10 April 1996
Supreme Court


Case number: C.A. No.-006963-006963 / 1996
Diary number: 13261 / 1994






DATE OF JUDGMENT:       10/04/1996


CITATION:  1996 AIR 1819            1996 SCC  (4) 178  JT 1996 (4)   446        1996 SCALE  (3)721



JUDGMENT:                       J U D G M E N T K. Ramaswamy, J.      Leave granted.      This appeal  by special  leave arises from the judgment dated May  27, 1994 made in Civil Revision No.553 of 1993 by a learned  single Judge  of  the  Rajasthan  High  Court  at Jodhpur. The admitted facts are that under Section 52 of the Rajasthan Urban Improvement Act, 1959 [for short, the ’Act’] the land  of Gokul  Narain, the first respondent, along with otherlands, for  construction of  over-bridge, was  acquired and possession  thereof was  taken on  June  22,  1965.  The Additional  Collector  made  his  award  on  June  30,  1976 awarding  a   sum  of  Rs.70,699.82  as  compensation  which included value of the building also. On appeal, the District Judge  by   order  dated   January  27,  1978  enhanced  the compensation to  Rs.2/- per  square foot.  The appellant  as well as  the respondents  carried the  matter in revision to the High Court. By order dated March 18, 1983 the High Court remanded the  matter to  the District  Judge,  with  certain directions, for  fresh disposal  thereof. The District Judge by order  dated November  19, 1985 enhanced the compensation to Rs.11.50  per square  foot and  on further  revision  and remand by  the High  Court by  order dated December 18, 1989 also applied  the provisions  of the  land Acquisition  Act, 1894 [Central  LA Act]  as amended  by Act  68 of  1984  and awarded  solatium,  interest  and  additional  amount  under Sections 23  [2], 28  and 23  1-A] of the Central LA Act. In the meanwhile,  the  appellant  had  paid  the  compensation amount on  March 7,  1977 in  a sum  of Rs.1,18,760/-  and a further sum  of Rs.44,195.60 on May 11, 1982. The respondent claimed adjustment  of the said amounts towards interest and filed the  execution for  the balance amount. The High Court by order dated August 4, 1988 dismissed the  revision of the respondent claiming  adjustment of  the amounts paid towards interest and  his entitlement  to claim  the balance  amount



observing that  the respondent  is not  entitled to  benefit under Act 68 of 1984. The respondent filed the execution for recovery  of   the  balance   amount.  The  appellant  filed objections under  Section 47 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 [CPC]  claiming that  the cost  of  the  acquired  land worked out  @ Rs.11.50 per square foot to Rs.1,19,026.22 and the cost of the building was Rs.3,423.00. Interest payable @ 6% for period from June 22, 1965 upto July 3, 1977, the date of  deposit,   worked  out   to  Rs.85,981.16.   The   total compensation   payable    and   interest   worked   out   to Rs.2,08,432,36. The  balance excess  amount as  on that date including interest was Rs.89,672.38. Interest on the balance principal compensation @ 6% from that date upto May 11, 1982 worked out  to Rs.90,819.12.  Balance compensation amount as on May  11, 1982  and  interest  thereon  was  Rs.90,819.12. Balance compensation  amount as on May 11, 1982 and interest thereon was  Rs.46,623.62. The  amount paid in compliance of the order  of the  High Court  dated   December 12, 1987 was Rs.1,23,000/-. Therefore,  the excess  amount  paid  to  the respondent was Rs.76,376.38. Interest calculated @ 6% on the said excess  amount for  period from the date of the deposit till date of objections, viz., January 16, 1991 to which the appellant claims  to be  entitled is  Rs.14,231.46. Thus the appellant claims  that he  is entitled  to receive  from the respondents a  total refund  of Rs.90,607.84  plus  interest thereon @  6% from  January 18,  1991 till date of decision. The District  Judge by  the impugned  order dated  April 25, 1984 had  dismissed the  objections. On  revision, the  High Court by  the impugned  order dismissed the claim. Thus this appeal by special leave.      The Act  was amended  by Rajasthan  Amendment Act 29 of 1987 which  came into  force w.e.f August 1, 1987. By reason thereof,  the  Central  Amendment  Act  68  of  1984  became applicable to acquisition under the Act from August 1, 1987. Section 60A  of the Act, as inserted by the Amendment Act 29 of 1987, made transitory provision applicable to the pending matters. Pending  the  special  leave  petition,  the  first respondent died on February 17, 1995. A notice was issued on January 2,  1995.  When  the  notice  was  not  served,  the appellant was  permitted to  take out dasti service by order dated by  order dated  February 5,  1996 and when the notice was taken,  the appellant  was informed  that the respondent had died.   Consequently, application for substitution under Order 22  Rule 4,  CPC was  filed on February 12, 1996.  The legal representatives  received the notice as per the orders of this  Court dated  March 18,  1996. We have heard learned counsel on both sides.      It is stated in the written arguments of the counsel or the respondents  that the  District Judge by order dated May 27, 1995  brought the  legal representatives  of  the  first respondent on  record. When  application came to be filed in the District  Court on  May 5,  1995 to the knowledge of the counsel or  the appellant,  it was  ordered on May 27, 1995. The application  for substitution  is barred  by limitation. The special leave petition had abated and, therefore, appeal is not  maintainable. We  find no  force in  the contention. Under Order  22, Rule 10A, CPC, whenever a pleader appearing for a  party to the suit comes to the knowledge of the death of the  party, he  has to  inform about  it  and  the  court thereupon gives  notice of such death to the other party and for this  purpose the  contract between  the pleader and the deceased party is deemed to subsist. It would, therefore, be clear  that  though  the  legal  representatives  have  been brought on  record in  the executing  Court on  May 27, 1995 pending proceedings in this Court, since the counsel for the



