy falling within
the purview of Section 57(5) of the Registration Act
was as adumbrated above, even before the introduction of Section 51A in the LA
Act, could there be any legislative object in incorporating the said new
provision through Act 68 of 1984? It must be remembered that the State has the
burden to prove the market value of the lands acquired by it for which the
State may have to depend upon the prices of lands similarly situated which were
transacted or sold in the recent past, particularly those lands situated in the
neighbouring areas. The practice had shown that for the State officials it was
a burden to trace out the persons connected with such transactions mentioned in
the sale deeds and then to examine them in court for the purpose of proving
such transactions. It was in the wake of the aforesaid practical difficulties
that the new Section 51A was introduced in the LA Act." From the above, we
notice that in the latter judgment of V.Narasaiah, this Court interpreted the
scope of Section 51A to include the production of certified copy of sale
transaction and to make the same admissible in evidence without having to
examine the vendor or the vendee of the said document to prove the contents of
In these appeals, Shri Sandeep Sethi, learned senior counsel appearing for
the appellant in CA No.6986-87/99 contended that this Court in Kurra Sambasiva
Rao's case did not notice the words "may be accepted as evidence"
because of which it fell in error in construing the scope of the Section very
narrowly. He submitted that in V.Narasaiah's case, this Court having noticed
the said words in Section 51A, correctly came to the conclusion that the object
of inserting Section 51A was to do away with the formality of examining oral
evidence in support of the contents of the documents in question.
Interestingly, Shri G.V.Chandrashekhar, learned counsel appearing for the
claimant-respondent in the said appeals supported the argument of Shri Sandeep
Sethi and went one step further and contended that in view of the definition
given to the word "conclusive proof" in Section 4 of the Evidence Act
read with the beginning words of Section 79 of the Evidence Act which starts
with the words "the court shall presume" the Land Acquisition Officer
or the Court, as the case may be, will have to start with the presumption that
the contents of the documents produced under Section 51A are proved and it must
place reliance on the same on the basis that the said transaction is a bona
fide transaction and the value stated therein reflected true value. He
submitted that Section 51A by the use of the words "may be accepted as
evidence" has mandated the authority empowered to fix the market value of
the property to proceed with the conclusive presumption that the contents of
the documents establish that fact.
Shri V.K. Garg, learned counsel appearing for the State of Haryana in some
of the connected appeals contended that in view of Sections 74, 76 and 77 of
the Evidence Act a certified copy of private document also can be treated for
evidentiary purpose as a public document. He submitted that the presumption can
be drawn as to the correctness and the contents of the documents as
contemplated by Section 79 of the Evidence Act. In support of his contention,
he placed reliance on judgment of this Court in Madamanchi Ramappa & Anr.
vs. Muthaluru Bojjappa AIR 1963 (Vol 50) SCC 1633.
The above three counsels thus contended that the judgment of this Court in.
V. Narasaiah's case lays down the correct law.
Dr. Aman Hingorani and Shri A.K. Matta, learned counsel appearing for the
respective parties in the connected appeals submitted that the interpretation
given by the three Judge Bench in the V. Narasaiah's case goes far beyond the object
of introducing Section 51A which according to them only provides for acceptance
of the certified copy in evidence as contemplated in Section 3 of the Evidence
Act and nothing beyond that.
They also contended that the certified copy of the registered document does
not become a public document under Section 74 of the Evidence Act nor would it
be primary evidence as argued by the appellant under Section 62 of the Evidence
Act. The learned counsel who opposed the view in V. Narasaiah's case also brought
to our notice certain other judgments of this Court wherein this Court had
taken a similar view as taken by the three Judge Bench in Kurra Sambasiva Rao
(supra) . In fairness , we think it is necessary to refer to those judgments
In Inder Singh & Ors. vs. Union of India & Ors. 1993 (3) SCC 240 two
Judge Bench of this Court speaking through K.
