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State Of U.P. v. Lal Chan - FIRST APPEAL No. - 416 of 1978 [2007] RD-AH 15046 (5 September 2007)

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Court No. 01


State of U.P. Vs. Lal Chand

Hon'ble Pankaj Mithal, J.

The appeal is of the year 1978.

Heard Sri Srish Chandra, learned standing counsel appearing for the appellant-State of U.P. No one appears for the claimant-respondent despite service of notice upon him being sufficient.

The land of the claimant-respondent situated in village Lakhanpur Tehsil and District Agra, was acquired by the State of U.P. for the benefit of U.P. State Industries and Development Corporation Limited, Kanpur. A Notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act proposing to acquire the aforesaid land, was issued on 3.7.1971. Finally after issuance of notification under Section 6 of the Act, an award under Section 11 of the Act was made on 20.3.1975. By the award, the claimant respondent was offered a sum of Rs. 3725.56 for the land and Rs. 18.33 for the trees apart from statutory benefits admissible under the Act. The claimant respondent was not satisfied by the award and as such, preferred a reference under Section 18 of the Act, which came to be registered as L.A.R. No. 4 of 1976, Lal Chand Vs. Collector, Agra. The Reference Court by the impugned judgment and order dated 23.11.1977 has enhanced the compensation for the land to Rs. 34,700/- and of the trees to Rs. 200/-. This judgment, order and the award has been assailed by the appellant in this appeal.

Learned Standing Counsel has contended that there was no evidence before the Reference Court to enable it to make any enhancement in the compensation awarded under Section 11 of the Act and therefore, the enhancement is patently illegal.

I have perused the judgment and order under challenge. The claimant respondent has filed one exemplar sale deed of the year 1974, which was rightly discarded by the Reference Court on the ground that relevant date of acquisition is 3.7.1971 and therefore, the said exemplar is not at all proximate in time.

The claimant-respondent has filed two other exemplar sale deeds of the year 1961 and 1964. The said exemplars were also not proximate in time to the above acquisition and as such the same were also rightly ignored by the Reference Court. Moreover, the land transferred under these two sale deeds was remotely situated. Thus, the Reference Court was left with no documentary evidence whatsoever on the basis of which it would have held that the award made under Section 11 of the Act was inadequate. It is settled principle of law that the burden to prove that the compensation awarded by the Collector/S.L.A.O. is inadequate is upon the claimant respondent and until and unless sufficient evidence is adduced to prove the market value, which existed at the time of acquisition, the reference court has no jurisdiction to enhance the compensation.

In the absence of any documentary evidence to prove the fair market value of the acquired land and that award of the Collector/S.L.A.O. is incorrect, the reference court exceeded its jurisdiction in enhancing the compensation. The Reference Court itself has recorded a finding that the evidence adduced by the claimant respondent is unsatisfactory in nature. Therefore, there was no occasion for the Reference Court to have enhanced the compensation merely on the basis of oral evidence with regard to location of the acquired land.

In view of the above, the enhancement of compensation in respect of land is unwarranted.

The Reference Court while considering the market value of the trees came to the conclusion that there were four trees on the land and the value of each of them is not liable to be less than Rs. 50/-. Accordingly, it has rightly awarded Rs. 200/- as compensation for the trees as against Rs. 18.33 awarded by the Collector/S.L.A.O. I do not find any error in this part of the award of the Reference Court.

In view of the above discussion, the appeal is partly allowed. The judgment order, award of the Reference Court dated 23.11.1977and the consequential decree thereof are set aside to the extent it enhances the compensation in respect of the land from Rs. 3725.56 to Rs. 34700/- but is maintained with regard to the compensation awarded in respect of trees.

No order as to the costs.




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