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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

whether the application was filed beyond the period of six months Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 =. According to the appellants, the copy of the Award was not supplied and, therefore, the appellants could not furnish the details of the objections with regard to the Award in the application for reference. - appellants had filed an application for reference on 24.07.1999. To the extent relevant, the request reads as follows:- “Kindly refer our case in the joint name of Shahid Jamal & Durwesh to reference court u/s. 18. Also please refer the case Shahid Jamal & M.A. Trading Co. and another in the name of Durwesh Najaf & MAT FAB International to reference court u/s. 18 and deposit the award amount u/s 31 sub section (2) part V.” - the appellants had accepted the compensation under protest on the point of sufficiency of the compensation and having made a specific request for reference under Section 18 on 24.07.1999, which indisputably is within six months, we are of the view that this is a case where the request under Section 18 of the Act made on 24.07.1999 should be treated as a proper application

NON-REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO.1349/2018
(ARISING FROM SLP (C) NO. 20203 OF 2012)
SHAHID JAMAL & ANR. APPELLANT(S)
 VERSUS
STATE OF U.P. & ORS. RESPONDENT(S)
J U D G M E N T
KURIAN, J.
Leave granted.
2. The High Court, as per the impugned order,
declined to grant an order in favour of the
appellants for reference under Section 18 of the Land
Acquisition Act, 1894 (for short “the Act”) for
enhancement of compensation, on the ground that the
application was filed beyond the period of six
months.
3. To refer to the undisputed facts, though the
Award was passed on 31.03.1999, the compensation was
paid only on 07.04.1999. There is no dispute that
the same was received under protest. According to
the appellants, the copy of the Award was not
supplied and, therefore, the appellants could not
furnish the details of the objections with regard to
the Award in the application for reference.
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4. Be that as it may, it is not in dispute that the
appellants had filed an application for reference on
24.07.1999. To the extent relevant, the request
reads as follows:-
“Kindly refer our case in the joint name
of Shahid Jamal & Durwesh to reference court
u/s. 18. Also please refer the case Shahid
Jamal & M.A. Trading Co. and another in the
name of Durwesh Najaf & MAT FAB International
to reference court u/s. 18 and deposit the
award amount u/s 31 sub section (2) part V.”
5. It seems that there was a communication dated
25.09.1999 from the Land Acquisition Officer to the
appellants. The letter reads as follows:-
“Please accept the reference of your
letter dated 07.06.1999, 24.07.1999 and
25.08.1999, under which it has been mentioned
that for the construction of the project of
Ahmadpur Phulwaria Phase-1 of Bhadohi
Industrial Development Authority the
information of the declared Award regarding
the acquired land from the village Lakhanpur
alias Abhayanpur has not been made available.
Regarding this you have been informed that
notice under section 12(2) was sent on
31.03.1999 regarding declaring the Award, on
which you refused to sign. You demanded the
copy of the Award at the time of receiving
the amount of compensation on 07.04.1999 and
even the photo copy of the Award was made
available to you, but on the receiving
register you did not sign, rather by making
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unnecessary correspondence the certified copy
of the Award is being demanded. From your
said act it seems that you are trying to take
advantage of the time limit (time barred) by
hook or by crook after enclosing with your
application the judicial precedents of the
Hon'ble Courts, which is improper. Even then
according to your desire the so-called photo
copy of the Award is sent after enclosing.”
6. It may be specifically noted that the said letter
dated 25.09.1999 is, in any case, within six months’
period, as required under Section 18(2) of the Act
(as amended in the State of U.P.).
7. Learned senior counsel appearing for the State
points out that a proper application stating the
grounds for reference has been made only on
30.12.1999, which is beyond the prescribed period of
six months. It is submitted that under Section
18(2), the application for reference should contain
the grounds for reference and, therefore, only an
application with the grounds can be taken as a proper
application for reference.
8. In the impugned judgment the High Court has taken
note of the fact that the appellants had come to know
about the Award on 07.04.1999 when the compensation
was received and hence, the application dated
30.12.1999 under Section 18 of the Act was beyond
time and thus the writ petition was dismissed.
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9. Having regard to the factual matrix we have
referred to above, and having heard the learned
senior counsel appearing for the appellants as well
as the learned senior counsel appearing for the
State, we find that the High Court has unfortunately
missed a crucial point on facts. As can be seen from
the extracted portion of the application dated
24.07.1999 there is a specific request for reference
under Section 18 of the Act. It is not in dispute
and it is borne out from the records also as seen by
the High Court the compensation was received only
under protest with regard to the sufficiency of the
compensation. It is also seen from the communication
from the Land Acquisition Officer to the appellants
dated 25.09.1999, on which date the time under
Section 18 had not expired, that certified copy of
the Award had not been furnished to the appellants.
However, a photocopy of the Award was given, which
the appellants were not inclined to acknowledge.
10. Having regard to the fact that the appellants had
accepted the compensation under protest on the point
of sufficiency of the compensation and having made a
specific request for reference under Section 18 on
24.07.1999, which indisputably is within six months,
we are of the view that this is a case where the
request under Section 18 of the Act made on
24.07.1999 should be treated as a proper application.
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It may also have to be seen that before rejection the
grounds had also been furnished after receipt of the
certified copy of the Award. Ordered accordingly.
11. However, having regard to the peculiar facts and
circumstances of this case, we are of the view that
we should also invoke our jurisdiction under Article
142 of the Constitution of India and pass certain
further orders for doing complete justice between the
parties regarding the interest from 07.04.1999, the
date when the appellants received the compensation,
till the filing of this special leave petition on
29.06.2012 in the interest of any enhancement.
Accordingly, for the said period, in the event of any
enhancement, the appellants shall not be entitled to
any interest.
12. The appeal is disposed of, as above.
13. Needless to say that this order is confined only
to the statutory benefit of interest and all other
benefits, which the appellants are free to claim when
the reference under Section 18 of the Act is
considered on merits. We also direct the Land
Acquisition Collector to make a reference within four
weeks from today and the Reference Court shall
dispose of the same within three months thereafter.
The parties are free to take all available
contentions before the Reference Court.
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14. Pending applications, if any, shall stand
disposed of.
15. There shall be no orders as to costs.
.........................J.
 [KURIAN JOSEPH]
.........................J.
 [MOHAN M. SHANTANAGOUDAR]
NEW DELHI;
JANUARY 30, 2018
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