Ramaswamy, J. held :- " Under Section 51A of the Act as amended in 1984
the certified copies have been permitted to be brought on record as evidence of
sale transaction recorded therein. The examination of the witnesses is to find
that the sale transactions are bonafide and genuine transactions between
willing vendor and willing vendee as reasonable prudent men and the price
mentioned is not throw away price at arms length or depressed sales or brought
into existence to inflate market value of the lands under acquisition and the
sales are accommodating one will have to be established de-hors and the
contents of the document by other evidence." In P. Ram Reddy & Ors.
vs. Land Acquisition Officer, Hyderabad & Ors. 1995 (2) SCC 305 two Judge
Bench of this Court held :- "Section 51A of the Land Acquisition Act, as
seen therefrom, is enacted to enable the parties in land acquisition cases, to
produce certified copies of documents to get over the difficulty of parties, in
that, persons in possession of the original documents would not be ready to put
them in courts.
However, the mere fact that a certified copy of the document is accepted as
evidence of the transaction recorded in such document does not dispense with
the need for a party relying upon the certified copies of such documents
produced in court in examining witnesses connected with the documents to
establish their genuineness and the truth of their contents. Therefore, the
certified copies of registered documents, though accepted as evidence of
transactions recorded in such documents, the court is not bound to act upon the
contents of those documents unless persons connected with such documents give
evidence in court as regards them and such evidence is accepted by the court as
true." In Kummari Veeraiah & Ors. vs. State of A.P. 1995 (4) SCC 136
another two Judge Bench of this Court held ;
"it is true that the certified copies of the sale deeds are admissible in
evidence as secondary evidence under Section 51A of the Act since owners would
be reluctant to part with their original sale deeds. But unless either the
vendor or the vendee has been examined as witness to testify not only the
consideration paid but also their specific knowledge and the circumstances in
which the sale deed came to be executed, nearness to the lands, etc. the sale
deeds cannot be relied on to determine market value of the acquired
lands." In Indore Development Authority vs. Satyabhama Bai (SMT) &
Ors. 1996 (10) SCC 751, this Court following the earlier judgment of two Judge
Bench in P. Ram Reddy vs. Land Acquisition Officer, Hyderabad & Ors. held :
" that filing of the certified copies of the sale deeds and marked
thereof under Section 51-A is only to enable the claimants to dispense with the
obligation to produce the original sale deed from the owners who are
disinclined to part with their valuable title deed during long pendency of the
proceeding. However, the claimants are enjoined to call as witnesses the vendor
or vendee to prove the transactions as genuine in nature " In the case of
Meharban & Ors. vs. State of U.P. and Ors.
1997 (6) SCC 54, a Bench of 3 Judges (which is not noticed by this Court in
the case of V. Narasaiah (supra) ) this Court held :- "Since none
connected with the sale deeds was examined, the sale deeds are inadmissible in
evidence though certified copies marked under Section 51A are available. So,
all the sale deeds stand excluded. It is the duty of the Court to take all the
relevant factors into account before determination of the compensation In A.P.
State Road Transport Corporation, Hyderabad vs.
P. Venkaiah & Ors. (1997) 10 SCC 128, this Court held :
"Acceptance of certified copy of the sale deed under Section 51A
relates only to the production of the original sale deeds but it does not
dispense with proof of the contents of the documents, relative features
vis-`-vis Section 193 (sic), the land under acquisition.
All is needed to be proved by examining the persons connected with the same
and parties to the document." From the above, it is seen that till the
judgment of the three Judge Bench in V. Narasaiah's case (supra), the consensus
of judicial opinion was that Section 51A was enacted for the limited purpose of
enabling a party to produce certified copy of a registered sale transaction in
evidence only and for proving the contents of the said document the parties had
to lead oral evidence as contemplated in the Evidence Act.
A careful perusal of the judgment in Kurra Sambasiva Rao's case and other
cases which fall in line with the said view discloses that they proceeded on
the basis that prior to the insertion of Section 51A in the LA Act, the
Evidence Act did not permit the production of a certified copy of the
registered sale transaction in evidence. Therefore, by the insertion of Section
51A the legislature merely enabled a party to get over that problem.
