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Thursday, December 6, 2012

i) Whether ‘Bid Land’ would fall within the definition ‘Land' read along with the definition of ‘Agriculture’ as defined under Sections 2(17) and 2(1) of the Act of 1960 ? ii) In order to ascertain the nature of description of ‘Bid Land’ can the definition of the said expression under the earlier statutes viz. Act No.XXV of 1951, Act No.XXVI of 1951 and Act No.III of 1952 can be imported ? iii) What is the implication of the Urban Land Ceiling Act, 1976 vis-à-vis the Act of 1960 in respect of ‘Bid Land’ ? iv) Whether the Amendment Act of 1974 which came into effect from 01.04.1976 and the definition of ‘Bid Land’ under the said Amendment Act of 1974 can be applied for the purpose of deciding the issue involved in this litigation ? v) Whether the ratio decidendi of this Court in Nagbhai Najbhai Khackar (supra) can be applied to the facts of this case ? vi) Whether the orders of the authorities under the Act of 1960 impugned before the High Court were hit by the principles of Res Judicata ? vii) What is the effect of the repealing of the Urban Land Ceiling Act over the Act of 1960 ? a Constitution Bench decision of this Court on this issue in M.P.V. Sundararamier (supra) we are obliged to deal with the said submission. In the said decision among other contentions a contention was raised on behalf of the petitioner therein which was as under: “Section 22 having been unconstitutional when it was enacted and, therefore, void, no proceedings could be taken thereunder on the basis of the Validation Act as the effect of unconstitutionality of the law was to efface it out of the statute book.” Dealing with the said contention, the Constitution Bench has held at page 1469 and 1474-75 as under: “…..If a law is on a field not within the domain of the legislature, it is absolutely null and void, and a subsequent cession of that field to the legislature will not have the effect of breathing life into what was a still-born piece of legislation and a fresh legislation on the subject would be requisite. But if the law is in respect of a matter assigned to the legislature but its provisions disregard constitutional prohibitions, though the law would be unenforceable by reason of those prohibitions, when once they are removed, the law will become effective without re-enactment. The result of the authorities may thus be summed up: Where an enactment is unconstitutional in part but valid as to the rest, assuming of course that the two portions are severable, it cannot be held to have been wiped out of the statute book as it admittedly must remain there for the purpose of enforcement of the valid portion thereof, and being on the statute book, even that portion which is unenforceable on the ground that it is unconstitutional will operate proprio vigore when the Constitutional bar is removed, and there is no need for a fresh legislation to give effect thereto. On this view, the contention of the petitioners with reference to the Explanation in s.22 of the Madras Act must fail….” (emphasis added) In the light of the said proposition of law laid down by the Constitution Bench decision of this Court, it will have to be held that once the Act, 1976 came to be repealed whatever constitutional embargo that was existing as against the Act of 1960 as well as the Amendment Act of 1974 ceased to exist and the Act would operate in full force. In the light of the said settled legal position, we need not dilate much on this issue and we leave it at that. 84. Having regard to our above conclusions, the judgment impugned in this appeal is liable to be set aside. The appeal, therefore, stands allowed. The order of the learned Single Judge as well as the impugned judgment of the Division Bench are set aside. The judgment dated 08.09.1989 passed by the Gujarat Revenue Tribunal in Revision Application No.TEN.B.R.4/84 confirming the orders of the Deputy Collector and Mamlatdar and A.L.T in so far as Bid lands in survey No.111/2 admeasuring 30 acres 30 Gunthas and survey No.111/3 admeasuring 579 acres 27 Gunthas stands restored. In the facts and circumstances of the case where we have dealt with pure questions of law there will be no order as to costs.


                                                                  Reportable


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                         CIVIL APPEAL NO.612 OF 2002


State of Gujarat & another                      …Appellants


                                   VERSUS


Manoharsinhji Pradyumansinhji Jadeja           …Respondent




                               J U D G M E N T




Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla, J.

1. The State of Gujarat and the Mamlatdar & Agriculture are the appellants.
   The appellants are aggrieved by the judgment of the Single Judge of  the
   High Court of Gujarat at Ahmedabad dated 11.10.2000 and the final  order
   of the Division Bench dated 20.10.2000 passed in Letters  Patent  Appeal
   No.597/2000 in Special Civil Application No.4015 of 1990.  By  the  said
   impugned judgment  and  the  final  order,  the  Letters  Patent  Appeal
   preferred by the appellants came to be dismissed confirming the judgment
   of the learned Single Judge passed in Special Civil Application  No.4015
   of 1990 dated 06.05.1999.

2. The second appellant herein initiated proceedings under  the  provisions
   of The Gujarat Agricultural Lands Ceiling Act, 1960 (hereinafter  called
   as ‘the Act of 1960’) and after hearing the interested party, passed  an
   order dated 24.08.1982 in Ceiling Case No.2 of  1976  holding  that  the
   land to an extent of 587 acres 35 Gunthas was in excess of ceiling limit
   and the respondent was entitled to retain  only  balance  land  i.e.  51
   acres.

3. The respondent preferred an appeal under Section 35 of the 1960  Act  to
   the Deputy Collector, Rajkot.
The Deputy Collector dismissed the  appeal
   by an order dated 10.11.1983.
The respondent preferred a revision  under
   Section 38 of the Act of  1960  which  was  registered  as  TEN.B.R.4/84
   before the Gujarat Revenue Tribunal.
The Gujarat Revenue Tribunal by its
   judgment dated 08.09.1989 partly allowed the revision and directed  that
   Randarda lands admeasuring 40 acres to be included in the total holding,
   that Bhomeshwar Temple admeasuring 12 acres 34 Gunthas  to  be  excluded
   from the holding of the respondent and remanded the matter back  to  the
   second appellant for taking evidence regarding the age of the members of
   the family.

4. Aggrieved by the order of the Gujarat Revenue Tribunal,  the  respondent
   preferred the writ petition in  Special  Civil  Application  No.4015  of
   1990.
Before the learned Single Judge, the  respondent  took  the  stand
   that
his lands were covered by the Urban Land (Ceiling  and  Regulation)
   Act, 1976 (hereinafter called the ‘Act, 1976’) and was not  governed  by
   the Act of 1960. In fact, the said stand of the  respondent  was  raised
   for the first time in the writ petition. The stand of the respondent was
   accepted by the learned Single Judge and by the judgment and order dated
   06.05.1999 passed in Special Civil  Application  No.4015  of  1990,  the
   judgment and order of the Gujarat Revenue Tribunal dated  08.09.1989  in
   Revision Application No.TEN.B.R.4/84 was set aside and the Rule was made
   absolute.

5. The appellants preferred Letters Patent Appeal No.597/2000  and  by  the
   order impugned in this civil appeal, the said LPA having been dismissed,
   the appellants have come forward with this appeal.
6. We heard Mr. Soli J. Sorabjee, learned senior counsel for the appellants
   and Mr. Shekhar Naphade, learned senior counsel for the respondent.  Mr.
   Soli J. Sorabjee, learned senior counsel for the appellants in the first
   instance
 traced the existence of the Act of 1960 as it originally  stood
   which was enforced on 15.06.1961 and, thereafter, the  initiative  taken
   by the Gujarat State Legislative Assembly by  passing  a  resolution  on
   14.08.1972  under  Article  252  (1)  of  the  Constitution   of   India
   authorizing the Parliament to legislate with respect to  ‘imposition  of
   ceiling on the holding of  urban  immovable  property’.
Learned  senior
   counsel also referred to the amendment passed by the  State  Legislature
   to the definition of ‘land’ in the Act of 1960 by  way  of  ‘removal  of
   doubts’ to the expression  ‘Bid  lands’  also  to  be  included  in  the
   definition of ‘land’ on  23.02.1974  which  amendment  was  notified  on
   01.04.1976 under the Gujarat Agricultural Lands Ceiling (Amendment) Act,
   1972.
Learned senior counsel also brought to our notice the coming  into
   force of the Act, 1976 on and from 17.02.1976.
7. While elaborating his submissions on the various provisions contained in
   the different enactments, in the foremost,
the  learned  senior  counsel
   referred to the expressions ‘agriculture’ under Section 2(1) and  ‘land’
   under Section 2(17) of the un-amended, Act of 1960.
Learned counsel also
   referred to Section 6 which sought to fix the ceiling on holding of such
   agricultural land. In that context, learned senior  counsel  brought  to
   our notice the Statement of Objects and Reasons  for  bringing  out  the
   Gujarat Agricultural Lands Ceiling (Amendment) Act, 1972 (being  Gujarat
   Act No.2 of 1974) (hereinafter called the Amendment Act, 1974)
wherein,
   inter alia, it sought to remove doubts relating to ‘Bid lands’ of former
   Princes, as well as, Girasdars and Barkhalidars in the  Saurashtra  area
   which were duly covered under the definition  of  ‘land’  and  submitted
   that it was only with a view to remove doubts that the Amendment Act was
   brought out and that it was not by virtue of the  said  amendment  alone
   ‘Bid lands’ fell within the definition of ‘land’.

8. In other words, according to learned senior counsel,  even  as  per  the
   definition of ‘land’ under Section 2(17) read along with the  definition
   of “agriculture” under Section 2(1) of the un-amended Act of 1960,  ‘Bid
   lands’ were duly covered within the said expression of  ‘land’  and  the
   Amendment Act, 1974 only sought to remove  any  doubt  in  the  mind  of
   anyone as regards the character of the ‘Bid lands’.

9. The learned senior counsel then referred to Section  2(q),  namely,  the
   definition of ‘vacant land’ and Section 2(o), the definition  of  ‘urban
   land’ under the provisions of the Act, 1976 to contend that  even  going
   by the said definitions, such land within the urban agglomeration  which
   fall within the definition of ‘agricultural land’ stood excluded for the
   purpose of application of the Act, 1976.

10. Learned senior counsel also brought to  our  notice  the  definition  of
   ‘Bid land’ under Section 2(a) of the Saurashtra Estates Acquisition Act,
   1952 (hereinafter called as the “Saurashtra Act No.  III  of  1952”)  as
   well as the definition of the very same expression, namely,  ‘Bid  land’
   under the Saurashtra Land Reforms Act, 1951 (hereinafter called  as  the
   “Saurashtra Act No.XXV of 1951) as well as Saurashtra Barkhali Abolition
   Act (hereinafter called as the “Saurashtra  Act  No.XXVI  of  1951)  and
   contended that even long prior to the Amendment Act 1974 ‘Bid land’  has
   been defined to mean a  land  used  by  Girasdars  or  Barkhalidars  for
   grazing cattle or for cutting grass, for  the  use  of  cattle,  meaning
   thereby that such lands were nonetheless ‘agricultural  lands’.  In  the
   light of the above statutory  provisions  relating  to  the  ‘Bid  land’
   learned counsel submitted that de hors the Amendment Act 1974 which came
   to be notified on 01.04.1976 ‘Bid land’ fell within  the  definition  of
   ‘land’ under the Act of 1960 and consequently there was no scope for the
   respondent to fall back upon the Act, 1976 in  order  to  challenge  the
   order passed by  the  second  appellant  which  ultimately  came  to  be
   confirmed by the Gujarat Revenue Tribunal which was  set  aside  by  the
   judgment of the Division Bench in the order impugned in this appeal.

11. The learned senior counsel further contended that this  very  issue  was
   considered by this Court in a recent decision in Nagbhai Najbhai Khackar
   Vs. State of Gujarat reported in (2010) 10 SCC 594
which has  taken  the
   view that the definition of ‘land’ under Section 2(17) read  along  with
   Section 2(1) of the Act  of  1960  ‘Bid  land’  would  fall  within  the
   definition of ‘agriculture’ and consequently governed by the  definition
   Section 2(17) which define the expression  ‘land’  and,  therefore,  the
   ceiling limit prescribed under  Section  6  of  Act  of  1960  would  be
   applicable to the ‘Bid lands’ of the  respondent.   
The  learned  senior
   counsel also relied upon the decision of the  Privy  Council  in  London
   Jewellers Limited Vs. Attenborough – (1934) 2 K.B.  206;  the  House  of
   Lords decision in Jacobs Vs. London County Council – (1950) 1  All  E.R.
   737; and the Queens Bench decision in Behrens and  another  Vs.  Bertram
   Mills Circus Ltd. – (1957) 1 All  E.R.  583  for  the  proposition  that
   wherein a decision more than one  reason  is  assigned  to  support  the
   ultimate conclusion, both the reasons will have binding effect and  that
   one cannot be excluded under any pretext.  The  learned  senior  counsel
   also relied upon Smt. Somawanti and  others  Vs.  State  of  Punjab  and
   others - AIR 1963 SC 151 wherein it was held that the binding effect  of
   a decision does not  depend  upon  whether  a  particular  argument  was
   considered therein or not, provided that the  point  with  reference  to
   which an argument was subsequently advanced was  actually  decided.  The
   learned senior counsel, therefore, contended that in the recent judgment
   of this Court in Nagbhai  Najbhai  Khackar  (supra)  when  the  ultimate
   decision was reached based on two grounds, both the  grounds,  would  be
   the ratio of the decision and, therefore,  the  said  decision  will  be
   complete answer to the question involved in this appeal.

12. In the alternate learned senior counsel submitted that the  argument  of
   the respondent which weighed with the learned Single Judge  as  well  as
   the Division Bench of the High Court in the impugned judgment  based  on
   the Act, 1976 vis-à-vis the Act of 1960 read along  with  Amendment  Act
   1974 was not sustainable. According to learned senior  counsel,  in  the
   first place, there could not be any repugnancy as  between  the  Act  of
   1960 and the Act, 1976, inasmuch as the amendment of the  definition  of
   ‘land’ in the Act of 1960 was amended as early as on 23.02.1974, namely,
   long prior to the coming into force  of  the  Act,  1976.  According  to
   learned senior counsel the relevant date is the date when the  Amendment
   Act came to be passed in the Assembly on 23.02.1974 and  the  subsequent
   notification dated 01.04.1976 bringing into  effect  the  Amendment  Act
   1974 was not the relevant date. In other words, according to  him,  when
   once the amending legislation was passed in the  Assembly  in  the  year
   1974 the subsequent notification though was made in the  year  1976  for
   bringing into force the amendments, the relevant date would be the  date
   when the Act was passed and not the  date  when  it  was  notified.  The
   learned counsel then contended that in any  case  the  resolution  dated
   14.08.1972 was passed under Article 252(1) of the Constitution  relating
   to the legislation with respect to ceiling on ‘urban immovable property’
   and it had nothing to do  with  the  ‘agricultural  land’.  The  learned
   counsel, therefore, contended that the conclusion of the learned  Single
   Judge, as well as, that of the Division Bench in having  non-suited  the
   appellants on the specific ground that by virtue of  the  provisions  of
   the  Act,  1976  the  appellants’  action  in  proceeding  against   the
   respondent under the Act of 1960 was null and void was unsustainable  in
   law. Learned senior counsel contended that  once  the  Act,  1976  stood
   repealed, as a corollary, the  Act  of  1960  with  all  the  Amendments
   carried to it would automatically get revived and it will not  become  a
   dead letter as contended on behalf of  the  respondent.  Learned  senior
   counsel referred to the decision of this Court in M.P.V. Sundararamier &
   Co. Vs. The State of Andhra Pradesh & another - 1958 SCR 1422 in support
   of the said submission. Learned senior counsel also relied upon  Thumati
   Venkaiah and others Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh and others -   (1980)  4
   SCC 295 for  the  said  proposition.  The  learned  counsel,  therefore,
   contended that, in the light of the recent decision  of  this  Court  in
   Nagbhai Najbhai Khackar (supra), which squarely covers the case on hand,
   the order impugned is liable to be set aside.

