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Friday, May 26, 2017

Land acquisition Act- In the matter on hand, none of the parties have led oral evidence in support of their respective cases. However, certified copies of the two Sale Deeds are available on record which came to be produced by the parties before the Reference Court. The Sale Deed dated 24.01.1974 relied upon by the appellants depicts the price of one bigha of the property sold through the said sale deed was at Rs. 7,000/-, whereas the respondents relied upon the certified copy of Sale Deed dated 19.03.1971 which shows that the land therein was sold at the rate of Rs. 2,000/- per bigha under the said Sale Deed.-Though the Reference Court as well as the High Court have assigned valid reasons for not relying upon the Sale Deed dated 24.01.1974 relied upon by the claimants, have erred in ignoring to consider the Sale Deed dated 19.03.1971 produced by the respondents. The Reference Court as well as the High Court have merely observed, in the course of the judgment, that certified copy of such Sale Deed is produced by the respondents, but no further discussion was made as to why the said Sale Deed was not considered.- we do not find any reason to ignore the Sale Deed produced by the respondents in support of their case. As mentioned supra, the Sale Deed dated 19.03.1971 is in respect of 11 bighas and 10 biswas of land situated in the village Roshan Pura. As per the said Sale Deed, the price per bigha of the land involved therein would be about Rs. 2000/-. Prima facie, the land in question as well as the land covered under the Sale Deed dated 19.03.1971 are approximately having the similar dimension and are situated in the same village i.e. Roshan Pura. The respondents being the beneficiaries under the acquisition have themselves relied upon the Sale Deed dated 19.03.1971 as the sole basis to oppose the prayer of the claimants. Some sort of guess work is necessary while determining compensation for the land acquired. One has to perceive from the view point of the prudent purchaser. As the acquisition is of the year 1973, we do not wish to remit the matter to Reference Court. Having regard to the totality of the facts and circumstances of the matter, in our considered opinion, the compensation may be determined relying upon the Sale Deed dated 19.03.1971 particularly when there is no other reliable material on record. Since the land under the said Sale Deed dated 19.03.1971 was valued at a sum of Rs. 2,000/- per bigha, and as the land in question was acquired in the year 1973, the compensation can be determined by adding 15% of the value of the sale consideration per year keeping in mind the escalation in price of the lands day by day. Normally 15% escalation is taken, per year by this Court in recent times while quantifying compensation. Thus, the claimants would be entitled to Rs. 2,600/- per bigha.

                                                              NON-REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                        CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5630 of 2017
              (Arising out of S.L.P. (Civil) No.14272 of 2015)

      Jage Ram (D) Thr. Lrs.                             ….Appellant(s)

                                    Versus

                  Union          of          India          &           Anr.
…..Respondent(s)

                                  WITH

                        CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5631 of 2017
              (Arising out of S.L.P. (Civil) No.14277 of 2015)

                               J U D G M E N T



MOHAN M. SHANTANAGOUDAR, J.


      The appellants are owners of the land to  an  extent  of  ½  share  in
Khasra No. 46 (4-08), 462 (4-16), 463 (4-14), totally  measuring  13  bighas
18 biswas situated in revenue estate of  Village  Roshan  Pura,  New  Delhi.
The land was acquired  for  the  public  purpose  of  construction  of  Sub-
Divisional Office.  The Land Acquisition Collector passed the Award  bearing
no. 45/78-79, awarding compensation at the rate of  Rs.  2,200/-  per  bigha
along with statutory benefits such as solatium, interest  etc.  as  provided
under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.

1.    The appellants, being dissatisfied with the  quantum  of  compensation
awarded by the Land Acquisition Collector, filed petition under  Section  18
of the Land Acquisition Act.  The said petition came to be dismissed by  the
Reference Court/Additional District Judge, Delhi on 04.10.2005  in  LA  Case
No. 896 of 1993.  The appellants further approached the High Court of  Delhi
by filing LA.A.No.34/2006 and L.A.A.No.35-54/2006  which  also  came  to  be
dismissed.   The  appellants  are  aggrieved  by  the  award  of  the   Land
Acquisition Collector, Award passed by the Reference Court  as  well  as  by
the judgment of the High Court.

2.      Mr.   Arvind   K.   Sharma,   the   learned    counsel    for    the
claimants/appellants submitted that the Reference Court as well as the  High
Court were  not  justified  in  ignoring  the  Sale  Deed  dated  24.01.1974
produced by the claimants in respect of the land measuring 4 bighas  and  16
biswas situated adjoining Chhawla  Gurgaon  Road  in  village  Roshan  Pura,
Delhi  which  depicts  that  the  price  per  bigha  was  about  Rs.7,000/-.
According to him, though no relevant evidence  is  adduced  by  the  parties
including the claimants, the aforementioned certified copy of the sale  deed
could be sufficient evidence in support of the case  of  the  claimants  for
getting higher compensation.

3.    Per contra, Ms. Garima Prashad, learned counsel  for  the  respondents
argued that the Land Acquisition Collector has sufficiently compensated  the
claimants in respect of the acquired land therefore, the Reference Court  as
well as the High Court were justified in dismissing the  contention  of  the
claimants for enhanced compensation.

4.    In the matter on hand, none of the parties have led oral  evidence  in
support of their respective cases.  However, certified  copies  of  the  two
Sale Deeds are available on record which came to be produced by the  parties
before the Reference Court. The Sale Deed dated 24.01.1974  relied  upon  by
the appellants depicts the price of one bigha of the property  sold  through
the said sale deed was at Rs. 7,000/-, whereas the respondents  relied  upon
the certified copy of Sale Deed dated 19.03.1971 which shows that  the  land
therein was sold at the rate of Rs. 2,000/- per bigha under  the  said  Sale
Deed.