appellant did  not have  had the  information, on  coming to know of  the  death  after  dasti  service  was  taken  out, immediately application  under Order 22, Rule 4, CPC came to be filed  within 30  days of  the  date  of  the  knowledge. Accordingly, there  is no abatement of the appeal. The State is not  expected to  keep watch  over the  survival  of  the respondent and  lapse of  counsel to intimate to the counsel appearing in  this Court cannot be construed to be knowledge of death.  Even if  it is assumed that abatement was caused, since application  was filed  under Order  22, Rule  4,  CPC within 30  days from  the date  of the knowledge there is no delay  in   making  the   application  to  bring  the  legal representatives on  record in  this Appeal. There is, hence, no abatement  by reason  of the death of the respondent. The application  to   bring   the   legal   representatives   is accordingly ordered.      It  is  contended  by  Shri  Badridas  Sharma,  learned counsel for  the appellant that the Amendment Act 68 of 1984 was extended  for the  acquisition of the land under the Act w.e.f. August  1, 1987. Under the Act, there is no provision for payment  of solatium,  interest  and  additional  amount either under  the State  Land Acquisition  Act, 1953  or the Central LA  Act. The  Act grants interest @ 6%. The District Judge, therefore,  was wrong  in applying  the provisions of the Central  LA Act  as amended  by  Act  68  of  1984.  The District Judge,  inherently lacked jurisdiction to apply the provisions of  Amendment Act  68 of  1984. The  order  dated December 18,  1989 is  a nullity to award solatium, interest and additional amount under Sections 23 [2], 28 and 23 [1-A] of the  Central LA Act as amended by Act 68 of 1984. Nullity of  the   decree  can  be  raised  even  in  execution.  The objection, therefore, was accordingly raised. The respondent is not  entitled to  claim these  additional benefits except the principal  amount  @  Rs.  11.50  per  square  foot  and interest @ 6%. The District Judge as well as the High Court, are, therefore, wrong in law in dismissing the objections.      Shri Arvind  Kumar, learned counsel for the respondents contended that  the order awarding additional benefits under Sections 23  [2], 28  and 23  [1-A] of the Central LA Act as amended by  Act 68  of 1984 was allowed to become final. The Court, though wrongly, applied the Amendment Act, it did not lack inherent  jurisdiction. Therefore,  having allowed  the decree to  become  final,  it  would  not  be  open  to  the respondent to  contend that  the decree  is a nullity. It is further  contended   that  Section   47,  CPC   contemplates correcting   the   errors   in   execution,   discharge   or satisfaction of  the decree.  The modification sought by way of objections  amounts to  review of  the decree  which  has become final.  Therefore, it  does not come within the ambit of Section 47, CPC. The question, therefore, is: whether the District Judge  and the  High court were right in concluding that the  appellant was not entitled to raise the objections to the  execution of  the decree?  The admitted  position is that the  Act does  not provide  for payment of solatium and additional amount. It empowers the Court to award interest @ 6% on the amount awarded from the date of taking possession. The appellant  having allowed  the enhanced  compensation at Rs. 11.50  per square  foot, though  on wrong  principle, to become final,  it si  bound by it. The only objection raised by the appellant is as to the executability of the decree of additional benefits  under Central Amendment Act 68 of 1984. The respondent  is entitled only to the principal amount and interest @  6% per annum from the date of taking possession, viz., June  22, 1965.  The amounts  claimed  and  paid  have already been  specified and hence need no reiteration. It is



