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Subbulakshmi v/s S.K. Murugesan & Others

    Appeal Suit No. 946 of 2001

    Decided On, 22 October 2018

    At, Before the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE C.V. KARTHIKEYAN

    For the Appellant: J. Sridharan, Advocate. For the Respondents: R4, J. Gunaseelan Muthiah, Additional Government Pleader, R2 & R3, No Appearance (Name printed), R1, Dismissed for default vide order dated (09.07.2018).



Judgment Text

(Prayer: Appeal Suit is filed under Section 54 of Land Acquisition Act, praying to allow the Judgment and Award of the Learned Principal Subordinate Judge, Tenkasi, in L.A.O.P.No.13 of 1989 dated 17.01.2005 and to hold that the appellant is entitled to a 1/4th share of the amount of compensation.)

1. The first claimant in L.A.O.P.No.13 of 1989 on the file of the Principal Subordinate Court, Tenkasi, is the appellant herein. First, second and third respondents were the second, third and fourth claimants. The fourth respondent was the sole respondent in L.A.O.P.No.13 of 1989.

2. This appeal had been filed under Section 54 of the Land Acquisition Act, challenging the Judgment and award of Principal Subordinate Court/Land Acquisition Tribunal, Tenkasi, dated 08.01.1999 in L.A.O.P.No.13 of 1989. The Land Acquisition Officer had referred the dispute with respect to acquisition of Land, before the Principal Subordinate Court/Land Acquisition Tribunal,

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Tenkasi, under Section 30 of the Land Acquisition Act. There were eight claimants. The Judgment and Award was granted on 08.01.1999. The first claimant Subbulakshmi alone has filed the present appeal. The second, third and fourth claimants namely, S.K.Murugesan, S.K.Balakrishnan and K.Gnanam were shown as respondents. The fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth claimants were not shown as respondents. The appeal had been dismissed for default by order dated 09.07.2018 against the first respondent. The third respondent did not participate in the proceedings. The name and address of the third respondent was printed in the cause list. The fourth respondent is represented by Mr.J.Gunaseelan Muthiah, learned Additional Government Pleader.

L.A.O.P.No.13 of 1989:-

3. The reference under Section 30 of the Land Acquisition Act was made by the Thasildar, Sankarankoil, to determine the actual individual to whom the compensation amount of Rs.8,996/- has to be paid among the first, second, third and fourth claimants, namely, Subbulakshmi, S.K.Murugesan, S.K.Balakrishnan and K.Gnanam with respect to acquisition of lands in S.No.511/3 and 511/4 in Panthapuli Village, Sankarankoil Taluk, Tirunelveli District.

4. It had been stated that the Government had acquired 0.29.0 hectares of land in S.No.511/3 and 0.66.0 hectares of land in S.No.511/4. It was stated that the lands originally belonged to the mother of the first claimant Subulakshmi. She had patta in her name. and she was in possession. She died on 14.05.1978, leaving behind the first claimant Subbulakshmi and the second to fourth claimants namely, S.K.Murugesan, S.K.Balakrishnan and K.Gnanam as her legal representatives. It was stated that the first claimant had an undivided 1/4 share in the said lands. It was stated that she was entitled to 1/4 share in the compensation amount. The second, third and fourth claimants who were shown as first, second and third respondents in the appeal stated that the first claimant was residing in Madurai after marriage, and there had been a partition of the family properties even during the lifetime of the mother and properties had been allotted to her. In the partition, the subject properties had been allotted to the third claimant and therefore, it had been stated that the third claimant S.K.Balakrishnan, alone was entitled to the compensation amount.

5. The Principal Subordinate Judge/Land Acquisition Tribunal framed necessary issues for trial. During trial, Subbulakshmi and S.K.Balakrishnan were examined as CW-1 and CW-2. The partition deed, dated 27.02.1986 was marked as Ex.C1. The advocate notice, dated 27.02.1986 was marked as Ex.C2. The reply notice, dated 13.03.1986 was marked as Ex.C3. Another notice, dated 29.03.1986 was marked as Ex.C4.

6. On the basis of the evidence, it was found that during the acquisition proceedings, quite apart from the lands in S.Nos.511/3, 511/4, other lands which had been allotted to the second and fourth claimants under the partition deed Ex.C1 were also acquired. However, the first claimant did not seek any share in the compensation amount granted during acquisition of those lands. It was therefore found that the claim of the first claimant seeking, share was not bonafide. It was therefore found that the compensation amount of Rs.8,996/- must be paid to the third claimant S.K.Balakrishnan alone.

