18 December 1975
Supreme Court


Case number: Appeal Civil 1754 of 1974








CITATION:  1976 AIR  417            1976 SCR  (3)   1  1976 SCC  (1) 843

ACT:      U.P. Town  Improvement Act, 1919-Sec. 36 U.P. Avas Evam Vikas Parishad  Adhiniyam  1966-Sec.  32(1)-Trust  appointed under  an  earlier  Act-Term  of  office  took  place  under subsequent Act-If  invalid Change in the name of the scheme- If invalidates.

HEADNOTE:      On March  21, 1963,  the trustees of the Gorakhpur Town Improvement Trust  were appointed by a notification under s. 4 of the U.P. Town Improvement Act, 1919. The Trust notified a Housing  Scheme on  March 13,  1965, under s. 36. The 1919 Act was  repealed by  the  U.P.  Avas  Evam  Vikas  Parishad Adhiniyam  1966,   and,  the   Housing  Scheme  was  finally sanctioned under s. 32(1) of the      The appellant challenged in the High Court the validity of the  Housing Scheme,  but, the  High Court  dismissed the writ petition.      On appeal  to this Court, it was contended (1) that the trust   was   never   properly   constituted   because   the commencement of  the terms  of office of first trustees took place only  after the repeal of the 1919 Act; (ii) that, the scheme. as  sanctioned by  the Trust,  not being the same as the one  which was  first notified under the 1919-Act, could not be  continued under the provisions of s. 97 of the 1966- Act. and  (iii) that,  the notification  under s.  32(1)  of 1966-Act, which  was to be equated with a notification under s. 6  of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, was invalid because it was not published within two years after the commencement of the  Land Acquisition  (Amendment  and  Validation)  Act, 1967.      Dismissing the appeal, ^      HELD: (1)  (a) Section  100 of the 1919-Act which deals with validation  of acts and proceedings, completely refutes the argument  based upon  a specious distinction between the appointment of  members of the Trust and the constitution of the Trust  and upon  an unwarranted  condition sought  to be imposed upon  the competence of members of the Trust to act. [5D-E]



    (b) A Trust duly incorporated by the terms of a statute cannot be  lacking in  power or  competence to  act  at  all simply because  s. 8  meant to  notify the  commencement  of office of  the first  trustees only  under the  Act, has not been complied  with simultaneously  with or  soon after  the appointment of the first trustees. [5E-G]      (c) The  whole object  of s. 8 is only to determine the date of commencement of the term of office of the members of the Trust  in order  to fix  the date of its expiry so as to enable fresh  appointments to be made in time. Assuming that the Gorakhpur  Improvement Trust  was first  constituted  in 1963, there is no provision indicating that the constitution of the  Trust was  not complete as a soon as it was declared by statute  and a Chairman and Trustees took charge of their offices by reason of their appointment as trustees. This had been done by notification under s. 4(2). Therefore, the need for a  notification under  s. 8  had not  been felt till the expiry of  the term  of office  of the  first trustees  drew near. This  explains why  the subsequent  notification which was really  a corollary of a notification under s. 4(2) took place  so   late  when  the  three  years’  period  of  tion proceedings. [10G-H; 11B-C]      (d) Even  assuming that  the date  of the  coming  into force of  the 1966-Act  Was subsequent to February 21, 1966, absence of  a notification  under s.  8 could not invalidate any proceeding of the Trust. Even if a notification under s. 8 should  have followed soon after the notification under s. 4(2) of the 1919-Act, 2 yet, s.  100 prevents  any such  technical irregularity from invalidating any  proceeding of  the  Trust,  including  the framing and implementation of the scheme. [6B-D]      (2) The  appellant has not shown how any feature of the originally framed scheme, apart from an acquisition by it of a new Hindi appellation, was altered so that it could not be continued under  s. 97(3)  of the  1966-Act. The argument is based on  speculation about the changed character of the two supposedly separate  and different  schemes. The  scheme had been referred  to by the same name in sd far as the locality to which  it related  was concerned. The plots involved were admitted to  be the  same both  in the initial and the final notification. [6E-G]      (3 (a) The object of the notification under s. 6 of the Land Acquisition  Act is  to ensure  that the  Government is duly  satisfied   after  an  enquiry  that  the  land  under consideration was  really needed  for a  public purpose  and that the  declaration was  to operate as conclusive evidence to show  that  this  was  so.  The  conclusiveness  of  this declaration  could   not  be   questioned  anywhere  if  the procedure dealing with its making has been observed. [10D-E]      (b) Under  s. 4(2)  of the  Land acquisition (Amendment and Validation)  Act, 1967,  it is the declaration which has to take  place  within  two  years  of  the  expiry  of  the commencement of  the ordinance.  If  an  unreasonable  delay between declaration  and its  notification is shown to exist it  may  raise  a  suspicion  about  the  existence  of  the declaration itself  or about  the bona  fides of acquisition proceedings. [10G-H; 11B- C]      In the  instant case neither the existence nor the bona fides of  the declaration had been questioned. The appellant had neither  asserted nor shown that no declaration was made within the period of time fixed for it. [11C-D]



