High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Smt. Mahabiri Devi & Ors v. State of Haryana & Anr - LPA-303-2002  RD-P&H 620 (7 February 2006)
Smt. Mahabiri Devi and others V. State of Haryana and another Present: Shri Ashok Aggarwal, Senior Advocate with Shri J.S.Sidhu,Advocate
Shri Sumeet Goel, Advocate
Shri B.S.Bedi, Advocate
Shri Madan Pal,Advocate
Shri Sudhir Aggarwal,Advocate
Shri C.B.Goel, Advocate
Shri Susuil Jain,Advocate
Shri Pravindra Singh,Advocate
Anmol Rattan Sidhu, Additional Advocate
Shri Sanjiv Kaushik, Advocate.
This judgment shall dispose of a bunch of Letters Patent Appeals as all the appeals have arisen out of common acquisition proceedings.
Vide a notification dated April 10,1989, issued under section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act ( hereinafter referred to as the "Act"), 132.19 acres of land situated within the municipal limits of Karnal, comprised in Kasba Karnal was sought to be acquired for the extension of new Grain Market,. Subsequently, some land was exempted. Vide an award dated March 31,1992, the Land Acquisition Collector assessed the market value of the acquired land at the rate of Rs.2,40,000/- per acre. The claimant- landowners were dissatisfied with the compensation. They, accordingly, Letters Patent Appeal No.303 of 2002 2
claimed a reference under section 18 of the Act. The matter was duly referred.
Before the reference court, the parties led their respective evidence. On the basis of the aforesaid material, the learned reference court categorised the land in two categories . Land situated beyond 30 meters from the road reservation of National Highway No.1 and upto 150 yards situated beyond the aforesaid 30 meters was assessed at the market rate of Rs.4,80,000/-; whereas the remaining land situated beyond the aforesaid depth was assessed at the rate of Rs.2,40,000/- i.e. the rate assessed by the Land Acquisition Collector. The claimants were also held entitled to benefits of statutory provisions of the amended Act.
The claimant-landowners remained dissatisfied and approached this Court through various first appeals. Certain appeals were also filed by the State of Haryana, Municipal Committee and Marketing Committee claiming reduction of compensation.
The learned Single Judge reappraised the entire evidence available on the record and held that the claimants would be entitled to receive compensation at the rate of Rs.110/- per sq. yard for the land falling upto 100 meters from the National Highway and the remaining landowners whose land fell beyond the aforesaid 100 meters were held entitled to compensation at the rate of Rs.90/- per sq. yards.
The claimant-landowners have still remained dissatisfied and Letters Patent Appeal No.303 of 2002 3
have prayed for further enhancement of compensation through the present Letters Patent Appeals.
We have heard the learned counsel for the parties and have also gone through the record of the case.
At the outset, certain observations made by the learned Single Judge with regard to potentiality of the acquired land may be noticed: " In the light of the above evidence ,it would be pertinent to discuss the location and potential of the acquired land. Ex.P1 is the site plan of the acquired land and surrounding area. This documents is not at dispute. The aks sajra produced by the respondents and even Ex.R.1 is in conformity to this document.
The acquired land has been shown as the land acquired for Anaj Mandi. It abuts the National Highway i.e. G.T.Road leading to Delhi. On the other side of this land other land was acquired for extension of Anaj Mandi from the revenue estate of Kasba Karnal. Still on the other side there are developed commercial area sector 3 which is the industrial area developed by the Haryana Small Industries Development Corporation and industries abutting the National Highway are located on the other side of this road. Namaste Chowk,Karnal is an important point from where the National Highway turns out side the city of Karnal.
Letters Patent Appeal No.303 of 2002 4
It is not even disputed that the acquired land is not more than 1 kilometer from the developed land of Sector-4. The clear and unambiguous finding which the court has to arrive in this case is that the land has a great potential for commecial development. The purpose for acquisition of the land was to establish Anaj Mandi and which has been subsequently extended by acquiring more land. There could hardly be any dispute with regard to potential of the land......" From the aforesaid findings of the learned Single Judge which have not been challenged by the respondents in the present appeals, it is apparent that the acquired land was abutting the National Highway i.e. G.T.
Road leading to Delhi . On the one side of the acquired land, there was the revenue estate of Kasba Karnal whereas on the other side there are developed commercial areas, sector-3, which is the industrial area developed by the Haryana Small Scale Industries Development Corporation. The land in question was also abutting another road, lying adjacent to Namaste Chowk, Karnal. Thus, the reference court as well as the learned Single Judge has given a firm finding of fact that the acquired land had great potential for commercial development. It is also apparent that the purpose for acquisition of the acquired land was to establish the Grain Market which was subsequently extended by acquiring some more land.
In the aforesaid back drop, learned Single Judge chose to place Letters Patent Appeal No.303 of 2002 5
reliance upon the judicial instances Ex.P7 and Ex.P9, the judgments pertaining to the land acquired from revenue estate of Karnal for development of Sectors 4 and 5 of HUDA Colony. The aforesaid acquired land for development of sectors 4 and 5 was acquired through a notification dated February 8,1989, issued under section 4 of the Act. The reference Court in the aforesaid cases had assessed the compensation at the rate of Rs.90/- per sq. yard. Subsequently, this court in first appeal decided on February 10,1999( titled Bindu Garg V State of Haryana) and other connected cases, enhanced the compensation to Rs.145/- per sq. yard.
