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1980 (4) TMI 315

r for G.A.D., K.V. Ayyappa Sastri and V. Raja Gopal Reddy, Advs. JUDGMENT A. Seetharam Reddi 1. This review raises the question of rate of interest to be awarded on the amount of compensation under the Land Acquisition Act vis-a-vis the lands acquired for the Central Government in the year 1963. The material particulars, in brief, may be sequenced. 2. The lands of the petitioners were acquired for the Central Government, inter alia, towards the construction of Railway Staff Quarters; and possession of the lands was taken over on 6-12-1963, 12-1-1964 and 15-6-1965. Interest at the rate of 4 per cent per annum was awarded on the compensation amount; and the same was eventually confirmed by this Court in the appeal, which is now sought to be reviewed. 3. The grounds briefly are: An honest mistake was committed by the Counsel in not bringing to the notice of the Court, paragraph 21 of Schedule IV of Part III of the Land Acquisition Manual, which provides for interest at the rate of 6 per cent per annum in cases of acquisition of land for the purposes of the Central Government though the rate is 4 per cent per annum if the land is acquired for the State Government. The said Para. 21 of .....

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er cent will have to be recovered. It is obviously due to mistake and oversight that Para 21 of Madras B. S. O. 90 was incorporated while preparing the A. P. Land Acquisition Manual in 1965. Para 21 does not provide for payment of interest at a particular rate. On the other hand, it mentions that Section 34 of the Land Acquisition Act provides for payment of interest at 6 per cent per annum if the acquisition is for the purposes of the Central Government, though Section 34 does not speak of payment of interest at 6 per cent, per annum if the acquisition is for the purposes of the Central Government. Even otherwise, the Land Acquisition Manual contains only administrative instructions which do not confer any legal rights. Further, there is no new material as contemplated under Order 47, Rule 1, Civil Procedure Code, which would warrant any review. 6. Before adverting to the arguments for and against the relevant statutory and other provisions may be noticed. 7. The Land Acquisition (Madras Amendment) Act, 1953 is extracted hereunder: The Land Acquisition (Madras Amendment) Act, 1953. (Received the assent of the President on the 29th June, 1953, published in the Fort St. George Gazet .....

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laration of the award as possible, as under Section 34 of the 1. A, Act, interest at 4 per cent per annum is payable on the amount of compensation for the interval between the date of occupation and the date of payment. Accordingly, the Collector or other officer duly empowered should immediately after making an award under Section 11 tender payment of compensation to such of the persons entitled thereto as are then present either personally, or by their representatives. Memo. No. 4693-H/61-1, Revenue dated 1-11-1961 reads: Sub: - Land Acquisition (East Godavari) Tuni taluk - S. Annavatam Village S. Nos. 121/2 etc., acquired for the Railway Department - Payment of compensation - Rate of interest - Instructions - Issued. Ref: - 1. Government Memo No. 4693-H/ 61-3 Revenue dated 15-9-1961. 2. From the Collector of East Godavari Ref. B2/2262/61 dated 30-9-1961. With reference to his letter second cited, the Collector of East Godavari is informed that Sections 28 and 34 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, as amended by Madras Act XII of 1953, provide for payment of interest on the compensation amount at the rate of 4 pet cent, per annum from the date of taking possession, until the compe .....

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unt paid by them. 11. In view of the legal position stated above, the Board of Revenue is informed that there is no objection to recover the excess amount paid to the awardees by the Special Deputy Collector ..... The preamble to the Madras Amendment Act states: Whereas it is expedient further to amend the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (Central Act I of 1894), in its application to the State of Madras, for the purposes thereinafter appearing 12. But, however, no purposes have been enumerated in the entire Amendment Act XII of 1953. Thereafter, on the heels, two proceedings were issued by the Madras Government, viz., B. P. Mis. 1005 dated 2-9-1953 and Government Memo No. 3695-C/50-20 Revenue dated 6-8-1953; and they have been cited in para 21 of B. S. O. 90. 13. Now, as is evident from papa 21, It is titled "Rules to be observed in making payment in cash", and in the body of it, it is stated, The payment of compensation should be made ..... as under Section 34 of the Act, interest at the rate of 6 per cent per annum in cases of acquisition of land for the purposes of Central Government, and at the rate of 4 per cent per annum in cases of acquisition of land for the purposes o .....

