The Article 80 attracts a suit which is: (i) For compensation; (ii) for wrongful seizure; (iii) of movable property; and (fv) under legal process. The word ‘compensation’ includes a claim to recover the value of the goods seized, as well as a claim by way of damages independent of the value of the goods. In Jagjivan v. Gulam Jilani, (8 Bom. 17), it was held that a suit simply to recover the money wrongfully taken under a decree was a suit for compensation under the Article 80.
In Venkatachellum v. Nagappa, (23 MLJ 516), it has been held that the Art. 80 is applicable to a suit for refund of sale-proceeds realised by sale of plaintiffs property by wrongful attachment.
‘Seizure’ means the taking of something out of the possession of its owner. It means taking hostile possession, and not taking possession of what another voluntarily gives. In Jagjivan v. Gulam Jilani, (8 Bom. 17), it has been held that wrongful attachment of money deposited with the Collectorate is wrongful seizure of movable property. An attachment of a debt is not seizure as seizure involves a transfer of possession. By ‘legal process’ is meant process by some sort of Court.
The words ‘under legal process’ do not mean according to law and any process taken according to law is not necessarily a legal process. In Shivrao v. Secretary of State, (AIR 1942 Bom. 300), it has been held that the Art. 80 applies to a seizure under a process issued by a Court, and does not apply to a seizure by the Collector under Section 154 of the Bombay Land Revenue Code as it is not acting as a Court, but is really acting as a creditor.
The Art. 80 governs those cases only where there has been attachment which is found to have been wrongful, because the Court had no jurisdiction or because the attachment was obtained on insufficient grounds and in which there were no additional factors such as misappropriation or theft or conversion of the attached property. In State of Madras v. T. Raman, [(1968) 2 MLJ 586], it has been held that a suit for recovery of movable properties in specie or in the alternative for its price will not be governed by the Art. 80. In Chetan Chand v.
State of Bihar, (AIR 1958 Pat. 572), it has been held that a suit for compensation for the seizure of goods under the Defence of India Rules is no seizure under legal process as there being nothing due from the plaintiff in realisation of which his movable property could be seized and the Art. 80 will not apply. In Hari Charan v. Hari Kar, (ILR 32 Cal.
459), it has been held that a suit for damages for illegal distraint of standing crops is not governed by the Art. 80 because standing crops are not ‘movable property’ within the meaning of the Art. 80. The period of limitation runs from the date of the seizure. A wrongful seizure is wrongful ab initio and the starting point of limitation is the date of the seizure; the wrongfulness or otherwise of the seizure does not depend upon any declaration of the Court. In R. Mehar v. M.
Singh, (AIR 1980 All. 282), it has been held that under Art. 80, limitation commences from the date of wrongful seizure of plaintiffs movable properties in execution of the decree against a third party and not from the date of the release of attachment etc. In Haji v. Abdul Ghaffar, (AIR 1938 Lah. 196), it has been held that this Article (Art. 80) will not be applicable to a suit arising not out of the seizure but out of what happened later.