settled law  by catena  of  decisions  of  this  Court  that determination of  the compensation  under Section  23 [1] of the Central  LA Act  is towards  market value  of  the  land prevailing as  on the date of the publication of the Section 4 [1] notification in the Gazette. Equally, so under Section 52 of the Act.      In Prem  Nath Kapur  &  Anr.  v.  National  Fertilizers Corporation of  India Ltd. & Ors. [(1996) 2 SCC 71] a three- Judge Bench  of this Court had considered the scope of power to award  additional benefits  under Sections 23 [2], 28 and 23 [1-A]  of the  Central LA  Act and of the jurisdiction of the court  to decide  as to  when they are to be awarded; on what items  interest and solatium is claimable and upto what date. Equally,  of the  power to  adjust the  amount towards interest was  considered. The  facts in  that case were that the notification  under  Section  4  [1]  was  published  on February 5, 1973. On October 5, 1975, the Collector made his award. On  October 5, 1975, the Collector made his award. On January  24,   1980  the   reference  Court   enhanced   the compensation. The  High Court  dismissed the revision on May 23, 1983. When an application was made later, the High Court awarded damages  for severance and on further application it awarded solatium,  interest and  additional amount under the Amended Central  LA Act. In execution, the respondent raised the objection  as to  the executability of the decree of the enhanced  solatium,  interest  and  additional  amount.  The executing Court  overruled the  objections. The  High  Court allowed the  revision. The  appellant had computed the total liability deducting  the amount  paid  toward  interest  and additional amount  payable including  interest on  solatium, solatium and  interest on additional amount under section 23 (1-A) and  interest till the date f satisfaction under Order 21, Rule  1 CPC  and laid  execution for  the balance amount with interest.  The appellant  had raised  objections  which were rejected  by the  executing Court. In the revision, the High Court  set aside  the order and directed to compute the principal  amount,  adjust  the  amounts  deposited  towards principal amount  and to  proceed with  the execution of the balance amount.  When the  special leave petition was filed, another Bench of this Court suo motu issued notice as to why the additional  benefits ordered  under Sections  23 [2], 28 and 23 [1-A] as well as damages for severance and additional benefits thereon  should not  be set  aside. When the matter came up  on reference  before a  three Judge Bench, this had held that  payment of  solatium under  Section  23  (2)  and additional amount under Section 3 (1-A) are "in addition to" the compensation determined under Section 23 [1]. Payment of interest under  Section 28  is on  the excess amount or part thereof awarded  on reference  under Section 26 or on appeal under  Section   54.  The   award  of   each  component   is independent,  after  determination  of  market  value  under Section 23  (1). The  Court  gets  jurisdiction  to  awarded additional benefits  under Sections  23 [2], 28 and 23 [1-A] only when  the Court  enhances the  compensation and  is not independent of  the power  under section 23 (1). It was held that the  claimants were  not  entitled  to  solatium  under Section 23[2],  interest under  Section  28  and  additional amount under  Section 23(1-A). The liability to pay interest subsists till  date of  deposit of  the amount  into  Court. There is  no liability  to  pay  interest  on  salatium;  or solatium and  interest on additional amount under Section 23 (1-A) which  cannot be  calculated and claimed in execution. The claimant cannot adjust the amount deposited and received towards principal  amount as  against interest. The doctrine of Section  60 of  the Contract  Act is  inapplicable to the