JUDGMENT:      CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal No. 1754 of 1974.      (Appeal by  special leave  from the  judgment and order dated  the   9-10-1972  of   the  Allahabad  High  Court  of Judicature at  Allahabad in  Civil Misc.  Writ No.  2830  of 1970)      D. V. Patel, B. P. Singh, for the appellant      J. P. Goyal and Shreepal Singh, for respondents 2-3.      G. N. Dikshit and O. P. Rana for respondents 1 & 4.      The Judgment of the Court was delivered by      BEG, J.  The appellant  before us,  by grant of special leave to  appeal against the judgment of a Division Bench of the Allahabad  High Court,  challenges the  validity  of  a- Housing Scheme,  first notified on r 13th March, 1965, under Section 36 of the U.P. Town Improvement Act No. VIII of 1919 (hereinafter referred  to as  ’the Act’),  and then  finally sanctioned, under  Section 32(1) of the U.P. Awas Evam Vikas Parishad  Adhiniyam   (U.P.  Act  I  of  1966)  (hereinafter referred to  as ’the  Adhiniyam’), and published on 3rd May, 1969 in the  U.P. Gazette.      Learned Counsel  for the  petitioner  has  invited  our attention to the five objections put forward and rejected by the Division  Bench to  the acquisition  for purposes of the scheme. Out  of these, he has abandoned two. He confines his objections to three which are as follows:      Firstly, as the notification under section 8 of the Act of 1919,  indicating the  commencement of’  the term  of the office of the Ist Trustees took place only on 21st February, 1966, after the Act of 1919 had been repealed, the Trustees, who had been appointed by a 3 notification dated  21st March, 1963, under Section 4 of the Act   of 1919,  could not have framed any scheme because the Trust itself was never properly constituted.      Secondly,  even   if  the   first  objection   be   not sustainable, the  scheme, as  sanctioned by  the Trust,  not being the same as the one which was first notified under the Act of  1919, could not be continued under the provisions of Section 97 of the Adhiniyam.      Thirdly, the  notification made  under Section 32(1) of the Adhiniyam  of  1966,  with  regard  to  the  "Rustampur- Tiwaripur Vikas Yojna No. 5", which was to be equated with a notification under  Section 6  of the Land Acquisition Act,. 1894, was  invalid, because  it was not published within two years  after   the  commencement  of  the  Land  Acquisition (Amendment and  Validation) ordinance,  1967, as required by Section 4(2)  of the  Land Acquisition  (Amendment and  Cr - Validation) Act of 1967.      With  regard   to  the  1  st  objection  the  relevant provisions placed  before us are Sections 4 and 8 of the Act of 1919. They are:      "4.Constitution of  Trust.-(1) Trust  shall consist  of      the following Trustees, namely-           (a)  a Chairman;           (b)  the Chairman of the municipal board;           (c)  repealed.           (d)  seven other  persons in Kanpur and five other                persons other places.      (2)  The Chairman and the persons referred to in clause           (d) of  sub-section (1), shall be appointed by the           State Government by notification.      (3)  The Chairman  of the  Municipal Board  shall be  a           Trustee ex-officio.      (4)  & (5) repealed.