13. As against the above submission, Mr.  Naphade,  learned  senior  counsel
   prefaced his submission by contending that the stand of  the  appellants
   that ‘Bid lands’ were agriculture lands under the Act was  not  correct.
   Learned  senior  counsel  pointed  out  that  the  appellant   initiated
   proceedings against the respondent both under the Act of 1960,  as  well
   as, the Act, 1976 and that in fact they were also keen to proceed  under
   the Act, 1976.  While referring to  the  submission  of  learned  senior
   counsel for the appellant Mr. Naphade contended that the argument  based
   on Article 252 of the Constitution and its effect was almost given up by
   the appellant.  The  learned  senior  counsel  after  referring  to  the
   unamended  Act  of   1960   and   the   definition   of   ‘agriculture’,
   ‘agriculturist’ and ‘to cultivate  personally’  and  the  definition  of
   ‘agricultural land’ and ‘Bid Land’ of Girasdar under the Saurashtra  Act
   No.XXV of 1951 contended that the various definitions under the  Act  of
   1960 were more concerned  with  the  ‘agriculturists’  and  their  close
   proximity to the land held by them, while under the  Saurashtra  Reforms
   Act the stress was more on the lands held  by  the  grantees  as  tenure
   holders in some form or the  other.  In  that  context,  learned  senior
   counsel submitted that the definition between the  ‘Bid  land’  and  the
   ‘agriculture land’ was clearly known to the Legislature as could be seen
   from the definition so drawn in the provisions contained under  the  Act
   of 1960, as well as, the  Saurashtra  Land  Reforms  Act.
 According  to
   learned senior counsel, the reference to the description of ‘Bid  lands’
   under Saurashtra Act No.XXV of 1951 and the ‘Act XXVI of  1951  disclose
   that the Legislature was conscious of the fact that the Act of 1960  did
   not include ‘Bid lands’ in the definition of ‘land’.

14.  While  referring  to  the  amendment  which  was  brought  out  to  the
   definition of ‘land’ in the Act of 1960, in particular Sections 4, 5 and
   10 of the Amendment Act by which amendment  was  brought  into  Sections
   2(1) and 2(17) and introduction of Section 2(27A) in the  principal  Act
   the learned counsel contended that the intention of the  Legislature  to
   bring into effect certain consequences pursuant to the  amendment  after
   the specified date, namely, 01.04.1976 was clearly spelt out.  According
   to learned counsel, it was not merely by way of removal  of  doubt  that
   the Amendment Act of 1974 was brought in but a significant  purport  was
   intended in bringing out such amendments to take  effect  on  and  after
   01.04.1976 which has been specifically  mentioned  in  Section  2  (27A)
   which came to be introduced by Amendment Act of 1974.

15. The learned senior counsel then contended that even  assuming  that  the
   Amendment Act of 1974 would  apply  to  the  case  on  hand,  since  the
   respondent did not fall under the definition of ‘Ruler’ as stipulated in
   Section 2(17)(ii)(d) of the Amended Act,  the  Act  of  1960  cannot  be
   applied to the  case  of  the  respondent.
Learned  senior  counsel  by
   referring to Article 366 of the Constitution pointed out that under sub-
   clause 22 of Article 366 a ‘Ruler’ has been defined to mean the  Prince,
   Chief or other person who at any time before  the  commencement  of  the
   Constitution (26th Amendment) Act, 1971 was recognized by the  President
   as the ‘Ruler’ of an Indian State or any person who at any  time  before
   such commencement was recognized by the President as  the  successor  of
   such ‘Ruler’ and a person thus fulfill the above  criteria  alone  would
   come within the  definition  of  ‘Ruler’.
 The  learned  senior  counsel
   contended that the respondent was never recognized  in  accordance  with
   such  constitutional  provision  and,  therefore,   the   said   Section
   2(17)(ii)(d) of the Amended Act can have no application to the  case  of
   the respondent. It was  further  contended  that  the  respondent  would
   neither fall under the category of Girasdar or  Barkhalidar  or  in  the
   category of ‘Ruler’ and, therefore, even if the Amended Act of  1974  is
   applied, the respondent stood excluded from the coverage of the Act.

16. The learned senior counsel, therefore, contended that the argument  that
   ‘Bid lands’ were already governed by  the  definition  of  ‘agriculture’
   (i.e.) long prior to the coming into force of the 1974 Act, namely, from
   01.04.1976 cannot be  accepted.   A  fortiori,  learned  senior  counsel
   contended that when the statute is clear in  its  ambit  and  scope  and
   there being no ambiguity, there was no necessity to rely upon  or  refer
   to the Objects and Reasons to understand the purport  of  the  enactment
   and relied upon the Constitution Bench decision of this  Court  reported
   in Pathumma & Others Vs. State of Kerala & Ors. reported in (1978) 2 SCC
   1. The  learned  senior  counsel,  therefore,  contended  that  whatever
   argument now raised based on the expression ‘Bid lands’ on behalf of the
   appellant may hold  good  only  after  01.04.1976  and  that  the  heavy
   reliance placed upon Nagbhai Najbhai Khackar (supra) cannot also come to
   the aid of the appellant since the various principles  set  out  in  the
   said decision were solely based on the Amendment Act, 1974 as  has  been
   specifically spelt out in various paragraphs of the said decision.   The
   learned senior counsel pointed out that the  said  decision,  does  not,
   apply to the facts of this case, inasmuch as, there was no reference  to
   the implication of the Act, 1976 which came into effect as early  as  on
   17.02.1976 vis-à-vis the Act of 1960 and the said Act being  an  Act  of
   Parliament, the appellant was bound by the provisions contained  therein
   which  would  negate  the  entire  submission  made  on  behalf  of  the
   appellant.

17. According to learned senior counsel when the application  of  Act,  1976
   was not the subject matter of consideration while deciding the scope  of
   the amendment Act of 1974 in the judgment reported  in  Nagbhai  Najbhai
   Khackar (supra), reliance placed upon the said decision on behalf of the
   appellant is of no relevance.

18. The next submission of Mr. Naphade was that the Act, 1976  and  the  Act
   of 1960 were operating in their respective fields, though  relatable  to
   holding of lands. Learned counsel  after  making  reference  to  Section
   1(2), 2 (A), 2 (C), 2(N) and the Schedule to the Act, 1976  pointed  out
   that Rajkot where the disputed  land  situate,  fell  within  the  urban
   agglomeration area, that the land  in  question  is  admittedly  a  land
   referred to in the Master Plan as has been stipulated under Section 2(o)
   of the Act, 1976 and, therefore, there is  a  world  of  difference  for
   considering the land classified as ‘agricultural land’  under  both  the
   enactments. According to learned senior counsel, having  regard  to  the
   Explanations A, B & C of Section 2(q)  of  the  Act,  1976  a  conscious
   departure  has  been  made  with  reference  to   the   description   of
   ‘agricultural land’ inasmuch as under the said Act it must be shown that
   the land was being ‘used’ for agricultural purposes in contradistinction
   to the Act of 1960 where a land simpliciter falling under the definition
   of ‘agriculture’ would alone be the relevant factor. Mr. Naphade in  his
   submissions contended that having regard to the emergence of  Act,  1976
   on and from 17.02.1976 and by virtue of the Constitutional mandate,  the
   Act of 1960 ceased to have any effect on any ‘agricultural land’ in  the
   State of Gujarat. In other words, according to learned  senior  counsel,
   since admittedly the lands belonged to the respondent were lying  within
   the urban agglomeration specified under the Schedule to  the  Act,  1976
   the application of Act of 1960 ceased to have any  effect  on  the  said
   land and, therefore, the  appellant  had  no  authority  to  invoke  the
   provisions of the Act of 1960 for the purpose of acquisition.

19. Learned senior counsel contended that the 1974 Amendment to the  Act  of
   1960 was a ‘still born child’ inasmuch as it came into effect only  from
   01.04.1976 whereas the Act, 1976 was brought into  force  on  17.02.1976
   itself and was holding the field. The learned counsel stressed the point
   that the date of passing of the Act was not the relevant date  and  what
   was relevant was the date of  implementation  of  the  Act  which  legal
   principle was well settled as per the decision reported in In the matter
   of the Hindu Women’s Rights to Property Act, 1937  - AIR 1941 F.C. 72.

20. While meeting the argument of Shri Soli Sorabjee, the contention of  Mr.
   Naphade on Article 252 was that having regard to the invocation  of  the
   said Article by the State of Gujarat, there was a virtual  surrender  of
   its power to legislate and thereby it was denuded of  bringing  out  any
   legislation afresh or by way of amendment on  the  subject  governed  by
   this legislation brought out pursuant to invocation of  Article  252  of
   the Constitution.  In that context, learned senior  counsel  brought  to
   our notice Section 103  of  the  1935  Act  which  was  the  comparative
   provision to Article 252 of the Constitution and pointed out that  under
   Section 103 of the 1935 Act while the States could approach the  Federal
   Government for bringing out a legislation, having regard to the specific
   provisions contained in the said Section, the power to  deal  with  such
   legislation for  any  future  contingency  was  retained  by  the  State
   Government, while on the contrary the framers of our  Constitution  even
   after a specific point raised in the  Constituent  Assembly  proceedings
   for retention of such a power by the State Government, Article  252  (2)
   ultimately came to be framed making it clear that once the power of  the
   legislative competence of the State was surrendered to  the  Parliament,
   thereafter any future legislation on the subject  could  only  be  dealt
   with by the Parliament and the state  was  completely  denuded  of  such
   power. In support of the said submission, learned senior counsel  relied
   upon M/s R.M.D.C. (Mysore) Private Ltd. (supra) and State  of  U.P.  Vs.
   Nand Kumar Aggarwal and others - (1997) 11 SCC 754.

21. Learned senior counsel after referring to the orders  of  the  Mamlatdar
   dated 24.08.1982, the Deputy Collector dated 10.11.1983 and the  Gujarat
   Revenue Tribunal dated 08.09.1989 as compared to the return filed by the
   respondent under Section 6 of the Act, 1976 dated 13.08.1976, the  order
   of the competent  authority  dated  25.05.1983  and  the  order  of  the
   Tribunal under the  Act,  1976  dated  18.09.1991  contended  that  even
   according  to  the  appellants  themselves  as  stated  in  their  reply
   affidavit no agricultural operation was carried out in survey  No.111/2-
   30 and thereby virtually  admitting  the  position  that  the  lands  in
   question can never be held to  be  ‘agricultural  lands’.   The  learned
   counsel contended that the appellants were blowing hot  and  cold,  that
   for the purpose of coverage under the Act, 1976 they wanted  to  contend
   that the lands were not agricultural land, while when  it  came  to  the
   question of coverage under the Act of 1960, they contended that the very
   same  lands  as  ‘Bid  lands’  would  fall  within  the  definition   of
   ‘agriculture’.  The  learned  counsel,  therefore,  submitted  that  the
   impugned judgment of the High Court was well justified and does not call
   for interference.

22. Lastly,  it  was  contended  by  the  learned  senior  counsel  for  the
   respondent that the case of the appellant is also hit by  the  principle
   of res judicata.
The learned senior counsel by  referring  to  an  order
   passed by the Deputy Collector, Bhavnagar  relating  to  Bhavnagar  ‘Bid
   lands’ in his order dated 09.11.1979 specifically held that the  Act  of
   1960 was not applicable to the said lands and that only Act, 1976  would
   apply. It was pointed out that when the issue went before the High Court
   of Gujarat in Special Civil Application No.941 of 1980 a joint affidavit
   of two  Deputy  Collectors  dated  06.10.1980  came  to  be  filed  with
   reference to Bhavnagar ‘Bid lands’ wherein it was reiterated  on  behalf
   of the Government that only Act, 1976 would apply to ‘Bid land’ in urban
   agglomeration of Bhavnagar and that the Act of 1960 was not  applicable.
   Learned senior counsel also referred to an  affidavit  dated  16.02.2000
   filed by the Deputy Secretary, Revenue Department, Government of Gujarat
   in relation to Bhavnagar ‘Bid lands’ before the High Court of Gujarat in
   Civil Application No.15529/1999 in S.C.A. No, 10108/1994 wherein a clear
   stand was taken by the State Government  that  possession  of  Bhavnagar
   ‘Bid land’ not having been acquired and taken under the Act,  1976  when
   the Act was in force, after its repeal,  there  was  no  scope  to  take
   possession of those lands.

23. The learned senior counsel also referred to the decision of  this  Court
   in Palitana Sugar Mills (P) Ltd. and another Vs. State  of  Gujarat  and
   others - (2004) 12 SCC 645 and contended that  in  a  contempt  petition
   filed at the instance of a purchaser of Bhavnagar ‘Bid lands’ this Court
   after tracing the history of  the  earlier  litigation  wherein  it  was
   concluded that Bhavnagar ‘Bid lands’ were controlled by  the  provisions
   of the Act, 1976 and not by the Act of 1960 and consequently the  matter
   having been finally decided by the Courts and reached its  finality  the
   authorities  cannot  reopen  the  same.  The  learned  senior   counsel,
   therefore, contended that since the decision on the applicability of the
   Act of 1960 vis-à-vis the Act, 1976 in relation to ‘Bid  lands’  of  the
   ‘Ruler’ of erstwhile Bhavnagar State having been examined and ultimately
   concluded that in respect of such lands only the Act, 1976 would  apply,
   in the case on hand as the lands  in  question  were  lying  within  the
   ‘urban agglomeration’  area,  the  said  conclusion  which  reached  its
   finality in this Court would  operate  as  res  judicata.   The  learned
   senior counsel contended that though this contention was  raised  before
   the High Court, the Division Bench after  referring  to  the  contention
   felt it unnecessary to decide the issue since the stand of the appellant
   was rejected on other grounds.

24. While meeting the last of the submission of learned senior  counsel  for
   the respondent, Mr. Soli J. Sorabji contended that the principle of  res
   judicata can have no application to the case on hand since none  of  the
   earlier proceedings relating to Bhavnagar ‘Bid lands’ had anything to do
   with the lands of the respondent with reference to which  alone  we  are
   concerned and, therefore, on  that  score  itself  the  said  contention
   should be rejected. According to learned senior counsel, the application
   of the principle of res judicata, as set out in Section 11 of  CPC,  was
   not fulfilled and, therefore, the said submission made on behalf of  the
   respondent cannot be considered. The learned senior counsel pointed  out
   to the specific facts which were referred to in the joint affidavits  of
   two Deputy  Collectors  filed  in  S.C.A.  No.941/1980  wherein  it  was
   specifically averred to the  effect  that  since  a  long  time  to  the
   knowledge of the land holder, the land in question were  demonstrated or
   meant for residential purpose in the  master  plan  which  was  prepared
   since August 1976, that the land in question fell within the  definition
   of ‘urban land’ under Section 2(o) of the Act, 1976 and, therefore,  the
   overriding  effect  of  Section  42  of  the  Act,  1976  excluded   the
   application of the Act of 1960. The  learned  senior  counsel  contended
   that in the light of the above peculiar facts relating to Bhavnagar ‘Bid
   lands’ which ceased to be a ‘Bid land’ and was classified as residential
   plot in the Master Plan at the relevant point of time, the stand of  the
   authorities as regards the exclusive application of Act, 1976  continued
   to be maintained even after the  said  Act  came  to  be  repealed.  The
   learned senior counsel contended that  it  will  be  preposterous  if  a
   decision reached in regard to a case  which  was  governed  by  its  own
   special facts to apply the principle of res judicata to a different case
   where the fact situations are entirely different and in which case in no
   prior proceedings it was admitted by the authorities concerned that Act,
   1976 alone would apply to the exclusion of the Act of 1960.

25. Having heard the eloquent submissions of Shri Soli J. Sorabjee,  learned
   senior counsel for the appellant and  the  enlightening  submissions  of
   Shri Naphade, learned senior counsel for the respondent,
 we  find  that
   while the simple case of the appellant, namely, the State of Gujarat  is
   that the respondents’ lands being ‘Bid lands’ are agricultural lands and
   thereby governed by the provisions of Act of 1960, the  whole  endeavour
   of  the  respondent  was  that  the  lands  were  never  classified   as
   “agricultural lands”, that they were indisputably “urban lands” governed
   by the provisions of the Act, 1976 and consequently the  application  of
   the Act of 1960 stood excluded.
The  enlightening  submissions  of  the
   respective counsel  oblige  us  to  set  out  various  legal  principles
   highlighted before us in order to appreciate the respective  submissions
   and thereby arrive at a just conclusion.



