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Monday, January 5, 2015

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 9693 OF 2014 (ARISING OUT OF SLP (CIVIL) NO.3969 OF 2011) K.R. SUNDRAM @ SUNDARARAJAN & ORS. ..... APPELLANTS VERSUS THE LAND ACQUISITION OFFICER & SPC. TAHIS ..... RESPONDENTS


                                                              NON-REPORTABLE


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION



                   CIVIL APPEAL NO.  9688         OF 2014
                (ARISING OUT OF SLP (CIVIL) NO.22163 OF 2010)

                                    WITH

                  CIVIL APPEAL NOS.  9689-9690      OF 2014
            (ARISING OUT OF SLP (CIVIL) NOS.25939-25940 OF 2010)

                                    WITH

                   CIVIL APPEAL NO.    9691       OF 2014
                (ARISING OUT OF SLP (CIVIL) NO.3568 OF 2011)

                                    WITH

                   CIVIL APPEAL NO.    9692        OF 2014
                (ARISING OUT OF SLP (CIVIL) NO.3570 OF 2011)

                                    WITH

                    CIVIL APPEAL NO.   9693       OF 2014
                (ARISING OUT OF SLP (CIVIL) NO.3969 OF 2011)



K.R. SUNDRAM @ SUNDARARAJAN & ORS.     ..... APPELLANTS

VERSUS

THE LAND ACQUISITION OFFICER
&    SPC.     TAHIS                                                    .....
RESPONDENTS



                               J U D G M E N T

ADARSH KUMAR GOEL J.


1.    Leave granted.
2.    These appeals have been preferred against common judgment  dated  21st
December, 2009 of the High Court of Judicature at Madras arising out of  the
proceedings for determination of compensation for the land acquired  by  the
Tamil  Nadu  Housing  Board,  Coimbatore  Housing  Unit  in   pursuance   of
Notification  dated  18th  August,  1983  under  Section  4  of   the   Land
Acquisition Act (for short “the Act”).  In the group of cases heard  by  the
High Court, in some of the cases Notifications under Section 4  of  the  Act
are dated 25th February, 1983, 7th March, 1983 and 7th September, 1983.
3.    The Collector, vide Award dated 25th November,  1988,  determined  the
compensation @ Rs.200/- per cent.  The Reference  Court  gave  six  separate
awards.  In four of the awards, compensation was determined @  6,000/-   per
cent.  In fifth award, the rate fixed was Rs.400/- per  cent  while  in  the
sixth award, the rate fixed was Rs.7,000/- per cent.  High Court  determined
market  value  to  be  Rs.2,000/-  per  cent,  apart  from  other  statutory
benefits.
4.    We have heard learned counsel for the parties.
5.    From the impugned judgment of the High Court, we  find  that  in  A.S.
No.780 of 2004,  the Reference Court relied upon  sale  instance  at  Serial
No.123 in Exhibit R 2 dated 30th September, 1981.  At  Serial  No.124   sale
of 50 cents of land was for Rs.1,21,212/-  @ Rs.6,06,060/- per  acre.    The
High Court pointed out that an error was committed in treating the value  to
be Rs.1,71,211/- instead of Rs.1,21,212/-.  On that ground, the  High  Court
left out the said sale instance from  consideration  and  by  excluding  the
said material, determined compensation @ Rs.2,000/- per cent.
6.    It is pointed out that the mere mistake was no ground to  exclude  the
sale instances from consideration and after correction of the  said  mistake
the  transaction  should  have  been  considered.   Since  undisputed  value
disclosed in the said instance was Rs.6,06,060/- per acre, the  compensation
should be held to be Rs.6,000/- per cent as determined in the  four  of  the
six awards of the Reference Court.
6.    It has also been pointed out that  the  acquired  land  was  of  prime
location and was easily accessible to facilities like railway  station,  bus
stand, market etc.  There were  lot  of  industries  and  other  educational
institutions in the  vicinity.   The  land  was  acquired  for  the  housing
colony.  These aspects ought to be given due consideration.
7.    We notice the following finding in the  impugned  order  of  the  High
Court :

“However, it has to be noted that having  regard  to  the  location  of  the
lands, which is easily accessible to various other facilities, like  railway
station, bus stand, market etc., it cannot be held that  there  is  a  total
lack of facilities  or  amenities  relating  to  the  land.   In  fact,  the
evidence let in before the Court below disclose that in the vicinity of  the
acquired  land  there  were  lot  of  industries   and   other   educational
institutions.”

8.     We  have  also  noticed  the  discussion  in  the  impugned  judgment
excluding the crucial evidence which has been relied upon on behalf  of  the
land owners, which is as follows :

“Mr. S. Parthasarathy, learned senior counsel appearing for  the  respondent
in A.S. No.780/2004, in his submissions, pointed out that  the  court  below
relied upon Serial No.123 in Ex. R.2.   Learned senior counsel  pointed  out
that the said sale was in respect of the land in S.No.59 and  the  sale  was
also on 30.09.1981 conveying 20 cents of lands for a sum  of  Rs.1,71,211/-.
Learned senior counsel therefore contended  that  when  in  a  part  of  the
acquired land viz., the land in S.No.59, there was  a  sale  more  than  one
year prior to the acquisition and with  reference  to  the  said  sale  when
there was no dispute, there was  every  justification  in  the  court  below
having adopted the value of the said sale for the  purpose  of  arriving  at
the market value to pay the compensation.  We examined Ex. R.2.  As  against
Serial No.123, we find that while the document number is  219/28,  the  sale
was on 28.01.1981 and  the  Survey  number  was  58.   The  sale  value  was
Rs.20,000/- and the value per acre was  Rs.8,000/-.   The  total  extent  of
land was 2 acres and 50 cents.    On further examination, we  find  that  in
Serial No.124, there was a  sale  of  land  in  S.No.226  on  30.09.1981  by
Document No.256.  That was a sale of  50  cents  of  land  for  a  value  of
Rs.1,21,212/-, which works out to Rs.6,06,060/- per acre.   In  fact,  there
appears to have been an obvious mistake committed by the court  below  while
referring to the details of the sale mentioned  in  Serial  No.123.   Though
Serial No.123 related to S. No.58, which is  part  of  the  acquired  lands,
which has been correctly noted by the court below, the court below seems  to
have recorded the sale mentioned in Serial No.124 and even  while  recording
the purchase value, the court below seem  to  have  committed  an  error  in
that, instead of mentioning Rs.1,21,212/-, it has  mentioned  Rs.1,71,211/-.
 We are therefore convinced that the reference to  Ex.R.2  and  the  details
mentioned in Serial No.123 were obvious mistakes and therefore  we  are  not
inclined to accept any  conclusion  reached  by  the  court  below  on  that
basis.”


9.    We are of the opinion that even if mistake pointed  out  by  the  High
Court that value of transaction at  Sr.  No.124  was  wrongly  mentioned  as
Rs.1,71,211/- instead of Rs.1,21,212/- which  worked  out  to  Rs.6,06,060/-
per acre was correct, the view taken by the Reference Court  in  determining
compensation @ Rs.6,000/- per cent did not call for any interference.
10.   Accordingly, we allow these appeals and enhance the  compensation  for
the acquired land to Rs.6,000/- per cent in addition to statutory benefits.
11.   The appeals are disposed of accordingly.


                                                          ……..…………………………….J.
                                                         [ V. GOPALA GOWDA ]


                                                         .….………………………………..J.
NEW DELHI                            [ ADARSH KUMAR GOEL ]
October 14, 2014



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