Baboo Lall Jain, J.
1. This is an appeal preferred by Damodar Valley Corporation (hereinafter also referred to as 'DVC') against the judgment and order passed by a learned single Judge of this Court in exercise of 4he powers under the Constitutional Writ Jurisdiction of this Court. By the said judgment and order the learned Judge directed issuance of a Writ in the nature of mandamus commanding the respondents to release the requisitioned premises mentioned in Annexure 'C to the writ petition application from requisition and for delivery of vacant and peaceful possession thereof to the writ petitioners on or before 30th June, 1991. The learned Judge further directed commanding the respondent No. 5 to nominate an Arbitrator to determine the compensation payable for the premises under requisition, as mentioned in Annexure 'C to the writ application, in accordance with the provisions of Section 8 of the Requisitioning & Acquisition of Immovable Property Act, 1952.
2. The writ petitioner No. 1 B.N. Biswas & Co. Pvt. Ltd. became the owner of premises No. 68/5 Purna Das Road, Calcutta since 1956. The said premises comprises of a five storeyed building. By an order dated February 27, 1951 bearing No. 47/51-Reqn., the entirety of the said premises was requisitioned except the ground floor and the flat on the roadside of the third floor of the said premises under Section 3(1) of the West Bengal Premises Requisition & Control (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1947. Section 3(1) of the said Act of 1947 provides as follows :-
"Whenever it appears to the State Government that any premises in any locality are needed or are likely to be needed for any public purpose, it may, by order in writing, requisition such premises either with or without any or all of the furniture, if any, in such premises."
3. By a subsequent memorandum dated March 18, 1952 bearing No. R 47/51/2526P, the First Land Acquisition Collector, Calcutta determined the compensation payable for the aforesaid portions of the premises at Rs. 2,000/- per month according to English calendar month. Thereafter a portion of the requisitioned premises was de-requisitioned in or about 1956. The remaining four flats as well as the other portions of the said premises that had been requisitioned continued to be under the requisition. Particulars of the requisitioned portion of the said premises are set out in Annexure 'C' to the writ petition. The amount of compensation payable for the said requisitioned portion of the said premises had been determined by the said First Land Acquisition Collector at Rs. l,189.50p. per month payable according to the English calendar month. The writ petitioner No. 1 as the purchaser of the said premises from the former owner, was being paid the compensation in respect of the said premises since after the purchase thereof.
4. The case of the writ petitioner No. 1 is that by virtue of Section 23 of the Requisitioning and Acquisition of Property Act of 1952, the requisitioned portion of the said premises is deemed to be requisitioned under Section 3 of the said Act of 1952, Section 23 of the said Act of 1952 provides as follows :-
"(1) all immovable property which purports to have been requisitioned by a State Government for any public purpose, being a purpose of the Union, under any Provisional or State Act and which, immediately before the 25th day of January, 1952, was used or occupied by the Central Government or by an officer or authority subordinate to that Government shall, as from that date, be deemed to be property duly requisitioned under Section 3 of this Act, and every such requisition shall, notwithstanding any judgment, decree or order of any court, be deemed always to have been valid as if this Act had been in force on and from the date of the requisition and the requisition had been duly made by a competent authority under this Act, and all the provisions of this Act shall apply accordingly."
5. Section 6(1) of the said Act of 1952 further provides as follows :-
"6(1). The Central Government may at any time release from requisition any property requisitioned under this Act and shall, as far as possible, restore the property in as good a condition as it was when possession thereof was taken subject only to the changes caused by reasonable wear and tear and irresistible force : "Provided that where the purposes for which any requisitioned property was being used ceased to exist and the same is not acquired under Section 7, release that property, as soon as may be from requisition.
"1A. Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the Central Government shall "release from requisition-
"(a) any property requisitioned or deemed to be requisitioned under this Act before the commencement of the Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property (Amendment) Act, 1970, on or before the expiry of a period of fifteen years from such commencement :
"(b) any property requisitioned under this Act after such commencement, on or before the expiry of a period of fifteen years from the date on which possession of such property was surrendered or delivered to, or taken by, the Competent Authority under Section
4. Unless such property is acquired under Section 7 within the period of fifteen years aforesaid."
The said Requisitioning & Acquisitioning of Immovable Property (Amendment) Act, 1970 came into effect on March 11, 1970.
