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Maharashtra Project Affected Persons Rehabilitation Act, 1986 – s. 2 (8) and Schedule II – Notification u/s. 4 of Land Acquisition Act – For acquisition of the land belonging to Hindu Joint Family for the purpose of 1986 Act – For acquisition, whether the limit prescribed under Schedule II would be applicable to the holdings of Hindu Joint Family as one unit or to the holding of each coparcener of the joint family as one unit – Held: In view of s. 2(8) and s. 3(35) of Bombay General Clauses Act, 1904, Hindu Joint Family is covered under the expression `person’ – Therefore the limit prescribed under Schedule II has to be considered in the light of the holdings of Hindu Joint Family and not holding of the individual coparcener of the family – Definition of `person’ given u/s. 2(22) of Land Ceiling on Holdings Act is not applicable to s. 2(8) – Maharashtra Agricultural Land (Ceiling on Holdings) Act, 1961 – s. 2(22) – Bombay General Clauses Act, 1904 – s. 3 (35) – Land Acquisition Act, 1898 – s. 4. Words and Phrases – `Person’ – Meaning of, in the context of s.2(8) of Maharashtra Project Affected Persons Rehabilitation Act, 1986 and s. 3(35) of Bombay General Clauses Act, 1904 Notification u/s. 4(1) of Land Acquisition Act was issued by respondent- State notifying acquisition of certain agricultural land under the Maharashtra Project Affected Persons Rehabilitation Act, 1986. The appellants filed a writ petition challenging the legality of the Notification. They took the plea that holdings of each coparcener of the Hindu Joint Family would be calculated as one unit and thus the total holding of the appellants’ joint family was within the limit prescribed under Schedule II of the 1986 Act and, therefore, could not be acquired under the 1986 Act r/w. the Land Acquisition Act. The High Court dismissed the petition holding that the expression `person’ occurring in the definition of `holding’ u/s. 2(8) of the 1986 Act would include a Hindu Joint Family and thus the limit prescribed under Schedule II has to be seen in the light of holding of the Hindu Joint Family and not as holdings of individual coparcener. In the instant appeal, the appellants contended that in view of s. 2(22) and (11) of the Maharashtra Agricultural Land (Ceiling on Holdings) Act, 1961, the expression `person’ would include individual coparceners constituting the Hindu Joint Family. =Dismissing the appeal, the Court HELD: 1. On appreciation of the records of the instant case and in view of s. 2(22) and (11) of the Maharashtra Agricultural Land (Ceiling on Holdings) Act 1961, the expressions `person’ and `family’ as contained in the Act of 1961 have no application to the facts and circumstances of the instant case. The object and purpose of enactment of the Act of 1961 is completely different from that of the Maharashtra Project Affected Persons Rehabilitation Act, 1986 which would be applicable to the instant case. The Legislature, while enacting the Act of 1986, incorporated the definition of expression `holding’ u/s. 2(8) and was fully conscious of the fact that there is a definition of expression `person’ in the Act of 1961, but despite the said fact, it did not incorporate the said definition of expression `person’ given in the Act of 1961. Since the expression `person’ is not defined in the Act of 1986, in order to ascertain the definition of the same, the provisions of the Bombay General Clauses Act, 1904 has to be referred to. [Para 14 15] [596-D-F-H] 2. Section 3(35) of the Bombay General Clauses Act, 1904 defines persons to “include any company or association or body of individuals, whether incorporated or not.” In that event, if the position and standard as enunciated in the legislation of the 1904 Act is adopted, it has to be held that the expression `person’ would include the body of individuals, meaning thereby, that the Hindu Joint Family is a body of individuals and is covered under the expression `person’ mentioned in Section 2(8) of the 1986 Act. [Para 16] [597-A-B] 3. Once the Hindu Joint Family is held to be a person, the limit prescribed in Schedule-II of the 1986 Act has to be considered in the light of the holding of Hindu Joint Family and not holding of individual coparceners constituting a Hindu Joint Family. Therefore, the findings and the conclusions arrived at by the High Court is upheld. [Para 17] [597-C-D] Gaya Din(Dead) through Lrs. and Ors. v. Hanuman Prasad (Dead) through Lrs. and Ors. (2001) 1 SCC 501 – held inapplicable. Case Law Reference: (2001) 1 SCC 501 held inapplicable. Para 13 CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal No. 546 of 2004. From the Judgment & Order dated 24.01.2002 of the High Court of Judicature of Bombay in Writ Petition No. 5720 of 2001. Ajay Majithia, Rajesh Kumar, Dr. Kailash Chand for the Appellants. Chinmoy Khaladkar, Sanjay Kharde, Asha G. Nair, Mukesh K. Giri for the Respondents.

