Inquiry into measurements, value and claims, and award by Collector
—(1) On the day so fixed, or on any other day to which the inquiry has been adjourned, the Collector shall proceed to inquire into the objections, if any, which any person interested has stated, pursuant to a notice published under section 8(1) or served under section 8(2), to any plan prepared under section 7 (if any) and into the value of the land and into the respective interests of the persons claiming the compensation, and shall, as soon as possible after the conclusion of the inquiry, make an award under his hand of —
the area of the land;
the compensation which in his opinion should be allowed for the land; and
the apportionment of the compensation among all the persons known or believed to be interested in the land, of whom or of whose claims he has information, whether or not they have respectively appeared before him.
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(2) The Collector may at any time refer to the High Court for its determination any question as to —
the true construction or validity or effect of any instrument;
the persons entitled to a right or interest in the land;
the extent or nature of such a right or interest;
the apportionment of the compensation or any part thereof for such a right or interest;
the persons to whom the compensation or any part thereof is payable;
the costs of any inquiry under this Act and the persons by whom the costs shall be borne.
(3) Without prejudice to the powers of the High Court, the costs of any reference under subsection (2) shall be borne by such persons as the High Court may direct or, in the absence of any such direction, by the Collector.
(4) Where the Collector who has proceeded under this section to inquire into the objections of any person interested ceases for any reason to hold office as Collector at any time before the making of an award under this section, any other officer who is a Collector may in his discretion continue the inquiry or hold a fresh inquiry. For the purpose of this subsection, the Collector who continues the inquiry of a Collector who has ceased to hold office may act on the evidence recorded by the latter.
(5) Where a Collector who has made an award under this section ceases for any reason to hold office as a Collector before lodging his grounds of award under section 23, any other officer who is a Collector may, if the notice of appeal is lodged under section 23, lodge such grounds of award on behalf of the Collector who has ceased to hold office.
—(1) The Collector’s award shall be filed in his office and shall, except as hereinafter provided, be final and conclusive evidence as between the Collector and the persons interested, whether they have respectively appeared before the Collector or not, of the area and value of the land and the apportionment of the compensation among the persons interested.
(2) The Collector shall serve a copy of his award on all persons interested provided that their addresses can be ascertained after reasonable inquiry when the award is made.
Effect of failure to comply with section 7
12. Where at any inquiry held under section 10 no objection has been made by any person interested that section 7 has not been properly complied with, the award made in the inquiry shall not be questioned in any appeal before the Board or in any court on the ground —
that section 7 has not been properly complied with;
that any notice published under section 8(1) or served under section 8(2) is in any way defective by reason of any failure by the Collector to comply with section 7; or
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that the award does not purport to state the area of the land to which it relates in accordance with section 10(1)(a).
13. The Collector may, for any cause he thinks fit, from time to time adjourn the inquiry to a day to be fixed by him.
14. For the purpose of inquiries under this Act, the Collector shall have power to summon and enforce the attendance of witnesses, including the parties interested or any of them, and to compel the production of documents by the same means, and, so far as may be, in the same manner, as is provided in the case of a court under the Rules of Court for the time being in force.