High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Gulzar Singh v. State of Haryana - RFA-2330-1995  RD-P&H 2213 (2 April 2006)
DATE OF DECISION: March 22, 2006
State of Haryana
CORAM:- HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE VINEY MITTAL
PRESENT: Shri Vishal Aggarwal, Advocate and Shri Surender Dhull, Advocate for the appellant.
Shri H.S.Hooda, Advocate General, Haryana with Shri Ramesh Hooda, Advocate for the respondent.
This judgment shall dispose of a bunch of Regular First Appeals, as all the appeals have arisen out of a common award dated August 16, 1995 passed by the learned Additional District Judge, Hisar.
Some of the appeals have been filed by the claimants for enhancement of compensation. The State of Haryana has also filed the appeals against the award, claiming reduction of compensation as awarded by the learned Reference Court.
Vide notification dated March 22, 1990 issued under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (for short, `the Act'), 24 kanals and 13 marlas of land was intended to be acquired for the construction of a bus stand at Bhuna, Tehsil Fatehabad, the then District Hisar. A notification under Section 6 of the Act was issued on October 26,1990. The Land Acquisition Collector rendered his award dated December 6,1991. A uniform compensation at the rate of Rs.1,83,000/- per acre was awarded for the entire land. The claimant-land owners remained dissatisfied with the quantum of compensation. Claiming that the compensation was inadequate, they sought references under Section 18 of the Act. The matter was duly referred.
Before the Reference Court, the parties led their evidence. The claimants appeared as their own witnesses in support of their claim. The claimants also produced PW3 Sish Pal Singh, Patwari Halqa. They also relied upon various sale instances to claim that the acquired land was much more valuable than the market value assessed by the Land Acquisition Collector. Similarly, the respondents also produced various sale instances. Halqa Patwari was produced as RW1, Atma Ram.
The learned Reference Court chose to rely upon the sale instance Ex.P1 dated June 15,1989, whereby 5 marlas of land was sold for Rs.51,000/-, reflecting an average price of Rs.10,200/- per marla. It was also noticed by the Reference Court that the acquired land was situated along the periphery of the township, inasmuch as, the residential areas across the Dharsul Road and the main bulk of shops and main bazaar of the town and PWD Rest House and Sub Tehsil Office etc. were located. It was also noticed by the Reference Court that Government Senior Secondary School, petrol pump were situated nearly and the State Highway was passing in between the acquired land and the school and the petrol pump. Further there were prominent locations, such as, Gramin Stadium, Veterinary Hospital and Civil Hospital. Consequently, it was held that the acquired land could not be treated to be surrounded by agricultural land only and was surrounded by shops, Residential colony, School, Hospital, Petrol Pump etc. It was also noticed that old Anaz Mandi was situated near the acquired land for the last 25 years. In these circumstances, the learned First Appellate Court held that the compensation for the acquired land was liable to be assessed on the basis of sale deed Ex.P1 which reflected the average price of Rs.10,200/- per marla. However, the learned Reference Court applied a cut of 50% on the aforesaid average price reflected by sale deed Ex.P1, on the ground that the said sale was for a small piece of land.
Consequently, the acquired land was assessed at the rate of Rs.5,100/- per marla for the land which was abutting the State Highway, comprised in khasra Nos.15/2,11/2,10/2 and 10/1 of rectangle No.240. The remaining khasra Nos.15/1, 11/1 and 6 were assessed at half of the aforesaid price i.e. at the rate of Rs.2,550/- per marla. The claimants were also held entitled to the statutory benefits, as per the amended provisions of the Act.
As noticed above, the claimants have still remained dis- satisfied with the award of the Reference Court and have approached this Court through the various Regular First Appeals, claiming further enhancement. The State of Haryana has also approached this Court through the various appeals, claiming reduction in the compensation, as assessed by the learned Additional District Judge.
I have heard the learned counsel for the parties and with their assistance have also gone through the record of the case.
The facts which emerge from the record, as even found by the learned Reference Court, show that the acquired land is abutting the State Highway. The acquired land is situated along the periphery of the township. Various residential areas, bulk of shops, main bazaar, PWD Rest House and Sub Tehsil Office are also located near the acquired land. It has also been found that the Government Senior Secondary School is situated opposite to the acquired land. A Petrol Pump, Gramin Stadium, Veterinary Hospital and Civil Hospital are also situated along the old bus stand near to the acquired land.
