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Monday, March 31, 2014

Land Acquisition Act sec.18,54 = No enhancement basing on 6 km far away situated land in developed area - Award at Rs.4.50 lakhs and odd and Reference court enhanced to Rs. 5.50 lakhs and odd and High court further enhanced to Rs.6.51 lakhs per acre - claiming Rs.10 lakhs per acre basing on the land situated at 6 km away and situated in a well developed area by the side of main Road - Lower courts both rejected the same - Apex court also dismissed the appeal and confirmed the lower court orders = Bhule Ram …Appellant Versus Union of India & Anr. …Respondents= 2014 (March. Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41360

Land Acquisition Act sec.18,54 =  No enhancement basing on 6 km far away situated land in developed area - Award at Rs.4.50 lakhs and odd and Reference court enhanced to Rs. 5.50 lakhs and odd and High court further enhanced to Rs.6.51 lakhs per acre - claiming Rs.10 lakhs per acre basing on the land situated at 6 km away and situated in a well developed area by the side of main Road - Lower courts both rejected the same - Apex court also dismissed the appeal and confirmed the lower court orders = 

  High  Court  has
      assessed  the  market  value  of  the  land  @Rs.6,51,000/-  per  acre
      modifying the award under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894
      (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Act’) under which the land  had  been
      assessed @Rs.5,99,850/- per acre.  The appellant claimed that his land
      ought to have been assessed @Rs.10,00,000/- per acre.=
The award under Section 11 of  the  Act
      was made on 6.6.1994 assessing the market value of  the  land  of  the
      appellant @Rs.4,65,000/- per acre.
      C.    Aggrieved, the appellant preferred a reference under Section  18
      of the Act and the Reference Court  made  the  award  dated  10.1.2007
      assessing the market value of the land @Rs.5,99,850/-  per  acre  with
      other statutory benefits.
      D.    Appellant preferred appeal under Section 54 of  the  Act  before
      the High Court claiming further enhancement contending that his   land
      ought to have been assessed @Rs.10,00,000/- per acre. The  High  Court
      disposed  of  the  appeal  vide  impugned  judgment  and  order  dated
      8.12.2009 assessing the market value of the  land  @Rs.6,51,000/-  per
      acre placing reliance on other judgments in  appeal  before  the  High
      Court.
            Hence, this appeal.=
 Thus, it is evident that the High  Court  in  the  instant  case
      awarded the compensation as per the demand of the  appellant  himself.
      There is nothing on record to show that any other  argument  had  been
      advanced at his behest.
      20.   Before us, what is being argued are the same  issues which  have
      already been rejected by the Reference court 
pointing out the distance
      of the appellant’s land from the Mathura Road and  non-suitability  of
      comparing with other lands.  
We  do  not  see  any  cogent  reason  to
      interfere as the Reference Court has clearly held that the appellant’s
      land so acquired had been at a distance of 6  Kms.  from  the  Mathura
      Road, while other lands relied upon by the  appellant  before  us  are
      adjacent to Mathura  Road,  and  thus  the  lands  are  surrounded  by
      hospitals and residential and commercially developed areas.
      21.   Land of the appellant is situated in  revenue  estate  Aali  and
      appellant claims compensation at the rate which has  been  awarded  in
      revenue estate Jaitpur. 
No site plan has  been  produced  showing  the
      distance between the land in Jaitpur and the appellant’s land, 
nor any
      other evidence is shown to compare the lands and to  determine  as  to
      whether the award in respect of the land in Jaitpur could be  used  as
      an exemplar as only on a comparison would it be possible to arrive  at
      a conclusion that  both  the  lands  are  similarly  situated  in  all
      respects.
      22.   In view of the above, we do not think that the judgments in  RFA
      No.416 of 1986 dated 6.10.1986, Ram Chander & Ors. v. Union  of  India
      in respect of the land situated in Jasola; and in Hari Chand v.  Union
      of India, 91 (2001) DLT  602  in  respect  of  the  land  situated  in
      Tughlakabad have any relevance in the present appeal.
            In view of the above, we do not find any merit in  this  appeal.
      It lacks merit and is accordingly dismissed.
2014 (March. Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41360


                                                                REPORTABLE


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                        CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6251 of 2010


      Bhule Ram                                          …Appellant
                                   Versus


      Union of India & Anr.                              …Respondents




                               J U D G M E N T


      Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN, J.