26. In the forefront, we want  to  make  a  detailed  reference  to  certain
   relevant provisions of the Act of 1960 prior to its amendment and  after
   its amendment, Saurashtra Act No.III of 1952, Saurashtra Act  No.XXV  of
   1951, Saurashtra Act No. XXVI of 1951, Section 103 of The Government  of
   India Act, 1935 and  Article  252  of  the  Constitution.
The  relevant
   provisions under the unamended Act of 1960  are  Section  2(1),  Section
   2(3), Section 2(11), Section 2 (12), Section 2(17) and Section 6.
 Under
   the amended Act of 1960, the relevant provisions are  Section  2(1)  (a)
   (b), (c), Section 2(17) (i) (ii) (a), (b), (c), (d) and  Section  (27A).
   Under Saurashtra Act No.III of 1952, the relevant provisions are Section
   2(a), (b), (e), (f), Section 4 and Section 5(1), (2).
Under  Saurashtra
   Act XXV of 1951, the relevant provision are Sections 2(6),  2  (15)  and
   2(18). Under the Saurashtra Act No.XXVI of 1951, the relevant  provision
   is Section 2 (ii).

27. For easy reference, the above provisions are extracted hereunder:

      The Gujarat Agricultural Lands Ceiling Act, 1960

      Section 2. Definitions- In  this  Act,  unless  the  context  requires
      otherwise-

            1) “agriculture” includes horticulture, the  raising  of  crops,
               grass or garden produce, the use by an agriculturist  of  the
               land held by him or part thereof for  grazing  but  does  not
               include-

                    i) the use of any land, whether or not  an  appenage  to
                       rice or paddy land, for the purpose of rab-mannure;

                   ii) the cutting of wood, only;

                  iii) dairy farming;

                   iv) poultry farming;

                    v) breeding of live-stock; and

                   vi) such other pursuits as may be prescribed.




                 Explanation – If any question arises as to whether any land
                 or part thereof is used for any of the  pursuits  specified
                 in any of the sub-clauses (i) to (vi), such question  shall
                 be decided by the Tribunal;



           (3)    “agriculturist”  means  a  person  who  cultivates   land
           personally”




           (11)        “to cultivate” with its grammatical  variations  and
           cognate expressions means to till or husband the  land  for  the
           purpose of raising or improving agricultural produce, whether by
           manual labour or by means of cattle or machinery or to carry  on
           any agricultural operation thereon;




           Explanation- A person who enters into a  contract  only  to  cut
           grass or to gather the fruits or other produce of trees, on  any
           land, shall not on that account only,  be  deemed  to  cultivate
           such land;

           (12)  “to cultivate personally” means to cultivate land on one’s
           own account-

                 (i)   by one’s own labour, or

                 (ii)  by the labour of any member of one’s family, or

                 (iii) under the personal  supervision  of  oneself  or  any
           member of one’s family by hired labour or by servants  on  wages
           payable in cash or kind but not in crop share;

           Explanation-     I.-A widow or  a  minor  or  a  person  who  is
           subject to any physical  or  mental  disability,  or  a  serving
           member of the armed forces shall be  deemed  to  cultivate  land
           personally, if such land is cultivated by her or his servants or
           hired labour;

           Explanation II.- In the case of a joint family,  land  shall  be
           deemed to be cultivated personally, if it is  so  cultivated  by
           any member of such family;

           (17)  “land” means land which is used or capable of  being  used
           for  agricultural  purposes  and  includes  the  sites  of  farm
           buildings appurtenant to such land;

      Section 6.  Ceiling on holding land  –  (1)  Notwithstanding  anything
      contained in any law for the time being in force or in  any  agreement
      usage or decree or order of a Court, with effect  from  the  appointed
      day no  person shall, subject to the provisions  of  sub-sections  (2)
      and (3) be entitled to hold whether as owner or tenant  or  partly  as
      owner and partly as tenant land in excess of the ceiling area.

      (2) Where an individual, who holds land, is a member of a family,  not
      being a joint  family  and  land  is  also  separately  held  by  such
      individual’s spouse or minor children,  then  the  land  held  by  the
      individual and the said members of the individual’s  family  shall  be
      grouped together for the purposes of this Act and  the  provisions  of
      this Act shall apply to the total land so grouped together as if  such
      land had been held by one person.

      (3) Where on the appointed day a person holds exempted land along with
      other land then-

            (i) if the area of exempted land is equal to or  more  than  the
      ceiling area he shall not be entitled to hold other land; and

            (ii) if the area of exempted land is less than the ceiling area,
      he shall not be entitled to hold other land in excess of the  area  by
      which the exempted land is less than the ceiling area.

      (4)   Land which under the foregoing  provisions  of  this  section  a
      person is not entitled to hold shall be deemed to be surplus land held
      by such person.




The Gujarat Agricultural Lands Ceiling Act 1960 (After the amendment)

         2. In this Act, unless the context requires otherwise-

            1) “agriculture” includes-

              a) horticulture,

              b) the raising of crops, grass or garden produce,

              c) the use by an agriculturist of the land held by him or part
                 thereof for grazing

       17. “land” means-

              i) in relation to any period prior to the specified date, land
                 which is used or capable of  being  used  for  agricultural
                 purpose  and  includes  the   sites   of   farm   buildings
                 appurtenant to such land;

             ii) In relation to any other period,  land  which  is  used  or
                 capable  of  being  used  for  agricultural  purposes,  and
                 includes-

                     a) the sites of  farm  buildings  appurtenant  to  such
                        land;

                     b) the lands on which grass grows naturally;

                     c) the bid lands held by the Girasdars or  Barkhalidars
                        under the Saurashtra Land  Reforms  Act,  1951,  the
                        Saurashtra  Barkhali  Abolition  Act,  1951  or  the
                        Saurashtra Estates Acquisition  Act,  1952,  as  the
                        case may be;

                     d) such bid lands as are held by a person  who,  before
                        the commencement of the  Constitution  (Twenty-Sixth
                        Amendment) Act, 1971 was a Ruler of an Indian  State
                        comprised in the Saurashtra area  of  the  State  of
                        Gujarat, as his private property in pursuance of the
                        covenant entered into by the Ruler of such State:

           (27A)       “specified date” means the date of coming into force
           of the Amending Act of 1972.




      Under Saurashtra Act  No.III  of  1952  the  relevant  provisions  are
Section 2(a), (b), (e), (f), Section 4 and Section 5(1), (2):

      “2.   In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant to  the  subject
      or context-

      (a)   “Bid land” means such land  as  on  the  17th  April,  1951  was
           specifically reserved and  was  being  used  by  a  Girasdar  or
           Barkhalidar for grazing cattle or for cutting grass:

      (b)   “cultivable waste” means  cultivable  land  which  has  remained
           uncultivated for a period of three years or more before the 17th
           April, 1951

      (c)   xxx xxx xxx

      (d)   xxx xxx xxx

      (e)    “land” means land of any description  whatsoever  and  includes
           benefits arising out of land and things attached to  the  earth,
           or permanently fastened to anything attached to the earth.

      (f)   words and expressions used but not defined,  in  this  Act,  and
           defined in  the  Saurashtra  Land  Reforms  Act,  1951  and  the
           Saurashtra Barkhali Abolition Act, 1951 shall have the  meanings
           assigned to them in those Acts.

      3.    xxx xxx xxx


      4.    When a notification is issued by the Government in respect of an
      estate or any part thereof under section 3, then, with effect from the
      date specified in the notification, the following consequences  shall,
      in respect of that estate or part thereof, ensue, namely:-
           (a)   (i) all public  roads,  lanes,  paths,  bridges,  ditches,
           dikes and fences on, or beside the same,  the  bed  of  the  sea
           and/or harbours, creeks below high water  mark,  and  of  rivers
           streams, nalas, lakes, public wells and  tanks,  all  bunds  and
           palas, standing and flowing water and gauchars;
           (ii) all cultivable and uncultivable waste lands (excluding land
           used for building or other non agricultural purposes),
               iii)  all bid lands,
                iv)  all unbuilt village site lands and village  site  lands
                    on  which  dwelling  houses  of  artisans  and  landless
                    labourers are situated, and
                 v)  all  schools,  Dharmashalas,  village  choras,   public
                    temples and such other public buildings or structures as
                    may be specified in the notification together  with  the
                    sites on which such buildings and structures stand,



      Which are comprised in the estates so notified shall, except in so far
      as any rights of any person other than the Girasdar or the Barkhalidar
      may be established in and over the same, and except as  may  otherwise
      be provided by any law, for the time being  in  force,  vest  in,  and
      shall be deemed to be,  with  all  rights  in  or  over  the  same  or
      appertaining thereto, the property of the State  of  Gujarat  and  all
      rights held by a Girasdar or a Barkahalidar in such property shall  be
      deemed to have been extinguished  and  it  shall  be  lawful  for  the
      Collector, subject to the general or special orders of the  Collector,
      to dispose of them as he deems fit, subject always to  the  rights  of
      way and of other rights  of  the  public  or  of  individuals  legally
      subsisting.

            (b)    A  Girasdar  or  a  Barkhalidar  shall,  subject  to  the
      provisions of this Act, be deemed to be an occupant in respect of  all
      other land held by him.



      5.    (1)    Notwithstanding  anything  contained  in  section  3,  or
      section 4 –
           (a)   no bid land which is also uncultivable  waste,  wadas  and
           kodias shall vest in, and  be  the  property  of  the  State  of
           Gujarat
           (b)   no bid land comprised in the estate of a Girasdar  who  is
           considered to be of B and C class  for  the  purpose  of  making
           rehabilitation grant under the Saurashtra Land Reforms Act 1951,
           or of  a  Barkhalidar,  the  total  area  of  agricultural  land
           comprised in whose estate does not exceed eight  hundred  acres,
           shall vest in and be the property of the State of Gujarat] and
           (c)   no bid land which is also cultivable waste or  no  village
           site land shall be acquired  unless  it  is  in  excess  of  the
           requirements of the Girasdar or Barkhalidar in  accordance  with
           the rules to be made in this behalf; and
           (d)   in the case of Girasdari Majmu villages, one fourth of the
           total area of bid land in the village shall not be acquired.


      (2)   If any bid land or village site, land is not acquired under  the
      provisions of sub-section (1) and such bid land or village  site  land
      is use by the Girasdar or Barkhalidar  for  a  different  purpose,  it
      shall be liable to be acquired under the provision of section 4.”



      Under Saurashtra Act No.XXV  of  1951,  the  relevant  provisions  are
Sections 2 (6), 2(15) and 2(18).  They are as follows:

      “2.   In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in  the  subject
      or context:-

      (6)   “bid land” means such land as has been used by the Girasdar  for
      grazing his cattle or for cutting grass for the use of his cattle.

      (15)   “Girasdar”  means  any  talukdar,  bhagdar,  bhayat,  cadet  or
      mulgirasia and  includes  any  person  whom  the  Government  may,  by
      notification in the Official Gazette, declare to be a Girasdar for the
      purposes of this Act.

       (18) “land” means any  agricultural  land,  bid  land  or  cultivable
      waste”



      Under Saurashtra  Act  No.XXVI  of  1951  the  relevant  provision  is
Section 2(ii).

      2.    In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant to  the  subject
      or context-

            (i)  xxx xxx xxx

           (ii)  “bid land” means such land as has been used by Barkhalidar
                 for grazing his cattle or for cutting grass for the use  of
                 his cattle;”




28. In order to appreciate the contentions raised  before  us,  we  wish  to
   make a specific reference to the Preamble as well as the object  of  the
   Act of 1960. The Preamble shows that the Act was  contemplated  and  was
   brought into effect since it was felt expedient in  public  interest  to
   make a uniform provision for the whole of the State of  Gujarat  and  in
   particular in respect of restrictions upon holding agricultural land  in
   excess of certain limits.  The expediency so noted was for securing  the
   distribution of agricultural land to subserve the common  good  for  the
   purpose of allotment of some lands to persons who are in  need  of  land
   for agriculture and also  to  appreciate  for  other  consequential  and
   incidental matters. As far as the object of the Act was concerned, it is
   stated therein that the said enactment came to be enacted only  for  the
   purpose of fixing the ceiling area and not with any  intention  directly
   to interfere with the rights and liabilities of landlords and tenants.

29. Keeping the above perspective  of  the  law  makers  in  mind,  when  we
   examine Section 2(17) which defines the expression ‘land’ it  means  the
   land which is used or capable of being used  for  agricultural  purposes
   including the sites of farm, building appurtenant to such land.  Section
   6 of the 1960 act imposes restriction in the holding of the  land  which
   has been defined under Section 2(17) of the Act which is  in  excess  of
   the ceiling area.  The ceiling area has been set out under Section  2(5)
   of the Act. The definition of ‘land’ in its cognates and  expression  is
   specific in its tenor and mentions  about  its  usage  as  well  as  its
   capability  of  usage  for   agricultural   purposes.   The   expression
   “agriculture” has been defined under section 2(1) of the act which inter
   alia includes horticulture, raising of crops, grass  or  garden  produce
   and the use by an agriculturist of the land held by him either  in  full
   or part for grazing purposes. The definition  of  “agriculturist”  under
   Section 2(3) read along with Section 2(11) and 2(12)  which  define  the
   expression  ‘to  cultivate’  and  ‘to  cultivate  personally’  make  the
   position clear that it would  include  a  person  who  indulges  in  the
   avocation of agriculture by way of cultivation of  the  land  either  by
   himself or through other persons again under the supervision of his  own
   men.

30. A careful consideration of the above provisions under the  Act  of  1960
   gives a clear idea that lands which  are  used  as  well  as  which  are
   capable of being used for the purpose  of  agriculture  including  lands
   used for raising grass or either full or part of  it  used  for  grazing
   purposes would come within the ambit of the Act, which in turn would  be
   subject to the restrictions imposed for the purpose of ascertaining  the
   ceiling limit.  Consequently, the excess or surplus land in the  holding
   of a person who is an agriculturist is to be  ascertained  in  order  to
   initiate and ultimately acquire such surplus land.  Such acquisition  as
   expressed in the Preamble to the Act would be for the purpose  of  equal
   distribution of land to other landless persons.

31. Keeping the above statutory provisions in mind,  when  we  consider  the
   respective  submissions,  the  following  broad  legal  principles   are
   required to be dealt with by us.
           i) Whether ‘Bid Land’ would fall within  the  definition  ‘Land'
              read along with the definition of  ‘Agriculture’  as  defined
              under Sections 2(17) and 2(1) of the Act of 1960 ?

          ii) In order to ascertain the nature of description of ‘Bid Land’
              can the definition of the said expression under  the  earlier
              statutes viz. Act No.XXV of 1951, Act No.XXVI of 1951 and Act
              No.III of 1952 can be imported ?

         iii) What is the implication of the Urban Land Ceiling  Act,  1976
              vis-à-vis the Act of 1960 in respect of ‘Bid Land’ ?

          iv) Whether the Amendment Act of 1974 which came into effect from
              01.04.1976 and the definition of ‘Bid Land’  under  the  said
              Amendment Act of 1974 can  be  applied  for  the  purpose  of
              deciding the issue involved in this litigation ?

           v) Whether the ratio decidendi of this Court in Nagbhai  Najbhai
              Khackar (supra) can be applied to the facts of this case ?

          vi)  Whether the orders of the authorities under the Act of  1960
              impugned before the High Court were hit by the principles  of
              Res Judicata ?

         vii) What is the effect of the repealing of the Urban Land Ceiling
              Act over the Act of 1960 ?