Thereafter, according to the said judgments, the party concerned had to
prove the contents of the document by adducing oral evidence separately to
prove the contents of the document.
The above view of the Court in Kurra Sambasiva Rao's case, in our opinion,
is not the correct position in law. Even prior to the insertion of Section 51A
of the Act the provisions of the Evidence Act and the Registration Act
did permit the production of a certified copy in evidence. This has been
clearly noticed in the judgment in Narsaiah's case wherein the court relying on
Sections 64 and 65(f) of the Evidence Act read with Section 57(5) of the Registration Act
held that production of a certified copy of a registered sale document in
evidence was permissible in law even prior to insertion of Section 51A in the
LA Act. We are in agreement with the said view expressed by this Court in
In the above background the question for our consideration would be, what
then is the real object of inserting 51A in LA Act ? In the ordinary course a
deed of sale is the evidence of a transaction by reason whereof for a
consideration mentioned therein the title and interest in an immovable property
specified therein is transferred by the vendor to the vendee. Genuineness of
such transaction may be in question. In a given situation the quantum of
consideration or the adequacy thereof may also fall for adjudication.
The Courts, more often than not, are called upon to consider the nature of
the transaction. Whenever a transaction evidenced by a sale deed is required to
be brought on record, the execution thereof has to be proved in accordance with
law. For proving such transaction, the original sale deed is required to be
brought on record by way of primary evidence. Only when primary evidence is not
available, a certified copy of the sale deed can be taken on record. Such
certified copies evidencing any transaction are admissible in evidence, if the
conditions precedent therefor in terms of Section 75 of the Indian Evidence Act
are fulfilled. The transaction evidenced by the sale deed must be proved in
accordance with law.
Evidences are of different types. It may be direct, indirect or real
evidence. The existence of a given thing or fact is proved either by its actual
production or by the testimony or admissible declaration of someone who has
himself perceived it. Such evidence would be direct evidence. Presumptive
evidence which is an indirect evidence would mean that when other facts are,
thus, proved, the existence of the given fact may be logically inferred.
Although the factum probandum and the factum probantia connote direct evidence,
the former is superior in nature.
The terms 'primary and secondary evidence' apply to the kinds of proof that
may be given to the contents of a document, irrespective of the purpose for
which such contents, when proved, may be received. Primary evidence is an
evidence which the law requires to be given first; secondary evidence is
evidence which may be given in the absence of that better evidence when a
proper explanation of its absence has been given. However, there are exceptions
to the aforementioned rule.
Section 51A of the Land Acquisition Act seeks to make an exception to the
In the acquisition proceedings, sale deeds are required to be brought on
records for the purpose of determining market value payable to the owner of the
land when it is sought to be acquired.
Although by reason of the aforementioned provision the parties are free to
produce original documents and prove the same in accordance with the terms of
the rules of evidence as envisaged under the Indian Evidence Act, the L.A. Act
provides for an alternative thereto by inserting the said provision in terms
whereof the certified copies which are otherwise secondary evidence may be
brought on record evidencing a transaction. Such transactions in terms of the
aforementioned provision may be accepted in evidence. Acceptance of an evidence
is not a term of art. It has an etymological meaning.
It envisages exercise of judicial mind to the materials on record.
Acceptance of evidence by a court would be dependent upon the facts of the
case and other relevant factors. A piece of evidence in a given situation may
be accepted by a court of law but in another it may not be.
Section 51 A of the L.A. Act may be read literally and having regard to the
ordinary meaning which can be attributed to the term 'acceptance of evidence'
relating to transaction evidenced by a sale deed, its admissibility in evidence
would be beyond any question.
We are not oblivious of the fact that only by bringing a documentary
evidence in the record it is not automatically brought on the record.
For bringing a documentary evidence on the record, the same must not only be
admissible but the contents thereof must be proved in accordance with law. But
when the statute enables a court to accept a sale deed on the records
evidencing a transaction, nothing further is required to be done. The
admissibility of a certified copy of sale deed by itself could not be held to
be inadmissible as thereby a secondary evidence has been brought on record
without proving the absence of primary evidence. Even the vendor or vendee
thereof is not required to examine themselves for proving the contents thereof.
