delivered the opinion of the court:
The sole question here is whether, after a “quick-take” order in an eminent domain action, interest is payable on the excess above the amount preliminarily found to be just compensation or on the amount by which the final award exceeds the amount deposited under the order.
The circuit court of Madison County held in two cases *538that interest was payable only on the sum by which the final award exceeds the total amount deposited by the State. Appeals were taken to this court and we transferred them to the Appellate Court, Fifth District, which consolidated them for opinion. That court reversed the trial court and held interest payable on the excess of the final awards over the amounts preliminarily found to be just compensation. (96 Ill. App. 2d 402.) We granted leave to appeal.
Although the original brief of the property owners in this court, prior to the transfer, and their brief following the granting of leave to appeal argue to some extent in constitutional terms, it is clear that there is no constitutional question before this court. The issue with respect to interest arose by the filing of a petition of the owners. This petition relied solely upon statutory authority and the parties stipulated that the question was the interpretation of the statute. The court then entered an order defining the issues, without objection and in fact by stipulation, which provided that the only matter in controversy was the interpretation of section 2.6 of the Eminent Domain Act. Where no constitutional question was presented to or passed upon by the trial court and the only question is the interpretation of a statute, a constitutional question is not present on appeal. (Calabrese v. Hatlen Heights Sewer & Water Co., 34 Ill.2d 483, 486.) We therefore confine our discussion to construction of the applicable statutes.
Section 2.3(a) of the Eminent Domain Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1967, ch. 47, par. 2.3(a),) provides that before vesting title in the petitioner there shall be deposited with the clerk of the court the amount preliminarily found to be just compensation plus a further sum of one fourth of such amount (125% total.) Section 2.6 provides for "interest at the rate of 6% per annum upon: (a) Any excess of the just compensation so finally adjudged, over the amount deposited by the petitioner in accordance with the provisions of Section 2.3(a) of this Act, from the date on which the. *539parties interested in the property surrendered possession of the property in accordance with the order of taking, to the date of pajunent of such excess by the petitioner.”
“It is a primary rule of statutory construction that the intention of the legislature should be ascertained and given effect. (Belfield v. Coop, 8 Ill.2d 293; Burke v. Industrial Com., 368 Ill. 554.) Such intent is to be sought principally from the language used in the statute, which affords the best means of its exposition, and if ascertainable, will prevail without resorting to other aids for construction. [Citations].” (People ex rel. Mayfield v. City of Springfield, 16 Ill.2d 609, 614-615; Western Nat. Bank of Cicero v. Village of Kildeer, 19 Ill.2d 342, 350.) If the language of the statute is plain and unambiguous there is no occasion for construction. People ex rel. Nelson v. Olympic Hotel Building Corp., 405 Ill. 440; Droste v. Kerner, 34 Ill.2d 495.
The language of section 2.6(a) unequivocally provides that interest is to run from the date of surrender of possession upon the excess of the final award over the amount deposited. This language needs no construction. It refers to the excess over the “amount” deposited, not to two separate amounts. Section 2.4 specifically refers to the amount (not amounts) deposited under section 2.3(a).
Section 2.6(b) does not support a contrary legislative intent. It reads: “Any portion of the amount preliminarily found by the court to be just compensation and deposited by the petitioner, to which any interested party is entitled, if such interested party applied for authority to withdraw such portion in accordance with section 2.4 of this act, and upon objection by the petitioner (other than on grounds that an appeal under section 2.2(b) of this Act is pending or contemplated), such authority was denied; interest to be paid to such party from the date of petitioner’s deposit to the date of payment to such party.” Section 2.6(b) covers an entirely different situation. It applies when the State wrongfully contests an owner’s application to withdraw all *540or any part of his share of the amount preliminarily found to be due. In such a case thé owner is entitled to collect interest on the amount sought to be withdrawn. Furthermore, interest would be computed from the date of the deposit rather than the date of surrender of possession as provided in section 2.6(a). This, in effect, is the imposition of sanctions where funds are wrongfully withheld and has nothing to do with the interest provisions of section 2.6(a).
The judgment of the Appellate Court, Fifth District, is reversed and the judgment of the circuit court of Madison County is affirmed.
Appellate Court reversed; circuit court affirmed.