32. Though the definition of ‘land’ and ‘agriculture’  read  together  would
   include a ‘land’ used for raising grass or used  for  grazing  purposes,
   the question for our consideration is whether ‘Bid lands’ can be brought
   within the scope of the  said  expression,  namely,  the  definition  of
   ‘land’ read along with the definition of ‘agriculture’ under the Act  of
   1960 as has been so construed by the authorities constituted  under  the
   provisions of Act of 1960 up to the level of Gujarat  Revenue  Tribunal.
   On behalf  of  the  appellant  it  was  contended  that  the  subsequent
   amendment brought out under the 1974  amending  Act  which  came  to  be
   notified on 01.04.1976 was only  by  way  of  clarification  about  ‘Bid
   lands’ in consonance with the definition of ‘agriculture’. According  to
   the respondent even such a clarification sought to  be  made  under  the
   amending Act 1974 by way of removal of doubts only revealed that  as  on
   the date when Act, 1976 which came  into  effect  from  17.02.1976  ‘Bid
   lands’ were not part of agricultural lands as defined under Section 2(1)
   read along with 2(17) of the 1960 Act.

33. Mr. Soli Sorabjee, learned senior counsel,  to  support  the  submission
   made on behalf of the appellant, would draw succor to the definition  of
   the very same expression ‘Bid land’ under Act No.XXV of 1951 as well  as
   Act No.XXVI of 1951 and Act No.III of 1952.  Under Act XXV  of  1951  in
   Section 2(6) definition of ‘Bid land’ has been defined to mean such land
   raised by Girasdar for grazing his cattle or for cutting grass  for  the
   use of his cattle. Under Section  2(18)  of  Act  No.XXV  of  1951,  the
   definition of ‘land’ under said Act included ‘Bid land’.  The purport of
   the said enactment was  to  end  Girasdar  system  and  while  doing  so
   regulate the relationship between the Girasdars and their tenants and to
   enable the latter to become occupants of the  ‘land’  held  by  them  as
   tenants and simultaneously to provide for  the  amount  of  compensation
   payable to Girasdars for the extinguishment of their  rights.   Whatever
   be the purport of the enactment, the definition  of  ‘land’  as  defined
   under Section 2(18)  and  ‘Bid  land’  as  defined  under  Section  2(6)
   discloses that ‘Bid land’ would be a land which was treated on par  with
   agricultural land and such land is none other than  the  land  which  is
   used for grazing by cattle as well as for cutting grass for the  use  of
   cattle.

34. With that when we come to the nature of description  of  ‘Bid  land’  in
   the Act No.III of 1952, under Section 2(a) ‘Bid land’ has  been  defined
   to mean such land as on 17.04.1951 specifically reserved for being  used
   by a Girasdar or Barkhalidar for grazing cattle or  for  cutting  grass.
   Under Section 4 the manner of vesting of such of those  lands  described
   therein vested in the State and thereby assuming the  character  of  the
   property of the State of Gujarat and consequently  all  rights  held  by
   Girasdars  or  Barkhalidars  in  such  property  deemed  to  have   been
   extinguished.  For our limited purpose, it will be sufficient to confine
   our consideration to the definition under Section 2 (a) of Act No.III of
   1952 which defines ‘Bid land’.  As stated earlier ‘Bid land’ is  a  land
   used for grazing by cattle or for cutting grass in the tenure lands held
   by Girasdar or Barkhalidar. When we refer to  Saurashtra  Abolition  Act
   1951 i.e. Act XXVI of 1951 the definition under  section  2  (ii)  which
   defines ‘Bid land’ to mean such land as has been  used  by  Barkhalidars
   for grazing his cattle or for cutting grass for the use of  his  cattle.
   The purport of the said  enactment  was  for  improvement  of  the  land
   revenue administration and agrarian reforms which necessitated abolition
   of Barkhalidars tenure prevailing in certain parts of Saurashtra.  Under
   Section 6(1) of Act XXVI of 1951, the right of allotment of  land  under
   the said act in favour of Barkhalidar is stipulated. The manner in which
   the application for allotment is to be made is  also  provided  therein.
   Under sub-section (2) of Section  6  while  making  an  application  for
   allotment the details to be furnished by Barkhalidar has  been  set  out
   wherein under clause (c) (iii) of sub clause (2)  of  Section  6  it  is
   stipulated that full particulars of a  Barkhalidar’s  estate  containing
   the area of agriculture also, ‘Bid land’ and ‘cultivable waste'  in  his
   estate should be furnished.  Apparently in order  to  fulfill  the  said
   obligation by a Barkhalidar, the definition of ‘Bid land’ has  been  set
   out in Section 2(ii) of Act No.XXVI of 1951.

35. Keeping the above statutory prescription relating to the description  of
   ‘Bid land’ in the above enactments which were all prior to  coming  into
   force of Act, 1976 namely, 17.02.1976 the nature of ‘Bid land’ has  been
   succinctly described to mean a land which was used for grazing of cattle
   or for cutting grass for the use of rearing of cattle.  To  recapitulate
   the definition of ‘agriculture’ under Section  2(1),  as  well  as,  the
   definition of ‘land’ under Section 2(17) of the unamended Act  of  1960,
   the expression ‘agriculture’ included inter  alia,  the  land  used  for
   raising of grass, as well as, the land held  by  the  agriculturist  for
   grazing purpose. When we consider the explanation part  of  sub  section
   (1) of Section 2 which contains as many as Clauses (i) to (vi) the lands
   used for grazing purposes as well as cutting of  grass  for  rearing  of
   cattle are  not  the  lands  to  be  excluded  from  the  definition  of
   ‘agriculture’.  The   definition   of   ‘land’   under   Section   2(17)
   categorically mentions that the land which is either used or capable  of
   being  used  for  agriculture  purposes  would  fall  within  the   said
   definition. Therefore reading the above definitions  together  a  ‘land’
   where grass is grown or  used  for  grazing  purposes  fall  within  the
   inclusive provision of the definition of ‘agriculture’.  The  definition
   of ‘Bid land’ in the earlier enactments namely Act Nos.XXV of 1951, XXVI
   of 1951 and Act No.III of 1952 make the position  clear  that  the  ‘Bid
   land’ is nothing but the land used for grazing of cattle and for raising
   grass for the purpose of rearing of cattle.

36. Under the amended Act  of  1960  the  definition  of  agriculture  under
   Section 2(1) as it existed prior to the said amendment  was  maintained.
   In  addition,  some  of  those  excluded  categories,  namely,  the  one
   mentioned in sub clauses (i),  (ii),  (iii),  (iv)  and  (v)  were  also
   included  as  falling  within   the   definition   of   the   expression
   ‘agriculture’. Further the nature of  exclusion  as  mentioned  in  sub-
   clause (vi) of clause 1 of Section 2, namely, such other pursuits as may
   be described was also mentioned by stating that such of  those  pursuits
   which have been prescribed prior to the specified date would continue to
   stand excluded for that period which was prior in point of time  to  the
   specified date as mentioned in the Amendment Act which was  notified  on
   01.04.1976. Here and now it is relevant to mention the  date  which  was
   specified under the Amendment Act which as per Section 2 (27A) meant the
   date of the coming into force  of  the  amended  act  of  1972,  namely,
   01.04.1976. Therefore, the conclusion to be drawn would be that while as
   from 01.04.1976 the definition of ‘agriculture’ under  the  amended  Act
   was wider in scope which  included  land  used  whether  or  not  as  an
   appendage to rice or paddy land for  the  purpose  of  rabmanure,  dairy
   farming, poultry farming, breeding of livestock and the cutting of woods
   and such of those lands which were in the excluded  category  under  the
   unamended Act cease to have  effect  of  such  exclusion  on  and  after
   01.04.1976.

37. Having regard to the reference to the specified date, namely,  the  date
   of notification (i.e.) 01.04.1976, the  expanded  definition  of  ‘land’
   under Section 2(17) was brought to our notice wherein specific reference
   to the ‘Bid lands’ held by Girasdars and Barkhalidars under Act  Nos.XXV
   of 1951, XXVI of 1951 and III of 1952 and also such ‘Bid lands’ held  by
   a person prior to the commencement of the  Constitution  26th  Amendment
   Act 1971 as a ‘ruler’ of an Indian State  comprised  in  the  Saurashtra
   Area of State of Gujarat. The  endeavour  of  learned  counsel  for  the
   respondent while drawing our attention to  the  new  Section  2(17),  in
   particular, the reference to ‘Bid  lands’  in  clause  (c)  and  (d)  of
   Section 2  (17)  (ii)  was  to  stress  upon  the  point  that  a  clear
   distinction was drawn as  regards  the  land  falling  within  the  said
   definition held by a person prior to the specified date  and  after  the
   specified  date.  Under  Section  2(17)  (i)  after  the  amendment  the
   provision relating  to  the  definition  of  ‘land’  was  sought  to  be
   distinguished as was existing prior to the specified  date  while  under
   Section 2(17)(ii) a  wider  scope  of  such  definition  of  ‘land’  was
   introduced. Having regard to such distinction  shown  in  respect  of  a
   ‘land’ one prior to the specified date and the one in  relation  to  any
   other period, learned counsel contended that the specific  reference  to
   ‘Bid lands’ held by Girasdar and Barkhalidar under sub  clause  (c)  and
   (d) in Section 2 (17) (ii) makes a world of difference, as the scope  of
   inclusion of the ‘Bid lands’ within the ambit of the  expression  ‘land’
   under Section 2(17) was introduced on and after  01.04.1976  namely  the
   specified date which was not the position prior to the said date.

38. The submission  of  leaned  counsel  was  two  fold,  namely,  that  the
   specific reference to ‘Bid lands’ under Section 2(17)  sub  clause  (ii)
   (c) and (d) came to be introduced  for  the  first  time  on  and  after
   01.04.1976  and  hence  the  said   situation   requires   a   different
   consideration in the light of the Central enactment namely the Act, 1976
   which  had  already  come  into  force  from  17.02.1976  by  the  State
   Legislature  surrendering  its  legislative  competence  to  the   Union
   Government by invoking Article 252 (1) of the Constitution. The  further
   submission is that in the light of  the  field  being  occupied  by  the
   Central Act, having regard to the restriction contained in  Article  252
   (2) of the Constitution there could not have  been  any  competence  for
   State Government to bring about an amendment effective  from  01.04.1976
   in relation to the Act and the subject with reference to which the State
   Government has surrendered  its  legislative  power  that  bringing  any
   amendment was exclusively within the competence of  the  Parliament  and
   thereby the State amendment had no effect  and  was  void  as  from  its
   inception.

39. Before considering the said submission it is necessary to also refer  to
   the provisions contained in the Act, 1976 for an effective consideration
   and to reach a just conclusion. Under the Act, 1976 by virtue of Section
   1(2) of the Act, the Act was applied  to  the  whole  of  the  State  of
   Gujarat. Under Section 2(a) the appointed day was  defined  to  mean  in
   relation to any State to which the Act applied in the first instance the
   date of introduction of the  Act,  1976  in  the  Parliament  which  was
   admittedly  17.02.1976.  Under  Section   2(n)   what   is   an   ‘urban
   agglomeration’ has been defined and it is not in dispute  that  district
   Rajkot where the lands in question situate falls within  the  definition
   of urban agglomeration mentioned in Schedule 1 of the Act. Under Section
   2(o) ‘Urban Land’ has been defined to mean any land situated within  the
   limits of an urban agglomeration referred to as such in the Master Plan.
   However, it does not include any such ‘land’ which is  mainly  used  for
   the purpose of ‘agriculture’. Under Section 2 (q) ‘vacant land’ has been
   defined  to  mean  land  not  being  mainly  used  for  the  purpose  of
   agriculture in  an  urban  agglomeration  subject  to  other  exclusions
   contained in the said sub-clause (q). The expression  ‘agriculture’  has
   been specifically defined under the Explanation (A) to Section  2(o)  by
   which it is stated that agriculture  would  include  ‘Horticulture’  but
   would  not  include  ‘raising  of  grass’,  ‘dairy  farming’,   ‘poultry
   farming’, ‘breeding of livestock’ and such  cultivation  or  growing  of
   such plant as may be prescribed. Under Explanation (B) it  is  mentioned
   that lands are not being used mainly for the purpose of ‘agriculture’ if
   such land has not entered in the revenue  or  land  records  before  the
   appointed day as for the purpose of ‘agriculture’. Under Explanation (C)
   it is further stipulated  that  notwithstanding  anything  contained  in
   Explanation (B) ‘land’ shall not be deemed mainly used for  the  purpose
   of agriculture if the land has been specified in the Master Plan for the
   purpose other than agriculture.  Section 6 of the Act,  1976  prescribes
   the ceiling limit of vacant land which a person can  hold  in  an  urban
   agglomeration of the Act, 1976. If a person holds vacant land in  excess
   of the ceiling limit at the commencement of the Act, he should file  the
   statement before the competent authority of all vacant  land  to  enable
   the State Government to acquire such vacant land in  excess  of  ceiling
   limit under the Act.

40. In the light of the above provisions contained  in  the  Act,  1976  Mr.
   Naphade learned senior counsel contended  that  Amendment  Act  of  1974
   would be a ‘still born child’ having regard to the existence of the Act,
   1976 as from 17.02.1976. The learned counsel also sought  to  repel  the
   contention of the appellants that the date of passing of the  Act  alone
   would be relevant and not the date of notification.  For  that  purpose,
   learned counsel relied upon In the matter of the Hindu Women’s Rights to
   Property Act, 1937 (supra). In  the  said  decision  the  Federal  Court
   considered the question referred  to  by  His  Excellency  the  Governor
   General under Section 213 of the Constitution Act.  The  first  question
   is relevant for our purpose which reads as under:-

      “(1) Does either the  Hindu  Women’s  Rights  to  Property  Act,  1937
      (Central Act, 18 of 1937) which was passed by the Legislative Assembly
      on 4th February, 1937, and by the Council of State on 6th April  1937,
      and which received the Governor-General’s assent on 14th  April  1937,
      or the Hindu Women’s rights to Property (Amendment) Act, 1938 (Central
      Act, 11 of 1938) which was passed in all its stages  after  1st  April
      1937, operate to regulate  (a)succession  to  agricultural  land?  (b)
      devolution by survivorship of property other than agricultural land?

                                                       (underlining is ours)



41. At page 75 the Federal Court has  answered  the  said  question  in  the
   following words:-

      “………….It is not to be supposed that a legislative body will waste  its
      time by discussing a bill which, even if  it  receives  the  Governor-
      General’s assent, would obviously be  beyond  the  competence  of  the
      Legislature to enact, but if it chooses to do  so,  that  is  its  own
      affair, and the only function of a Court is to pronounce upon the bill
      after it has become an Act.  In the opinion of this Court,  therefore,
      it is immaterial that the powers of the Legislature changed during the
      passage of the bill from the Legislative Assembly to  the  Council  of
      State.  The only date with which the Court is concerned is 14th  April
      1937, the date on which the Governor-General’s assent was  given;  and
      the question whether the Act was or was not within the  competence  of
      the Legislature must be determined with reference to that date and  to
      none other.”

                                                       (underlining is ours)



42. By relying upon the said decision, learned counsel  contended  that  the
   date of passing of the Act was irrelevant and what was relevant  is  the
   date when the Act was notified, namely, 01.04.1976. We find force in the
   said submission and without diluting much  on  the  said  contention  we
   proceed to consider the other contentions raised on the footing that the
   amendment came into effect only from 01.04.1976 i.e.  after  the  coming
   into force of the Act, 1976, namely, 17.02.1976. We have kept  ourselves
   abreast of the various provisions of the  unamended  Act  of  1960,  the
   definition of ‘Bid land’ under Act XXV of 1951, XXVI of 1951 and III  of
   1952 and keeping aside whatever amendment sought to be introduced by the
   Amendment act of 1974 with effect from 01.04.1976 we proceed to  examine
   whether the contention of the respondent can be countenanced.

43. In this context, we are also obliged to note the definition  of  ‘vacant
   land’ under the Act, 1976 as defined under Section  2(q)  and  also  the
   definition of ‘Urban Land’ under Section  2(o).   Since  the  respondent
   strongly relied upon the operation of the Act, 1976 as  from  17.02.1976
   in order to contend that the  Amendment  Act  of  1974  will  be  of  no
   consequence being a still born child after the coming into force of  the
   Act, 1976 it will be appropriate to examine the said contention  in  the
   first instance.

