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ACQUISITION AGAINST CDP PLANS

In the case of Munshi Singh and Ors. v. Union of India, in the earlier notification it was mentioned that the Governor of Uttar Pradesh was pleased to notify for general information that the land mentioned in the schedule is likely to be needed for a public purpose. Their Lordship held that owing to the vagueness and indefiniteness of the public purpose stated in the notifications under Section 4(1) and in the absence of any proof that the appellants were either aware of or were shown the scheme or the Master Plan in respect of the planned development of the area in question the appellants were wholly unable to object effectively and exercise their right under Section 5A of the Land Acquisition Act.


H.G. Sheela vs State Of Karnataka And Ors. Decided on 24/1/2006 ORDERED by Justice V. Gopala Gowda, J. “Before parting with the judgment, it is felt that some observation has to be made so that the future action of the officers shall be in accordance with the provisions of statutory enactments with proper application of mind to the relevant aspects. It is to be noted that when some area is earmarked for residential or other purposes in the CDP, the Board or any other authority cannot make use of such area to other purposes. If that is done, the very object and purpose of preparing the CDP is defeated. In other words, the areas earmarked by the Planning Authority in the CDP remains as such but practically the said areas are permitted to be used for some other purpose by other authorities without revising the CDP. That is wholly impermissible in law.”

IMPROPER EXERCISE OF STATUTORY POWERS

In Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia v. State of Bihar & Ors., [1966] 1 S.C.R. 708, it was laid down that the Courts had always acted to restrain a misuse of statutory power and more readily when improper motives underlie it. Exercise of power for collateral purpose has similarly been held to be a sufficient reason to strike down the action. In State of Punjab v. Ramjilal & Ors., [1971] 2 S.C.R. 550, it was held that it was not necessary that any named officer was responsible for the act where the validity of action taken by a Government was challenged as mala fide as it may not be known to a private person as to what matters were considered and placed before the final authority and who had acted on behalf of the Government in passing the order. This does not mean that vague allegations of mala fide are enough to dislodge the burden resting on the person who makes the same a though what is required in this connection is not a proof to the hilt as held in Barium Chemicals Ltd. & Anr. v. Company Law Board, [1966] Supp. S.C.R. 311, the abuse of authority must appear to be reasonably probable.

FRAUDULENT EXCERCISE OF POWER BY STATUTORY AUTHORITIES

. Professor de Smith in his monumental work the Judicial Review of Administration Action, 4th edition at pp.335-36 says in his own terse language : "The concept of bad faith eludes precise definition, but in relation to the exercise of statutory powers it h may be said to comprise dishonesty (or fraud) and malice. A power is exercised fraudulently if its repository intends to achieve an object other than that for which he believes the power to have been conferred...... A power is exercised maliciously if its repository is motivated by personal animosity towards those who are directly affected by its exercise. He then goes on to observe : "If the Court concludes that the discretionary power has been used for an unauthorized purpose it is generally immaterial whether its repository was acting in good or bad faith. But there will undoubtedly remain areas of administration where the subject matter of the power and the evident width of the discretion reposed in the decision maker render its exercise almost wholly beyond the reach of judicial review. In these cases the courts have still asserted jurisdiction to determine whether the authority has endeavoured to act in good faith in accordance with the prescribed purpose. In most instances the reservation for the case of bad faith is hardly more than a formality. But when it can be established, the courts will be prepared to set aside a judgment or order procured or made fraudulently despite the existence of a generally worded formula purporting to exclude judicial review. Bad faith is here understood by the learned author to mean intentional usurpation of, power motivated by considerations that are incompatible with the discharge of public responsibility. In requiring statutory powers to be exercised reasonably, in good faith, and on correct grounds, the Courts are still working within the bounds of the familiar principle of ultra vires. The Court assumes that Parliament cannot have intended to authorize unreasonable action which is therefore ultra vires and void. This is the express basis of the reasoning in many well-known cases, on the subject. A necessary corollary is that, as usual throughout administrative law, we are concerned only with acts of legal power i.e. acts which, if valid, themselves produce legal consequence. In general, however, the Courts adhere firmly to the wide meaning of 'jurisdiction' since this is the sheet- anchor of their power to correct abuses. They appear to be willing to stretch the doctrine of ultra vires to cover virtually all situations where statutory power is exercised contrary to some legal principles. There are many cases in which a public authority is held to have acted for improper motives or irrelevant considerations, or have failed to take account of relevant considerations, that its action is ultra vires and void.