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 REPORTABLE

 lIN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

 CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

 CIVIL APPEAL NO. 546 OF 2004

Sudam Shankar Kshirsagar & Anr. ....... Appellants

 Versus

State of

Maharashtra & Ors. ......Respondents

 JUDGMENT

Dr. Mukundakam Sharma, J.

1. The present petition is directed against the judgment and order dated
 24.01.2002 passed by the Division Bench of the Bombay High Court

 dismissing the Writ Petition, filed by the appellants herein, registered as

 Writ Petition No. 5720 of 2001.

2. In the Writ Petition filed by the appellants before the Bombay High Court, they

 challenged the legality of the notification issued by the respondent-State

 herein under Section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act.

3. The appellants in the said Writ Petition prayed for quashing and setting aside the

 commencement of the Land Acquisition proceedings qua the appellants.
 Appellant No. 1 sought the said relief on the ground that a total holding of the
 appellant family being land covering 12.6 hectares, and each of the co-sharer of
 the family being entitled to hold land measuring about 2.53 hectares of land, no
 land could be acquired under the Maharashtra Project Affected Persons
 Rehabilitation Act, 1986 [for short "Act of 1986"]. Consequently, it was argued
 that the entire exercise of proceeding under the Land Acquisition Act against the
 appellant is illegal and without jurisdiction.

4. According to the appellants, each member of the family who has attained the

 age of majority is entitled to hold independent land. Therefore, it is their

 submission that, akin to the provisions of the Maharashtra Agricultural
 Lands [Ceiling on Holdings] Act, 1961 [for short "Act of 1961], each one of

 them would be entitled to retain his share in the joint family property

 which would be calculated as one unit each and if after such calculation,

 there is any excess land, such land could only be acquired in terms of the

 provisions of the Maharashtra Project Affected Persons Rehabilitation Act,

 1986 read with the provisions of Land Acquisition Act.

5. The aforesaid contention of the appellants were refuted by the respondent-State
 contending inter alia that the expression "holding" is defined under Section 2(8)
 of the Maharashtra Project Affected Persons Rehabilitation Act, 1986, which

 indicates the total land held by a person as an occupant or tenant or as both.
 Since the expression "person" appearing in the said definition is not defined
 under the Act of 1986, therefore, according to the State, resort should be had to
 the definition of the expression of "persons" under Section 3(35) of the Bombay
 General Clauses Act, 1904. According to the said legislation, the expression
 "persons" could include any company or association or body of individuals,
 whether incorporated or not, and relying on this definition, the stand of the State
 is that the expression joint Hindu family would also be included within the
 expression "person" and, therefore, the holding of the entire joint Hindu family
 itself would be calculated as one unit.

6. The Bombay High Court, where the Writ Petition was filed, accepted the

 contention of the State Government and held that the expression "person"
 occurring in the definition of "holding" under Section 2(8) of the Act of 1986

 cannot be restricted solely to natural persons or juristic persons and that

 the expression "person" would include any company or association or body

 of individuals. In the opinion of the High Court, a Hindu Joint Family

 without doubt would be a body of individuals and would be covered under

 the expression "person" occurring in the definition of "holding" under

 Section 2(8) of the Act of 1986.

7. Having

 concluded so, the Bombay High Court also held that once Hindu Joint

 Family is held to be a person, the limit prescribed in Schedule-II has to be

 seen in the light of the holding of the person, i.e., holding of the Hindu

 Joint Family and not as holding of individual coparceners who constitute a

 Hindu Joint Family. The aforesaid findings recorded by the High Court are

 challenged in this appeal, wherein we have heard the learned counsel

 appearing for the parties.

8. The counsel for the appellants in support of his submission drew our attention to
 the definition clauses of the Act of 1986, with a particular reference to sub-
 Section 2 of Section 2 of the same, wherein the expression "affected person" is
 defined also to mean an occupant whose land in the affected zone is acquired
 under Section 14 for the purposes of a project and to the definition of expression
 "holding" under Section 2(8) of the Act of 1986.
9. Sub-Section 2 of Section 14 of the Act of 1986 authorises the State Government to
 also compulsorily acquire land for carrying out the purposes of the said Act
 under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894; and the acquisition of any land for any of
 the said purposes shall be deemed to be a public purpose within the meaning of
 the Land Acquisition Act. It is also provided under sub-Section 3 of Section 14
 that the State Government may also acquire lands in a gaothan in the affected
 zone as far as practicable according to the provisions of Part I of the Schedule.