44. Under the Act, 1976 while defining ‘vacant land’,  the  said  definition
   specifically excludes a ‘land’ used for the  purpose  of  ‘agriculture’.
   The definition of ‘Urban Land’ again makes the position clear  that  any
   land situated within the urban agglomeration referred to as such in  the
   Master Plan would exclude any such land which is  mainly  used  for  the
   purpose of ‘agriculture’. Under the Explanation A to Section  2(o)  such
   of those lands which are used for ‘raising of grass’ stood excluded from
   the use of ‘agriculture’. It is worthwhile to note that the  ‘land  used
   for grazing’  has  however  not  been  specifically  excluded  from  the
   definition of ‘agriculture’ in the said Explanation ‘A’. The  conspectus
   consideration of the above provisions leads  us  to  conclude  that  the
   apparent purport and intent, therefore, was to exclude  lands  used  for
   agriculture from the purview of Act, 1976 which would enable the holders
   of lands of such character used  for  agriculture  to  be  benefited  by
   protecting their holdings even  if  such  lands  are  within  the  urban
   agglomeration limits and thereby depriving the competent authority  from
   seeking to acquire those lands as excess  lands  in  the  hands  of  the
   holder of such lands.

45. That being the position, by the implication of the Act, 1976 in  respect
   of the land used for agriculture within  the  urban  agglomeration,  the
   question for consideration is whether such  exclusion  from  acquisition
   having regard to the character of the land as used for agriculture would
   entitle the owner of such land to  contend  that  such  exclusion  would
   deprive the competent authorities under the 1960 Act to  restrict  their
   powers to be  exercised  under  the  said  Act  and  from  resorting  to
   acquisition by applying the provisions contained in the said Act. We are
   of the considered opinion  that  the  conspectus  consideration  of  the
   various provisions of the Act, 1976 considered again in the light of the
   object and purport  of  the  1960  Act  which  was  intended  for  equal
   distribution of agricultural lands to the landless poor  agriculturists,
   the application of the said Act will have to be independently  made  and
   can be so applied as it stood prior to the coming into force of the Act,
   1976 as from 17.02.1976. At this juncture it will have to be  noted  and
   stated that the subject namely, the ‘land’ being an item  falling  under
   Entry 18 of List II of Schedule VII of the Constitution,  by  virtue  of
   the so-called surrender of power of legislation in respect of  the  said
   entry namely ‘land’ by way of Central Legislation namely Act, 1976 to be
   enacted by the Parliament pursuant to a  State  resolution  by  invoking
   Article 252 (1) of the Constitution, there would be every  justification
   in the submission on  behalf  of  the  respondent  that  any  subsequent
   legislation by way of Amendment or otherwise with  regard  to  the  said
   Entry, namely, ‘land’ will be  directly  hit  by  the  specific  embargo
   contained in Article 252 (2) of the Constitution.

46. Once we steer clear of the said legal position and  proceed  to  examine
   the contention raised, as was highlighted by us in the initial  part  of
   our judgment the concept of ‘Bid land’ was not a new phenomenon  to  the
   1960 Act. The definition of ‘Bid  land’  under  Section  2  (6)  of  the
   Saurashtra Act, 1951 clearly stated that it would  refer  to  the  lands
   used for grazing of cattle and for cutting grass for the use of  cattle.
   The said definition was consistently maintained in  the  Saurashtra  Act
   No.XXVI of 1951, as well as, Saurashtra Act  No.III  of  1952.  When  we
   examine the definition of the  expression  ‘agriculture’  under  Section
   2(1) of the 1960 Act uninfluenced by  the  Amendment  Act  of  1974,  it
   specifically define ‘agriculture’ to include the land used  for  raising
   of grass, crops or garden produce, the use by an  agriculturist  of  the
   land held by him or  part  thereof  for  grazing.  Grazing  as  per  the
   dictionary meaning “graze land suitable for pasture”. The word “pasture”
   means the land covered with grass  etc.  suitable  for  grazing  animals
   especially cattle or sheep or herbage for  animals  or  for  animals  to
   graze. Therefore, the land meant for grazing has got its  own  intrinsic
   link with the cattle for its pasturing. The apparent  intention  of  the
   legislature in including the land used for grazing or for raising  grass
   as per the definition of ‘agriculture’  under  the  1960  Act  is  quite
   explicit, inasmuch as, the  use  of  cattle  in  farming  operation  was
   inseparable  at  the  relevant  point  of  time.  Therefore,  when   the
   Legislature thought it fit to include the land  for  raising  grass  and
   used for grazing as part of definition of ‘agriculture’ there is no need
   to seek succour from  any  other  definition  which  was  sought  to  be
   introduced at any later point of time by  way  of  amendment  under  the
   Amendment Act of 1974.

47. While rebutting the submission of  the  appellant  in  placing  reliance
   upon the definition of ‘Bid land’ under the provisions of Saurashtra Act
   Nos.XXV of 1951, XXVI of 1951 and  III  of  1952,  Mr.  Naphade  learned
   senior counsel for the respondent contended that the definition of  ‘Bid
   land’ in these enactments was with particular reference to the land held
   and used by Girasdars and Barkhalidars and that there was  no  reference
   to the lands held by any Ruler of an erstwhile State. It was the further
   submission of  learned  senior  counsel  that  those  legislations  were
   specifically  dealing  with  the  tenure  holdings  of   Girasdars   and
   Barkhalidars and that the purport of those legislations were  to  denude
   those large scale tenure holders of the lands held by them with  a  view
   to entrust such lands  with  the  cultivating  tenants  themselves  and,
   therefore import of the definition of ‘Bid land’ in  those  legislations
   will not  be  appropriate  while  considering  the  implication  of  the
   provisions contained in the 1960 Act.

48. Though, we appreciate the ingenious submissions put forth before  us  on
   behalf of the respondent, we are not in a position  to  accept  such  an
   argument for more  than  one  reason.  The  said  submission  cannot  be
   accepted for the simple reason that what we are concerned  with  is  the
   definition of ‘Bid land’ de hors the ownership or  in  whose  possession
   such land remain or vest on any particular date.  In  other  words,  the
   character of ‘Bid land’ cannot vary simply because it is in the hands of
   Girasdars and Barkhalidars or with any other person including  a  former
   Ruler of a State. The reference to the definition of  ‘Bid  land’  under
   those enactments can be definitely considered in order to find out as to
   what is the nature and character of a ‘land’  and  not  as  to  who  was
   holding it.

49. The Saurashtra Act No.XXV of 1951 was introduced for the improvement  of
   land revenue administration and for ultimately putting  an  end  to  the
   Girasdari system. The purport of the legislation  was  to  regulate  the
   relationship of Girasdars and their  tenants  in  order  to  enable  the
   latter to become occupants of the lands held by them and to provide  for
   the payment of compensation to the Girasdars for the  extinguishment  of
   their rights.  Again Saurashtra Act No.XXVI of 1951 was  brought  in  to
   provide for certain measures for the abolition of Barkhalidar tenure for
   Saurashtra  and  also  for  the  improvement   of   the   land   revenue
   administration.  In other  words,  the  said  legislation  was  for  the
   improvement of land revenue  administration  and  for  agrarian  reforms
   which necessitated abolition of Barkhalidar tenure prevailing in certain
   parts of Saurashtra.  In order to ascertain the extent of lands held  by
   the Girasdars and Barkhalidars the definition  of  ‘agricultural  land’,
   ‘agriculture’ and ‘Bid Land’ was specified in the  respective  statutes.
   Such definition was required in order to ascertain the extent  of  lands
   held by Girasdars and Barkhalidars.  ‘Bid land’ was  one  type  of  land
   held by such tenure holder by way of grant and it was  in  that  context
   the character of ‘Bid Land’ was defined for the purpose of  ascertaining
   the total extent of land held by each of the Girasdar  and  Barkhalidar.
   Under Section 3 and 4 of Saurashtra Act No. III of 1952  which  Act  was
   introduced to provide for acquisition of certain  estates  of  Girasdars
   and Barkhalidars ‘Bid Land’ was defined under Section 2(a) of the Act.

50. Section 3 of the Act empowered  the  Government  to  issue  notification
   from time to time in the Official Gazette and declare that  with  effect
   from such date that may be specified in the  notification,  all  rights,
   title and interest of Girasdars or Barkhalidars in respect of any estate
   or part of an estate comprised in the notification would cease and  vest
   in the State of Gujarat.  As a sequel to such vesting, all the incidents
   of the tenure attached to any land comprised  in  such  estate  or  part
   thereof would be deemed to have been  extinguished.  What  are  all  the
   consequences that would follow pursuant to issuance of notification, has
   been set out in Section 4. However, under Section 5(1) which is  a  non-
   obstante clause which  makes  it  clear  that  notwithstanding  anything
   contained in Section 3 or Section 4 ‘Bid Land’ were exempted  from  such
   acquisition.

51. It is true that though under the Saurashtra Act XXV of 1951,  Saurashtra
   Act XXVI of 1951 and Saurashtra Act III of  1952,  the  purport  of  the
   enactments  were  to  extinguish  all  rights  held  by  Girasdars   and
   Barkhalidars as well as the Rulers of the State in the State of  Gujarat
   in respect of their estates which among other kinds  of  lands  included
   ‘Bid Land’ also.

52. Here again, it will have to be stated that this Act was also enacted  to
   provide certain measures for the abolition of the Barkhalidars tenure in
   Saurashtra.  Therefore, while the  submissions  of  the  learned  senior
   counsel for the respondent that the above enactments were  brought  into
   effect with particular reference to the holding of  certain  estates  by
   Girasdars and Barkhalidars as well as erstwhile Rulers  of  State,  such
   restricted application of the Act  cannot  be  held  to  mean  that  the
   definition of ‘Bid land’  should  also  be  read  out  in  a  restricted
   fashion.   As stated by us earlier, the operation of  extinguishment  of
   the rights of such specific persons viz., Girasdars and Barkhalidars  as
   well as the Rulers does not mean that the definition  assigned  to  ‘Bid
   land’ should be restricted in respect of those  specific  persons  alone
   and cannot be applied in general for any other purpose. After  all,  the
   attempt of the appellants in relying upon the definition of  ‘Bid  land’
   in those enactments was to understand the nature and use for  which  the
   ‘Bid land’ is put to.  It cannot  be  said  that  merely  because  those
   enactments were brought out for the purpose  of  extinguishment  of  the
   rights of certain class of persons viz. Girasdars and Barkhalidars,  the
   definition of ‘Bid land’ contained in those Legislations should under no
   circumstances be considered by any  other  authority  functioning  under
   other enactments.  We are convinced that though Saurashtra  Act  Nos.III
   of 1952, XXV of 1951 and XXVI of 1951 pertain to  the  estates  held  by
   Girasdars and Barkhalidars as  well  as  the  Rulers  of  the  erstwhile
   Saurashtra State, the  definition  of  ‘Bid  land’  contained  in  those
   legislations could however be taken into  account  for  the  purpose  of
   understanding the meaning of ‘Bid land’.  Therefore,  the  arguments  of
   the learned senior counsel for the respondent in seeking to restrict the
   meaning of ‘Bid land’ in the Saurashtra Act Nos.XXV of 1951, Act XXVI of
   1951 and Act III of 1952 exclusively to those  specified  persons  viz.,
   Girasdars, Barkhalidars and the Rulers  cannot  be  accepted.  In  other
   words once the ‘Bid land’ can be defined to  mean  such  land  used  for
   grazing  of  cattle  or  for  cutting  grass  for  the  use  of   cattle
   irrespective of the nature of possession of such lands  with  whomsoever
   it may be, a ‘Bid  land’  would  be  a  ‘Bid  land’  for  all  practical
   purposes. It is also to be noted that nothing was brought to our  notice
   that a ‘Bid land’ is capable of being defined differently or that it was
   being used for different purpose by different persons.

53. We shall deal with the object of the Amendment  Act  1974,  namely,  for
   removal of doubts a little later. For the present, inasmuch as, we  have
   to a very large extent accepted the submission of  learned  counsel  for
   the respondent that the invocation of the Amendment Act of  1974  cannot
   be made having regard to its subsequent  emergence,  namely,  01.04.1976
   i.e. after the coming into force of Act, 1976  as  from  17.02.1976,  we
   confine our consideration to  the  position  that  prevailed  under  the
   unamended Act of 1960. After all our  endeavour  is  only  to  find  out
   whether the 1960 Act is applicable in respect of the lands held  by  the
   respondent for the purpose of its enforcement or otherwise  against  the
   respondent.

54. One other submission of the learned senior counsel  for  the  respondent
   was that the respondent was once  a  Ruler  cannot  be  held  to  be  an
   ‘agriculturalist’, inasmuch as, the definition of ‘agriculturist’  under
   Section 2(3) means a person who cultivate the land personally.  We  were
   not impressed by the said submission, inasmuch as, the definition of  an
   ‘agriculturist’ is not merely confined to Section 2(3) alone.  The  said
   definition has to be necessarily considered along  with  the  definition
   “to  cultivate”  as  defined  under  Section  2(11),  as  well  as,  the
   expression “to cultivate personally” as defined under Section  2(12)  of
   the Act.  Those expressions considered together make the position  clear
   that even a person cultivating the lands by ones own labour  or  by  any
   other member of one’s  family  or  under  the  personal  supervision  of
   oneself or any member of ones’ family by hired labour or by servants  on
   wages payable in cash or kind would nonetheless  fall  within  the  four
   corners of the expression  “agriculturist”.  Therefore,  the  expression
   “agriculturist” used in the  definition  Clause  2(3)  or  “agriculture”
   under Section 2(1) is wide enough to include the respondent  who  though
   was once a ‘Ruler’ and was not tilling the land by himself  would  still
   fall within the definition of  ‘agriculturist’  when  such  agricultural
   operation namely cultivation of land is carried out with the support  of
   any one of his family  members  by  supervising  such  operation  or  by
   engaging any labour to carry out such cultivation. We are  therefore  of
   the firm view that  the  ‘Bid  land’,  the  nomenclature  of  which  was
   categorically admitted by the respondent and having regard to its nature
   and purpose for which it was put to use would squarely fall  within  the
   definition of ‘agriculture’ as defined under Section 2(1) of the Act  of
   1960 as it originally stood unaffected by the coming into force  of  the
   Act, 1976 as  well  as  the  Amendment  of  1974.  In  the  result,  its
   application to those ‘Bid  lands’  held  by  the  respondent  cannot  be
   thwarted.

55. We shall now deal with the question whether the amendment  Act  of  1974
   which was notified as  from  01.04.1976  does  in  any  way  affect  the
   application of 1960 Act as it originally  stood  having  regard  to  the
   enforcement of the Amendment Act  by  drawing  a  clear  distinction  as
   between the position which was existing  prior  to  the  specified  date
   namely 01.04.1976 and after the said date.

56. According to learned senior counsel for the  respondent  the  definition
   of ‘land’  under  Section  2(17)  after  the  amendment,  namely,  after
   01.04.1976 seeks to differentiate between the nature of land which would
   be governed by the provisions of the 1960 Act  i.e.  one  prior  to  the
   specified date and thereafter. Under sub-clause (i) of Section 2(17)  of
   the 1960 Act while defining the ‘land’ it is specifically mentioned that
   the same would mean “in relation to any period prior  to  the  specified
   date, ‘land’ which is used or capable of  being  used  for  agricultural
   purpose and includes the sites of farm  buildings  appurtenant  to  such
   “land”.  For  that  purpose  when  we  refer  to   the   definition   of
   ‘agriculture’ under Section 2(1) of the Amended Act a  wider  definition
   was brought in by including in the said definition clauses  (d)  to  (h)
   which, inter alia, covered the use  of  any  land,  whether  or  not  an
   appanage to rice or paddy land  for  the  purpose  of  rabmanure,  dairy
   farming, poultry farming, breeding of live-stock,  and  the  cutting  of
   wood which class of lands were specifically excluded from the definition
   of ‘agriculture’ prior to the amendment. The proviso to  the  said  sub-
   clause (1) of Section 2  also  specifies  that  such  inclusion  in  the
   definition of ‘agriculture’ was not applicable in relation to any period
   prior to the specified  date,  namely,  01.04.1976.  That  apart,  under
   Section 2(17)(ii) in regard to the period subsequent  to  the  specified
   date, namely, 01.04.1976 the definition  of  ‘land’  would  include  the
   lands on which grass grown on its own, the ‘Bid land’ held by  Girasdars
   and Barkhalidars under the Saurashtra Act Nos.XXV of 1951, XXVI of  1951
   and III of 1952 as well as such ‘Bid lands’ which were held by a  person
   who before the commencement of the Constitution  was  a  ‘Ruler’  of  an
   Indian State comprised in the Saurashtra area of the State  of  Gujarat.
   The contention, therefore, was that  but  for  such  inclusion  of  ‘Bid
   lands’ in the amended definition of Section 2(17)(ii) there was no scope
   to proceed against such ‘Bid lands’ held by Girasdars  and  Barkhalidars
   as well as the ‘Rulers’ of erstwhile State.