The learned Single Judge on the basis of the aforesaid earlier judicial pronouncement in Bindu Garg's case( supra) held that some cut was required to be imposed for making the compensation in the present case inasmuch as the location ,potentiality and utility in the aforesaid acquired land in Bindu Garg's case (supra) was superior than the land in question since the aforesaid land had earlier been acquired for development of Sectors 4 and 5 of HUDA Colony, Karnal. Further the learned Single Judge classified the land in two categories. The land which was falling within 100 meters from the National Highway was assessed at the rate of Rs.110/- per sq. yard, whereas the remaining part of the land beyond the aforesaid depth was assessed at the rate of Rs.90/- per sq. yard. The imposition of aforesaid cut as well as the said classification have been challenged by the claimant-appellants before us. It has been argued by the Letters Patent Appeal No.303 of 2002 6
learned counsel for the appellants that the land in question was also having an equal potentiality as the land in Bindu Garg's case (supra) inasmuch as, the acquired land itself was situated on the Karnal -Delhi Road (G.T.Road).
It has further been argued that the present acquired land was surrounded on all sides by developed colonies, industrial units and other commercial buildings. In these circumstances, it has been argued that neither any classification of the land in two categories was justified nor any cut from the assessment made in Bindu Garg's(case) should have been imposed. Learned counsel for the appellants have also placed reliance upon a judgment rendered in LPA No. 704 of 1999 decided on December 17,2004 (Brij Mohan and another V.State of Haryana and another). It has been pointed out by the learned counsel that while disposing of the aforesaid LPA, a large number of connected appeals were also disposed of by the Division Bench including the LPA in Bindu Garg's case (LPA No.725 of 1999).The Division Bench through the aforesaid judgment dated December 17,2004,held that the claimants in the aforesaid appeals would be entitled to compensation at the rate of Rs.147.68 per sq. yard. Accordingly, learned counsel have contended that the claimants in the present appeals were also entitled to a similar compensation as in Brij Mohan's case (supra).
On the other hand, learned counsel appearing for the respondents have argued that the learned Single Judge has noticed that the land in Bindu Garg's case was in a better and more advantageous position Letters Patent Appeal No.303 of 2002 7
than the present acquired land and, therefore, a reasonable cut had been imposed while making the assessment for the present acquisition. It has also been argued by the learned counsel for the respondents that the land has also been justifiably classified in two categories.
We have given our thoughtful consideration to the rival contentions of the learned counsel for the parties. We have already noticed above, the findings recorded by the learned Single Judge with regard to the great commercial potential of the present acquired land. From the perusal of the judgment of the learned Single Judge, it is further clear that the award in Bindu Garg's case was made the basis for assessment in the present acquisition proceedings also. However, we do not find any justification to impose any further deduction vis-a-vis the assessment made in the Bindu Garg's case. The land in Bindu Garg's case was acquired for development of Sectors 4 and 5 of HUDA. It has also been noticed that there was development of HUDA Sectors around the aforesaid land and the said land was abutting the National Highway near Namaste Chowk. As noticed above, even the present acquired land was abutting Karnal -Delhi(G.T.Road). It has already come in evidence that there were developed commercial areas of sector-3, which was the industrial area developed by Haryana Small Industries Development Corporation and other industries abutting the National Highway were located adjacent to the present acquired land. On the other side another road was abutting the acquired land. Namaste Chowk was Letters Patent Appeal No.303 of 2002 8
also adjacent to the present acquired land. In these circumstances, we do not find absolutely any distinction between the present acquired land and the land acquired in Bindu Garg's case. The land in Bindu Garg's case could not be held to be any better located and in a more advantageous position vis-a- vis the present acquired land.
It is also well settled principle of law and assessment of compensation that when large tracts of land are acquired for urban and commercial development and there is a development all around,then short distances between the two chunks of land loose importance. In such a situation, all the landowners are entitled to a similar treatment and a uniform compensation for their acquired land. Applying the aforesaid principle, we have no hesitation that the landowners in the present acquisition proceedings are also entitled to a similar compensation as had been awarded in Bindu Garg's case , as enhanced by the Letters Patent Bench in Brij Mohan's case decided on December 17,2004. We further find that classification of the land in two categories by the reference court as well as by the learned Single Judge was wholly unjustified. The acquired land abutted the Karnal-Delhi ( G.T.Road) whereas on the other side it was touching another road leading from Namaste Chowk. The Commercial/Industrial Sector-3 developed by Haryana Small Scale Industries Development Corporation, was also situated on third side of the acquired land. In these circumstances, it could not be suggested at all that Letters Patent Appeal No.303 of 2002 9
any one portion of the acquired land was better located or was in any advantageous position vis-a-vis the remaining portion of the acquired land.
In our considered view, the entire acquired land was liable to be assessed at a uniform rate.
In view of the aforesaid discussion, we allow the present appeals and follow the assessment made by the Division Bench of this Court in Brij Mohan's case (supra) and hold that the claimant-landowners in the present acquired land shall be entitled to a compensation at the rate of Rs.147.68 per sq.yard for their entire acquired land. Beside the aforesaid compensation, the claimant-landowners would also be entitled to the statutory benefits as per the amended provisions of the Act. There shall,however,be no order as to costs.
( Viney Mittal )
( H.S. Bedi )
August 3,2005 Judge
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