This, however, would not mean that contents of the transaction as evidenced
by the registered sale deed would automatically be accepted. The legislature
advisedly has used the word 'may'. A discretion, therefore, has been conferred
upon a court to be exercised judicially, i.e., upon taking into consideration
the relevant factors.
In V.Narasaiah's case, this Court correctly understood the said scope and
object of insertion of Section 51A in the LA Act when it held thus :
"It was in the wake of the aforesaid practical difficulties that the
new Section 51A was introduced in the LA Act. When the section says that
certified copy of a registered document "may be accepted as evidence of
the transaction recorded in such document" it enables the court to treat
what is recorded in the document, in respect of the transactions referred to
therein, as evidence." While coming to the above conclusion in Narasaiah's
case, this Court found support from similar provisions in the other statutes
like Section 293 of the Code of Criminal Procedure which enables the court to
use report of a Government Scientific Expert as evidence in any enquiry, trial
or proceeding under the said Code, even without examining any person as a
witness in a court for that purpose. Notice was also taken of Section 13(5) of
the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act pertaining to the report of a Public
Analyst which says that any document purporting to be a report signed by a
Public Analyst may be used as evidence of the fact stated therein in any
proceeding under the said Act. In Narasaiah's case, this Court also relied on a
judgment of the Constitution Bench of this Court in Mangaldas Raghavji Ruparel
& Anr. vs. State of Maharashtra & Anr. (AIR 1966 SC 128) which held thus:
"that sub-section clearly makes the contents of the report of Public
Analyst admissible in evidence and the prosecution cannot fail solely on the
ground that the Public Analyst had not been examined in the case, but what
value is to be attached to such report must necessarily be for the court to
consider and decide." Thus, the reasoning of this Court in Narasaiah's
case that Section 51A enables the party producing the certified copy of a sale
transaction to rely on the contents of the document without having to examine
the vendee or the vendor of that document is the correct position in law. This
finding in Narasaiah's case is also supported by the decision of this Court in
the case of Mangaldas Raghavji Ruparel (supra).
Therefore, we have no hesitation in accepting this view of the court in the
Narasaiah's case as the correct view.
The submission of Mr. G. Chandrasekhar to the effect that the contents of a
sale deed should be a conclusive proof as regard the transaction contained
therein or the court must raise a mandatory presumption in relation thereto in
terms of Section 51A of the Act cannot be accepted as the Court may or may not
receive a certified copy of sale deed in evidence. It is discretionary in
nature. Only because a document is admissible in evidence, as would appear from
the discussions made hereinbefore, the same by itself would not mean that the
contents thereof stand proved.
Secondly, having regard to the other materials brought on record, the court
may not accept the evidence contained in a deed of sale.
When materials are brought on record by the parties to the lis, the court is
entitled to appreciate the evidence brought on records for determining the
issues raised before it and in the said process, may accept one piece of
evidence and reject the other.
In M.S. Madhusoodhanan and Anr. vs. Kerala Kaumudi (P) Ltd. and Ors. [(2004)
9 SCC 204], it is stated :
"119 They are rules of evidence which attempt to assist the judicial
mind in the matter of weighing the probative or persuasive force of certain
facts proved in relation to other facts presumed or inferred (ibid). Sometimes
a discretion is left with the court either to raise a presumption or not as in
Section 114 of the Evidence Act. On other occasions, no such discretion is given
to the court so that when a certain set of facts is proved, the court is bound
to raise the prescribed presumption. But that is all. The presumption may be
rebutted." A registered document in terms of Section 51A of the Act may
carry therewith a presumption of genuineness. Such a presumption, therefore, is
rebuttable. Raising a presumption, therefore, does not amount to proof; it only
shifts the burden of proof against whom the presumption operates for disproving
Only if the presumption is not rebutted by discharging the burden, the court
may act on the basis of such presumption. Even when in terms of the Evidence
Act, a provision has been made that the court shall presume a fact, the same by
itself would not be irrebuttable or conclusive. The genuineness of a
transaction can always fall for adjudication, if any question is raised in this
Similar is the view taken by this Court in V. Narasaiah's case wherein this
Court held thus :- "the words "may be accepted as evidence" in
the Section indicate that there is no compulsion on the court to accept such
transaction as evidence, but it is open to the court to treat them as evidence.