      1.    This appeal has been filed against the judgment and order  dated
      8.12.2009 passed by the High Court of  Delhi  at  New  Delhi  in  Land
      Acquisition Appeal No. 154  of  2007  by  which  the  High  Court  has
      assessed  the  market  value  of  the  land  @Rs.6,51,000/-  per  acre
      modifying the award under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894
      (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Act’) under which the land  had  been
      assessed @Rs.5,99,850/- per acre.  The appellant claimed that his land
      ought to have been assessed @Rs.10,00,000/- per acre.
      2.    Facts and  circumstances giving rise to this appeal are that:
      A.    Land comprised in Khasra Nos. 752(4-16),  753(4-16),  765(4-16),
      in all 24 bighas, in which the appellant had 1/3rd  share  and  Khasra
      Nos. 757 (6-15), 758(4-17) and 761(4-16), in all 16  bighas  8  biswas
      (full share), situated in revenue village Aali, Delhi, stood  notified
      under Section 4 of the Act for the purpose of construction of Ash Pond
      at Badarpur Thermal Power Station on 16.10.1992 alongwith a huge tract
      of land belonging to other persons in different villages.
      B.    In respect of the said land, a declaration under  Section  6  of
      the Act was made on 23.3.1993. The award under Section 11 of  the  Act
      was made on 6.6.1994 assessing the market value of  the  land  of  the
      appellant @Rs.4,65,000/- per acre.
      C.    Aggrieved, the appellant preferred a reference under Section  18
      of the Act and the Reference Court  made  the  award  dated  10.1.2007
      assessing the market value of the land @Rs.5,99,850/-  per  acre  with
      other statutory benefits.
      D.    Appellant preferred appeal under Section 54 of  the  Act  before
      the High Court claiming further enhancement contending that his   land
      ought to have been assessed @Rs.10,00,000/- per acre. The  High  Court
      disposed  of  the  appeal  vide  impugned  judgment  and  order  dated
      8.12.2009 assessing the market value of the  land  @Rs.6,51,000/-  per
      acre placing reliance on other judgments in  appeal  before  the  High
      Court.
            Hence, this appeal.
      3.    Ms. Shobha, learned counsel appearing for the appellant and  Ms.
      Priya Hingorani, learned counsel appearing in other connected  appeals
      have raised serious issues that the land ought to have  been  assessed
      at the rate on which the land covered by the same  notification  under
      Section 4 of the Act in the neighouring village  have  been  assessed.
      Therefore, the appeal deserves to be allowed.
      4.     Appeal  is  opposed  by  Mr.  Puneet  Taneja  and  Ms.   Rachna
      Srivastava, learned counsel appearing for the  respondents  submitting
      that the market value of the land of the appellant cannot be  assessed
      on the basis of compensation paid in  the  adjacent  village  for  the
      reason that the land is not similar in  any  circumstance,  either  in
      quality  or  geographical  situation/location,   and  thus,  there  is
      nothing on record on the basis of  which  it  can  be  held  that  the
      appellant is entitled for the same compensation which had  been  given
      to other claimants in different villages. Thus, the appeal  is  liable
      to be dismissed.
      5.    We have considered the rival submissions made by learned counsel
      for the parties and perused the record.
      6.    The scheme of the Act is that every  man’s  interest  is  to  be
      valued rebus sic stantibus, just as it  occurs  at  the  time  of  the
      notification under Section 4(1). Thus, the  assessing  authority  must
      take into consideration various factors  for  determining  the  market