execution  of  the  award  under  the  Act.  Therefore,  the claimant   cannot   appropriate   the   amounts   paid   for compensation towards interest.      In Union  of India  vs. Raghubir  Singh [(1989)  2  SCC 754], Constitution  Bench of  this Court  had held  that the claimant is not entitled to the benefit of the Amendment Act 68 of  1984 in  the pending appeals to pay enhanced solatium and  interest  covered  by  transitory  Section  30  of  the Amendment Act  68 of  1984. It would be applicable only when the proceedings  are pending  either  before  the  reference Court or  the Land  Acquisition Officer. In K.S. Paripoornan [II]  v.   State  of   Kerala  [1995)  1  SCC  367]  another Constitution Bench  per majority  had held that the claimant is not entitled to additional amount when the award was made or possession  take before the Amendment Act was introduced. Since both the events had occurred prior to the introduction of Amendment  Act 68  of 1984, the claimant was not entitled to additional  amount. That ratio is being allowed in catena of decisions  of this Court subsequently including Prem Nath Kapur’s case [supra].      In State of Punjab & Anr. vs. Jagir Singh & Ors. [1995) supp. 4  SCC 626] the Additional District Judge had enhanced the compensation  on March  2, 1978. When the state had gone in appeal,  while dismissing the state appeal the High Court granted benefits  of the  enhanced  solatium,  interest  and additional amount  under Section  23 [2],  28 and  23 [1-A]. Objections were  raised in  education. When it was rejected, this Court  had held  that the  High Court  had no  power to award the  statutory benefits.  It was, therefore, held that the award  of the  High Court of the additional benefits was without  jurisdiction.   This  ratio  is  an  authority  for proposition that  though the  High  Court  has  power  under Section 54  to entertain  appeal, it  lacks jurisdiction  to aware independently  additional benefits under the Amendment Act, when  it confirms  the award of the reference Court. In state of  Punjab vs.  Avtar Singh  & Ors. [(1995) 1 SCC 383] after the  disposal of  the appeal  by  the  High  Court  on November 11,  1982, an  application came  to be  made  under sections 151  and 152 CPC after the Amendment Act 68 of 1984 came into  force. Upon that the High Court on July 22, 1986, had granted  the benefits  under Act  68 of 1984. On appeal, this Court  had held  that the  High Court  had no  power to award the  additional benefits. The same view was reiterated in stats  of Punjab  & Anr.  vs. Babu  Singh &  ors. [(1995) supp. 2  SCC 406, major Pakhar Singh Atwal & ors. vs.. state of Punjab & ors. [1995 supp (2) SCC 401], Union of India vs. Rangila ram (Dead) by LRS. [(1995) 5 SCC 585]. Gurdial Singh &  Anr.   vs.  state  of  Punjab  [(1995)  3  SCC  333]  and Improvement Trust.  Patiala vs.  Land Acquisition Tribunal & Ors. [(1995) 3 SCC 724].      In Union  of India & Ors. vs. Pratap Kaur (smt.) (Dead) through LRs.  & Anr. [(1995) 3 SCC 263], the facts were that the High  Court had disposed of the appeals under Section 54 of the  Central  LA  Act  which  became  final.  Thereafter, miscellaneous applications  were filed before the Additional District Judge  to redetermine the compensation. He enhanced the compensation  on redetermination  applying the principle of belting.  When the  order came to be questioned, the High Court dismissed the revision. On appeal, this Court had held that District  Court had  no jurisdiction under Section 13-A of the Central LA Act as it was neither a clerical error nor an arithmetical  mistake. The  order was  held to be without jurisdiction. The  Court gets  jurisdiction only  on a valid reference made  under Section  18. This case is an authority for  the   proposition  that   Court  has   on  inherent  or