RW1 Atma Ram has admitted that the old Anaz Mandi was situated near the acquired land and had been in existence for the last 25 years.
The aforesaid witness also admitted the existence of the hospital, school, a cinema theatre and petrol pump near to the acquired land.
In these circumstances, it has rightly been held by the learned Reference Court that the acquired land could not be treated to be merely surrounded by agricultural land. Consequently, it has to be held that the assessment of compensation has to be assessed keeping in view all the aforesaid facts.
The claimants as well as the State of Haryana have produced various sale instances. The claimants have primarily relied upon sale instance Ex.P1, whereby 5 marlas of land was sold for Rs.51,000/-, reflecting an average price of Rs.10,200/- per marla. As a matter of fact, it is this sale instance which has been made the bases of assessment by the Reference Court. Although the claimants have also placed reliance upon some other sale instances, but the Reference Court has found it as a fact that the other sale instances pertain to the sale of the land which was quite at a distance from the acquired land.
Similarly, the sale instances Ex.R3,R.4 and R.5 dated February 25,1992, April 7,1992 and May 15,1995 have been rejected by the Reference Court on the ground that the land comprised in the aforesaid sale instances was at a distance from the acquired land and even did not relate to the locality in question. In these circumstances, the learned Reference Court was wholly justified in placing reliance upon sale instance Ex.P1 only.
As noticed above, Ex.P1 reflects an average sale price of Rs.10,200/- per marla. The learned Reference Court has applied a cut of 50% in arriving at the market value for the acquired land. In my considered opinion, the aforesaid cut applied by the learned Reference Court is wholly unjustified. It cannot be ignored that the total land which was acquired through the notification dated March 22, 1990 was only 24 kanals and 13 marlas. Thus, when a small piece of land itself was acquired by the State, then the sale instance of another small piece of land cannot be ignored, nor it can be held that the small piece of land, as Ex.P1 did not reflect the market price for the acquired land. It has also come in evidence that the land which was sold through the sale instance Ex.P1 was only one killa away from the acquired land.
The notification under Section 4 of the Act was issued on March 22,
1990. The sale instance Ex.P1 is dated June 15, 1989. A period of almost 9 months had passed from the date of the sale till the date of issuance of notification under Section 4 of the Act. There must have been an increase in prices of the land in the intervening period. The aforesaid increase should be taken to be the balancing factor, in case the price reflected by sale Ex.P1 itself is adopted as market value for the acquired land. Consequently, I have no hesitation in holding that the market value for the acquired land is liable to be assessed at the rate of Rs.10,000/- per marla. It is so ordered accordingly.
The next question which arises for consideration is as to whether there was some classification required for assessment of the land while assessing the market value of the acquired land, as has been done by the learned Reference Court. It is apparent from the perusal of the award dated December 6,1991 that the Land Acquisition Collector, while awarding the compensation for the acquisition of the land, had treated the entire land uniformly and as one category. The compensation was assessed at the uniform rate of Rs.1,83,000/- per acre. When the Land Acquisition Collector himself had chosen to treat the entire land as one category and assessed the same uniformly, then in my considered opinion, the reference Court was not justified in treating the land differently by carving out two belts i.e. One abutting the State Highway and one lying behind that land. The learned Reference Court has lost sight of the fact that the total land acquired was only 24 kanals and 13 marlas i.e. about three acres. In such small piece of land, there was no justification to adopt belting system. When such a belting system had not been adopted by the Land Acquisition Collector, then the Reference Court was not justified in adopting the same. In my considered opinion, the entire acquired land has to be assessed at a uniform rate.
As a result of the aforesaid discussion, I accept the appeals filed by the claimants and order that the claimants shall be entitled to compensation for the entire acquired land at the rate of Rs.10,000/- per marla. Besides the aforesaid market value, the claimants shall also be entitled to statutory benefits, as per the amended provisions of the Act.
As a result thereof, the appeals filed by the State of Haryana stand dismissed. There shall be no order as to costs.
March 22, 2006 (Viney Mittal)
Same order as in RFA No.2330 of 1995 (Gulzar Singh v. State of Haryana), decided on March 22, 2006.
March 22, 2006 (Viney Mittal)
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