Dheeraj Singh vs. Greater Noida and Industrial Development Authority and Ors
Case Number: Civil Appeal Nos. 4172 of 2023 (Arising out of (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 26491 of 2018), Civil Appeal No. 4174 of 2023 (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 31320/2018), Civil Appeal No. 4173 of 2023 (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 1468/2019), Civil Appeal No. 4175 of 2023 (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 31322/2018), Civil Appeal No. 4176 of 2023 (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 31321/2018) and Civil Appeal No. 4177 of 2023 (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 32192/2018)
Name of Judges: Hon’ble Judges Krishna Murari and Bela. M. Trivedi
Order Date: 04.07.2023
Facts of the Case:
- The relevant facts necessary for the adjudication of the present appeals, for the sake of convenience, the Respondent State Government of UP had issued a notification Under Section 4(1) read with Section 17 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 on 30.04.1993 whereby a large tract of land, including the land of the Appellants herein was acquired for the purpose of Greater Noida. The declaration of the said lands Under Section 6 of the Act was issued on 25.06.1993, and the possession of the aforesaid lands was taken on different dates between 13.08.1993 and 31.05.1994.
- Subsequent to the possession of the said lands being acquired, the Special Land Acquisition Officer, by order dated 27.08.1994, determined the market value of the plots at three different rates i.e., Rs. 32.52/-, Rs. 22.44/- and Rs. 16.46/- paisa per square yard.
- Aggrieved by the aforesaid award, the Appellants herein sought reference Under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act and claimed compensation at the rate of Rs. 350/- to Rs. 500/- per square yard on grounds of parity to other lands acquired in the vicinity. The Learned District Judge, in the aforesaid reference, vide its judgment dated 09.05.2002, determined the market value of the said lands at Rs. 400/-, but deducted 1/3rd amount for development charge, and fixed the market value at Rs. 267/- per square yard and granted Rs. 80/- as solatium per square yard with interest at the rate of 9% and 15% per annum, and an additional compensation at the rate of 12% per annum on the market value with effect from the date of transfer of possession.
- As against this, the Respondent Greater Noida filed an appeal in the High Court, to which the Appellants herein filed their cross appeals seeking a further enhancement.
- Subsequently, the High Court, vide order and judgment dated 04.01.2017, confirmed the compensation determined by the Learned District Judge. It is the contention of the Appellants herein that the High Court, while passing its judgment, did not consider the cross objections filed by them.
- The Appellants, aggrieved by the fact that their cross objection for enhancement was not properly considered, filed a review, however, the same was dismissed vide impugned order and judgment dated 05.01.2017. Hence, the present Special Leave Petition.
- For the sake of clarity, it is necessary to mention that the acquisition of the land itself is not being challenged by way of the present appeals, and the limited challenge is only confined to the extent of the quantum of compensation granted for the acquisition of the said lands.
- To appreciate the issue at hand and to come to a correct conclusion, we must analyze the impugned order passed by the High Court, to see whether there has been any application of mind by the High Court on the cross objections filed by the Appellants herein, and if such consideration has not been taken into account, then to what extent can this Court grant relief.
THE HON’ BLE SUPREME COURT OBSERVED AS FOLLOWS:
- Order 41 Rule 22, which is the governing law in the present case, elaborates on the remedies available to a Respondent in the court of first appeal where an original decree has been challenged. An analysis of the said provision, in our opinion, is essential to adjudicate upon the present case. In cases where the decree passed by the court of first instance is in favor of the Respondent in whole, in such circumstance, no remedy exists in favor of the Respondent to appeal such decree, since no right to appeal can be vested onto a party, which is successful.
- In a similar circumstance, where the other party in the first instance has preferred an appeal, apart from the remedy of cross objections, the Respondent can also file a cross appeal within the limitation period so prescribed, which in essence is a separate appeal in itself, challenging part or whole of the original decree, independent of the appeal filed by the other party. The Respondent also has the right to fully support the original decree passed by the lower court in full.
- In the present case at hand, the Appellants herein, in the court of first appeal filed a cross objection. It is the claim of the Appellants herein that his cross objection was not considered by the High Court while passing the impugned judgment. At this stage, it must be noted that while cross objections, unlike a regular appeal, are filed within an already existing appeal, however, as per Order 41 Rule 22 of the Code of Civil Procedure, cross objections have all the trappings of a regular appeal, and therefore, must be considered in full by the court adjudicating upon the same
- A bare perusal of the impugned order would show that the issues raised by the Appellants in their cross objections have not been considered by the High Court. No mention of the cross objections filed by the Appellants herein have been found in the said judgment. While the High Court has given a detailed analysis of all other issues raised in the appeal and the both the lower court orders, however, the cross objections in specific, finds no discussion, much less even a mention.
- The abovementioned discussions, when contextualized to the present case, would show that the High Court was under an obligation to consider the cross objections filed by the Appellants herein. Since such an obligation was not discharged while passing the judgment in appeal, we are of the considered opinion that the matter is fit for remand to the High Court for fresh adjudication on the grounds raised in the cross objections during appeal by the Appellants herein. Accordingly, the present appeals are therefore allowed to such an extent.