(Petition under Section 115 of CPC., to revise the order dated 22-8-2005 and made in E.A.No.189/2002 in E.P.No.16/1997 in L.A.O.P.No.15 of 1986 on the file of the Court of the Senior Civil Judge, Kovur.)
A common point arises for consideration in these two revisions. Hence, they are disposed of through a common order.
The lands of the respondents in the CRPs are acquired, under the Land Acquisition Act, for short ?the Act?, for public purpose. Awards were passed, and not being satisfied with the compensation awarded by the Land Acquisiti
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n Officer, the respondents sought for Reference, under Section 18 of the Act. Compensation was enhanced by the trial courts, to certain extent, and in the appeals, this Court enhanced the same further. One of the controversies was as to whether the respondents are entitled to the benefit under Section 23(1-A) of the Act. The Reference Court extended the said benefit, and it was affirmed by this court, in the appeal. The respondents filed E.P.No.16 of 1997 (Civil Revision Petition No.1028 of 2006) and E.P.No.37 of 2000 (Civil Revision Petition 4573 of 2006), claiming the balance of compensation. In the calculation memo, the respondents included the amount payable under Section 23(1-A) of the Act. In the said EPs, the petitioners, i.e. the Land Acquisition Officer, raised an objection as to the extension of the benefit under Section 23(1-A) of the Act, on the ground that the award was passed before 30.4.1982. Through orders under revision, the respective executing courts rejected the plea, and held that the petitioners are liable to be paid the said amount, an that it is not at all open to the executing court to travel beyond the scope of the decree. Hence, these two Civil Revision Petitions. Learned Government Pleader for Arbitration submits that the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, particularly those in relation to the amending Act 68 of 1984, are very clear as to the entitlement for the benefit under Section 23(1-A) of the Act, and there was no basis for the courts below, in rejecting the contentions advanced by the petitioners. He submits that the Supreme Court in Ghaziabad Development Authority v. Anoop Singh (2003 (2) ALD 94 (SC) held that Section 23 (1-A) does not apply to the case, where the award was passed before 30.4.1982, and this court has followed the same in Special Deputy Collector LA, Srisailam Project v. P.Ch. Hussainaiah (2004 (3) ALD 101), and in that view of the matter, the executing courts ought not to have extended the benefit under the said provision. Sri M.V.S. Suresh Kumar and Sri S. Laxma Reddy, learned counsel appearing for the respondents, in the respective CRPs, submit that once the decree passed in the OPs has become final, as to the extension of benefit under the said provision, it is not at all open to the petitioners, to object to the same, much less to the executing courts, to entertain the objection. They submit that the executing court had considered the matter from the proper perspective and decided cases, and the orders under revision do not warrant any interference. The only grievance of the petitioners is as to the extension of benefit under Section 23(1-A) of the Act, to the respondents herein. It is a matter of record that the respective trial courts have extended the said benefit to the respondents, and that the same was affirmed by this court, in the appeals. In the calculation memo filed in the respective EPs, the respondents have included the amount payable under Section 23 (1-A) of the Act. The petitioners took objection to the same, and the executing court overruled the objection. There is absolutely no quarrel with the observation made by the courts below, to the effect that an executing court cannot go beyond the scope of the decree. However, it is equally well settled that when a patent illegality, touching upon the jurisdiction, had crept into the decree, it can certainly be examined, at the stage of execution, also.In Ghaziabad Development Authority?s case (1 supra) the Supreme Court held as under:?Section 23(1-A) is not applicable where the Award has been made by the collector before 30.4.1982.?It is not in dispute that in the instant cases, the award was passed before the said date. All the same, this benefit was extended to the respondents and the decrees become final. At the first blush, it may appear that extension of benefit under a particular provision is a pure question of fact, and it may not have any bearing on the jurisdiction of the court, as such. This very question was examined by the Supreme Court in Urban Improvement Trust v. Gokul Narain (1996 (4) SCC 178). After referring to the various decided cases, it was held that extension of a benefit, which was otherwise impermissible under the Land Acquisition Act, strikes at the very jurisdiction and authority of the court. It was further held that such a question can be raised, at any stage, including the one, at the execution of decree. The same was followed by this court, in P.Ch. Hussainaiah?s case (2 supra).The judgments referred to above do not appear to have been brought to the notice of the executing courts. Once in has emerged that the awards in the instant cases were passed before 30.4.1982, the respondents are not eligible to be extended the benefit under Section 23(1-A) of the Act. In view of the judgment referred to above, it was permissible for the petitioners to raise the said objection in the execution proceedings also.For the foregoing reasons, the Civil Revision Petitions are allowed in part, directing that the respondents herein shall not be entitled to the benefit under Section 23(1-A) of the Act. This order shall not have any bearing on the rights of the respective parties, on other aspects. It shall be open to the respondents to enforce the decree on other aspects.
"2007 (4) ALT 842" == "2007 (2) Andhwr 183"