6. Relying on the said provisions of the said Act the case of the writ petitioners is that the respondents were bound to de-requisition the said premises on or after March, 10, 1985, that is, on or before the expiry of the period of fifteen years from March 11, 1970, when the said Amendment Act of 1970 came into force. Further, it is the case of the writ petitioners that in spite of repeated requests the said premises has not been de-requisitioned and under the circumstances the writ petitioners had to file the writ petition before this Court, inter alia, claiming for de-requisitioning of the said balance portion of the requisitioned premises. It is not in dispute that the said premises was requisitioned for the use and occupation by Damodar Valley Corporation and/or its officers. The respondents have not de-requisitioned the said premises in spite of repeated demands and virtue of the provisions of the Act, the premises cannot be kept under requisition for any period more than fifteen years.
7. It was sought to be argued on behalf of the appellant that the said Damodar Valley Corporation is not an authority subordinate to the Union of India as envisaged under Section 23 of the Requisitioning & Acquisition of Immovable Property Act, 1952. Under Section 23(1) of the said Act, all immovable property which purports to have been requisitioned by a State Government for any public purpose, being a purpose of the Union, under any Provincial or State Act and which, immediately before the 25th day of January, 1952, was used or occupied by the Central Government or by an officer or authority subordinate to that Government shall, as from that date, be deemed to be property duly requisitioned under Section 3 of the said Act of 1952 and every such requisition shall, notwithstanding any judgment, decree or order of any court, be deemed always to have been valid as if this Act had been in force on and from the date of the requisition and the requisition had been duly made by a competent authority under the said Act of 1952 and all the provisions of the said Act shall apply accordingly.
8. The learned lawyer for the appellant placed before us the various sections of the Damodar Valley Corporation Act, 1948. Section 3(2) of the said Act provides that the said Corporation shall be a body corporate having perpetual succession and a common seal, and shall by the said name sue and by sued. Section 4 of the said Act provides that the Corporation shall consist of a Chairman and two other members appointed by the Central Government after consultation with the concerned State Governments, namely, the State of West Bengal and the State of Bihar. Section 6 of the said Aci provides that the Secretary and the Financial Adviser of the Corporation shall be appointed by the Central Government. The said Secretary shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation. Section 27 of the said Act provides that all expenses incurred by the Central Government for and in connection with the establishment of the Corporation up-to-date of its establishment shall be treated as the capital provided by the Central Government to the Corporation and such capital shall be adjusted between the participating governments in accordance with the provisions of Sections 30 to 36. Section 48 of the said Act provides that in discharge of its functions the Corporation shall be guided by such instructions on questions of policy as may be given to it by the Central Government. It also provides that if any dispute arises between the Central Government and the Corporation as to whether a question is or is not a question of policy, the decision of the Central Government shall be final. Section 51 provides for the control of the Central Government in respect of the said Damodar Valley Corporation. It provides that the Central Government may remove from Corporation any member who in its opinion refuses to act, or has become incapable of acting or has so abused his office as a member as to render his continuance on the Corporation detrimental to the interest of the public, or is otherwise unsuitable to continue as member. The Central Government has also been given the power to suspend any member pending an enquiry against him. The Central Government may declare void any transaction in connection with which a member has been removed under sub-section (1) of Section 51. Section 51(6) provides that if the Corporation fails to carry out its functions, or follow the directions issued by the Central Government under the said Act, the Central Government shall have the power to remove the Chairman and the members of the Corporation and appoint a Chairman and Government has far reaching control over the constitution of and to control members in their places. These powers, inter alia, show that the Central Government has far reaching control over the constitution of and to control the affairs of the said Corporation. The Central Government appoints the Chairman and the members of the said Corporation. It also appoints the Secretary of the said Corporation. It has power to remove the said Chairman, the members and the Secretary. The Corporation is bound to carry out the policies laid down by the Central Government and also to carry out the instructions of the Central Government.
