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Alld. Development Authority Through Vice-Chairman v. Ekhlaque Husain And Ors. - FIRST APPEAL No. 288 of 1996  RD-AH 3656 (2 March 2007)
First Appeal No. 288 of 1996
Allahabad Development Authority, Allahabad
Ekhlaque Hussain and others
First Appeal No. 206 of 1996
Allahabad Development Authority, Allahabad
Smt.Anwari Begum and others
Hon.Shishir Kumar, J.
The Allahabad Development Authority through its Secretary (defendant -appellant) here-in-after referred called ADA has filed the above First Appeal under Section 54 of the Land Acquisition Act (called the Act) against impugned judgement and compensation awarded dated 30.4.1991 passed by Vth Additional District Judge, Allahabad in Land Acquisition Case No.18 of 1989 in Land Acquisition Reference No.219 of 1989 (Ekhlaque Hussain Vs State of U.P. through Collector and others) whereby the court below has enhanced the compensation and fixed a rate of Rs.150 per square meter and also additional compensation under Section 23 (1-A) of the Act with 12% market value along with 9% annum interest on the enhanced compensation amount with effect from the date of taking possession till its actual payment and interest at the rate of 15% in case the compensation amount is not deposited within a period of one year i.e. Up to 25.11.1988.
The detail of the land in question which is the subject matter of the compulsory acquisition under the Act is admittedly an agriculture land situated in village Kasari Masari, Tehsil and Pargana Chail District Allahabad. On 17.2.1987, a notification under Section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act read with Section 17(1) was issued and a notification under Section 6 read with Section 17(4) was issued on 13.3.1987 for acquiring the land measuring about 127-2-15 2/3 bigha which was proposed to be acquired for the purposes of planned development for construction of residential colony. On 25.11.1987, the land acquired by the Development Authority, a possession to that effect has been taken and the compensation was accordingly fixed on the basis of the various sale deed dated 17.2.1986 area 19 biswa, 6 Bigha which was a sum of Rs.20,000/-. The Special Land Acquisition Officer on the basis of this aforesaid sale deed fixed approximately Rs.9/- per square meter that will come about Rs.150 per sq.meter.
Not being satisfied, the claimant filed First Appeal No. 219 of 1989 under Section 18 of the Act before the District Judge, Allahabad. It was decided by the Additional District Judge, Allahabad by means of the above mentioned impugned judgement and award which has given rise to the present first appeal.
Before the Court below the claimant contended that the land of which they were Bhoomidhars was surrounded by urban localities namely Chakniratul, Rajrooppur and Beniganj. The side facility of electricity and water supply and there existed hospital nearby vicinity. The land in question is one and a half kilometre from G.T.Road and Kausambi road. The prevailing circle rate fixed by the Collector under the stamp duty was 3 to 400 per square, the land in nearby colony and land in question is inside the municipal limits. A reference to that effect has been made in the reference application. A written statement was filed on behalf of State of U.P. that has been annexed as on page 110 of the paper book. It has categorically been stated and pleaded that land is situated in notified area far from the road and market and also far from railway station, school and college at the time of notification under Section 4 of the Act. The award is passed on the market value of the property existing on publication date of notification under Section 4 of the Act. The market value of the land in suit has been determined on the basis of instances of sale deed in neighbouring locality on the basis of potential value of the land. The development authority has also invested huge amount for the purposes of development of the said area, as such, while determining the compensation, this aspect of the case may also be considered. It has also been stated that there is no irrigation facility and 40% deduction was liable to be granted on the head of development and no factory or industry existed in the vicinity of the land in question. One of the claimant Ekhlaque Hussain appeared as P.W.1 (Page 1 of the paper book) wherein he admits that he was a Bhoomidhar of the land and the aforesaid land is two fasli and the aforesaid land comes under the limits of the Nagar Palika. There are various good houses constructed by various persons and the villagers are selling their land by carbing out plots for the residential purposes and the value of the aforesaid land and nearby land is 500 to 600 metres Square Yard. He has nowhere stated this fact that these plots were under the master plan. It is also to be mentioned here that P.W.1was re-examined and he has subsequently stated in his statement that as the land has been acquired in 1986 and at the time of acquisition he was doing agriculture on the aforesaid land and the land of the P.W.1 is 100 yards from the abadi. He has mentioned the various sale deeds which was executed prior to the date of acquisition. All the exemplars are below 150 square metres too small in area to compare with large area of the land which is the subject matter of the compulsory acquisition in the case in hand. It has also been brought to the notice that the Nagar Palika is selling out the land at the rate of 600 per square meter and Rs.550 per verg meter stamp duty is fixed, as such, the compensation awarded by the land acquisition officer is very less and Rs. 600 should be awarded. Before the Additional District Judge, the respondents have submitted one sale deed of Bakelal which was executed in favour of Bhim Sen measuring 154-72 Square meter in Plot No.1230 village Kasari Masari for Rs.12,000/-. In such a situation it has been submitted that value of the land is 179 per square meter. The aforesaid sale deed is of 22.7.1986. As stated above all the sale deeds and exemplars are either 150 or below or 160 square metres not above to that.