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can be estopped in view of para 21 of B. S. O. 90 from pleading that as per the Madras Amendment Act, 1953, only 4 per cent interest will have to be awarded on the amount of compensation even if the acquisition of land is for the Central Government It is well settled that there cannot be any estoppel against a statute. Hence the contention which is devoid of substance, is rejected. 16. The further contention is that the A. P. Land Acquisition Manual incorporating B. S. O. 90, is only an administrative instruction and it has no force of law and that it does not create any legal rights. In Raman and Raman Ltd. v. State of Madras, AIR 1959 SC 694 ; R. Abdulla Rowther v. S. T. A. Tribunal AIR 1959 SC 896 and Fernandez v. State of Mysore, [1967] 3 SCR 636 , the Supreme Court while referring to particular G. Os. and the instructions contained in the Mysore Public Works Department Code, held that they are mere administrative instructions and not statutory rules. Therefore, even if there has been any breach of such executive instructions, that does not confer any right on any member of the public to ask for a writ against the Government by a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution. .....

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a review. But the misapprehension owing to which the learned counsel for the respondents says he did not urge all his arguments in support of the finding recorded in favour of his clients by the first Court, and the consequent erroneous impression on the part of the learned subordinate Judge for which, of course, he was not at all to blame but the Counsel was alone responsible. That the latter had no arguments to urge to meet the points raised by the appellant's counsel seem, to my mind, to be analogous enough to an error apparent on the face of the record to be a sufficient reason for review under Order 47, Rule 1, C. P. C. The decision in (1925) ILR 3 Rang 261 : (AIR 1925 Rang 314) and (1925) 49 Mad LJ 671 : (AIR 1925 Mad 1031), which recognize a power of review in cases of mistake of counsel or mistake of the Judge leading to errors in the judgment though not apparent on the face of the record, seem to support this conclusion. In P. Gangamma v. P. Venkamma (Supra), Umamaheswaram, J., held that the mistake of Counsel would be a sufficient ground for granting review under Order 47, Rule 1, Civil P. C. The learned Counsel also relied on the judgment in W. A. M. P. No. 141/74 i .....

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lassification must be founded on an intelligible differentia which distinguishes persons and things left out of the group; and (ii) the differentia must have a rational relation to the object to be achieved by the statute in question. On a comparative study of the Land Acquisition Act, 1,894 and the Land Acquisition (Madras Amendment) Act (23 of 1961), it becomes clear that if a land is acquired for a housing scheme under the amending Act, the claimant gets a lesser value than he would get for the same land or a similar land if it is acquired for a public purpose like hospital under the principal Act. The classification thus sought to be made by the Land Acquisition (Madras Amendment) Act (23 of 1961) between person whose lands are acquired for other public purposes has no reasonable relation to the object sought to be achieved. Discrimination is writ large on the amending Act and it cannot be sustained on the principle of reasonable classification. The Land Acquisition (Madras Amendment) Act (23 of 1961), therefore, clearly infringes Article 14 of the Constitution and is void. 21. Similarly the Supreme Court, in Balammal v. State of Madras, [1969] 1 SCR 90 , while referring to the .....

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mendment Act to sustain the averment that it is not discriminatory and so is not violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. A citizen owning a piece of land in the State of Andhra Pradesh is entitled to only 4 per cent interest on the amount of compensation awarded towards the land acquired for the purposes of Central Government, whereas if he owns piece of land, say, in the adjoining State of Orissa, and it is acquired for the purposes of the Central Government, he will be entitled to interest of 6 per cent on the compensation amount. It is, on the face it, discriminatory in Character, It is very scarce to make out any intelligible differentia, much less such differentia having any rational nexus with the object sought to be achieved. In fact, the object is conspicuous by its absence. Therefore, in our judgment, the discrimination it 'Writ large on the Amendment Act which must be held to be bad. Hence we hold that the Land Acquisition (Madras Amendment) Act, 1953, in so far as it is adopted by the State of Andhra Pradesh by the A. P. Adaptation of Laws Order, 1957, is void. 23. In view of our decision on the discrimination aspect of the amending legislation, it is needless f .....

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