The misuse in bad faith arises when the power is exercised for an improper motive, say, to satisfy a private or personal grudge or for wreaking vengeance of a Minister as in S. Pratap Singh v. State of Punjab, [1964] 4 S.C.R. 733. A power is exercised maliciously if its repository is motivated by personal Animosity towards those who are directly affected by its exercise. Use of a power for an 'alien' purpose other than the one for which the power is conferred in mala fide use of that power. Same is the position when an order is made for a purpose other than that which finds place in the order. The ulterior or alien purpose clearly speaks of the misuse of the power and it was observed as early as in 1904 by Lord Lindley in General Assembly of Free Church of Scotland v. Overtown, L.R. [1904] A.C. 515, 'that there is a condition implied in this as well as in other instruments which create powers, namely, that the powers shall be used bona fide for the purpose for which they are conferred'. It was said that Warrington, C.J., in Short v. Poole Corporation, L.R. [1926] Ch. D.66, that : "No public body can be regarded as having statutory authority to act in bad faith or from corrupt motives, and any action purporting to be of that body, but proved to be committed in bad faith or from corrupt motives, would certainly be held to be inoperative. In Lazarus Estates Ltd. v. Beasley, [1956] 1 Q.B. 702 at pp.712-13, Lord Denning, LJ. said : "No judgment of a court, no order of a Minister, can be allowed to stand if it has been obtained by fraud. Fraud unravels everything. See also, in L Lazarus case at p.722 per Lord Parker, CJ : "'Fraud' vitiates all transactions known to the law of however high a degree of solemnity. All these three English decisions have been cited with approval by Supreme Court of India in Partap Singh's case.

PUBLIC AUTHORITIESS SHOULD SHOW UNDER WHICH PROVISION THEY ARE ACTING

Wazir Chand v. State of H.P., [1955] 1 S.C.R. 408, where it was held that the State or its executive officers cannot interfere with the rights of others unless they can point to some specific rule of law which authorises their acts, and to Ram Prasad Narayan Sahi v. State of Bihar, [1953] S.C.R. 1129, where the Court said that nothing is more likely to drain the vitality from the rule of law than legislation which singles out a particular individual from his fellow subjects and visits him with a disability which is not imposed upon the others, and concluded : "We have here a highly discriminatory and autocratic act which deprives a person of the possession of property without reference to any law or legal authority. Even if the property was trust property it is difficult to see how the Municipal Committee, Barnala, can step in as trustee on an executive determination only.

ACQUISITION WHEN POLITICALLY MOTIVATED

. STATE OF PUNJAB Vs. GURDIAL SINGH & ORS. AIR 1980 SC 319 “Allegation by land owner that statutory power misused to satisfy personal ends of an individual with political influence - No attempt to contradict allegation despite opportunity being afforded.”


STATE OF PUNJAB Vs. GURDIAL SINGH & ORS. AIR 1980 SC 319 “After a long interval, the State initiated acquisition proceedings in respect of the same land a second time…………… On a conspectus of the material on the record it does seem that the impugned acquisition proceeding cannot be sustained. There is reason to believe that the statutory power to acquire land has been misued to satisfy the personal ends of the Respondent No. 22, an individual who appears to be not without considerable political influence. Despite an opportunity afforded to controvert the allegations made by the Respondents Nos. 1 to 21, no attempt has been made by him to contradict the allegations……………… It is fundamental that compulsory taking of a man's property is a serious matter and the smaller the man the more serious the matter. Hearing him before depriving him is both reasonable and preemptive of arbitrariness, and denial of this administrative fairness is constitutional anathema except for good reasons…………………….. The power to select land for acquisition proceedings is left to the responsible discretion of Government under the Act, subject to Articles 14, 19 and 31 (then). The Court is handcuffed in this jurisdiction and cannot raise its hand against what it thinks is a foolish choice. Wisdom in administrative action is the property of the Executive and judicial circumspection keeps the court lock-jawed save where power has been polluted by oblique ends or is otherwise void on well-established grounds…………………………… Legal malice is gibberish unless juristic clarity keeps it separate from the popular concept of personal vice. Bad faith which invalidates the exercise of power-sometimes called colourable exercise or fraud on power and often times overlaps motives, passions, and satisfactions-is the attainment of ends beyond the sanctioned purposes of power by simulation or pretension of gaining a legitimate goal. If the use of the power is for the fulfilment of a legal object the actuation or catalysation by malice is not legicidal. The action is bad where the true object is to reach an end different from the one for which the power is entrusted, goaded by extraneous considerations, good or bad, but irrelevant to the entrustment. When the custodian of power is influenced in its exercise by considerations outside those for promotion of which the power is vested, the court calls it a colourable exercise and is undeceived by illusion……………………. Fraud on power voids the order if it is not exercised bona fide for the end designed. Fraud in this context is not equal to moral turpitude and embraces all cases in which the action impugned is to effect some object which is beyond the purpose and intent of the power, whether this be malice-laden or even benign. If the purpose is corrupt the resultant act is bad. If considerations, foreign to the scope of the power or extraneous to the statute, enter the verdict or impel the action, mala fides or fraud on power vitiates the acquisition or other official act…………………………. The action is bad where the true object is to reach an end different from the one for which the power is entrusted, goaded by extraneous considerations, good or bad, but irrelevant to the entrustment. When the custodian of power is influenced in its exercise by considerations outside those for promotion of which the power is vested the court calls it a colourable exercise and is undeceived by illusion. In a broad, blurred sense, Benjamin Disraeli was not off the mark even in Law when he stated: "I repeat...that all power is a trust-that we are accountable for its exercise-that, from the people, and for the people, all springs, and all must exist".

CASE LAW ON LAND LAWS

KARNATAKA LAND LAWS