9. It was sought to be argued on behalf of the appellant that by virtue of Section 3, of the Damodar Valley Corporation Act, which provides for making the said Corporation a body corporate, it has become an independent and autonomous body and that it cannot be said to be subordinate to the Central Government. In our opinion the said Section 3, makes it a separate body and only provides for its continued existence which may also be said to be not dependent on the violation of the Central Government. But it does not necessarily mean that it is not or cannot be a subordinate body to any other authority. It is only when a body is a separate and has an independent existence that the question arises as to whether it is an autonomous body or whether it is a body subordinate to any other authority. The provisions of the said Act indisputably establish that the said body corporate, viz., Damodar Valley Corporation, is subordinate to the Central Government and in our opinion the learned single Judge was right in his conclusions to the aforesaid effect.
10. Reliance was placed on behalf of the writ petitioners on a judgment of the Supreme Court (Central Inland
Water Transport Corporation Ltd. and Anr. v. Brojo Nath Ganguly and Anr.). In the said judgment the Supreme Court, inter alia, held as follows :-
"If there is an instrumentality or agency of the State which has assumed the garb of a Government Company as denned in Section 617 of the Companies Act, it does not follow that it thereby ceases to be an instrumentality of agency of the State. For the purposes of Article 12 one must necessarily see through the corporate veil to ascertain whether behind that veil is the face of an instrumentality or agency of the State. The Central Inland Water Transport Corporation squarely falls within these observations and it also satisfies the various tests which have been laid down. Merely because it has so far not the monopoly of inland water transporation, is not sufficient to divest it of its character of an instrumentality or agency of the State. It is nothing but1 the Government operating behind a corporate veil, carrying out a governmental activity and governmental functions of vital public importance. There can thus be no doubt that the Corporation is "the State" within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution.
"The Central Inland Water Transport Corporation Ltd. is not only a Government Company as defined in Section 617 of the Companies Act, but is wholly owned by the Central Govt. and two State Govts. jointly. It is financed entirely by these three Governments and is completely under the control of the Central Government and is managed by the Chairman and Board of Directors appointed by the Central Government and removable by it. In every respect it is thus a veil behind which the Central Government operates through the instrumentality of a Government Company. The activities carried on by the Corporation are of vital national importance. It is ridiculous to describe the Corporation as a trading company. The activities of the Corporation are of great importance to public interest, concern and welfare, and are activities of the nature carried on by a modern State and particularly a modern Welfare State."
11. In our opinion the said Damodar Valley Corporation is not an autonomous body, having the right to formulate its own policies. It is, bound to follow the policies laid down by the Central Government and also to carry out instructions of the Central Govt. The Central Govt. appoints all the members including the Chairman of the said Corporation and has the power to suspend them and to remove them. The Secretary and Financial Controller are also appointed by the Central Govt. The capital is mostly provided by the Central Government. The Act only provides that the other participating States that is the State of West Bengal and the State of Bihar are to be consulted in some matters. However it does not appear from the provisions of the said Act, that any controlling power is directly vested in the said State Governments or any of them. Under the circumstances there is hardly any doubt that the said Damodar Valley Corpn. is a body subordinate to the Central Government. If the said DVC is a body subordinate to the Central Government, then the said Requisitioning and Acquisition of Property Act, 1952, with all amendments thereof applies and the said requisitioned property had to be released from requisition and after the expiry of 15 years from 11th March 1970, as per the said amending Act of 1970.
12. No argument was advanced to challenge the other portion of the judgment with regard to the determination of compensation.
13. Under the circumstances, in our opinion, there are no merit in this appeal and the appeal is liable to and is hereby dismissed. We confirm the judgment and the order of the learned single Judge under appeal.
14. We, however, direct that the order of de-requisition is to be made within a period of six months from to-day. We also make it quite clear that we are not expressing any opinion with regard to the other powers, if any, of the Central Government and/or of any other appropriate authority for acquisition of the said property, if at all they are so entitled under the law, and this judgment and order is not intended to prevent them from exercising such powers, if any.
There will be no order as to costs.
P.K. Majumdar, J.