Civil Rev. Appln. No. 263 of 1992

3rd January, 1994

Petitioner Counsel: Mrs. M. A. Kulkarni
Respondent Counsel: H. A. Patil

Headnote not Available


JUDGMENT :- These two revision applications raise a short point as to whether persons who are the owners of the property covered by two different notifications of the even date published in the same gazette would be entitled for the benefit under section 28A of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. Since both revision applications raise common questions of fact and law, they are heard together and are disposed of by this common judgment.

2. Two notifications under section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 bearing numbers LAQ-SR-2/80 and LAQ-SR-4/80 were published wherein an award was passed in LAQ-SR-4/80; whereas there was reference under section 18 only in respect of the award of the Collector under section 11 in furtherance of Notification No. LAQ-SR-2/80. it appears that there was no such reference made in LAQ-SR-4/80. Persons whose lands were covered by the Notification NO. LAQ-SR-4/80 filed an application purporting to be under section 28A of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 before the Special Land Acquisition Officer praying for the compensation enhanced equal to the compensation awarded in the reference under section 18 arising out of notification number LAQ-SR-2/80. These applications were rejected by the Special Land Acquisition Officer vide his order dated 16th December 1991. Both these writ petitions challenge these orders.

3. Smt. M. A. Kulkarni, learned Advocate appearing for petitioners, submitted that the words "covered by the same notification" will have to be interpreted liberally keeping in mind the purpose of insertion of section 28A and all the notifications which are issued and published on the same day will have to be treated as the same notifications. Mrs. Kulkarni further pointed out that both the notifications are in respect of lands in Mangrul village in Majalgaon Taluka of Beed District and when the benefit can be given to the persons covered by one notification, it should not be denied to the persons covered by another notification of even date. Shri H. A. Patil, learned Assistant Government Pleader appearing on behalf of the State defended the orders of the Land Acquisition Officer. Since there is no dispute about the facts and admittedly award was passed in respect of notification number LAQ-SR-4/80 and the applicant under section 28A are covered by notification No. LAQ-SR-4/80, the legal submission made by Mrs. Kulkarni will have only to be considered.

4. Sub-section (1) of section 28A of the Land Acquisition Act 1894 is quoted below :-

"Where in an award under this Part, the Court allows to the applicant any amount of compensation in excess of the amount awarded by the Collector under section 11, the persons interested in all the other land covered by the same notification under section 4, sub-section (1) and who are also aggrieved by the award of the Collector may, notwithstanding that they had not made an application to the Collector under section 18, by written application to the Collector within three months from the date of the award of the Court require that the amount of compensation payable to them may be re-determined on the basis of the amount of compensation awarded by the Court :

Provided that in computing the period of three months within which an application to the Collector shall be made under this sub-section the day on which the award was pronounced and the time requisite for obtaining a copy of the award shall be excluded."

It appears that the legislature wanted to give benefit of the award passed by the Court to the persons whose property is covered by same notification but did not opt for filing application for the Reference under section 18. Persons covered by same notification was carved out to be a class for extending this benefit. The statute is very clear in this respect and Courts cannot expand the scope of the provision so as to give same benefit to persons not covered by the statutory provision. Which class of persons are to be given benefit was a question in the domain of the legislature. It would not be competent for the Courts to interpret the law differently so as to read something which is actually not there. The word 'Notification' appearing in section 28A refers to notification under section 4 and section 4 of the Act requires the publication of the notification in a particular way and objection to the notifications are also to be heard. Therefore, word 'Notification' has been given a specific meaning and there is no bar for issuing two different notifications in respect of two different properties and publish it on the same day in the same gazette. Though it is true that the lands covered by both the notifications are from the same village, the fact remains that two separate notifications have been issued. If the petitioners were aggrieved by the award of the Collector under section 11, they could have very well resorted to section 18 and prayed for a reference. Since they have not done so, they cannot resort to section 28A unless they are covered by the same notification in which the award is passed.

5. Mrs. Kulkarni cited a judgment of learned Single Judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court in the case of Anant Ram vs. State of Haryana, AIR 1990 Punjab and Haryana 68. The question to be decided by the learned Single Judge was when more than one award are passed in respect of the land covered by one notification and a claimant in one of the award had opted reference under section 18 and the compensation is enhanced, whether person who is covered by another award arising out of the same notification would be entitled to file an application under section 28A. The learned Judge was pleased to hold that even if awards are different, if the claimant whose compensation was enhanced by the Court and property of the claimant is covered by the same notification, he would be entitled for the benefit of section 28A. The learned Judge, therefore, allowed the revision applications and set aside the Collector's orders rejecting the application under section 28. The citation does not help Mrs. Kulkarni in her submission that when two different notifications published on the same day, they should be treated same notification for the purpose of section 28A of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. Therefore, there was nothing wrong in rejecting the applications filed by the revision petitioners under section 28A.

6. Mrs. Kulkarni makes a grievance about the cryptic order passed by the Special Land Acquisition Officer rejecting the applications under section 28A. The order merely says that the applications are being rejected as per the guidance of the office of the Divisional Commissioner, Aurangabad. Land Acquisition Officer acting under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 has to perform quasi judicial functions and is required to give reasons. While deciding statutory applications, such as, under section 28A, he must record reasons so that every such applicant must know the reason for which his application is rejected. If the applicant is not covered by the same award or if the application is not within limitation as prescribed by law, it is duty of the Land Acquisition Officer to record such a reason. But since facts are not disputed before me, omission to record reason cannot help the petitioner in this case.

7. In the result, both these revision applications are dismissed. Rule in these revision applications is discharged. However, in the circumstances of the case, there shall be no order as to costs of these revision applications.

Revision applications dismissed.