10.The relevant provisions mentioned above may be reproduced here for ready

 reference: -

The Maharashtra Project Affected Persons Rehabilitation Act, 1986: -

"Section 2 (2) "affected person" means -
(a) an occupant whose land in the affected zone (including land in the gaothan) is
acquired under section 14 for the purposes of a project; .......................................
...............................................................
Section 2 (8) "holding" means the total land held by a person as an occupant or
tenant, or as both;
........................"
"Section 14 (2) Subject to the provisions of this section, the State Government may
for carrying out the purposes of this Act, also compulsorily acquire land under the
Land Acquisition Act, 1894; and the acquisition of any land for any of the said
purposes shall be deemed to be a public purpose within the meaning of that Act.

Section 14(3) The State Government may also acquire lands included in a gaothan
in the affected zone as far as practicable according to the provisions of Part I of the
Schedule."

1. The Act of 1986 was enacted to consolidate and amend the law relating to the

 rehabilitation of persons affected by certain projects in the State of

 Maharashtra and also for matters connected therewith or incidental

 thereto. In order to achieve the aforesaid purpose and objective, land

 belonging to a person could be acquired by issuing a notification under the

 provisions of the Land Acquisition Act. In the present case, the acquisition

 proceeding was initiated by State Government against the appellants who

 allege to be a Hindu Joint Family.

2. Counsel appearing for the appellant in support of his submission that the
 expression "person" would include individual coparceners constituting the
 Hindu Joint Family, relied upon the Maharashtra Agricultural Land [Ceiling on
 Holdings] Act, 1961. Counsel appearing for the appellant referred to sub-Section
 22 of Section 2 of the Act of 1961 to state that "person" includes a family and
 that expression "family" is defined under Section 2 (11) of the Act of 1961 as a
 Hindu Undivided Family, and in the case of other persons, a group or unit the
 members of which by custom or usage, are joint in estate or possession or
 residence.
3. In support of the said contention, he relied upon the decision of this Court in the
 case of Gaya Din (Dead) through Lrs. & Others v. Hanuman Prasad (Dead)
 through Lrs. & Others reported at (2001) 1 SCC 501 to contend that under the
 tenancy and land laws joint and undivided family is recognized as a person and,
 therefore, each major member of the family would be considered to hold one unit
 in the joint Hindu family property.
4. We have considered the aforesaid submissions in the light of the records. On

 appreciation of the records and the aforesaid provisions of law, we are of the
 considered opinion that the expressions "person" and "family" as contained in
 the Maharashtra Agricultural Land [Ceiling on Holdings] Act, 1961 have no
 application at all to the facts and circumstances of the present case. The object
 and purpose of enacting of the Act of 1961 is completely different from that of
 the Maharashtra Project Affected Persons Rehabilitation Act, 1986.
5. In the present case, the Maharashtra Agricultural Land [Ceiling on Holdings] Act,
 1961 is not applicable and what is applicable is the Maharashtra Project Affected
 Persons Rehabilitation Act, 1986. The expression "person" is defined in the Act
 of 1961 and expression "holding" is defined in the Act of 1986. The Legislature
 while enacting the Act of 1986 incorporated the definition of expression "holding"
 under Section 2(8) and was fully conscious of the fact that there is a definition of
 expression "person" in the Act of 1961, but despite the said fact, it did not
 incorporate the said definition of expression "person" given in the Act of 1961.
 Since the expression "person" is not defined in the Act of 1986, in order to
 ascertain the definition of the same, we necessarily have to refer to the
 provisions of the Bombay General Clauses Act, 1904.
6. Section 3(35) of the Bombay General Clauses Act, 1904 defines persons to "include
 any company or association or body of individuals, whether incorporated or not. In
 that event, if we adopt the position and standard as enunciated in the
 aforementioned legislation, it has to be held that the expression "person" would
 include the body of individuals, meaning thereby, that the Hindu Joint Family is
 a body of individuals and is covered under the expression "person" mentioned in
 Section 2(8) of the Act of 1986.

7. Once the Hindu Joint Family is held to be a person, the limit prescribed in

 Schedule-II has to be considered in the light of the holding of Hindu Joint

 Family and not holding of individual coparceners constituting a Hindu

 Joint

 Family. That being the position, we uphold the findings and the

 conclusions arrived at by the Bombay High Court.

8. Consequently, we find no merit in this appeal, which is dismissed. There will

 be no order as to costs.

 ......................................J.
 [Dr. Mukundakam Sharma]

 ......................................J.
 [ Anil R. Dave ]New Delhi,
August 30, 2010.
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