As the compensation has been enhanced on the basis of small exemplars, therefore, the development authority has approached this Court by way of present appeal and it has been submitted that special land acquisition officer has fixed rate on the basis of sale deed executed correctly and the basis of enhancement of the claim relied upon by the reference court is not correct. The government orders / notifications etc. for the purposes of relying upon the circle rate fixed under the Stamp Act for determination of market value for the purposes of Stamp Act is not correct. The following are the sale exemplars.
Page 23/246 of the paper book
Page 28/252 of the paper book
It has been submitted on behalf of the appellant that enhancement made on the basis of circular rate is impermissible. The Government orders regarding to this effect enforcing the circle rate cannot be relied upon to determine the market value of the land under the Land Acquisition Act.
The learned counsel for the appellant has placed reliance upon a judgement of the Apex Court reported in (2004) 2 Supreme Court Cases, 283 Krishi Utpadan Mandi Samiti, Sahaswan, District Badaun through its Secretary Vs. Bipin Kumar and in support of the aforesaid contention the learned counsel for the petitioner has placed reliance upon para 7 of the said judgement. The same is being reproduced below:-
"7. It has been held by this Court in the case of Jawajee Nagnatham V. Revenue Divisional Officer that market value under Section 23 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 cannot be fixed on the basis of a basic valuation register maintained by the registering authority for collection of stamp duty. Therefore, the reliance by the Reference Court on the values of land fixed by the District Magistrate for stamp duty purposes is clearly erroneous. For the purposes of the Land Acquisition Act the market value must be determined on the basis of sale deeds of comparable lands. In this case the Land Acquisition Officer had taken note of one such sale deed where the price was Rs.15.37 per sq yard. The Reference Court also had before it the sale deed by which the respondent purchased a portion of the acquired land. As stated above, the sale deed was for Rs.15.40 per sq yard. Section 92 of the Evidence Act precludes a party from leading evidence contrary to the terms of a written document. It was, therefore, not open to the respondent to urge that, even though his sale deed showed a price of Rs.15.40 per sq yard the real market value was Rs.120 per sq.yard. To permit a party to so urge would be to give a premium to dishonesty. Parties who undervalue their documents, for purpose of payment of stamp duty, cannot be allowed to then claim that their own documents do not reflect the correct market value. Therefore, as per sale instances of the comparable lands, the market value, on dates of sales, were in the region of Rs.15.37 per sq yard."