      value, but exclude the advantages due  to  the  carrying  out  of  the
      purpose of acquisition and remote potentialities. It is  the  duty  of
      the  claimant  that  he  must  produce  the  relevant   evidence   for
      determining the market value while filing his claim under Section 9 of
      the Act atleast before the trial court or before the  reference  court
      for the reason that the appellate court may not permit  the  party  to
      adduce additional evidence in appeal.
      7.    The market value of the land is to be assessed as per Section 23
      of the Act. Valuation of immoveable property is not an exact  science,
      nor it can be determined like algebraic  problem,  as  it  abounds  in
      uncertainties and no  strait-jacket  formula  can  be  laid  down  for
      arriving at exact market value of the land. There is always a room for
      conjecture, and thus the court must act reluctantly to venture too far
      in this direction.  The factors such as the nature and position of the
      land to be acquired, adaptability  and  advantages,  the  purpose  for
      which the land can be used in the most lucrative way, injurious affect
      resulting in damages to other properties,  its  potential  value,  the
      locality, situation and size and  shape  of  the  land,  the  rise  or
      depression in the value of the land in the locality consequent to  the
      acquisition etc., are relevant factors to be  considered.  Section  23
      mandates that the market value of the land is to be  assessed  at  the
      time of notification under Section 4  of  the  Act.  Therefore,  value
      which has to be assessed is the value to the owner who parts with  his
      property and not the value to the new owner who takes it  over.   Fair
      and reasonable compensation means the price of a willing  buyer  which
      is to be paid to the willing seller. Though the Act does  not  provide
      for “just terms” or “just compensation”, but the market value is to be
      assessed taking into consideration the use to which it is being put on
      acquisition and whether the land has unusual  or  unique  features  or
      potentialities. (Vide: Raja Vyricheria Narayana Gajapatraju Bahadur
      Garu v. Revenue Divisional Officer, Vizianagaram, AIR 1939 PC 98;  and
      Adusumilli Gopalkrishna v. Spl Deputy  Collector  (Land  Acquisition),
      AIR 1980 SC 1870).
       8.   The concept of guess work is not unknown to  various  fields  of
      law as it applies  in  the  cases  relating  to  insurance,  taxation,
      compensation under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 as well as  under  the
      Labour Laws.  The court has a discretion applying the  guess  work  to
      the facts of the given case but it is not unfettered  and  has  to  be
      reasonable having connection to the facts on  record  adduced  by  the
      parties by way of evidence. The court further held as under:
           “‘Guess’ as understood in its common  parlance  is  an  estimate
           without any specific information while “calculations” are always
           made with  reference  to  specific  data.  “Guesstimate”  is  an
           estimate based on a mixture of guesswork and calculations and it
           is a process in itself. At  the  same  time  “guess”  cannot  be
           treated synonymous to “conjecture”. “Guess” by itself may  be  a
           statement or result based on unknown factors while  “conjecture”
           is made with a very slight amount of knowledge,  which  is  just
           sufficient to incline the scale of probability. “Guesstimate” is
           with higher certainty than mere “guess” or  a  “conjecture”  per
           se.”


