High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Rishal Singh & Ors v. State of Haryana & Anr - RFA-375-1985  RD-P&H 1131 (23 February 2006)
RFA No. 375 of 1985
Date of decision : 1.3.2006.
Rishal Singh and others
State of Haryana and another
Coram: Hon'ble Mr. Justice S.N. Aggarwal Present: Sh.S.C. Kapoor, Senior Advocate with Sh. Harminderjit Singh, Advocate for the appellants.
None for the State of Haryana.
S.N. Aggarwal, J.
The appellants were the owners of land measuring 17 kanal 1 marla comprised in various khasra numbers situated in village Rohad, Tehsil Bahadurgarh, District Rohtak. The said land was acquired by the State of Haryana by issuing notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (for short 'the Act'),on 7.8.1981 and thereafter, declaration under Section 6 of the Act on 2.9.1981. The Land Acquisition Collector announced the award on 31.1.1983 by which the compensation was awarded as under :- Chahi Land Rs. 10,000/- per acre
Barani Land Rs. 8,000/- per acre
Bhood Land Rs. 6,000/- per acre
Banjar Kadeem Land Rs. 4,000/- per acre
Dissatisfied with the amount of compensation, the appellants filed a reference under Section 18 of the Act in the Court of District Judge, Rohtak and claimed compensation @ Rs.50,000/- per acre.
This petition was opposed by the State of Haryana. The learned Reference Court framed the following issues :-
1. To what amount of compensation the petitioners are entitled ?
2. Whether the petitions are not maintainable?
3. Relief. In support of their case, appellants examined Darya Singh as PW-1, who proved a photocopy of the sale deed as Exhibit P-1 and proved that he had purchased 6 biswas of land for a sum of Rs.8,000/-. Kali Ram PW-2 also proved having purchased the land @ Rs.14,000/- per acre and proved a copy of the sale deed as Exhibit P3.
Tej Ram was examined as PW-3, who deposed that he had purchased the land for a sum of Rs.24,000/- about two years back and photocopy of the sale deed was proved as Exhibit P-4. Ram Kishan PW-4 also proved that the value of his land was Rs.30,000/- per acre. Rishal Singh-petitioner appeared as PW-5. He also asserted that value of his land was more than Rs.50,000/- per acre. In rebuttal Ram Chand, Office Kanungo was examined as PW-6 and Rishal Singh as PW-7.
On the other hand, Mohinder Singh, SDO, appeared as RW-1.
He also proved copy of the voucher as Exhibit R-1. He also tendered in evidence a copy of the judgment dated 27.11.1984 as Exhibit R-2.
The learned trial Court considered the evidence produced by both the parties. Under issue No.1, the learned trial Court enhanced the rate of compensation per acre as under :- Chahi Land Rs. 14,000/- per acre
Barani Land Rs. 10,000/- per acre
Bhood Land/Gair Rs. 8,000/- per acre
Accordingly, vide judgment dated 28.1.1985, the learned Additional District Judge, Rohtak besides awarding the compensation at this rate also allowed solatium @ 15% per annum the interest @ 6% per annum.
Aggrieved against this judgment, the present appeal has been filed by the appellants.
It was submitted by learned counsel for the appellants that as per the sale deed Exhibit P-3, the land was sold @ Rs.14,000/- per acre in 1977, while Tej Ram PW-3 has proved having purchased the land for a sum of Rs.24,000/-. Reference was also made to the judgment of the learned trial Court, in which it was mentioned in para 12 that as per the common knowledge the prices of land have registered an increase year by year. Hence it was prayed that the rate of compensation be enhanced to Rs.20,000/- per acre.
The perusal of the impugned judgment reveals that the learned trial Court has taken into consideration all the evidence led by both the parties. The statement of Darya Singh, PW-1 was held as not applicable, as the land purchased by him was at a distance of 14/15 killas from the acquired land and the sale deed involved a small piece of land meant for the construction of his house. The evidence led by PW-2 Kali Ram, PW-3 Tej Ram and PW-4 Ram Kishan was also considered. The sale deeds proved by these petitioners related to small transactions. Vide sale deed dated 17.2.1977 also, only a small piece of land measuring 7 kanals was transacted.
More importance was given to the copy of the judgment dated 27.11.1984 (Exhibit R-2), by which the compensation was awarded @ Rs.14,000/- per acre for Chahi land, Rs.10,000/- per acre for Barani land and Rs.8,000/- per acre for Bhood/Gair Mumkin land. In the judgment, Exhibit R-2 also, the land was acquired for the same purpose for which the land in dispute was acquired i.e. for the construction of Rohad minor. The land which was the subject matter of the judgment dated 27.11.1984, Exhibit R-2, was also nearby the land in dispute and therefore, the said judgment was rightly made the basis for determination in the present case.
After perusing the judgment of the learned trial Court and the evidence led by the parties, I am satisfied that the learned Reference Court has assessed the amount of compensation for valid considerations and there is no ground for interfering in the said judgment.
The next submission of learned counsel for the appellants was that the solatium has been awarded to them only @ 15% per annum, while the said Act was amended in September 1984 and the rate of solatium was increased to 30%. It was also submitted that rate of interest was also enhanced from 6% payable from the date of taking of possession till the date of payment of the amount of compensation.
In the amended Act, the rate of interest was revised to 9% for the first year and 15% thereafter, till the date of payment.
This submission of learned counsel for the appellants deserves to be accepted. The said Act was amended on 24.9.1984 and it has become applicable after 30.4.1982 and onwards. The same view was taken by this Court in Punjab Water Supply & Sewerage Board, Hoshiarpur vs. Satya Narain, RFA No. 277 of 1984, decided on 11.1.2006. It is therefore, held that the appellants would be entitled to the amended rate of solatium i.e. @ 30%, in view of the amendment made in Section 23 of the Act. They shall also be entitled to interest @ 9% per annum from the date of taking possession of the acquired land for a period of one year and thereafter @ 15% per annum till the date of payment of amount of compensation.
In view of the discussion held above, this appeal is partly allowed in the terms stated above.
( S.N.Aggarwal )
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