The facts of the present case are that the land of the Appellants was acquired via a notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act.
The compensation which had to be paid was awarded by the District Court under the provisions of the Land Acquisition (Bombay Amendment) Act,1948.
The High Court on Appeal held that while the provisions of the Act violated Article 14, it was saved by Article 31-A, and that under Section 299 of the Government of India Act, 1935 which governed the Amending Act, the compensation need not be equal to the value the owner has been deprived of.
Appeals were preferred, which led to this Judgment.
The Amending Act being a pre-Constitution Act, was governed by s. 299 of the Government of India Act, 1935, and as it did not provide for payment of compensation for property acquired in the sense the said expression was interpreted by this Court, the said Act was void.
The Act infringed Art. 14 of the Constitution
It was not saved under Art. 31-A of the Constitution, as, though the land acquired was an “estate” within the meaning of the said provision, the acquisition had no concern with agrarian reforms or even with the regulation of village economy as laid down by the decisions of this Court in N.B. Jeejebhoy v. Assistant Collector, Thana (AIR 1965 SC 1096).
The said Act was covered by Art. 31-A of the Constitution and, therefore, its validity could not be questioned on the ground that it contravened either Art. 14 or Art. 31 of the Constitution.
As Arguendo: The Amending Act was saved by Art. 31(5)(a) of the Constitution and, therefore, the question of the adequacy of the compensation could not be questioned in court.
The Doctrine of Classification would protect the act.