It has further been submitted that in Jawajee Nagnatham Vs. Revenue Divisional Officer reported in 1994 (5) Supreme Court Cases, the Apex Court has clearly held that the market value under Section 23 of the Land Acquisition Act cannot be fixed on the basis of a basic valuation register maintained by the registering authority for collection of stamp duty. In such situation, the learned counsel for the appellant states that the reference court for the said purposes fixing the rate on the basis of stamp duty is clearly erroneous. The learned counsel for the appellant has also placed reliance upon various judgements reported in 1994 (5) SCC Jawajee Nagnathan Vs. Revenue Divisional Officer, 1995 (1) SCC 717 L.A.O. Vs. Jasti Rohini, 1995 (1) Allahabad Civil Journal, State of U.P. Vs. Shau Singh, 2004 (2) SCC 283, Krishi Utpaqdan Mandi Samiti Vs. Bipin Kumar and 2004(2) Selected Allahabad Cases, Page 235, Krishi Utpadan Mandi Samiti Vs. Khusi Ram & others and 1996 (3) SCC 124, U.P. Jal Nigam Vs. Kalra properties (P) Ltd. (Paras 5 & 6) and has submitted that fixing the compensation on the basis of stamp duty is not correct. It has further been submitted on behalf of the appellant that the respondents in reference under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act are in the position of plaintiff in a civil suit and as such, they are required to prove that the compensation offered by the Land Acquisition Officer is in adequate and they were further obliged to prove to the satisfaction of the Court, the prevailing market value at the time of notification under section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act on the basis of which an award at higher rate is required to be made in the reference. It has further been submitted that now it is well settled in view of the judgements by the Apex Court as well as this Court that the respondents opposite party under the facts and circumstances of the case have miserably failed to prove that they are entitled for higher rate of compensation from the reference court. In view of the aforesaid fact, it has been submitted that the entire award rendering the act of compensation is liable to be set aside. The learned counsel for the appellant is relied upon two judgements i.e. AIR 1995 Supreme Court, 840 The Special Land Acquisition Officer Vs. S.O.Tumari, AIR 1998 (8) Supreme Court Cases 136 Kunwar Singh and others Vs. Union of India. In support of the aforesaid judgement, the learned counsel for the appellant has submitted that while exercising the powers under rules it can be determined by the Court only on recording a finding on consideration of relevant material, that amount of compensation determined under award was inadequate for reasons that weighed with it. Reliance has been placed upon para 7 of the said judgement. The same is being reproduced below:-
"7. When the Collector makes the reference to the Court, he is enjoined by Section 19 to state the grounds on which he had determined the amount of compensation if the objection raised as to the acceptance of award of the Collector under Section 11 by the claimant was as regards the amount of compensation awarded for the land thereunder. The Collector has to state the grounds on which he had determined the amount of compensation where the objection raised by the claimant in his application for reference under Section 18 was as to inadequacy of compensation allowed by the award under Section 11, as required by sub-section (2) of Section 18 itself. Therefore, the legislative scheme contained in Sections 12, 18 and 19 while on the one hand entitles the claimant not to accept the award made under Section 11 as to the amount of compensation determined as payable for his acquired land and seek a reference to the court for determination of the amount of compensation payable for his land, on the other hand requires him to make good before the court the objection raised by him as regards the inadequacy of the amount of compensation allowed for his land under the award made under Section 11, with a view to enable the Court to determine the amount of compensation exceeding the amount of compensation allowed by the award under Section 11, be it by reference to the improbabilities inherent in the award itself or on the evidence aliunde adduced by him to that effect. That is why, the position of a claimant in a reference before the Court, is considered to be that of the plaintiff in a suit requiring him to discharge the initial burden of proving that the amount of compensation determined in the award under Section 11 was inadequate, the same having not been determined on the basis of relevant material and by application of correct principles of valuation, either with reference to the contents of the award itself or with reference to other evidence aliunde adduced before the Court. Therefore, if the initial burden of proving the amount of compensation allowed in the award of the Collector was inadequate, is not discharge, the award of the Collector which is made final and conclusive evidence under Section 12, as regards matters contained therein will stand unaffected. But if the claimant, succeeds in proving that the amount determined under the award of the Collector was inadequate, the burden of proving the correctness of the award shifts on to the Collector who has to adduce sufficient evidence in that behalf to sustain such award. Hence, the Court which is required to decide the reference made to it under Section 18 of the Act, cannot determine the amount of compensation payable to the claimant for his land exceeding the amount determined in the award of the Collector made under Section 11 for the same land, unless it gets over the finality and conclusive evidentiary value attributed to it under Section 12, by recording a finding on consideration of relevant material finding on consideration of relevant material therein that the amount of compensation determined under the award was inadequate for the reasons that weighed with it."