57. In this  context  learned  senior  counsel  for  the  respondent  placed
   reliance upon the decision of this Court in State of Karnataka Vs. Union
   of India & another - (1978) 2 SCR 1 and contended that when the language
   is clear and unambiguous one need not have to delve into the Objects and
   Reasons in order to find out its implication. The said contention was by
   way of rebuttal to the submission of  learned  senior  counsel  for  the
   appellants that the Objects and Reasons of the 1974  Act  disclose  that
   the same was brought into effect only with  a  view  to  remove  certain
   doubts as regards ‘Bid lands’ and,  therefore,  the  amendment  was  not
   contemplated to include ‘Bid lands’ for the first time  in  addition  to
   the other type of lands described under the unamended Act of 1960.

58. There can be no quarrel about the proposition of law  as  propounded  by
   the learned senior counsel for the respondent and as has been stated  by
   the Constitution Bench of this Court in paragraphs 38 and 39 of Pathumma
   (supra). In paragraph 39 this Court did say:
      “39.….We are, however, unable to agree with this argument  because  in
      view of the clear and unambiguous provisions of the  Act,  it  is  not
      necessary for us to delve into the statement of objects and reasons of
      the Act…..”



59. We too are not inclined to go by the argument based on the  objects  and
   reasons in relation to a ‘Bid land’. We have considered  the  definition
   of ‘agriculture’ under Section 2(1), the definition  of  ‘agriculturist’
   under Section 2(3) along with the expressions ‘a person  who  cultivates
   land personally’ and the definition of ‘land’ under Section 2(17) of the
   unamended Act. Having  examined  the  nature  of  description  of  those
   expressions contained therein, we are  convinced  that  the  legislature
   intended and did include ‘lands’ held by ‘agriculturist’ where grass  is
   raised or used for grazing purposes as part of agricultural  land  which
   was in the possession of agriculturist. Such lands where grass is  grown
   or used for grazing purpose are always known as ‘Bid land’.   Such  ‘Bid
   land’ was ultimately brought  within  the  definition  of  ‘land’  under
   Section 2(17) of the Act of 1960. Therefore, even by keeping  aside  the
   implication  of  the  wider  definition  which  was  introduced  by  the
   Amendment Act of 1974  in  regard  to  ‘Bid  lands’  and  going  by  the
   definition of ‘agriculture’ and ‘land’ under Section 2(1) and  2(17)  of
   the Act of 1960, we have no difficulty in taking a  definite  conclusion
   that such definition contained in the Act as  it  originally  stood  did
   include ‘Bid lands’ which lands were exclusively meant for cutting grass
   for cattle or  used  for  grazing  purposes.  Therefore,  there  was  no
   necessity for this Court to draw any further assistance either from  the
   Objects and Reasons or from the provisions of the Amended Act of 1974 in
   order to hold that ‘Bid lands’ were part of agricultural  land  governed
   by the provisions of the Act of 1960.

60. In that respect when reliance was placed upon  the  recent  decision  of
   this  Court  in  Nagbhai  Najbhai  Khackar  (supra)  on  behalf  of  the
   appellant, we find that the said decision fully support the stand of the
   appellant. Of course, in  the  said  decision  the  question  posed  for
   consideration was “whether Bid lands were  required  to  be  taken  into
   consideration for the purpose of land ceiling  under  the  1960  Act  as
   amended by the Act of 1974 which came into force  on  01.04.1976”.  This
   Court while examining the said  question  posed  for  its  consideration
   however dealt with a specific submission made on behalf of the appellant
   herein which has been set out in paragraph 11:
      “11. It was further submitted that the lands in question are  in  fact
      “agricultural” lands. They  survived  acquisition  under  the  earlier
      three Acts only because they were  “bid  lands”  which  by  definition
      under those Acts were lands “being used” by Girasdars/Barkhalidars for
      grazing cattle. That, under the Ceiling Act, Section 2(1) defines  the
      use of land for the purposes of grazing cattle as agricultural purpose
      and thus, according to the learned counsel, by their  very  definition
      “bid lands” are  capable  of  being  used  for  agricultural  purpose,
      namely, grazing cattle.”



61. In paragraphs 20 and 21 it has been held as under:
      “20. There is one more reason for not accepting the  argument  of  the
      appellants. The subject lands survived acquisition under the 1952  Act
      only because they were “bid lands” which  by  definition  under  those
      Acts were treated as lands being used by  the  girasdars  for  grazing
      cattle (see Section 2(a) of the 1952  Act).  Now,  under  the  present
      Ceiling Act, Section 2(1) defines the use of land for the  purpose  of
      grazing cattle as an agricultural  purpose.  Thus,  “bid  lands”  fall
      under Section 2(1) of the Ceiling Act. This is  one  more  reason  for
      coming to the conclusion that the Ceiling Act as  amended  applies  to
      “bid lands”. (underline ours)



      21. It is also important to note that under Section 5(1) of  the  1952
      Act all lands saved from acquisition had to be “bid  lands”  which  by
      definition under Section 2(a) of the 1952 Act  were  the  lands  being
      used by a Girasdar or a Barkhalidar for grazing cattle or for  cutting
      grass. If the lands in question were put to any other use,  they  were
      liable to acquisition under Section 5(2). Because  the  subject  lands
      were used for grazing cattle, they got saved under the 1952  Act  and,
      therefore, it is now not open to the appellants to  contend  that  the
      subject lands are not capable of being used for agricultural purpose.”



62. In fact our conclusion on  this  aspect  in  the  earlier  part  of  our
   judgment is in tune with what has been propounded by this Court  in  the
   said paragraph. The learned senior counsel for the respondent  contended
   that the said decision cannot be applied to the facts of this case.  The
   submission of the learned counsel was twofold.  According  to  him,  the
   said decision came to be rendered in the light of the definition of ‘Bid
   land’ which came to be introduced for the first time  after  the  coming
   into force of the Amendment Act of 1974 and, therefore, whatever decided
   in the said decision was exclusively in the context of the Amendment Act
   of 1974 which cannot  be  applied  to  the  case  on  hand.  The  second
   submission of the learned senior counsel was that in the  said  decision
   the implication of the Act, 1976  was  not  considered  and,  therefore,
   whatever said in the said decision was  applicable  only  to  the  facts
   involved in that case and can have no universal application. To buttress
   the former argument, Mr. Soli J. Sorabjee, the learned counsel  for  the
   appellants contended that though the question posted  for  consideration
   in the said decision was in the context of the definition of ‘Bid  land’
   as described in the Amendment Act 1974, this Court  while  holding  that
   ‘Bid land’ would fall within the definition of ‘agricultural land’ under
   the Act of 1960 also examined the issue as to what is a ‘Bid land’ under
   the 1952 Act independent of the definition of ‘Bid land’  introduced  in
   the Amendment Act 1974.  The  learned  senior  counsel  by  drawing  our
   attention to paragraph 20 of the said decision contended that  the  said
   independent consideration of what is a ‘Bid land’ was an added reason to
   hold that the said kind of land would also fall within the definition of
   ‘agricultural land’ as defined in Section 2(1) of the Act of 1960.

63. Having considered the respective  submissions,  we  find  force  in  the
   submission of the learned senior counsel for  the  appellants.  A  close
   reading of paragraph 20 is clear to the pointer that irrespective of the
   definition of ‘Bid land’ under the Amendment Act 1974, having regard  to
   the definition of ‘Bid land’ under Act III of 1952, such land would fall
   within the definition of ‘Agricultural Land’ as defined in Section  2(1)
   of the Act of 1960.  This Court in  fact  made  it  very  clear  in  its
   perception while stating the said position by holding  that  it  was  an
   added reason for holding that the Land Ceiling Act, as amended,  applied
   to ‘Bid land’.  One more reason which this Court mentioned was that  the
   land in question survived acquisition under the 1952  Act  only  because
   they were ‘Bid lands’ which, by virtue of its character was  being  used
   by Girasdars for grazing by  cattle  and  thereby  stood  excluded  from
   acquisition.  Therefore, when this Court examined the character  of  the
   ‘Bid land’ which was used for grazing purpose as one falling within  the
   definition of ‘agriculture land’ even without  the  implication  of  the
   Amendment Act of 1974, the reliance placed upon the said decision merits
   acceptance. The said submission of the learned senior  counsel  for  the
   appellants is supported by the decisions in  London  Jewellers  (supra),
   Jacobs (supra),  Behrens  (supra)  and  Smt.Somawanti  (supra).  In  the
   decision in London Jewellers (supra), it has been held as under:

      “……..I cannot help feeling that if we  were  unhampered  by  authority
      there is much to be said for this proposition which  commended  itself
      to Swift J. and which commended itself to me in Folkes  v.  King,  but
      that view is not open to us in view of the decision of  the  Court  of
      Appeal in Folkes v King.  In that case two reasons were given  by  all
      the members of the Court of Appeal for their decision and we  are  not
      entitled to pick out the first  reason  as  the  ratio  decidendi  and
      neglect the second, or to pick out the  second  reason  as  the  ratio
      decidendi and neglect the first; we must  take  both  as  forming  the
      ground of the judgment.”

                                                            (Emphasis added)



64. The ratio of the said decision was followed in Jacobs (supra).   In  the
   decision in Behrens (supra), it has been held as under:

      “……..This question depends, I think, on the language used  by  Cozens-
      Hardy, M.R. It is well established that, if a judge gives two  reasons
      for his decision, both are binding.  It is not permissible to pick out
      one as being supposedly the better reason and ignore  the  other  one;
      nor does it matter for this purpose which comes first and which  comes
      second.  The practice of making judicial observations obiter  is  also
      well established.  A judge may often give additional reasons  for  his
      decision without wishing to make them part of the ratio decidendi;  he
      may not be sufficiently convinced of their  cogency as to want them to
      have the full authority of precedent, and yet may wish to  state  them
      so that those who later may have the duty of  investigating  the  same
      point will start with some guidance.  This is a matter which the judge
      himself is alone capable of deciding and any judge who comes after him
      must ascertain which course has been adopted from  the  language  used
      and not by consulting his own preference.”

                                                            (Emphasis added)



65. The proposition of law has thus been so lucidly expressed in  the  above
   decisions, it will have to be held that the additional  reasons  adduced
   in our decision in Nagbhai Najbhai Khackar (supra) directly  covers  the
   issue raised before us.  One more reason, which weighed with this  Court
   for holding that ‘Bid land” falls within the definition of  ‘Agriculture
   Land’ as defined under Section 2(1) of the Act of 1960  is  binding  and
   thus  there  is  no  scope  to  exclude  the  said  decision  from   its
   application.  Therefore, we reiterate that merely because  the  question
   posed for consideration related to the character of  ‘Bid  lands’  after
   the 1974 amendment what has been held in paragraphs 20 and  21  mutantis
   mutandis is in tune with what has now been  held  by  us  based  on  the
   definition of ‘agriculture’ as well as ‘land’ under  Sections  2(1)  and
   2(17) of the un-amended Act of 1960 itself.

66. As far as the next submission is  concerned,  the  argument  raised  was
   that the said decision  never  dealt  with  the  issue  which  has  been
   presently raised in this appeal, namely, the  implication  of  the  Act,
   1976 which came into force on 17.02.1976 while the Amendment Act of 1974
   was brought into force subsequently i.e. on and  after  01.04.1976  and,
   therefore, the said decision can have no application  to  the  facts  of
   this case. In so far as the said contention is concerned,  the  same  is
   liable to be rejected inasmuch as the said decision is  for  the  simple
   proposition as to how a land where grass is raised or used  for  grazing
   purposes is to be included under the  definition  of  ‘agriculture’  and
   consequently within the definition of ‘land’ as provided under  Sections
   2(1) and 2(17) of the Act of 1960. Therefore, non-consideration  of  the
   implication of Act, 1976 in the said decision does not in any way  deter
   us from relying upon the ratio laid down in the said decision to support
   our conclusion.

67. The next submission of learned counsel for  the  respondent  related  to
   the supervening effect of the Act, 1976 in the State of Gujarat  on  and
   after 17.02.1976 which according to learned senior counsel has made  the
   Act of 1974 a ‘still born child’ and also the submission that after  the
   coming into force of the  Act,  1976  there  was  no  authority  in  the
   respondent to invoke the 1960 Act in order to acquire the lands  of  the
   respondent. As we have refrained from relying upon the  Amended  Act  of
   1974 while approving the action of the appellant in seeking  to  proceed
   against the respondent for acquiring the surplus lands of the respondent
   under the Act of 1960, we do not find any dire necessity  to  deal  with
   the said contention in extenso.  The  formidable  submission  raised  on
   behalf of the respondent related to the supremacy of the Act, 1976  over
   the 1960 Act. The learned counsel pointed out that the respondent  filed
   its return under the provisions of the Act, 1976 on 13.08.1976, that the
   said return was considered by the competent  authority  by  passing  its
   Order dated 21.05.1983 which was thereafter considered by  the  Tribunal
   in its order dated 08.09.1989 and that the appellant/State while dealing
   with the respondent and the Act, 1976 themselves have mentioned  in  the
   reply affidavit in paragraph 4.1 that the  lands  in  Survey  No.111/2-3
   situated in Madhopur village was reserved for site and  service  project
   meaning thereby that they  were  not  agricultural  lands.  The  learned
   counsel would, therefore, contend that while on the  one  hand  when  it
   came to  the  question  of  determining  the  surplus  lands  under  the
   provisions of the Act, 1976 the appellant would contend that  the  lands
   held by the respondent were not  classified  as  agricultural  land  and
   thereby not entitled for exclusion under the said Act, when it  came  to
   the question of applicability of 1960 Act they contend that  such  lands
   are to be treated as agricultural lands.

68. We do not find any such contradiction in  the  stand  of  the  appellant
   even in the reply affidavit. At page 5  of  the  reply  affidavit  while
   referring to the lands in Survey No.111/2-3 of Madhopur  village  it  is
   specifically mentioned that those lands are ‘Bid lands’ and are  located
   within the industrial development industrial area.  What  was  contended
   was that admittedly no agricultural operation was being carried  out  in
   respect of Survey No.111/2-3 along with Survey Nos.91/3 and 129. In this
   respect it will  also  be  necessary  to  refer  to  the  stand  of  the
   respondent himself in his appeal filed under  Section  33  of  the  Act,
   1976. In paragraphs 9 and 10 the appellant claimed the character of  the
   land in the following manner:
      “9.   Land admeasuring 30 acres and 30 Gunthas i.e. 1,24,412 sq. mts.,
      of survey No.111/2 of village Madhopur is a vidi land of the Appellant
      and that has been brought under the recreational zone  of  RUDA.  That
      should not have been included in the holding of  the  Appellant.  Here
      also the application under section 20 is pending with  the  Government
      for exemption.