    (6)  Of the  persons referred  to in clause (d) of sub-           section (1) not more than one shall be a person in           the service of the Government".      8. Commencement of term of office of first Trustees.-           (1)  The term  of office  of  the  first  Trustees                shall commence  on  such  date  as  shall  be                notified  in   this  behalf   by  the   State                Government.           (2)  A person  ceasing to be a member by reason of                the expiry  of his  term of  office shall, if                otherwise   qualified,    be   eligible   for                renomination".      Section 1, sub.s. (3) says:           "1(3)This section  and section  66 shall come into                force at  once. The  State Government may, by                notification / 4                direct that  the rest  of the  Act shall come                into operation  in the  whole or  any part of                any municipality,  and in  any area  adjacent                thereto, on  such date as may be specified in                such notification".      It is  not disputed that the relevant notifications had been issued bringing the whole Act into operation before the notification  of   21st  March,  1963,  with  which  we  are concerned here, was published r showing that the Governor of U.P. was  pleased to  appoint  the  District  Magistrate  of Gorakhpur as the Chairman of the Gorakhpur Improvement Trust and others as Trustees of it.      Chapter II of the Act 1919 dealing with constitution of trusts, begins with Section 3, which reads as follows: -      "3.  Creation and  incorporation of  Trust.-The duty of           carrying out  the provisions  of this  Act in  any           local area  shall, subject  to the  conditions and           limitations hereinafter  contained, be vested in a           board  to   be  called.   ’The  (name   of   town)           Improvement  Trust’,   hereinafter   called   ’the           Trust’, and  every such  board  shall  be  a  body           corporate and  have  perpetual  succession  and  a           common    seal, and shall by the said name sue and           be sued".      We have  already set  out Section  4 above.  Section  S deals with resignation of trustees. ’      Sections 6  and 7  are  also  relevant.  They  read  as follows:      "6.  Term of  office of Chairman.-The term of office of           the of  the Chairman  shall  ordinarily  be  three           years, provided that he may be removed from office           by the State Government at any time      7.   Term of  office of  other Trustees.-Subject to the           fore going  provisions of  the term  of office  of           every Trustee  appointed under  clause (d) of sub-           section (1) of Section 4 shall be three years".      Section 9  deals with  remuneration  of  the  Chairman, Section 10  with removal  of trustees,  Section 11  with the disabilities of  trustees  removed  under  Section  10,  and section 12 with the filling up of casual vacancies.      Chapter III deals with proceedings of the trust and its Committees.  Chapter  IV  deals  with  improvement  schemes. Chapter VI  deals with  acquisition and  disposal  of  land. Chapter VII deals with finance. Chapter VIII with framing of rules, and Chapter IX with procedures and penalties. Chapter X,  which   is  the  last  chapter,  .  deals  with  certain supplementary  provisions   among  which   is  Section   100 providing as follows:



    "100.Validation of  acts and  proceedings.-(1)  No  act      done or  proceeding  taken  under  this  Act  shall  be      questioned on the ground merely of-           (a)  the existence  of  any  vacancy  in,  or  any                defect in  the constitution,  of the trust or                any Committee or 5           (b)  any person having ceased to be a trustee; or           (c)  any trustee,  or any  person associated  with                the Trust  under  Section  14  or  any  other                member of  a Committee  appointed under  this                Act having  voted or  taken any  part in  any                proceeding in contravention of Section 117 or           (d)  the failure  to serve a notice on any person,                where no  substantial injustice  has resulted                from such failure or           (e)  any  omission,  defect  or  irregularity  not                affecting the merits of the case.      (2)  Every meeting  of the  Trust, the  minutes of  the           proceeding of  which  have  been  duly  signed  as           prescribed in  clause (g)  of sub-section  (1)  of           Section 13,  shall be  taken  to  have  been  duly           convened and  to  be  free  from  all  defect  and           irregularity".      It  is   not  denied  that  the  Improvement  Trust  of Gorakhpur  had   been  actually   working  under  the  above mentioned provisions  of the  Act of  1919.  We  think  that Section 100  of the Act of 1919, in the context of the whole Act, completely  refutes the  argument based upon a specious distinction between  appointment of members of the trust and the Constitution  of the  Trust,  and  upon  an  unwarranted condition sought  to  be  imposed  upon  the  competence  of members of the Trust to act said to be embedded in Section 8 which was, we think never intended to serve such a purpose.      Section 4,  dealing with the Constitution of the Trust, indicates that  the appointment  of the Chairman and members completes the  Constitution of  the  trust.  A  trust,  duly incorporated by  the terms  of a statute, armed with all the powers vested in it by the provisions, mentioned above, of a statute which  has become  operative, cannot  be lacking  in power or  competence to act at all simply because Section 8, meant to  notify the  commencement of  office of  the  first trustees only  under the  Act, has  not been  complied  with simultaneously with  or soon  after the  appointment of  the first trustees.      Section 8  is the last of the three Sections which deal with duration  of terms  of offices  of the Chairman and the trustees. It  is confined  to the commencement of the "term" by which  is meant  the duration  of the period of office of the first  trustees so that subsequent trustees may properly take over  after the  period of office of the first trustees terminates. The whole object seemed to be only to deter mine the date  of commencement  of their term in order to fix the date of  its expiry so as to enable fresh appointments to be made in  time. Assuming that the Gorakhpur improvement Trust was  first  constituted  in  1963,  there  is  no  provision indicating that  the  constitution  of  the  trust  was  not complete as  soon as  it  was  declared  by  statute  and  a Chairman and trustees took charge of their offices by reason of their  appointment as trustees. This had been done by the notification 6 under Section  4(2). Therefore,  the need for a notification under Section  8 does  not seem  to have been felt until the time when  the expiry  of the  fixed term  of office  of the



first trustees  drew near.  This explains why the subsequent notification, which was really a corollary of a notification under Section 4(2), took place so late when the three years’ period of their offices was about to come to an end.      A notification  under  Section  8  was  probably  quite unnecessary by  reason of Sections 96 and 97 of Adhiniyam of 1966 which  repealed U.P. Act No. VIII of 1919 and dissolved the trust "on and from the date on which" the Adhiniyam came into force  in an area. However, even assuming that the date of the  coming into  force of the Adhiniyam, and, therefore, the repeal  of the  Act for Gorakhpur was subsequent to 21st February, 1966,  the absence of a notification under Section 8 could  not, in  our opinion,  invalidate any proceeding of the Trust. It was conceded that a notification under Section 8 could  have been  combined  with  the  notification  under Section 4(2).  Even if,  strictly speaking,  a  notification under  Section   8  should  have  followed  soon  after  the notification under  Section 4(2)  of the  Act of  1919, yet, Section 100  prevents any  such technical  irregularity from invalidating any  proceeding of  the  trust,  including  the framing and implementation of the Scheme before us.      Coming to  the second  objection, we find that the only ground upon  which it  is pressed  is that  the  preliminary notification, of  which no  copy has  been placed before us, was said  to contain  what is  described as  "a housing  and accommodation scheme", falling under Section 24(g) read with Section  31  of  the  Act  of  1919,  whereas,  the  finally sanctioned scheme,  called "Rustampur  Tiwaripur Vikas Yojna No. 5  KP". which  is translated  by learned Counsel for the appellant as  a "Land Development Scheme" is alleged to fall under Section 24(f) read with Section 30 of the Act of 1919. This argument  seems based  on mere  speculation  about  the changed  character   of  the  two  supposedly  separate  and different schemes.  The scheme  had been  referred to by the same name  in so  far  as  locality,  to  which  the  scheme relates, is concerned. The plots involved are admitted to be the same  both in the initial and final notifications. It is immaterial that  Section 24  of the  Act of 1919 lists eight types of  Schemes. We have not been shown how any feature of the originally  framed scheme,  apart from an acquisition by it of  a new Hindi appellation, was altered so that it could not be  continued under  Section 97(3)  of the  Adhiniyam of 1966 which lays down:           "97(3) Every  scheme and  all proceedings relating      thereto under the U.P. Town Improvement Act, 1919 (U.P.      Act VIII  of 1919), including proceedings for the levy.      assessment or  recovery of  betterment tax,  pending on      the appointed day shall stand transferred to the Board,      which shall proceed further with the scheme or with the      execution thereof  or  with  the  levy,  assessment  or      recovery of  betterment fee  in  connection  therewith,      from, the stage at which it 7      was  transferred   to  it,   in  accordance   with  the      corresponding provisions of this Act:           Provided that  the Board  may, if  it thinks  fit,      recall any  step or  proceeding  already  gone  through      under the  said Act  and take  that step  or proceeding      afresh under the corresponding provision of this Act".      The third  objection appears,  at first  sight,  to  be little more  substantial than  the first two, but, on closer examination, we  find it to be also untenable for reasons we now proceed to give. We have  already noticed  that the  dates  of  notifications under Section 36 of the Act of 1919, and under Section 32(1)