The another argument raised on behalf of the appellant is that where the sale- exemplar relied upon by the reference court of smaller piece of land, it cannot from the basis for determination of compensation. If there exists no other material for determining the market rate of land, then small sale exemplar can be relied upon after making adequate adjustment towards smallness and developmental activities. The learned counsel for the appellant has placed reliance upon various judgements that smaller piece of land cannot be taken into consideration for the purposes of enhancement of compensation. The same are being quoted below:-
1.2003 (10) SCC, page 166, Union of India Vs. Ram Phool.
2.1996 (2) SCC Page 62, K.S.Shivadevamma Vs. Assistant Commissioner and Land Acquisition Officer .
3. 2004(2) Selected Allahabad Cases, Page 283, M.D.A. Moradabad Vs. Chiddha.
4. 2004 (55) ALR, Page 123, ADA, Allahabad Vs. Shakil Ahmad & others .
5. AIR 2004 SC 1031 L.A.O Vs. N. Rajamallu
In such situation, the learned counsel for the appellant has submitted that appeal be allowed and the order passed by the reference court be set aside.
On the other hand, the learned counsel for the claimant-respondent has submitted that there is no statutory provision for awarding compensation at circle rate fixed for the same purposes. There are judgements to this effect that circle rate is for the same purposes and not for determining the compensation under Section 23 of the Land Acquisition Act. The judgements cited by the appellant on this point are not applicable in the State of U.P. in view of the Government Order dated 7.3.1987. According to the aforesaid Government Order, while determining the compensation and market value of the land acquired, the compensation should not be less than market value applicable for the same purposes. It has been submitted by the learned counsel for the respondents that the land is being acquired by the State of U.P. and the amount of compensation should not be less than the market value fixed for the same purposes. There is no statutory provision for payment of compensation at the market rate fixed for the same purposes at the time when the land was acquired. In case of Airport Authority of India Vs. Satyagopal Roy and others reported in AIR 2002 Supreme Court, 1423, the Apex Court has held that separate compensation for land, building and trees cannot be made and the entire property has to be taken as a single unit not as a separate unit. The Government Order dated 7.3.1987 shall apply in the present case when the declaration under Section 6(1) was made on 13.3.1987 and when the possession of the land was taken on 24.11.1987, the aforesaid Government Order was in force. In support of the aforesaid contention the learned counsel for the respondents submitted that as at the time the aforesaid Government Order was in force, the Apex Court has held that the provisions of law prevalent at the time of acquisition of the land shall apply. These cases are reported in AIR 2000 SC 3282, AIR 1987, SC 2669, and AIR 2002, SC 1045. It has further been submitted on behalf of respondents that in view of Ram Khelawan Vs. State of U.P. through Collector, Hamirpur and another reported in (2005) R.D. 511 (Para 10) it has been held by the Apex Court that there cannot be two market values at a particular time. One for realisation of stamp duty and other for payment for compensation, if the land is acquired. Therefore, holding otherwise is unjust and arbitrary. If the circle rate is not to be taken into consideration while determining the market value in land acquisition matter then it can also not be considered while determining the correct valuation of the property, which is subject matter of instrument after enquiry and examination under Section 47A (3) of the Indian Stamp Act. Even otherwise, compensation cannot be less than 150/- per square meter. Two exemplars have already been filed regarding the rate of land as on 22.7.1986. The State Government has also issued a Government Order dated 4.6.1988, directing that 25% deduction be made from that land holder whose land acquired is 8 acres or more and not in cases where the area of the land is less than 8 acres. Both land acquired by the respondents under the aforesaid notification is 3 bigha, 4 biswa and 11.5 biswansi which is equivalent to 2 acres , 11.5 biswansi and which below the limit fixed by the State Government as such no deduction should be made from the compensation payable to the respondents. The reliance has been placed upon two judgements of the Apex Court in AIR 2001, Supreme Court, 1117 and 2532 Land Acquisition Officer and Mandal Revenue Officer Vs. Narasaiah and AIR 1993 Supreme Court 399 A.R.Rangamananar Naidu Vs. Sub Collector of Chidambaram.