      10.   Survey No.111/3 of village Madhopur  admeasuring  579  acres  27
      Gunthas is falling in agricultural zone of  RUDA.  A  certificate  has
      been produced before the Competent Authority and this  should  not  be
      included in the holding of the Appellant. The Competent Authority  has
      shown Appellant’s flat in Bombay admeasuring 223  sq.  mts.  From  the
      records the Bombay flat was shown as 575.06 sq. mts., being  built  up
      property it should not be declared as surplus. Of course the  flat  is
      situated in Bombay it  should  be  calculated  as  1725.18  sq.  mts.”
                        (underlining is ours)



69. In paragraph 9 respondent has referred to the land admeasuring 30  acres
   and 30 Gunthas i.e. 1,24,412 sq. mts.  in  survey  No.111/2  of  village
   Madhopur as vidi land which was brought under the recreational  zone  of
   RUDA and, therefore, those lands should not have been  included  in  the
   holding of the appellant. As far as the land admeasuring  579  acres  27
   Gunthas in  the  very  same  village  Madhopur  in  survey  No.111/3  is
   concerned, it was specifically claimed that  those  lands  fell  in  the
   ‘AGRICULTURAL ZONE’ of RUDA and, therefore,  it  should  not  have  been
   brought within the category of excess lands held by the  respondent.  In
   fact, the above submission made on behalf  of  the  appellant  far  from
   supporting the stand of the respondent fully supports the stand  of  the
   appellant. We, therefore, do not find any conflict in the stand  of  the
   appellant while dealing with the nature of land held by  the  respondent
   which was earlier dealt with under the Act of  1960  which  came  to  be
   considered by the authorities under the Act, 1976 pursuant to the return
   submitted by the respondent on 13.08.1976 under Section 6(1) of the Act,
   1976.

70. When we consider the submission of the learned senior  counsel  for  the
   respondent pertaining to the implication of the Act, 1976 vis-à-vis  Act
   of 1960, the submission was again two fold.  In the first place, it  was
   contended  that  as  the  entire  lands  were  lying  within  the  urban
   agglomeration of the scheduled area viz., Rajkot, the  Act,  1976  would
   alone govern the subject land and thereby exclude the application of the
   Act of 1960.  Though in the first blush,  the  argument  appears  to  be
   appealing, on a deeper scrutiny, it will have to be held that  the  said
   submission cannot be accepted.  Even according to  the  respondent,  the
   subject  land  having  been  classified  as  ‘agricultural  land’  stood
   excluded from the application of the provisions of the Act, 1976  though
   lying within the urban agglomeration area. It was, therefore,  axiomatic
   that de hors the implication of the provision of the Act, 1976 by virtue
   of the character of the Land held by the respondent, the application  of
   the Act  of  1960,  as  it  originally  stood  prior  to  17.2.1976  was
   imperative.  Such  a  legal  consequence  existed.  Even  accepting  the
   arguments of the learned senior counsel for the respondent,  that  being
   agricultural land lying within the urban agglomeration, the  application
   of the Act, 1976 stood excluded, we fail to see as to how there would be
   any scope at all for  the  respondent  to  contend  on  that  score  the
   application of the Act of  1960  should  also  be  excluded.  Therefore,
   taking note of the categorical stand of the respondent  himself,  having
   claimed exclusion of such  of  those  lands  which  were  classified  as
   ‘agricultural land’, which included ‘Bid land’ as well, to  be  excluded
   from the application of the provisions of the Act, 1976 and thereby  the
   authorities competent under the  provisions  of  such  other  enactments
   which would govern such agricultural lands would  be  free  to  exercise
   their powers under these enactments.  The respondent cannot be heard  to
   contend that there would be a vacuum in so far as the application of any
   Statute over the lands held by the respondent that have been  classified
   as ‘agricultural land’. Such a proposition, expounded on behalf  of  the
   appellants can never be countenanced.   Therefore,  the  legal  position
   that would emerge would be that going by the stand  of  the  respondent,
   his lands to an extent of 579 acres 27 Gunthas being ‘agricultural land’
   if stood excluded from the application of the  provisions  of  the  Act,
   1976 such lands were already governed by the provisions of  the  Act  of
   1960 as it originally stood and applied and there can be no demur to it.



71. On this aspect, the next submission of the learned  senior  counsel  for
   the respondent was that since the Act, 1976 having been  passed  by  the
   Parliament, at the instance of  the  appellant  State  which  came  into
   effect from 17.02.1976, no other law on the  said  subject  viz,  ‘land’
   would operate in the field. The sum and substance of the submission  was
   that having regard to the  emergence  of  the  Act,  1976  on  and  from
   17.02.1976, the application of the Act of 1960 would automatically cease
   to operate. To some extent, we appreciate the submission in so far as it
   related to the implementation of the Act of 1974 by which the  amendment
   was introduced to the Act of 1960. In  that  respect,  we  consider  the
   invocation of Article 252 of the  Constitution  wherein  Sub-clause  (2)
   specifically stipulated that in future, amendments could be carried  out
   only by the Parliament and not by the State.  Here we are concerned with
   the Act of 1960 in its un-amended  form  which  was  holding  the  field
   insofar as it related to the agricultural lands.  We do find some  logic
   to accede to the contention of the learned senior counsel in  regard  to
   the application of 1974 Act after the emergence of  the  Act,  1976  but
   same is not the position in relation to the un-amended Act of 1960.   In
   the first place, such an argument does not find support by the  specific
   embargo contained in Article 252(2) of the Constitution.  Going  by  the
   specific stipulation contained in Article 252 (2) of  the  Constitution,
   such an extended meaning cannot be imported into the said  provision  in
   order to nullify the effect and operation of the un-amended Act of  1960
   in so far as it related to ‘agricultural lands’ in the appellant  State.
   We, therefore, hold that the Act of 1960 in its un-amended form  applied
   on its own and continue to hold the field and was in operation over  the
   ‘agricultural lands’ over which the implication of the Act, 1976 had  no
   effect.  The said legal position has to be necessarily understood in the
   said manner and cannot be stated in any other manner, much less  in  the
   manner contended on behalf of the respondent.  Thus the said  contention
   made on behalf of the respondent, therefore, stands rejected.

72. In support of the said submission, reliance was placed upon  a  decision
   of this Court in Union of India & Ors. Vs. Valluri Basavaiah Chowdhary &
   Ors. reported  in  (1979)  3  SCC  324.   Having  bestowed  our  serious
   consideration in the reliance placed upon the  said  decision,  we  find
   that the said decision has no application to the legal  issues  involved
   in the case on hand.  That was a case where in regard to the passing  of
   the Act, 1976 itself, based on  the  resolution  passed  by  the  Andhra
   Pradesh Legislative Assembly on 08.04.1972.  The challenge was  made  to
   the vires of the Act in the High Court of Andhra  Pradesh.   The  ground
   raised was that the Parliament lacked legislative competence. Such  lack
   of competence was raised on two grounds.  In the  first  place,  it  was
   contended that the Governor of Andhra Pradesh did not participate in the
   process of authorization in the passing of the Act by the Parliament and
   the second ground was that the resolution of the State Legislature  gave
   authorization to the imposition of ceiling on the basis of the valuation
   of the immovable property i.e. for ceiling  on  ownership  on  immovable
   property and not on the  area  of  land.   It  was  contended  that  the
   ultimate act in imposing ceiling on the area of  the  land  was  not  in
   conformity with the real intendment of the resolution of the  State  and
   therefore it lacked competence.  On the first ground viz.,  due  to  the
   non participation of the Governor  of  Andhra  Pradesh,  the  Parliament
   lacked competence found favour with the High  Court  of  Andhra  Pradesh
   which struck down the Act on that ground itself.  While dealing with the
   said ground, this Court dealt with the scope of Article 252 (1) & (2) of
   the Constitution and by relying upon the earlier decision of this  Court
   in State of Bihar Vs. Sir Kameshwar Singh reported in AIR 1952  SC  252,
   ruled that in the passing of the resolution of  the  State  Legislature,
   the Governor nowhere comes in the picture.

73. As far as the second contention was concerned, it was held as  under  in
   Valluri Basavaiah Chowdhary (supra) at paragraphs 28, 31 and 32.

      “28. We are afraid, the contention cannot  be  accepted.   It  is  not
      disputed that the subject-matter of Entry 18, List II of  the  Seventh
      Schedule, i.e. ‘land’ covers ‘land and building’ and would, therefore,
      necessarily include ‘vacant land’.  The  expression  ‘urban  immovable
      property’ may mean ‘land and buildings’, or ‘buildings’ or ‘land’.  It
      would take in lands of every  description,  i.e.,  agricultural  land,
      urban land or any other kind and it necessarily includes vacant land.

                                    * * *

      31. It is but axiomatic that once the  legislatures  of  two  or  more
      States, by a resolution  in  terms  of  Article  252(1),  abdicate  or
      surrender the area, i.e.,  their  power  of  legislation  on  a  State
      subject, the Parliament is competent to make a  law  relating  to  the
      subject.  It would indeed be contrary to the terms of Article 252  (1)
      to read the resolution passed by the State legislature subject to  any
      restriction.  The resolution, contemplated under Article 252(1) is not
      hedged in with conditions.  In making such a law, the  Parliament  was
      not bound to exhaust the whole field of legislation.  It could make  a
      law, like the present Act, with respect to ceiling on vacant  land  in
      an  urban  agglomeration,  as  a  first  step  towards  the   eventual
      imposition  of  ceiling  on  immovable   property   of   every   other
      description.




      32. There is no need to dilate on the question  any  further  in  this
      judgment, as it can be better dealt with separately.  It is sufficient
      for purposes of these appeals to say that when Parliament was invested
      with the power to legislate on the subject, i.e. ‘ceiling on immovable
      property’, it was competent for the Parliament to enact  the  impugned
      Act i.e., a law relating to ‘ceiling on urban land’.”



74. Whatever stated in Paragraph 28 can only  be  understood  to  mean  that
   when  the  State  Legislature  authorizes  the  Parliament  to  pass   a
   legislation in respect of the subject matter of Entry 18, List II of the
   Seventh Schedule, i.e. ‘land’ it would cover  ‘land  and  building’  and
   would necessarily include ‘vacant land’ and would take in land of  every
   description including ‘agriculture land’ or any other kind of land.   It
   also went on to hold that the resolution passed by the State Legislature
   cannot be said to impose any restriction as it would be contrary to  the
   terms of Article 252 (1) of the Constitution.  It was further held  that
   the Parliament was empowered to enact the law pursuant to the  surrender
   of the State to enact a law with said subject  by  formulating  its  own
   prescription as to the nature of urban land in different stages.  Beyond
   that, we do not find any other statement of law propounded in  the  said
   decision. Applying the said legal principle, it can only  be  held  that
   the Act, 1976 in having imposed a restriction by way of ceiling on urban
   land within the urban agglomeration by excluding  agricultural  land  it
   was a valid piece of legislation. In this respect, the contention of Mr.
   Soli J.  Sorabji  that  the  State  Legislature  only  intended  in  its
   authorization to bring about a  legislation  only  on  ‘urban  immovable
   land’ and not on any agriculture land is quite appealing.  We  can  also
   state that in paragraph 32 of the said decision, this Court  consciously
   decided not to dilate on the question any further in that judgment as it
   can be better dealt with separately at a later point of  time.   We  now
   hold that the situation has now come where the position has to  be  made
   loud and clear to state that the Act, 1976 would  govern  only  such  of
   those lands which would fall within its area of operation  within  urban
   agglomeration to the specific exclusion of  the  agriculture  lands  and
   consequently the continued application of the  un-amended  Act  of  1960
   remain without any restriction.

75. On the other hand Mr. Soli J. Sorabjee, the learned senior  counsel  for
   the appellants placed reliance upon a Constitutional Bench  decision  of
   this Court in Thumati Venkaiah (supra). Almost  an  identical  situation
   was dealt with by this Court in the said decision. That case also  arose
   from the State of Andhra Pradesh.  To briefly refer to the facts, in the
   State of Andhra Pradesh a ceiling of agricultural holdings was sought to
   be imposed by enacting an Act called The  Andhra  Pradesh  Land  Reforms
   (Ceiling on Agricultural Holdings)  Act  (Act  1  of  1973  (hereinafter
   referred to as the ‘Andhra Pradesh Act’).  It was enacted by the  Andhra
   Pradesh Legislature on 01.01.1973.  The Act was  challenged  before  the
   High Court of Andhra Pradesh.  However a Full Bench of  the  High  Court
   negatived the challenge by its judgment dated 11.04.1973.  The  Act  was
   however brought into force on and from 01.01.1975.  The amendments  were
   brought to the said Act by Amendment  Act  of  1977  with  retrospective
   effect from  01.01.1975.   After  the  amendments,  again  the  Act  was
   challenged on the main ground that by reason of enactment  of  the  Act,
   1976, the Andhra Pradesh Act has become void and inactive.   It  can  be
   validly mentioned that  the  subsequent  contention  of  the  respondent
   herein was the focal point in the said decision.  Dealing with the  said
   contention, the Constitutional Bench has held as under in paragraph 5:

      “5. Now, as we have already pointed  out  above,  the  Andhra  Pradesh
      Legislature had, at the time when the Andhra Pradesh Act was  enacted,
      no power to legislate with  respect  to  ceiling  on  urban  immovable
      property.  That power stood transferred to Parliament and as  a  first
      step towards the eventual imposition of ceiling on immovable  property
      of every other description, Parliament enacted the Central Act with  a
      view to imposing ceiling on vacant land, other than land  mainly  used
      for the purpose  of   agriculture,  in  an  urban  agglomeration.  The
      argument of the landholders was that the Andhra Pradesh Act sought  to
      impose ceiling on land in the whole of Andhra Pradesh  including  land
      situate in  urban  agglomerations  and  since  the  concept  of  urban
      agglomeration defined in Section  2(n)  of  the  Central  Act  was  an
      expansive concept and any area with an existing or  future  population
      of more than one lakh could be notified to be an urban  agglomeration,
      the whole of the Andhra Pradesh Act was ultra vires and void as  being
      outside the legislative competence of the Andhra Pradesh  Legislature.
      This argument, plausible though  it  may  seem,  is  in  our  opinion,
      unsustainable.  It is no doubt true that if  the  Andhra  Pradesh  Act
      seeks to impose ceiling on land falling within an urban agglomeration,
      it would be outside the area of its legislative competence,  since  it
      cannot provide for imposition of ceiling on urban immovable  property.
      But the only urban agglomerations  in  the  State  of  Andhra  Pradesh
      recognized in the Central  Act  were  those  referred  to  in  Section
      2(n)(A)(i) and there can be no doubt  that,  so  far  as  these  urban
      agglomerations are  concerned,  it  was  not  within  the  legislative
      competence of the Andhra Pradesh Legislature to provide for imposition
      of ceiling on land situate within these urban agglomerations.  It  is,
      however, difficult to see how the Andhra Pradesh Act could be said  to
      be  outside  the  legislative  competence  of   the   Andhra   Pradesh
      Legislature insofar as land situate in the other areas of the State of
      Andhra Pradesh is concerned. We agree that any other area in the State
      of Andhra Pradesh with a population of more than  one  lakh  could  be
      notified as an urban agglomeration under Section  2(n)(A)(ii)  of  the
      Central Act, but until it is so notified it  would  not  be  an  urban
      agglomeration  and  the  Andhra   Pradesh   Legislature   would   have
      legislative competence to provide for imposition of  ceiling  on  land
      situate within such area. No sooner such area is  notified  to  be  an
      urban agglomeration, the Central Act would apply in relation  to  land
      situate within such area, but until that happens, the  Andhra  Pradesh
      Act would continue to  be  applicable  to  determine  the  ceiling  on
      holding of land in such area. It may be noted that the Andhra  Pradesh
      Act came into force on January 1, 1975 and it was  with  reference  to
      this date that the surplus holding of land in excess  of  the  ceiling
      area was required to be determined and if there was  any  surplus,  it
      was to be surrendered to the State Government. It is  therefore  clear
      that in an area other than that comprised in the urban  agglomerations
      referred to in Section 2(n)(A)(i), land held by a person in excess  of
      the ceiling area would be liable to be determined  as  on  January  1,
      1975 under the Andhra Pradesh Act and only  land  within  the  ceiling
      area would be allowed to remain with him.  It is only  in  respect  of
      land remaining with a person, whether an individual or a family  unit,
      after the operation of the Andhra Pradesh Act, that  the  Central  Act
      would apply, if and when the area in question is  notified  to  be  an
      urban agglomeration under Section 2(n)(a)(ii) of the Central  Act.  We
      fail to see how it can at all be contended that merely because an area
      may possibly in the future be notified as an urban agglomeration under
      Section 2(n)(A)(ii) of the Central Act, the Andhra Pradesh Legislature
      would cease to have competence to legislate with respect to ceiling on
      land  situate  in  such  area,  even  though  it  was  not  an   urban
      agglomeration at the date of enactment  of  the  Andhra  Pradesh  Act.
      Undoubtedly, when an area is notified as an urban agglomeration  under
      Section 2(n)(A)(ii), the Central Act would apply to  land  situate  in
      such area and the Andhra Pradesh Act would cease to have  application,
      but by that time the Andhra Pradesh Act would have already operated to
      determine the ceiling on holding of land falling within the definition
      in Section 3(j) and situate within such area. It  is,  therefore,  not
      possible to uphold the contention of the landholders that  the  Andhra
      Pradesh Act is ultra vires and void as being outside  the  legislative
      competence of the Andhra Pradesh Legislature.”