of the Adhiniyam of 1966 were 13th March, 1965, and 3rd May, 1969, respectively.      Section 36 of the Act of 1919 provided:           "36. Preparation,  publication and transmission of      notice  as   to  improvement  schemes,  and  supply  of      documents  to   applicants.-(1)  When  any  improvement      scheme has  been framed,  the  Trust  shall  prepare  a      notice, stating:-           (a)  the fact that the scheme has been framed,           (b)  the boundaries  of the  area comprised in the                scheme, and           (c)  the place at which particulars of the scheme,                a map  of the  area comprised  in the scheme,                and a  statement of  the  land  which  it  is                proposed  to   acquire,  may   be   seen   at                reasonable hours           (2)  The Trust shall:-           (a)  cause the  said notice to be published weekly                for three  consecutive weeks  in the official                Gazette  and   in  a   local  newspaper-   or                newspapers (if  any) with  a statement of the                period  within   which  objections   will  be                received, and,           (b)  send a  copy of the notice to the Chairman of                the municipal board.           (3)  The   Chairman  shall  cause  copies  of  all                documents   referred to in clause (c) of sub-                section (1)  to be delivered to any applicant                on payment  of such fees as may be prescribed                by rule under Section 73".      Section 56 of the Act of 1919 reads:           "56.  Power   to  acquire   land  under  the  Land      Acquisition Act, 1894,-The Trust may, with the previous      sanction of  the State  Government, acquire  land under      the provisions  of the  Land Acquisition  Act, 1894, as      modified by  the provisions  of this  Act, for carrying      out any of the purposes of this Act". 2-L390SCI/76 8      Section 58  of the Act indicates that the modifications made by  the Act, subject to which the procedure of the Land Acquisition Act  of 1894  is to be applied to a scheme under the Act, are given in paragraph 2 of the schedule to the Act which lays down:           "2. Notification  under Section  4 and declaration      under Section  6 to  be replaced by notifications under      Sections 36 and 42 of this Act.-           (1) The  first  publication  of  a  notice  of  an      improvement   Scheme under Section 36 of this Act shall      be  substituted   for  and  have  the  same  effect  as      publication  in   the  official   Gazette  and  in  the      locality, of  a notification  under sub-section  (1) of      Section 4  of the  said Act, except where a declaration      under Section  4 or  Section 6  of  the  said  Act  has      previously been . made and is still in force.           (2) Subject  to the  provisions of Sections 10 and      11 of  this Schedule,  the issue of a notice under sub-      section (4)  of Section 29 in the case of land acquired      under that  sub-section, and  in  any  other  case  the      publication of a notification under Section 42 shall be      substituted  for   and  have   the  same  effect  as  a      declaration by  the State Government under Section 6 of      the said  Act, unless  a  declaration  under  the  last      mentioned section has previously been made and is still      in force".