It has further been submitted that in view of the judgement reported in AIR 1992 Supreme Court 2298 if the area is developed, no deduction should be made. In the present case the land acquired was within the Nagar Palika limit. The area was already developed which is apparent from the statement of Ekhaq Husain dated 2.1.1990 that it was within the Nagar Palika Limit.
In view of the aforesaid fact, the learned counsel for the respondents submitted that the appeal is liable to be dismissed.
We have considered the rival submissions made on behalf of the parties and have noted the contents. From the record, it is clear that smaller piece of land has been taken into consideration for the purposes of fixing enhancement of compensation. In case of Ravindra Narain and others Vs. Union of India, reported in AIR 2003 Supreme Court 1987, the Apex Court referring to its earlier decisions, vide paras 6 and 7, observed:-
"Where large area is the subject matter of acquisition, rate at which small plots are sold cannot be said to be a safe criteria ..."and
"........ it cannot, however, be laid down as an absolute proposition that the rates fixed for the small plots cannot be the basis for fixation of the rate. For example, where there is no other material it may be in appropriate cases be open to the adjudicating Court to make compensation of the prices paid for small plots of land. However, in such cases necessary deductions/adjustments have to be made while determining the prices."
Comparing the area of the plots, mentioned in the exemplars the large extent of area which is the subject matter of present compulsory acquisition under Section 4(1) of the Act, we are of the opinion, that certain deductions have to be made while determining market rate in the instant case. Seeing disparity and the proportion in area in the two, rates mentioned in the exemplars can be safely reduced to half.
Our view is supported from the decision of the case reported in Collector of Lakhimpur Vs. Bhuban Chandra Dutta. Paragrpah 4 of the said judgement is reproduced below:
"In our opinion the High Court overlooked the fact that the plots which were subject matter of sale deeds Exhibits 1 to 4 were comparatively of small areas and it is like the one which was the subject matter of acquisition has to be sold it cannot possibly fetch a price at the same rate at which small plots can be sold ......."
The market rate of the land which is the subject matter of compulsory acquisition in the instant case, can thus be taken to Rs.100/- per square meter. Learned counsel for the appellants further submitted that certain deductions that is 30% should be allowed like development work, like road, parks etc.
In support of his contention he has relied upon the following judgements.
"1. Administrator General of West Bengal V. Collector, Varanasi (Para-6- Court allowed 33% deduction for development).
2. Hasan Ali Khan Bhai and Sons V. State of Gujarat (Paras- 2,3 and 4- Court granted 60% deduction for development)
3. Basava V. Land Acquisition Officer (Para 3- Court granted 55% deduction for development).
4. Hasan Ali Walim Chand V. State of Maharashtra (Para 7 - Court allowed 50% deduction for development).
5. Vijai Kumar Moti Lal V. State - Court allowed 33% deduction for development.
6. Triven Devi V. Collector, Court allowed 33% deduction for development.
7. P.Rama Reddy case - Court allowed 1/3rd deduction for development.
Apart from above, Supreme Court in the case of Basant Kumar V. Union of India and another, vide para-7, held-
".......It is settled legal position that if the land is already developed then what has to be seen is the nature of development and money expanded by the developer and as to what was the market value prevailing on that basis as on the date of notification, and what was the situation of the acquired land on that date; all these and other relevant facts have to be taken into consideration and then market value should be determined. Merely because a land is developed or developing land, it would not be that same compensation is to be adopted to determine the market value for the entire land as a developed land. If it is to be developed, it is a settled legal position that at least 1/3rd of the compensation has to be deducted towards providing amenities, like roads, parks, electricity, sewage, water facilities etc. This Court had upheld deduction of even 60% towards development charges..."