                                                            (Emphasis added)




76. In the first blush, it appears as though the said decision  support  the
   contention of the respondent. But in paragraph 5,  we  have  highlighted
   certain relevant conclusions  which  fully  support  the  stand  of  the
   appellants.  This Court made it clear  thereunder  that  the  Parliament
   enacted the Central Act with a view to impose  ceiling  on  vacant  land
   other than the land mainly used for the purpose  of  agriculture  in  an
   urban agglomeration. The arguments of the land holders that the  concept
   of urban agglomeration defined in Section 2(n) was an expansive  concept
   and any area which was already notified as urban agglomeration, as  well
   as, which can be notified in future based on the increase in  population
   as urban agglomeration and, therefore, the Andhra Pradesh Act was  ultra
   vires lacking legislative competence was held to be  unsustainable.   It
   was also held that the Andhra Pradesh Act seeks  to  impose  ceiling  on
   land falling within the urban agglomeration, it  would  be  outside  the
   area of its legislative competence as it cannot provide  for  imposition
   of ceiling on urban immovable property after the emergence of Act, 1976.
   It was thus made clear that after the coming into force of the Act, 1976
   by virtue of Article 252 (1) and (2) of the  Constitution,  there  would
   have  been  no  scope  for  the  State  Legislature  to  bring  about  a
   legislation for imposing a ceiling on an urban immovable property  which
   falls within the urban agglomeration.  It was also made clear that other
   areas which  were  not  declared  as  urban  agglomeration  came  to  be
   subsequently declared as urban agglomeration and notified as  such,  the
   Central Act would automatically apply and in relation to  such  notified
   area also, the State  Legislature  would  be  incompetent  to  make  any
   legislation  by  way  of  imposition  of  ceiling  on  and  after   such
   declaration is made. While referring to such  a  situation,  this  Court
   made it clear that the Andhra Pradesh Act continue to be applicable  for
   determining the ceiling of holding of lands in such area, prior  to  any
   such subsequent notification under the Act, 1976.  It was  further  made
   clear that since the Andhra Pradesh Act came  into  force  on  and  from
   01.01.1975, the surplus holding of land in excess of  the  ceiling  area
   were required to be determined with reference to that date and if  there
   was any surplus, it was to be surrendered to the  State  Government.  It
   was further reinforced by stating  that  in  an  area  other  than  that
   comprised in the urban agglomeration, the  land  held  by  a  person  in
   excess of the ceiling area would  be  liable  to  be  determined  as  on
   01.01.1975 under the Andhra Pradesh Act and the land within the  ceiling
   area alone would be allowed to remain with him.

77. The crucial words in the said paragraph can be mentioned again in  order
   to appreciate and understand the legal position noted. They are:

      “It may be noted that the  Andhra  Pradesh  Act  came  into  force  on
      January 1, 1975 and it was  with  reference  to  this  date  that  the
      surplus holding of land in excess of the ceiling area was required  to
      be determined and if there was any surplus,  it  was  required  to  be
      determined and if there was any surplus, it was to be  surrendered  to
      the State Government. It is, therefore, clear that in  an  area  other
      than that comprised with Urban Agglomeration referred  to  in  Section
      2(n)(A) (i), land held by a person in excess of the ceiling area would
      be liable to be determined as on January  1,  1975  under  the  Andhra
      Pradesh Act and only Land within the ceiling area would be allowed  to
      remain with him. It is only  in  respect  of  Land  remaining  with  a
      person, whether an individual or a family unit, after the operation of
      the Andhra Pradesh Act, that the Central Act would apply….”

      “Undoubtedly, when an area is notified as an urban agglomeration under
      Section 2(n)(A)(ii), the Central Act would apply to  land  situate  in
      such area and the Andhra Pradesh Act would cease to have  application,
      but by that time the Andhra Pradesh Act would have already operated to
      determine the ceiling on holding of land falling within the definition
      in Section 3(j) and situate within such  area.  It  is  therefore  not
      possible to uphold the contention of the landholders that  the  Andhra
      Pradesh Act is ultra vires and void as being outside  the  legislative
      competence of the Andhra Pradesh Legislature.”

                                                            (Emphasis added)

      A close and careful reading of the said statement of law  declared  by
this Court makes it clear that if as on the date  when  the  Andhra  Pradesh
Act was already in  force  i.e.  as  on  01.01.1975,  the  determination  of
surplus land as per  the  provisions  of  the  said  Act  should  have  been
determined and only thereafter the implication of the  Act,  1976  could  be
applied.  The specific statements “It is only in respect of  land  remaining
with a person, whether an individual or a family unit, after  the  operation
of the Andhra Pradesh Act, that the Central Act would apply…..”  “…..but  by
that time the Andhra Pradesh Act would have already  operated  to  determine
the ceiling on holding of land falling  within  the  definition  in  Section
3(j) and situate  within  such  area…..”  makes  the  above  position  clear
without any ambiguity.

78. Afortiori if  the said ratio decided by the Constitution Bench  of  this
   Court is applied, there would be no difficulty in holding that  as  held
   by us earlier, since as per the un-amended Act of 1960, ‘Bid land’  held
   by the respondent fell within  the  definition  of  ‘agriculture’  under
   Section 2(1) and consequent definition of ‘land’ as defined  in  Section
   2(17) of the Act of 1960, the determination of holding  of  such  excess
   agriculture land under the said Act of 1960 prior  to  the  coming  into
   force of the Act, 1976 should be operated upon.  Having  regard  to  the
   said legal position, we hold that the action of the appellants in having
   passed the orders impugned before the High Court  were  fully  justified
   and interfering with the same  by  the  learned  Single  Judge  and  the
   Division Bench of the High Court by the impugned  order  in  this  Civil
   Appeal are liable to be set aside.

79. The impugned judgment of the Division Bench of the High Court  proceeded
   mainly on the footing that the Amended Act of 1974 cannot form the basis
   for proceeding against the respondent for  the  purpose  of  acquisition
   under the 1960 Act in the light of the field being occupied by the  Act,
   1976 which came into force prior to the coming into force  of  the  1974
   Act, namely, on 17.02.1976 and the Amendment Act of 1974 which  came  to
   be notified only on 01.04.1976. The said conclusion  was  based  on  the
   implication of Article 252(2) of the Constitution wherein  once  at  the
   instance of the State Government even in relation to any entry  in  List
   II an enactment came to  be  made  by  the  Parliament,  any  subsequent
   amendment relating  to  the  said  subject  can  only  be  made  by  the
   Parliament and not by the State. The  Division  Bench  referred  to  the
   claim of the appellant that even by  ignoring  the  Amendment  Act  1974
   which came into effect from 01.04.1976 having regard to the existence of
   the Act, 1976 as  from  17.02.1976,  the  ceiling  with  regard  to  the
   agricultural land has to be determined  as  it  was  existing  prior  to
   17.02.1976, namely, as agricultural land and the same being not part  of
   urban agglomeration the 1960 Act would apply.  We  find  that  the  said
   argument was simply brushed aside. The submission was not dealt with  in
   the proper perspective.

80.  It  was  lastly  contended  by  the  learned  senior  counsel  for  the
   respondent that the case of the appellants was hit by the  principle  of
   res judicata.  In support of the said submission,  reliance  was  placed
   upon the joint affidavit filed by two Deputy Collector dated 06.10.1980,
   filed in a different case viz., in Special Civil Application  No.941  of
   1980 before the High Court of Gujarat where on behalf of  the  State  of
   Gujarat, it was contended that in respect of ‘Bid land’ only  Act,  1976
   would apply where such  ‘Bid  land’  lie  within  the  agglomeration  of
   Bhavnagar and that Act of 1960 was not applicable.   Reliance  was  also
   placed upon another affidavit dated  16.02.2000,  filed  by  the  Deputy
   Secretary, Revenue Department, Government  of  Gujarat  in  relation  to
   Bhavnagar ‘Bid lands’ before the High Court of Gujarat in S.C.A.No.15529
   of 1999, wherein  a  stand  was  taken  by  the  State  Government  that
   possession of Bhavnagar ‘Bid land’ not having been  acquired  and  taken
   under the Act, 1976 prior to its repeal, there  was  no  scope  to  take
   possession of those lands.  Reliance was placed  upon  the  decision  of
   this Court in Palitana Sugar Mills (P) Ltd. and  another  Vs.  State  of
   Gujarat and others (supra)wherein, it was concluded by this  Court  that
   Bhavnagar ‘Bid lands’ were controlled by the provisions of Act, 1976 and
   not by the Act of 1960.   By  referring  to  those  affidavits  and  the
   decision of this Court, the contention was that the stand taken  by  the
   appellant in regard to the Bhavnagar ‘Bid  lands’  would  apply  in  all
   force to the ‘Bid lands’ belonging to the respondent  though  they  were
   situated in Rajkot.

81. In reply to the said submission Mr. Soli  J.  Sorabjee,  learned  senior
   counsel for the appellants contended that the principle of res  judicata
   cannot be applied as the parties were different and  the  subject  lands
   were different and the respondent had  nothing  to  do  with  the  issue
   raised in the decision relied upon by the learned senior counsel for the
   respondent. It was also submitted that since the ingredients to  support
   the principle of res judicata as set out under Section 11 of the Code of
   Civil Procedure not having been fulfilled, the submission of the learned
   senior counsel for the respondent  cannot  be  considered.  The  learned
   senior counsel for the appellants brought to our notice  the  facts  set
   out in the joint affidavits of  the  two  Deputy  Collectors  in  S.C.A.
   No.941 of 1980, wherein it was specifically averred to the  effect  that
   since long time, to the knowledge of  the  land  holders,  the  land  in
   question was demonstrated as meant for residential purpose in the Master
   Plan which was prepared since August, 1976 and that the land in question
   fell within the definition of ‘urban land’ under  Section  2(o)  of  the
   Act, 1976 and therefore the overriding effect of Section 42 of the  Act,
   1976 excluded the application of the Act of 1960.

82. When we refer to the facts mentioned in the joint affidavit of  the  two
   Deputy Collector in S.C.A.No.941 of 1980, we find that  the  submissions
   of the learned senior counsel for the appellants were  clearly  set  out
   therein. The lands which were originally classified as ‘Bid lands’  came
   to be specifically classified as land meant for residential  purpose  in
   the Master Plan prepared in the  year  August,  1976  and  thereby  came
   within the definition of ‘urban land’ under Section  2(o)  of  the  Act,
   1976.  Whatever decision rendered based on those facts cannot be equated
   to the facts involved in the  case  on  hand,  in  order  to  apply  the
   principle of res judicata and  thereby  non-suit  the  appellants.   The
   principle of res judicata is governed by Section 11 of the Code of Civil
   Procedure.  Applying the ingredients set out in the said provision,  the
   respondent is bound to show  that  the  issue  which  was  directly  and
   substantially involved between the same parties in the former  suit  and
   was tried in the subsequent suit, in order to fall within the principles
   of res judicata. Applying the substantive part of Section 11  of  C.P.C.
   we fail to see how any of the ingredients set out therein are  fulfilled
   in order to apply  the  principle  of  res  judicata.  The  parties  are
   entirely different, the fact in issue as  pointed  out  by  the  learned
   senior counsel for the appellants would disclose that they were based on
   entirely different set of facts and circumstances and  therefore  we  do
   not find any substance in the said submission raised on  behalf  of  the
   respondent. The said submission, therefore, stands rejected.

83. When we come to the submission relating to the  concept  of  eclipse  in
   relation to the Act of 1960, as it originally stood as well as after the
   Amendment Act of 1974 by virtue of the coming into  force  of  the  Act,
   1976 w.e.f. 17.02.1976, we wish to only touch  upon  the  position  that
   occurred due to the subsequent repeal of the Act, 1976 in the year 2000.
   We are conscious of the fact that we are not solely concerned  with  the
   said issue of eclipse of the Act of  1960  and  its  revival  after  the
   repeal of the Act, 1976. However, since the said issue was argued by the
   respective counsel and reliance was placed  upon  a  Constitution  Bench
   decision of this Court on this issue in M.P.V. Sundararamier (supra)  we
   are obliged to deal with the said submission. In the said decision among
   other contentions a contention was raised on behalf  of  the  petitioner
   therein which was as under:

      “Section 22 having been unconstitutional  when  it  was  enacted  and,
      therefore, void, no proceedings could be taken thereunder on the basis
      of the Validation Act as the effect of unconstitutionality of the  law
      was to efface it out of the statute book.”




      Dealing with the said contention, the Constitution Bench has  held  at
page 1469 and 1474-75 as under:
      “…..If a law is on a field not within the domain of  the  legislature,
      it is absolutely null and void, and a subsequent cession of that field
      to the legislature will not have the effect  of  breathing  life  into
      what was a still-born piece of legislation and a fresh legislation  on
      the subject would be requisite. But if the law  is  in  respect  of  a
      matter assigned  to  the  legislature  but  its  provisions  disregard
      constitutional prohibitions, though the law would be unenforceable  by
      reason of those prohibitions, when once they are removed, the law will
      become effective without re-enactment.

            The result of the authorities may thus be summed  up:  Where  an
      enactment is unconstitutional in  part  but  valid  as  to  the  rest,
      assuming of course that the two portions are severable, it  cannot  be
      held to have been wiped out of the statute book as it admittedly  must
      remain there for the purpose  of  enforcement  of  the  valid  portion
      thereof, and being on the statute book, even  that  portion  which  is
      unenforceable on the ground that it is unconstitutional  will  operate
      proprio vigore when the Constitutional bar is removed, and there is no
      need for a fresh legislation to give effect thereto. On this view, the
      contention of the petitioners with reference  to  the  Explanation  in
      s.22 of the Madras Act must fail….”
                                                            (emphasis added)

      In the light  of  the  said  proposition  of  law  laid  down  by  the
Constitution Bench decision of this Court, it will  have  to  be  held  that
once the Act, 1976 came to be repealed whatever constitutional embargo  that
was existing as against the Act of 1960 as well  as  the  Amendment  Act  of
1974 ceased to exist and the Act would operate in full force.  In the  light
of the said settled legal position, we need not dilate much  on  this  issue
and we leave it at that.

84. Having regard to our above conclusions, the judgment  impugned  in  this
   appeal is liable to be set aside. The appeal, therefore, stands allowed.
   The order of the learned Single Judge as well as the  impugned  judgment
   of the Division Bench are  set  aside.  The  judgment  dated  08.09.1989
   passed  by  the  Gujarat  Revenue  Tribunal  in   Revision   Application
   No.TEN.B.R.4/84 confirming  the  orders  of  the  Deputy  Collector  and
   Mamlatdar  and  A.L.T  in  so  far  as  Bid  lands  in  survey  No.111/2
   admeasuring 30 acres 30 Gunthas  and  survey  No.111/3  admeasuring  579
   acres 27 Gunthas stands restored. In the facts and circumstances of  the
   case where we have dealt with pure questions of law  there  will  be  no
   order as to costs.


                                                            ………………………….J   .
                                                          [Dr. B.S. Chauhan]





                                                       ……….…….………………………………J.
                               [Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla]


 New Delhi;
 December 04, 2012

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