    Section 97  of the  Adhiniyam, already  set out  above, applies the  corresponding provisions  of the  Adhiniyam  of 1966 to proceedings begun under the Act of 1919.      It is  clear, from  the provisions  set out above, that the Act and the Adhiniyam apply Sections 4 and 6 of the Land Acquisition Act,  1894, to  the acquisition  for the  scheme before us  in so  far as  their effects are concerned. It is arguable that,  if the  effectiveness of the notifications t under Sections  4 and  6 of  the Land Acquisition Act is cut down or  modified or  amended in  any way, subsequent to the date of the passing of the Adhiniyam, the amendments may not apply, but  the effect  of the  notifications, where the Act and the  Adhiniyam were  enacted, would  be all that need be considered. It  is true  that  the  notices  are  procedural matters, but  they affect  substantive rights  as well.  The date of  notification under  Section 4 affects the amount of compensation which  may be  determined  and  a  notification under Section  6 operates  as conclusive  evidence that  the land  is  needed  for  a  public  purpose  and  enables  the appropriate Government  to  proceed  to  acquire  the  land. Nevertheless,  an   acquisition  under  Section  56  of  the repealed Act as well as under Section 55 of the Adhiniyam of 1966 takes  place expressly "under" the Land Acquisition Act of 1894.  This may  well mean  that,  if  the  machinery  of acquisition is modified in some respect by an amendment, the amended machinery  alone can  apply. The  High Court had not decided  this  question.  We  also  think  that  it  is  not necessary for  us to decide this question as it has not been argued, on  behalf of  the respondent, that the amendment of the Land   Acquisition  Act, 1967, would not apply here. We, therefore, proceed 9 on the  assumption that the Land Acquisition Act, as amended in 1967, was applicable here.      Section 4(2)  of the  Land Acquisition  (Amendment  and Validation) Act 1967, lays down:           "4(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in clause      (b) of  sub-section (1), no declaration under section 6      of the  principal Act  in respect of any land which has      been notified  before  the  commencement  of  the  Land      Acquisition (Amendment  & Validation)  ordinance, 1967,      sub-section (1)  of Section  4 of  the  Principal  Act,      shall be  made after  expiry  of  two  years  from  the      commencement of the said ordinance".      In the  case before  us, the  first notification  under Section  36  of  the  Act,  having  been  equated  with  the preliminary  notification   under  Section  4  of  the  Land Acquisition Act  and published  on  13th  March,  1965,  the "declaration" under  Section 6  had to  be made  within  two years of  the coming  into force  of the  ordinance on  20th January,  1967.  Neither  the  declaration  nor  the  actual notification have  been placed  before us. Nevertheless, the contention on  behalf of  the  appellant  is  that,  as  the notification under  Section 32(1.)  of  the  Adhiniyam  took place on  3rd May,  1969, no  declaration under Section 6 of the Land  Acquisition Act  could be  made on  this date, the last date  for such declaration being 19th January, 1969. No doubt both  sides are  agreed that,  as the  judgment of the High Court  reveals, the  date  of  the  notification  under Section 32(1)  of  the  Adhiniyam  is  3rd  May,  1969.  We, however, think  that the  appellant’s contention  before  us ignores the very apparent distinction made in the provisions of  Section   6  of  the  Land  Acquisition  Act  between  a declaration and its notification.      Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act reads as follows:



         "6(1) Subject  to the  provisions of  Part VII  of      this Act, when the appropriate Government is satisfied,      after  considering  the  report,  if  any,  made  under      Section SA,  sub-section (2),  that any particular land      is needed  for a  public purpose,  or for  a Company, a      declaration shall  be made  to that  effect  under  the      signature of  a Secretary to such Government or of some      officer duly  authorized to  certify  its  orders,  and      different declarations  may be made from time to time .      in respect  of different parcels of any land covered by      the same notification under Section 4, sub-section (1),      irrespective of whether one report or different reports      has or have been made (wherever required) under Section      SA, sub-section (2):      Provided  that   no  declaration   in  respect  of  any particular land  covered by  a notification under Section 4, sub-section (1),  published after  the commencement  of  the Land Acquisition (Amendment and Validation) ordinance, 10           1967, shall  be made  after the  expiry  of  three      years from the date of such publication.           Provided further that no such declaration shall be      made unless  the compensation  to be  awarded for  such      property is  to be  paid by  a Company,  or  wholly  or      partly out  of public  revenues or some fund controlled      or managed by a local authority.           (2) Every  declaration shall  be published  in the      official Gazette, and shall state the district or other      territorial division  in which the land is situate, the      purpose for  which it  is needed, its approximate area,      and, where a plan shall have been made of the land, the      place where such plan may be inspected.           (3)  The  said  declaration  shall  be  conclusive      evidence that  the land  is needed for a public purpose      or for a Company, as the case may be; and, after making      such  declaration,   the  appropriate   Government  may      acquire the land in manner hereinafter appearing"      It is  clear from the provisions set out above that the object of the notification under Section 6 is to ensure that the Government  is duly satisfied, after an enquiry at which parties  concerned   are  heard,   that   the   land   under consideration is really needed for a public purpose and that the declaration is to operate as conclusive evidence to show that this  is so.  The conclusiveness  of  this  declaration cannot be  questioned anywhere if the procedure dealing with its making  has been  observed. The notification which takes place under  Section 6(2), set out above, follows and serves only as  evidence of  the declaration.  That the declaration mentioned in  Section 6(1),, set out above, differs from its notification is  shown by  the fact that it has to be signed by  a  Secretary  or  other  officer  duly  authorized.  The declaration is  in the form of an order. The notification is its publication  and proof  of its  existence. It  has  been shown, in  the case  before us  that the deemed notification under Section  6 took  place about  three and  a half months after the  expiry of  two years from the commencement of the ordinance of  1967. But,  it is  not argue  on behalf of the appellant that the declaration under Section 6 was similarly delayed. Presumably, it was  within time.      A look  at the amendment introduced by the Section 4(2) of the  Land Acquisition  (Amendment  and  Validation)  Act, 1967, shows  that it  is the  declaration which  has to take place within  two years of the expiry of the commencement of the ordinance  which came  into force on 20th January, 1967. In fact,  Section 4(2) of the Amendment Act of 1967, set out



above, itself  makes a  distinction between  a "declaration" under Section  6 and  its "notification"  under Section 4 of the principal  Act. It  does not  say that  no  notification under Section  6 of  the principal Act can take place beyond the time  fixed. The prohibition is confined to declarations made beyond  the  specified  period.  If  the  case  of  the appellant could be that no declaration was 11 made within  the prescribed  time, it  was his duty to prove it. He has  not discharged that onus.      As indicated  by the  Division Bench  of the  Allahabad High Court,  the amendment  of 1967,  was the  result  of  a decision of this Court in the State of Madhya Pradesh & Ors. v.  Vishnu   Prasad  Sharma  &  Ors.(1)  holding  successive notifications, under  Section 6,  with excessive intervening delay between  a  notification  under  Section  4(2)  and  a declaration under  Section 6,  keeping the  owner  or  other person entitled to compensation in suspense all the time, to be illegal. It may be that, if an unreasonable delay between a declaration and its notification is shown to exist, it may raise a  suspicion about  the existence  of the  declaration itself or  about the  bona fides of acquisition proceedings. This, however,  is not  the position  in the case before us. Neither the  existence nor the bona fides of the declaration have been  questioned. It  has not  been either  asserted or shown, as  already mentioned,  that no  declaration was made with in  the period  of time  fixed for  it. We,  therefore, reject the last objection also.      Consequently, we  dismiss  this  appeal,  but,  in  the circumstances of the case, we make no order as to costs. P.B.R.                                     Appeal dismissed. (1) [1966] 3 S.C.R. 557. 12