Whether the amount of compensation can be attached, was the question before the Court.
The present Appeal was directed against the order directing the Assistant Commissioner-cum-Land Acquisition Collector to deposit the compensation amount of the acquired land of the Appellant alongwith up-to-date interest before the Registrar General of the High Court and the Registrar General was directed to deposit the same in fixed deposit, with a further direction that release of the said amount shall abide by the decision in the civil suit.
The Respondent Bank had filed a recovery suit against the Appellant and also seeking protection under Order 39 Rules 1 & 2 and Order 38 Rule 5 read with Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC) for attachment of the property of the Appellant and the same was allowed. During the pendency of the suit, Bank sought modification of the above order and the Appellant was restrained from receiving the compensation amount from the Land Acquisition Collector. Objections were filed and disposed vide the impugned order wherein Appellant argued that the impugned order was bad on the ground that the amount of compensation awarded by the Land Acquisition Collector, in terms of the acquisition proceedings was not liable for attachment in terms of the provisions of Section 52-A of the Land Acquisition (Himachal Pradesh Amendment) Act, 1986 besides other grounds. Bank coming to know about acquisition proceedings and passing of award, sought restrain order against the Land Acquisition Collector from releasing the compensation amount in favour of the Appellant and also restraining him from receiving the same.
Whether the amount of compensation can be attached, was the question before the Court. The Court making reference to Section 52-A of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (Act) observed that the awarded amount in respect of the property, which cannot be attached in terms of Section 60 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC), cannot be attached. It nowhere mandates that if the property which can be attached in terms of Section 60 of the CPC, is acquired, the awarded amount/compensation amount cannot be attached. The purpose, aim and object of the provision is only to provide protection to the judgment debtor in respect of the property which cannot be attached in terms of Section 60 of the CPC and protection cannot be extended in respect of the property which is liable to be attached in terms of Section 60 of the CPC. The words, as referred to in Section 52A of the Land Acquisition Act, “in respect of the land” have a significance and are to be interpreted, while keeping in view the provisions of Section 60 of the CPC. Applicant has to carve out that he/she has a prima-facie case, balance of convenience lies in his/her favour and in case restraint order is not made, he/she will suffer irreparable loss and injury.
While considering the question of granting an order of injunction one way or the other, the court, apart from finding out a prima facie case, would consider the question in regard to the balance of convenience of the parties as also irreparable injury which might be suffered by the plaintiffs if the prayer for injunction is to be refused. Further, as per the settled principle of law even where prima facie case is in favour of the plaintiff, the Court will refuse temporary injunction if the injury suffered by the plaintiff on account of refusal of temporary injunction was not irreparable. As held by Supreme Court while granting or refusing interim relief, during the pendency of the suit, in terms of provisions of Order 39 Rules 1 & 2 of the CPC, the conduct of the parties is also of vital importance and hence apart from considering the three basic principles for granting temporary injunction, the Court also to take into consideration the conduct of the parties.
In the context of present case, it was held that the impugned order was discretionary one and was been passed legally and rightly, thus requiring no interference and accordingly the impugned order was upheld.
[Sarvjeet Singh (deceased) through LRs. vs. Punjab & Sind Bank]
(Himachal Pradesh HC, 28.02.2014)