      (See also: Thakur Kamta Prasad Singh v. State of Bihar,  AIR  1976  SC
      2219; Special Land Acquisition Officer v. Karigowda & Ors.,  AIR  2010
      SC 2322;  and  Charan  Das  &  etc.  etc.  v.  H.P.  Housing  &  Urban
      Development Authority & Ors. etc., (2010) 13 SCC 398).


      9.    In Trishala Jain & Anr. v. State of Uttaranchal & Anr., AIR 2011
      SC 2458,  this Court held that in case the parties  do  not  lead  any
      evidence on record it is difficult for the court to award compensation
      merely on the basis of imagination/conjectures, etc.  The Act provides
      for compensation for  acquisition  of  land  and  deprivation  of  the
      property which is reasonable and just. The court must avoid relying on
      a sham transaction which lacks bona fide and which had  been  executed
      for the purpose of raising the land price just before the  acquisition
      to get more compensation for the reason that fraudulent move or design
      should not be considered as a  proof  in  such  cases  though  such  a
      conclusion can be inferred from the facts  and  circumstances  of  the
      case.
      10.   The market value of the land should be  determined  taking  into
      consideration  the  existing  geographical  situation  of  the   land,
      existing use of the land, already available advantages, like proximity
      to  National  or  State  Highway  or   road   and/or   notionally   or
      intentionally renowned tourist  destination  or  developed  area,  and
      market value of other land situated in the same locality  or  adjacent
      or very near to acquired land and  also  the  size  of  such  a  land.
      (Vide: Viluben Jhalejar Contractor v. State of Gujarat,  AIR  2005  SC
      2214; Executive Engineer, Karnataka Housing Board v. Land  Acquisition
      Officer & Ors., AIR 2011 SC 781; Bilkis & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra
      & Ors., (2011) 12 SCC 646 and Sabhia Mohammed Yusuf Abdul Hamid  Mulla
      v. Special Land Acquisition Officer & Ors., AIR 2012 SC 2709).
      11.   Where huge tract of land had been acquired and the same  is  not
      continuous, the court has always emphasised on applying the  principle
      of belting system for the  reason  that  where  different  lands  with
      different survey numbers belonging  to  different  owners  and  having
      different  locations, cannot be considered to be a compact block. Land
      having frontage on the highway would definitely have better value than
      lands farther away from  highway.  (Vide:  Andhra  Pradesh  Industrial
      Infrastructure Corporation Limited v. G. Mohan Reddy &  Ors.,   (2010)
      15 SCC 412).
      12.   In Ashrafi & Ors. v. State of Haryana & Ors., AIR 2013 SC  3654,
      this Court emphasised  on  belting  system  and  observed  that  while
      determining the market value of the land, the court must be  satisfied
      that the land under exemplar is a similar land.
      (See also: Sher Singh etc. etc. v. State of Haryana & Ors.,  AIR  1991
      SC 2048).
      13.   In Executive Engineer (Electrical), Karnataka Power Transmission
      Corporation Ltd. v. Assistant Commissioner & Land Acquisition Officer,
      Gadag & Ors., (2010) 15 SCC 60, this Court  held  that  in  towns  and
      urban areas,  distance  of  half  kilometer  to  one  kilometer  makes
      considerable difference in price of the land. Therefore, the court has
      to determine the market value on the basis of  the  material  produced
      before  it  keeping  in  mind  that  some  of  the  lands  were   more
      advantageously situated.
      14.   In Ramanlal Deochand Shah v. State of Maharashtra  &  Anr.,  AIR
      2013 SC 3452, this Court held that the burden of  proof  lies  on  the
      land owner and in case he does not lead any evidence in support of his
      claim to prove the inadequance of  market  value  fixed  of  the  land
      acquired, the court cannot help him.
      (See also: Jawajee Nagnatham v. Revenue Divisional Officer,  Adilabad,
      A.P. & Ors., (1994) 4 SCC 595; and Land  Acquisition  Officer  &  Sub-
      Collector, Gadwal v. Sreelatha Bhoopal (Smt)  &  Anr.,  (1997)  9  SCC
      628).
      15.   In view of the above, the law can be summarised  to  the  effect
      that the market value of the land is to be assessed  keeping  in  mind
      the limitation prescribed in certain exceptional  circumstances  under
      Section 23 of the Act. A guess work, though  allowed,  is  permissible
      only to a limited extent. The market  value  of  the  land  is  to  be
      determined taking into consideration the existing  use  of  the  land,
      geographical   situation/location   of   the   land   alongwith    the
      advantages/disadvantages i.e. distance  from  the  National  or  State
      Highway or a road situated within a developed area etc.  In urban area
      even a small distance makes a considerable difference in the price  of