A.S.No.946 of 2001:

7. Challenging that Judgment and Award, dated 08.01.1999, the first claimant Subbulakshmi had filed the present appeal suit.

8. Heard the arguments advanced by Mr.J.Sridharan, learned counsel for the appellant and Mr.J.Gunaseelan Muthiah, learned Additional Government Pleader for the fourth respondent, Thasildar Sankarankoil. First, second and third respondents did not choose to participate in the Judicial proceedings. The appeal had actually been dismissed as against the first respondent by order dated 09.07.2018.

9. During trial, Mr.J.Sridharan, took the Court through pleadings and pointed out that the lands that had been acquired in S.Nos.511/3 and 511/4 belonged to the mother of the appellant and the first, second and third respondents. It was therefore stated that after her death, the appellant was entitled to an undivided, share in the lands and consequently to the compensation amount of Rs.8,996/- granted during the time of acquisition. It was stated that the Trial Court had wrongly granted the said amount to the third claimant S.K.Balakrishnan, who was the second respondent herein.

10. The points for determination are:

1. Whether there had been an earlier partition of the properties?

2. Whether the appellant is entitled to an undivided, share in the compensation amount granted for acquisition S.Nos.511/3 and 511/4 in Panthapuli Village, Sankarankoil Taluk, Tirunelveli District?

3. Whether the Judgment and Award of the Trial Court requires interference?

The points discussed and answered:

11. The Government had acquired lands measuring 0.29.0 hectares in S.No.511/3 and 0.66.0 hectares in S.No.511/4 and had awarded the compensation of Rs.8,996/-. Since there was a dispute among the claimants with respect to the division of the compensation amount, the Land Acquisition Officer, namely the Thasildar Sankarankoil, had referred the dispute under Section 30 of the Land Acquisition Act before the Land Acquisition Tribunal/Principal Subordinate Court, Tenkasi, for adjudication. It is seen that the lands belonged to Pizhaiperunthammal wife of Late.Krishnan Chettiyar. She was the mother of the appellant Subbulakshmi, and the first, second and third respondents namely, S.K.Murugesan, S.K.Balakrishnan and K.Gnanam. She died on 14.05.1978. Her husband Krishnan Chettiyar had pre-deceased her. She left behind four legal representatives namely, Subbulakshmi and the first, second and third respondents namely, S.K.Murugesan, S.K.Balakrishnan and K.Gnanam. Claiming that she was entitled to an undivided , share in the lands and consequently , share in the compensation amount, the appellant had raised a dispute before the Land Acquisition Officer. That dispute was referred to the Land Acquisition Tribunal/Principal Subordinate Court, Tenkasi, under Section 30 of the Land Acquisition Act.

12. The second respondent herein S.K.Balakrishnan, claimed that there had been a partition of land which belonged to the joint family and the said lands in S.Nos.511/3 and 511/4 had been allotted to him. The partition deed had been produced as Ex.C1. It is dated 27.02.1986. It is also found as a fact that under the partition deed, lands were also allotted to the second and fourth claimants who are the first and third respondents herein namely, S.K.Murugesan and K.Gnanam. Those lands were also acquired by the Government and compensation was granted. The present appellant did not claim any share in those lands or in the compensation amounts granted. It was specifically found that during the cross examination of CW-2 S.K.Balakrishnan, suggestions were not put to the specific stand that the appellant herein had not given any explanation why she did not claim a share in the compensation amount granted for the lands allotted to the first and third respondents herein under the partition deed.

13. It was therefore found that the partition deed had been acted upon. It was also found that even though the partition deed had been mentioned in the advocate notice, the appellant herein had not sought partition of the lands. She had not taken any steps to assert her rights. It was also found that the partition had been effected in the year 1986 itself. It had been acted upon. The parties had taken possession of their respective shares. It is thus seen that the appellant is only seeking a share with respect to the compensation amount granted to the lands allotted to the second respondent, but had not provided any explanation for not seeking a similar share in the compensation granted for the lands allotted to the first and third respondents. Which had also been acquired.

14. I hold that the lands had been partitioned under Ex-C1 and consequently hold that the appellant is not entitled to any share in the compensation amount for the lands acquired in S.No.511/3 and 511/4 which had been allotted to the second respondent herein.

15. In the result, I find no reason to differ from the judgment and award, dated 08.01.1999 of the learned Principal Subordinate Judge/Land Acquisition Tribunal, Tenkasi.

16. Accordingly, the appeal suit is dismissed, however, in the circumstances without costs. The Judgment and Award of the Learned Principal Subordinate Judge, Tenkasi, in L.A.O.P.No.13 of 1989 dated 17.01.2005 is confirmed.
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