independent power  to determine  compensation  except  on  a reference under  Section 18  and so  District   Judge has no inherent jurisdiction  or authority  to  award  compensation under the  guise of  correcting the  award or  decree  under section 13A.      In State  of  Maharashtra  vs.  Maharau  Srawan  Hatkar [(1995) 3  SCC  316],  after  the  decree  of  the  enhanced compensation became  final, on  an  application  filed,  the Civil  Judge  awarded  the  additional  benefits  under  the Amendment Act  68 of  1984 and  the High Court dismissed the appeal. This  Court had  held that  the Civil  Court had  no jurisdiction  to   amend  the   decree  awarding  additional benefits under Amendment Act 68 of 1984. In other words, the award of  additional benefits  was held without jurisdiction and authority  of law.  In Ishwarlal  Premchand Shah  & Ors. etc. etc.  v. State  of Gujarat  & Ors. [C.A. @ SLP 19039/94 etc.] decided on March 15, 1996 a contention was raised that though the  parties had  entered  into  an  agreement  under Section 11  [2] of  the Central LA Act, they are entitled to the additional  benefits under Sections 23(2), 28 and 23 (1- A) since those components are part of the compensation under the guise  of correcting  the award  or decree under section 13A.      In State  of  Maharashtra  vs.  Maharau  Srawan  Hatkar [(1995) 3  SCC  316],  after  the  decree  of  the  enhanced compensation became  final, on  an  application  filed,  the Civil  Judge  awarded  the  additional  benefits  under  the Amendment Act  68 of  1984 and  the High Court dismissed the appeal. This  Court had  held that  the Civil  Court had  no jurisdiction  to   amend  the   decree  awarding  additional benefits under Amendment Act 68 of 1984. In other words, the award of  additional benefits  was held without jurisdiction and authority  of law.  In Ishwarlal  Premchand Shah  & Ors. etc.etc. v.  State of  Gujarat &  Ors. [C.A.  @ SLP 19039/94 etc.] decided on March 15, 1996 a contention was raised that though the  parties had  entered  into  an  agreement  under Section 11  [2] of  the Central LA Act, they are entitled to the additional  benefits under Sections 23(2), 28 and 23 (1- A) since  those components are part of the compensation. The Land Acquisition  Officer did  not make an award in terms of the form  prescribed which  included the additional amounts. This Court  had held  that payment  of additional amounts is not  part   of  the  compensation.  They  are  distinct  and independent. On the parties having entered into an agreement under Section 11 [2], they are entitled to compensation only in terms  of the contract and not under the Act. In Union of India v.  Hari Kishan  Khosla [(1993)  Supp. 2  SCC  149]  a three-Judge Bench  of this  Court had  held that  payment of solatium, interest  and additional amount for the properties acquired under  the Requisition and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act, 1952 would not be made, since the Act does not provide for such payment.      In umed  Industries and Land Development Co. & Ors. vs. State of  Rajasthan &  ors. [(1995) 2 SCC 563], the question arose: whether  the  Amendment  Act  68  of  1984  would  be available to the lands acquired under the Act, and Rajasthan Land Acquisition Act, 1953? It was held that by operation of Section 60A  of Rajasthan  Amendment Act  29  of  1987,  the Central Amendment  Act would  be applicable only with effect from August  1, 1987. Since the proceedings were pending for determination of the compensation, it was held that solatium and interest  under the  Amendment Act  would be applicable, but the  claim for  additional amount under Section 23 (1-A) was rejected.      It  would,   thus,  be  settled  law  that  payment  of