      land.  However, the court should not take into consideration  the  use
      for which the land is sought to be acquired and its  remote  potential
      value in future.  In arriving at the market value, it is the  duty  of
      the party to lead evidence in support of its case, in absence of which
      the court is not under a legal  obligation  to  determine  the  market
      value merely as per the prayer of the claimant.
            There may be a case where a huge tract of land is acquired which
      runs though continuous, but to the whole revenue estate of  a  village
      or to various  revenue  villages  or  even  in  two  or  more  states.
      Someone’s land may be adjacent to the main road, others’ land  may  be
      far away, there may be persons having land abounding the main road but
      the frontage may be varied. Therefore, the market value of the land is
      to be determined taking into consideration the geographical  situation
      and in such cases belting system may be  applied.   In  such  a  fact-
      situation every claimant cannot claim the same rate of compensation.
      16.   The instant appeal is required to be examined in  light  of  the
      aforesaid settled legal propositions.
           The appellant has not put on record as what was his claim  under
      Section 9 of the Act before the Land Acquisition Collector. The  award
      had been made relying upon some other awards. In his  application  for
      reference under Section 18 of the Act, the  appellant  has  inter-alia
      taken the following grounds:
           “(iii)       That  the  land  acquisition  is  very  closed  and
                 surrounded  by  the  developed  and   posh   colonies   and
                 industrial  area  such  as  Tughlakabad,  Railway  Station,
                 Sarita Vihar, Badarpur Town and other colonies …..
             iv) That the Revenue Estate of Aali is surrounded  by  adjacent
                 villages   such   as   Badarpur,   Madanpur   Tekhand   and
                 Tughlakabad.
                  iii) That the land of village Aali is better situated  and
                       has more potential value village Jaitpur as the  land
                       of village Aali is near to  Delhi  and  main  Mathura
                       Road.
                   iv) That  the  Land  Acquisition  Collector  should  have
                       assessed the market value of the land in question  on
                       the  basis  of  the  judgment  of   the   courts   of
                       surrounding   villages   as   Tughlakabad,   Tekhand,
                       Badarpur, Madanpur  Khadar.  Several  awards  of  the
                       Collector  or  courts   are   based   on   the   sale
                       transactions of each other being same area  and  same
                       potential value.”
      17.   The Reference Court while determining the market  value  of  the
      land recorded the following findings:
                 “Since the instances of  sale  in  land  in  village  Aali
           relied by respondents and referred  by  LAC  in  the  Award  are
           available the  sale  prices  of  the  land  in  village  Jasola,
           Tughlakabad and Badarpur is not  required  to  be  looked  into.
           Further  it  has  not  been  proved  on  record  in   case   the
           potentiality  and  quality  of  land  in  village   Jasola   and
           Tughlakabad is the same as that of village Aali and as such  the
           sale deeds pertaining to aforesaid  villages  cannot  be  relied
           upon to assess the market value in village Aali. It has  further
           come on record in other  cases  pertaining  to  same  award  the
           village Madanpur Khadar is located between  village  Jasola  and
           Aali and distance between two villages is about 3  Kms.  Further
           Mathura Road is stated to be about  6  Kms.  from  the  acquired
           land.  Even  village   Tughlakabad   and   Badarpur   are   more
           beneficially  located  than  village  Aali.  For  the  foregoing
           reasons, the rate  of  land  in  village  Jasola,  Badarpur  and
           Tughlakabad cannot be compared to assess the  rate  of  land  in
           village Aali and Ex.P7, 8, 9 and 10 are not relevant.
                 It may also be observed that the acquired land on the date
           of  notification  under  Section  4  was  being   utilized   for
           agricultural purposes and no electrical and municipal connection
           for water was available. Even  the  purpose  of  acquisition  in
           adjacent land, falling in village Jaitpur was  for  construction
           of  ash  pond  and  as  such  there  could  not  have  been  any
           substantial appreciation of prices, as  no  building  activities
           could have taken place. In view of above, the  land  in  village
           Aali cannot be compared with villages Jasola  and  Tughlakabad.”
                       (Emphasis added)