Taking into account the aforesaid decisions, we are of the view that at least one third should be reduced towards the development cost. On that basis market rate shall become about Rs.69/- per square meter (say Rs.70/- square metre).
"18. Learned Counsel for the appellant referred to the discussion with reference to issue No.1 contained in the impugned judgement and pointed out that Court below has gone wrong in taking into account irrelevant considerations,like the proposed user of land, viz. The land in question acquired for housing scheme; in the vicinity there were certain development and that there existed road at some distance from the land. According to the learned Counsel, potentiality of the land was not relevant for deciding market value. The appellant has placed reliance upon the following cases:
1.National Capital Power Project/National Thermal Power Corporation V. Abhay Ram and others.
2.Krishna Yachendra Bahadurvaru V. The Special Land Acquisition Officer, City Improvement Trust Board, Bangalore and others.
3.Kanwar Singh and others V. Union of India.
It is now therefore settled position that potentiality of the future land acquisition is not relevant . Section 23 of the Act deals with matters to be considered in determining compensation and lays down that in determining the amount of compensation to be awarded for land acquired under this Act, the Court shall take into consideration first, the market value of the land at the rate of publication of notification under Section 4 Sub Section (1). In Jawajee Nagnathan's case (Supra) the Apex Court has clearly held that market value under Section 23 of the Land Acquisition Act cannot be fixed on the basis of valuation register maintained by the registering authority for the purposes of collection of stamp duty. Therefore, in our opinion, under Section 23 (3) as amended by the Act No.22 of 1954 clarifies that for the purposes of clause first of Sub Section (1)(a) the market value of land should be the market value according to use to which the land was put at the date with reference to which the market value is to be determined under that clause.
However, as already discussed above, relevant provisions under the Act as well as decisions of the Apex Court clearly laid down that while calculating market rate it will be seen as to for what purposes the land was used at the time of notification. The other circumstances are also to be taken into account. It may be noted that in the instant case, claimants themselves filed exemplars on the basis of which above market rate is being arrived at on the criterion laid down by the Apex Court. No other point has been raised or pressed before us.
It has also been brought to the notice of the Court a judgement of this Court reported in 2004 (55) ALR 123, Allahabad, Development Authority Vs. Shakeel Ahmad and others. The learned counsel for the appellant has submitted that in the same area that is Kasari Masari certain land has been acquired by the development authority in the year 1990 and while considering the compensation, this Court has clearly held that claimants are entitled to compensation at the rate of Rs.80/- per square meter plus other additional compensation to that effect. The present case is also of the similar case. In the present case notification is of 1987. There is a difference of only for a period of 3 years and in that case Rs.80/- per square meter has been awarded therefore, the less compensation be awarded in the present case.
We have perused the aforesaid judgements and we are in full agreement of the aforesaid judgement.
In view of the aforesaid fact, the claimants are entitled to the compensation at the rate of Rs.70/- per square metre (for the area equivalent to half 5.11.0); additional compensation at the rate of 12% of the market value under section 23 (1-A) of the Land Acquisition Act; 30% solatium under Section 23 (2) of the Land Acquisition Act and the interest at the rate of 9% per annum on the enhanced compensation amounting from 24.11.1987 (the date of taking possession) for a period of one year and thereafter 15% per annum interest on the aforesaid enhanced amount of compensation that is Rs.70/- per square meter plus additional compensation plus solatium.
Accordingly, the present first appeal is partly allowed. Judgement and award dated 30.4.1991 passed by Vth Additional District Judge, Allahabad in land Acquisition Case No.18 of 1989 in Land Acquisition Reference No.219 of 1989 is hereby set aside.
There shall be no order as to costs.
Dated. March 2 , 2007
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