additional   amounts   independent   of   the   compensation determined for  the value  of the land. They are not part of the component  of the compensation for value of the acquired land. They  are  in  addition  to  and  independent  of  the component of  the  compensation  under  Section  23  (1)  of Central LA.  Act or  Section 52  of the  Act. The payment of solatium, interest  and additional  amount under  Section 23 [2], 28  and 23  [1-A] is  in addition to the payment of the compensation in  terms of  the provisions  of the  Act under which the  property came to be acquired. Admittedly, the Act does not  provide for  payment of  solatium  and  additional benefits except  interest @  6% per  annum from  the date of taking possession.  The Amendment  Act 68  of 1984  would be applicable. The Amendment Act 68 of 1984 would be applicable prospectively from  August 1,  1987  to  the  land  acquired thereafter, Act 68 of 1984 would be applicable under section 60A to  the pending  cases as on August 1, 1987 to determine compensation.      It would  be seen  that under the Central Amendment Act payment of  additional amount  under Section 23 [1-A] and of solatium under Section 23 [2] cannot be applied to the award made prior  to coming  into force of the Rajasthan Amendment Act 29  of 1987.  Section 60A  provides that notwithstanding anything contained  in sub-section  [11 of Section 52 of the Act, where  any matter  relating to  acquisition of  land is pending on  the date  of the  commencement of  the Amendment Ordinance, viz., August 1, 1987 such matters being conducted or action  taken, shall  be subject to the provisions of the Central LA Act. The District Judge was, therefore, not right in applying  the Amendment Act on December 18, 1989 awarding enhanced solatium and interest and additional amount.      The question  then is:  whether the  objections can  be raised in  execution? This  controversy  is  no  longer  res integra. In  Sushil Kumar  Mehta vs. Gobind Ram Bohra (Dead) through his  Lrs. [(1990)  1 SCC 193] a three-Judge Bench of this Court  was to  consider whether the nullity of a decree can be raised in execution. Under the Haryana Urban [Control of Rent and Eviction) Act, 1973 the building was governed by the provisions  of the  said Act.  The Civil  Court  granted decree of  eviction. When  objection was raised in execution the executing Court rejected the same. On appeal, this Court had held  that a  decree passed by a Court jurisdiction over the subject  matter or on any other ground which goes to the root  of   its  exercise   of   jurisdiction   or   inherent jurisdiction, is  a nullity. A decree passed by such a court is a  nullity and  is non  est. Its invalidity can be set up whenever it  is sought  to be enforced or is acted upon as a foundation for  a right even at the stage of execution or in collateral proceedings.  The defect  of jurisdiction strikes at the  authority of the court to pass a decree which cannot be cured by consent or waiver of the party. If the court has jurisdiction but  there is  any defect  in its  exercise  of jurisdiction it  does not  go to  the root of its authority. Such a  defect like territorial jurisdiction could be waived by the  party which  could be  corrected only  by way  of an appeal or  revision. In that case it was held that since the decree was a nullity the validity was upheld in execution.      In Jaipur Development Authority vs. Radhey Shyam & Ors. [(1994) 4  SCC 370] this Court had upheld the same objection raised under  Section  47,  CPC  when  the  decree  awarding allotment of land in addition to compensation was held to be a nullity.  That objection  was  allowed  to  be  raised  in execution  and  was  upheld.  Hiralal  Moolchand  Doshi  vs. Barotraman Lal  Ranchhoddas [1993)  2 SCC  458] relied on by the respondents  is of no avail. In that case though nullity



of a  decree on  the basis of a compromise for eviction of a tenant governed  by the  provisions  of  the  Rent  Act  was pressed for  acceptance, this  Court had held that the party cannot be  permitted  to  lead  fresh  evidence  as  to  the existence of  that ground for eviction. On the facts in that case,  it  was  held  that  the  tenant  impliedly  admitted existence of  statutory ground  for eviction. Therefore, the decree was  held to be not a nullity. As regards the nullity or lack  of inherent  jurisdiction, this Court observed that the decree  can be said to be a nullity if it is passed by a court having  no  inherent  jurisdiction.  Erroneous  decree cannot be said to be a nullity; nor can a decree based on an error be a nullity. Nullity has to be understood in the sense that  it is ultra vires the power of the Court passing the decree  and  not  merely  avoidable  decree.  As  stated earlier, if  the decree  strikes at  the jurisdiction of the court or the court lacks jurisdiction it strikes at the very root of  the authority  to pass  the order or the decree. As seen, the Amendment Act 68 of 1984 has no application to the lands acquired  under the  Act. It  was amended  only w.e.f. August 1,  1987 and  it was  made  applicable  only  to  the pending proceedings.  It would, therefore, be clear that the order  awarding   additional  benefits  is  clearly  without jurisdiction and thereby it is a nullity. Its nullity can be assailed at  any stage  including at  the execution  or in a collateral  proceedings   since  it   strikes  at  the  very jurisdiction and authority of the court.      Under these  circumstances, the  District Judge and the High  Court  are  not  right  and  their  finding  that  the appellant  is   not  entitled  to  raise  objection  in  the execution, is  wrong in  law. It  should  be  considered  in execution only  under section  47 CPC  and not by a separate suit. The  orders of  the District  Judge and the High Court stand  set   aside.  The  executing  Court  is  directed  to recompute  the   liability  of  the  appellant  to  pay  the compensation and  interest @  6% from  the  date  of  taking possession  i.e.,   June  22,   1965  and   order  execution accordingly. In case it finds that the appellant is entitled to restitution  the same would be ordered under Section 144, CPC as prayed for. The District Judge is directed to correct the decree  accordingly and  recompute the  liability to pay compensation in the light of the law declared above and pass appropriate orders according to law.      The   appeal    is   allowed    accordingly.   In   the circumstances, parties are directed to bear their own costs.