5.    Though the Reference Court as well as the  High  Court  have  assigned
valid reasons for not relying upon the Sale  Deed  dated  24.01.1974  relied
upon by the claimants, have erred in ignoring  to  consider  the  Sale  Deed
dated 19.03.1971 produced by the respondents.  The Reference Court  as  well
as the High Court have merely observed, in the course of the judgment,  that
certified copy of such Sale Deed is produced  by  the  respondents,  but  no
further  discussion  was  made  as  to  why  the  said  Sale  Deed  was  not
considered.

6.    We do not want to burden this  judgment  by  reiterating  the  reasons
assigned by the Reference Court as well as the High Court while refusing  to
rely  on  the  Sale  Deed  dated  24.01.1974  produced  by   the   claimants
particularly when we find that the courts have on facts justified  in  doing
so.  We also find that there is  no  evidence  to  show  the  similarity  in
location/situation of the acquired land vis-à-vis  the  land  which  is  the
subject matter of the  Sale  Deed  dated  24.01.1974.   Moreover,  the  land
involved in the Sale Deed dated 24.01.1974 is relatively  very  small  piece
of land having dimension to the extent of 1/4th of  the  land  in  question.
While awarding the compensation for the acquired land, the Court  must  take
into account several factors including fertility,  yield,  nature  of  soil,
comparative sale statistics, its present use, its capacity  for  the  higher
potential, the precise location, potentiality to  use  for  non-agricultural
purposes,  the use to which the land was put, its’ proximity to  develop  as
urban area etc. etc.  It is also to be  borne  in  mind  the  special  value
which ought to be attached in respect of the  special  advantages,  if  any,
possessed by the land.   In  the  matter  on  hand  unfortunately,  no  such
evidence was let in by the claimants to show that  the  land  covered  under
Sale Deed dated 24.01.1974 is having  the  similar  characteristics  as  the
land in question.  Therefore, both the Courts below have rightly not  relied
upon the Sale Deed dated 24.01.1974 while coming to the conclusion.

7.    Learned counsel for the appellants relied upon  the  judgment  in  the
case of Suresh Prasad @ Hari Kishan & Ors. Vs. Union of India & Ors.  (Civil
Appeal No. 1726 of 2015 decided on 18.3.2015) wherein this Court  has  fixed
compensation of Rs. 22,00,000/- (Rupees twenty two lakhs only) per  acre  in
respect of the  land  acquired  under  Acquisition  Notification  issued  on
5.8.2003.  The land involved in the said matter was of  village  Masoodabad.
The said judgment cannot be relied upon in the matter on hand, as  much  as,
in the present matter, the Notification issued was  of  the  year  1973  and
whereas the Notification issued in the case of  Suresh  Prasad  was  in  the
year 2003 i.e. almost 30 years later.  Moreover, the land  involved  in  the
Suresh Prasad’s case is situated in village Masoodabad which  is  stated  to
be about 5 K.Ms. far from  village  Roshan  Pura  wherein  the  land  to  be
compensated is situated in this matter.      In the case of  Suresh  Prasad,
the Land Acquisition  Collector  had  determined  compensation  of  Rs.15.70
lakhs per acre and the same was enhanced to Rs.24 lakhs by this  Court.  The
compensation determined in the case of Suresh Prasad  was  purely  based  on
the facts of that case and there is nothing on record to show that the  land
involved in Suresh Prasad’s case was having the same characteristics as  the
land in the present matter.

8.    However, we do not find any reason to ignore the  Sale  Deed  produced
by the respondents in support of their case.  As mentioned supra,  the  Sale
Deed dated 19.03.1971 is in respect of 11  bighas  and  10  biswas  of  land
situated in the village Roshan Pura. As per the said Sale  Deed,  the  price
per bigha of the land involved therein would be  about  Rs.  2000/-.   Prima
facie, the land in question as well as the land covered under the Sale  Deed
dated 19.03.1971 are approximately having  the  similar  dimension  and  are
situated in the same village i.e. Roshan Pura.  The  respondents  being  the
beneficiaries under the acquisition have themselves  relied  upon  the  Sale
Deed dated 19.03.1971 as  the  sole  basis  to  oppose  the  prayer  of  the
claimants.  Some  sort  of  guess  work  is  necessary   while   determining
compensation for the land acquired.  One  has  to  perceive  from  the  view
point of the prudent purchaser. As the acquisition is of the year  1973,  we
do not wish to remit the matter to Reference Court.  Having  regard  to  the
totality of the facts and circumstances of the  matter,  in  our  considered
opinion, the compensation may be  determined  relying  upon  the  Sale  Deed
dated 19.03.1971 particularly when there is no other  reliable  material  on
record.  Since the land under  the  said  Sale  Deed  dated  19.03.1971  was
valued at a sum of Rs. 2,000/- per bigha, and as the land  in  question  was
acquired in the year 1973, the compensation can be determined by adding  15%
of the value of  the  sale  consideration  per  year  keeping  in  mind  the
escalation in price of the lands day by day.   Normally  15%  escalation  is
taken,  per  year  by  this  Court  in  recent   times   while   quantifying
compensation.  Thus, the claimants would be  entitled  to  Rs.  2,600/-  per
bigha.

9.      Accordingly,  these  appeals  are  allowed.   The  compensation   is
enhanced from Rs. 2,200/- to Rs. 2,600/-  per  bigha.   It  is  needless  to
state that the claimants are entitled to all the statutory benefits such  as
solatium, interest etc. in accordance with law.

10.   There shall be no order as to costs.




……………………….J                                                    (Dipak
Misra)




...................................J
                   (A.M. Khanwilkar)



                                                     ………………………J
                                               (Mohan M. Shantanagoudar)

New Delhi
Dated: May 04, 2017







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