           The Court further held that the three sale deeds referred to  by
      the Land Acquisition Collector in his award could not provide a proper
      guideline for determining the market value of  the  land  acquired  as
      they relate to land so sought to be acquired where value is less  than
      land free from encumbrance.
      18.   Before the High Court, learned counsel for the appellant  relied
      solely upon the judgment dated 10.4.2008 passed in appeal preferred by
      Bishamber Dayal & Ors. from the same village as is  evident  from  the
      impugned judgment.  The relevant part thereof reads as under:
           “Counsel for the appellant submits  that  the  present  case  is
           covered by a  judgment  dated  10.4.2008  passed  in  an  appeal
           registered as LAA 399/2007 entitled Bishamber Dayal  &  Ors.  v.
           UOI & Anr., wherein the compensation payable to the land  owners
           in respect of the same village under the same award was enhanced
           from Rs.5,99,850/- per  acre  to  Rs.6,51,000/-  per  acre  with
           proportionate  statutory  benefits  including  interest  on  the
           amount of additional compensation and solatium on the  lines  of
           the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Sunder v. Union
           of India reported as 93 (2001) DLT 569.”


      19.   Thus, it is evident that the High  Court  in  the  instant  case
      awarded the compensation as per the demand of the  appellant  himself.
      There is nothing on record to show that any other  argument  had  been
      advanced at his behest.
      20.   Before us, what is being argued are the same  issues which  have
      already been rejected by the Reference court pointing out the distance
      of the appellant’s land from the Mathura Road and  non-suitability  of
      comparing with other lands.  We  do  not  see  any  cogent  reason  to
      interfere as the Reference Court has clearly held that the appellant’s
      land so acquired had been at a distance of 6  Kms.  from  the  Mathura
      Road, while other lands relied upon by the  appellant  before  us  are
      adjacent to Mathura  Road,  and  thus  the  lands  are  surrounded  by
      hospitals and residential and commercially developed areas.
      21.   Land of the appellant is situated in  revenue  estate  Aali  and
      appellant claims compensation at the rate which has  been  awarded  in
      revenue estate Jaitpur. No site plan has  been  produced  showing  the
      distance between the land in Jaitpur and the appellant’s land, nor any
      other evidence is shown to compare the lands and to  determine  as  to
      whether the award in respect of the land in Jaitpur could be  used  as
      an exemplar as only on a comparison would it be possible to arrive  at
      a conclusion that  both  the  lands  are  similarly  situated  in  all
      respects.
      22.   In view of the above, we do not think that the judgments in  RFA
      No.416 of 1986 dated 6.10.1986, Ram Chander & Ors. v. Union  of  India
      in respect of the land situated in Jasola; and in Hari Chand v.  Union
      of India, 91 (2001) DLT  602  in  respect  of  the  land  situated  in
      Tughlakabad have any relevance in the present appeal.
            In view of the above, we do not find any merit in  this  appeal.
      It lacks merit and is accordingly dismissed.



      …………......................J.
                                                 (Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN)





      ……….........................J.
                                                  (J. CHELAMESWAR)
      NEW DELHI
      March 28,  2014.?

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                        CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4620 of 2009




      Raja Ram & Ors.                                    …Appellants


                                   Versus


      Union of India & Anr.                              …Respondents


                                    With


      CA Nos.4622, 4624, 4623/2009, SLP(C) Nos.18981, 18982, 18983 and
      18984/2008






                               J U D G M E N T


      Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN, J.




           In view of the judgment in Civil Appeal  No.6251  of  2010,  the
      abovesaid  appeals  and  special  leave  petitions   are   accordingly
      dismissed.
                                             …………......................J.
                                                 (Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN)





      ……….........................J.
                                                  (J. CHELAMESWAR)
      NEW DELHI
      March 28,  2014.?


           -----------------------
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