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U.P. State Electricity Board, ... vs Mahabir Prasad Srivastava

High Court Of Judicature at Allahabad|10 December, 1975

JUDGMENT / ORDER

ORDER Prem Prakash, J.
1. This rule in revision has been obtained against the order of Addl. District Judge, Lucknow, made under Section 16(3) of the Indian Telegraph Act 1885 awarding Rs. 2400/- as compensation for the trees that were cut away by the U. P. State Electricity Board in laying the transmission line (Single circuit Kanpur-Lucknow line). An application was made by the opposite party for award of a sum of Rs. 3,400/- as compensation, the Chief Engineer having determined the amount in a sum of Rs. 320/-. The learned Addl. District Judge upon a survey of the evidence, adduced by the opposite party, held that he was entitled to compensation in a sum of Rs. 2400/-. The State Electricity Board did not produce any evidence in rebuttal of the evidence so adduced by the opposite party. Accordingly, he made an order of the description aforesaid, directing the State Electricity Board to pay Rs. 2400/- to the opposite party.
2. Being aggrieved against that order the U. P. State Electricity Board has come in revision before this Court and the only question that has been raised is that the Addl. District Judge could not have awarded compensation under Section 16(3) of the Telegraph Act 1885 which is applicable only to cases where the telegraph authority causes damage to another's property in order to place and maintain telegraph lines and posts.
3. That brings me to Section 42 of the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948 which gives the Board the powers of the Telegraph Authority in respect to the placing of transmission apparatus in circumstances where its powers under the Electricity Act 1910 shall not be adequate for the purpose. It states that notwithstanding anything contained in Indian Electricity Act 1910 where provision in such behalf is made in a sanctioned scheme, the Board shall have, for the placing of any wires, poles, wall-brackets and appliances for the transmission and distribution of electricity, all the powers which the tele-
graph authority possesses under Part III of the Indian Telegraph Act 1885 with regard to a telegraph established or maintained by the Government or to be so established or maintained.
4. In view of the express language of Section 42, which confers all the powers which the telegraph authority possesses under Part III of the Indian Telegraph Act 1885, in respect of a sanctioned scheme, the contention of the learned counsel for the revisionist that Section 16 of the Telegraph Act was inapplicable does not seem to have any merit. Section 16 of that Act states that if in the exercise of the powers mentioned in Section 10 in respect of property referred to in clause (d) of that section, any dispute arises concerning the sufficiency of the compensation to be, paid under Section 10, clause (d), it shall on application for that purpose by either of the disputing parties to the District Judge within whose jurisdiction the property is situate, be determined by him. In enumerating the powers under Section 10, the Telegraph Act provides under clause (d) of the Proviso that in exercise of the powers conferred upon the telegraph authority, the latter shall do as little damage as possible, and when it has exercised those powers in respect of any property other than that referred to in Clause (c), it shall pay full compensation to all persons interested for any damage sustained by them by reason of the exercise of those powers. Section 10 has been placed in Part III bearing the heading "Power to place Telegraph Lines and Posts." Having regard to the scheme of the Telegraph Act and the language of Section 42 of the Electricity (Supply) Act 1948 it is clear that the Board in case of a sanctioned scheme shall have all the powers which the telegraph authority possesses under Part III of the Telegraph Act 1885 and that if the Board in exercise of such powers causes damage to property, other than the property vested in or under the control or management of any local authority, it shall pay full compensation to all persons interested in any damage sustained by them. Section 16 also appears in Part III and whenever there is a dispute the jurisdiction is of the District Judge to determine the compensation. The finding of the Additional District Judge is that the transmission line in question was being laid in implementation of the scheme sanctioned under the Electricity (Supply) Act 1948. I see no reason to differ from that finding.
5. From the discussion in the above it, therefore, follows that the trees in question were cut away in laying the transmission line which had been sanctioned under the Electricity (Supply) Act 1948 and because the Board exercises the powers of a "telegraph authority", when laying transmission lines in implementation of the sanctioned scheme, the opposite party could rightly make an application for determination of the compensation, under Section 16(3) of the Telegraph Act. It is not a case in which the Additional District Judge exercised jurisdiction which he did not possess. The contention is, therefore, overruled.
6. For the reasons stated in the above. I, therefore, see no force in the revision which is hereby dismissed with costs.
7. Let the record be sent back to the court below without any delay.
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Title

U.P. State Electricity Board, ... vs Mahabir Prasad Srivastava

Court

High Court Of Judicature at Allahabad

JudgmentDate
10 December, 1975
Judges
  • P Prakash