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R.G. Girijamma v/s Special Land Acquisition Officer Upper Tunga Project Shimoga

Company & Directors' Information:- S K B PROJECT (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45202MP2008PTC020457

Company & Directors' Information:- A J PROJECT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70101WB2006PTC110040

Company & Directors' Information:- M B S PROJECT PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45209GJ2000PTC038147

Company & Directors' Information:- K C PROJECT INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U55101DL1997PTC088558

Company & Directors' Information:- A. H. PROJECT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U45400WB2010PTC141970

Company & Directors' Information:- H E F PROJECT PRIVATE LIMITED [Converted to LLP] CIN = U74899DL1995PTC069794

Company & Directors' Information:- B J S PROJECT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74900WB2015PTC206605

Company & Directors' Information:- PROJECT Q AND S PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999HR2020PTC086437

Company & Directors' Information:- K D PROJECT PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U45400MH2010PTC209307

Company & Directors' Information:- E PROJECT PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U72300HR2015PTC057142

    Miscellaneous First Appeal No. 6536 of 2018

    Decided On, 06 February 2020

    At, High Court of Karnataka


    For the Appellant: Sangamesh G Patil, Advocate. For the Respondent: Sriyuths Venkata Satyanarayan, High Court Government Pleader, B.R. Prashanth, M.R.C. Ravi, Advocates.

Judgment Text

H.P. Sandesh, J.

1. The claimant in L.A.C.No.237/2005 on the file of the Senior Civil Judge, Harihar has come up in this appeal seeking enhancement of compensation awarded by the Reference Court.

2. Admittedly, this appeal is filed with inordinate delay of 2283 days. Hence, application in I.A.No.1/2018 is filed. Though, the application is duly served, the respondents No.1 and 2 have not deliberately filed any objection to the same. Hence, application in I.A.No.1/2018 is taken up for consideration.

3. Heard learned counsel for the appellant as well as the contesting respondents.

4. The application in I.A.No.1/2018 which is filed seeking condonation of delay is supported by the affidavit of the appellant, wherein the one and only reason which is assigned by the appellant is that she did not have necessary finance for filing the appeal within the time stipulated. Hence, there is delay.

5. The acquisition of the land of the appellant is pursuant to preliminary notification issued under Section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 ('Act' for short) dated 12.07.2001 wherein, general award has been passed on 16.06.2003 and the same communicated to the appellant herein. Thereafter, the appellant herein being dissatisfied with the award, filed reference application under Section 18(1) of the Act before the Reference Court for enhanced compensation, which is considered and the compensation which was awarded by Land Acquisition Officer at Rs.64,300/- per acre is increased to Rs.80,000/- per acre by the Reference Court by its judgment dated 09.01.2012.

6. It is seen that the said judgment and award is not challenged till 06.08.2018 and the instant appeal is filed with delay of nearly six years and six months. The said delay is not at all explained in an acceptable manner. The one and only reason assigned is that the appellant is financially poor and she did not have sufficient funds, to prefer the appeal. Therefore, the appeal could not be filed immediately.

7. At this juncture, learned counsel for respondent No.2-Karnataka Niravari Nigama would bring to the notice of this Court that the award passed under general award dated 16.06.2003 is already deposited and the same was available to the appellant. When that being the case, the contention of the appellant that she did not have funds to initiate the proceedings cannot be accepted.

8. In the above said circumstances, this Court is of the opinion that no grounds are made out to condone the inordinate delay of 2,283 days in filing the appeal. However, the appellant tried to bring to the notice of this court that the Coordinate Bench of this Court as well as Apex Court on several occasions have condoned longer delay than the one in the present appeal and permitted the land losers to seek just and reasonable compensation. This Court would accept the same and would also observe that should be the normal practice which is required to be followed in the matter when the appeals are filed by poor landlords who for the reasons of lack of finance and lack of legal knowledge in approaching the Court at an appropriate time, may not be in a position to get just and proper compensation. But, in the fact situation, the case is altogether different from the one which is referred to by learned Counsel for the Appellant which is in the matter of 'DHIRAJ SINGH [DEAD] THROUGH LEGAL REPRESENTATIVES AND OTHERS v. STATE OF HARYANA AND OTHERS, (2014) 14 SCC 127'. In the said appeal, the delay is no doubt much longer than the delay in filing the present appeal. In the said proceedings, the original owner had died, it is his legal heirs who pursued the claim to show that they were not able to receive just compensation. In the aforesaid proceedings, the claim was raised by their father who was the original owner. In the instant case, the person who is filing the appeal is a total stranger to the family of the land losers. He is the power of attorney holder of the claimant who is totally unconnected to the family of land losers and he has filed the present appeal as power of attorney holder of land losers.

9. At this juncture, it is necessary to place on record certain aspects which this Court observed while considering the appeals filed seeking enhancement of compensation awarded for the lands acquired. There is large scale trading in the Judgments in the State of Karnataka where the busy bodies would bag litigation i.e., right to pursue the appeals filed seeking enhancement from the land owners [whether they are poor, greedy or otherwise, will be considered later]. After purchasing of the same, the appeals which are filed seeking enhancement of compensation, would be accompanied by applications seeking condonation of inordinate and unreasonable number of days delay in filing the appeal. While seeking condonation of such long delay, they would rely upon benevolent Judgment of the Apex Court and coordinate Bench of this Court. When such Judgments rendered by the Apex Court and Coordinate Bench of this Court are seen, it clearly discloses concern, care and apathy shown by the Apex Court and Coordinate Benches to support the poor land losers who due to lack of knowledge, finance and ignorance would not have filed appeals in time and those are appeals, where there is merit are taken up and considered for enhancement. By collecting such decisions, the same is tried to be relied upon by the gold diggers in the litigation which is purchased by them to secure enhancement of compensation projecting as if the appeal itself is by poor farmer and tried to grab huge compensation in undeserving cases. In fact, on several occasions, this Court and other coordinate Benches of this Court having seen the game plan, have ruthlessly scuttled such attempt to protect the funds of the State being misused and abused by such gold diggers.

10. The present appeal is yet another appeal of that kind. The fact that the General Power of Attorney holder of appellant is gold digger is clearly seen from the cause title itself. Therefore, in the aforesaid circumstances, this Court is of the considered opinion that such kind of appeals by the investors in misusing the sympathy shown by the Courts towards land losers for their personal investment should not be entertained and accordingly the application seeking condonation of delay, w

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hich does not properly explain each day's delay also cannot be entertained, in as much as, it is filed in an attempt to project as if the appeal is filed belatedly for want of funds, cannot be accepted. More particularly, when the appellant having received compensation long back, was having sufficient funds to file the appeal in time. All the aforesaid facts would clearly indicate that this appeal is filed by the investors/gold diggers which cannot be entertained and accordingly the application filed seeking condonation of delay is required to be dismissed. 11. Accordingly, with the aforesaid observation, application in I.A. No.1/2018 is dismissed and consequently, appeal is also dismissed.