Merely accepting them as evidence does not mean that the court is bound to
treat them as reliable evidence. What is sought to be achieved is that the
transactions recorded in the documents may be treated as evidence, just like
any other evidence, and it is for the court to weigh all the pros and cons to
decide whether such transaction can be relied on for understanding the real
price of the land concerned".
Having noticed the scope of Section 51A of the LA Act as understood by this
Court in V. Narasaiah's case to be the correct interpretation, we will now
consider whether such evidence is mandatorly binding on the authority or the
court concerned or it is only an enabling provision.
In relation to the argument pertaining to Section 13 (5) of the Food
Adulteration Act a Constitution Bench of this Court in Mangaldas Raghavji
Ruparel & Anr. vs. State of Maharashtra & Anr. AIR 1966 SC 128 stated
as follows :- "that sub-Section clearly makes the contents of the report
of Public Analyst admissible in evidence and the prosecution cannot fail solely
on the ground that the Public Analyst had not been examined in the case, but
what value is to be attached to such report must necessarily be for the court
to consider and decide." (Emphasis supplied) While it is clear that under
Section 51A of the LA Act a presumption as to the genuineness of the contents
of the document is permitted to be raised, the same can be relied upon only if
the said presumption is not rebutted by other evidence. In the said view of the
matter we are of the opinion the decision of this Court in the case of Land
Acuisition Officer & Mandal Revenue Officer vs. V.
Narasaiah (supra) lays down the correct law.
Having settled the scope of Section 51A of the LA Act as stated herein
above, we will consider the facts in Civil Appeal No.6986 of 1999. In this
appeal originally the Land Acquisition Officer awarded Rs. 3707/- per acre for
the acquired land. On reference being made by the claimant, the Reference Court
enhanced the said compensation to Rs. 8,000/- per acre which was challenged by
the beneficiary of the acquisition before the High Court in a writ petition
which was allowed and the matter was remanded back for fresh disposal to the
Reference Court. Before the Reference Court, the respondent herein produced two
certified copies of two sale transactions which were marked as Ex. P1 and P2.
The Reference Court, however, refused to place reliance on the said documents
on the ground that the contents of the said document were not proved. Hence, it
rejected the reference. Being aggrieved by the said order, the
claimants-respondents preferred an appeal before the High Court, the High Court
disagreeing with the reference court relied on the contents of Ex. P1 and P2
and enhanced the compensation to Rs.15,000/- per acre. While doing so, the High
Court proceeded merely on the contents of Ex.P1 and P2 and did not take into consideration
the other evidence available on record in regard to the comparative nature of
the land, location of the land, the market potentiality of the land etc. and
fixed the compensation on an arithmetic calculation based on the value found in
Ex. P1 and P2. We do not think this is the correct approach. While it is true
the contents of Ex.P1 and P2 should be looked into as evidence produced by a
party the evaluation of such evidence should be made taking into consideration
other evidence if available on record like other sale transactions that may be
produced, the comparative nature of the location, suitability, marketability
etc. to fix the market value of the land acquired.
Since such a comparative examination of the evidence has not been made by
the High Court in the above appeal, even though there was material available on
record, we think it proper that the impugned judgment in the above appeal be
set aside and the matter be remanded to the High Court for consideration in
accordance with law laid down and the directions given in this case.
Accordingly, this appeal succeeds to the extent stated herein above.
The facts of the other cases being different, we think it appropriate that
it is not necessary for a 5-Judge Bench to decide the issues involved in these
cases, because the question of law has been decided in C.A. 6986/1999.
Therefore, these appeals should be placed before an appropriate Bench of this
Court for final disposal. It is ordered accordingly.