RFA No. 508 of 1992 (O&M)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT
RFA No. 508 of 1992 (O&M)
Date of decision: 12.11.2009
Devi Ram and others
State of Haryana
CORAM: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE VINOD K. SHARMA
Present:- Mr. B.K. Bagri, Advocate,
for the appellants.
Mr. Rajiv Kawatra, Sr. DAG, Haryana.
VINOD K. SHARMA, J (ORAL)
CM No. 8977-CI of 2009
Allowed. The applicants are exempted from filing the certified copies of death certificates of late Hukam Singh, late Sheo Lal, late Gangal Singh and late Hari Ram @ Haria. CM No. 8978-CI of 2009
For the reasons stated in the application, CM is allowed, persons named in paras No. 2, 3, 4 and 5 are ordered to be brought on record as legal representatives of Hukam Singh, Gangal, Sheo Lal and Haria @ Hari Ram, subject to all just exceptions and are permitted to file the present appeal.
CM No. 8979-CI of 2009
For the reasons stated in the application, CM is allowed, order dated 2.7.2009 is recalled and the appeal is restored to its original RFA No. 508 of 1992 (O&M)
RFA No. 508 of 1992
This order shall dispose of RFA No. 507 of 1992 titled Chittar and others Vs. State of Haryana, RFA No. 508 of 1992 titled Devi Ram and others Vs. State of Haryana, RFA No. 509 of 1992 titled Chaju and others Vs. The State of Haryana, RFA No. 510 of 1992 titled Mange Lal and others Vs. The State of Haryana, RFA No. 511 of 1992 titled Mange Lal and others Vs. The State of Haryana, RFA No. 512 of 1992 titled Devi Ram and others Vs. The State of Haryana, RFA No. 513 of 1992 titled Smt. Phuli and others Vs. State of Haryana, RFA No. 514 of 1992 titled Smt. Bharama Devi and others Vs. The State of Haryana, RFA No. 515 of 1992 titled Sh. Shiv Shanker and others Vs. Haryana Govt. and another, RFA No. 1937 of 1991 titled Subh Ram Vs. State of Haryana, RFA No. 1938 of 1991 titled Subhram Vs. State of Haryana and RFA No. 1939 of 1991 Gugan Ram and others Vs. State of Haryana,as they arise out of the same award. The State of Haryana vide notification No. 5070-Agri.II(5)- 78/25019 dated 25.9.1979 published in the Haryana Government Gazette (Extraordinary) dated 25.9.1979, under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act') and subsequent notification No. 951-Agri-II(5)-81/9998 dated 15.7.1981 issued under Section 6 of the Act, acquired land for public purpose, namely, for construction of New Grain Market and link road Daruhera- Shahjanpur road to Grain Market, by the Market Committee. RFA No. 508 of 1992 (O&M)
In the award passed by the learned Land Acquisition Collector, the market value of the land acquired was assessed at Rs.16,000/- (Rupees sixteen thousand only) per acre for all categories of land. The land owners were also awarded compensation for the standing trees, tubewells and other super-structures existing on the acquired land on the date of notification.
The land owners being dissatisfied with the award of the learned Land Acquisition Collector filed references under Section 18 of the Act, which were referred to the learned District Judge, Narnaul, for adjudication. On constitution of a separate Court at Rewari, these references were transferred to learned Additional District Judge, Rewari. The case of the land owners/appellants was that the acquired land was located in the sub-urban area and was bounded by the Court complex, railway station, higher secondary school, Government college, shops, market, residential houses and research centre of Haryana Agricultural University. Thus, it was pleaded that it could not be treated to be an agricultural land as it had great residential and commercial potentiality. Case of the land owners was, that the learned Land Acquisition Collector had not taken into consideration, the location of the land while assessing the market value. It was also pleaded that due to the acquisition, land of the land owners stood bifurcated, which caused loss to the appellants.
The references were contested by the State by filing separate written statements. The allegations made by the land owners were RFA No. 508 of 1992 (O&M)
controverted and it was asserted that the compensation awarded was fair and reasonable. It was also pleaded that before the learned Land Acquisition Collector, the land owners claimed the market value of the land to be Rs.1, 00,000/- (Rupees one lac only) to Rs.2,00,000/- (Rupees two lac only), whereas they were claiming a sum of Rs.8,00,000/- (Rupees eight lac only) in the claim petitions. On the pleadings of the parties, the learned Reference Court framed the following issues: -
"1. What was the market value of the land in dispute at the time of issuing of the notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act? OPD
2. Whether the petitions are within time? OPD
3. Whether the petitions are not maintainable? OPR
In support of the claim, the appellants/land owners examined Rajinder Singh, Draftsman as PW1, whereas Shiv Shankar appellant appeared as PW2, Ganga Deen appellant as PW3, Ram Nath as PW4, Ganga Ram as PW5 and Chandgi Ram as PW6. By way of documentary evidence, the land owners relied upon sale deeds Ex.P1/A, Ex.P2, Ex. P5 and Ex. P6, copy of extract of aks sajra was placed as Ex. P3, copy of jamabandi for the year 1978-80 as Ex. P4, copies of mutation Ex. P7, Ex. P8, Ex. P9/A and Ex. P12, copies of jamabandi as Ex. P9, Ex. P10 and Ex. P11, the extract of the aks sajra as Ex. P13 and site plan as Ex. P1.
On the other hand, the State tendered into evidence the RFA No. 508 of 1992 (O&M)
statement of average price Ex. R1 along with copies of sale deeds Ex. R2 to Ex. R4 and extract from aks sajra Ex. R5. PW-2 in his oral statement claimed the market value of the acquired land to be Rs.8.00 lac (Rupees eight lac only) per acre but other claimants claimed the market value to be Rupees three to four lacs per acre. By way of documentary evidence the claimants placed reliance on Ex.P1 i.e. the sale deed dated 9.7.1979 vide which one marla of land was sold for Rs.9,60,000/- (Rupees nine lac and sixty thousand only), but in the award passed it was wrongly mentioned to be Rs. 96,000/- (Rupees ninety six thousand only) instead of Rs. 9.60 lacs per acre. The sale deed Ex.P2 is qua 4 marlas of land dated 29.10.1979. It was post notification, therefore, was liable to be rejected, as the sale instances prior to notification were available on record. Ex.P-5 is was qua 3 marlas of land, this again was post notification, whereas Ex. P6 was for 1 Marla of land by way of sale deed dated 18.10.1978, the price per acre again comes to Rs. 9.60 lacs per acre.
The sale instances relied upon by the State were with regard to the sale deed which depicted the price even lesser than one awarded by the Collector.
The learned reference Court, therefore, ignored the sale instances of the State for the reason, that they relate to the sale at far off places than the acquired land.
The evidence brought on record shows, that it cannot be disputed that the acquired land had potentiality of residential and RFA No. 508 of 1992 (O&M)
commercial area, as it was surrounded by schools, markets and education institutions etc.
The learned reference Court rejected the sale instances relied upon by the appellants for the reason, that these were with regard to the area of small part of land as compared to the acquired land, therefore, did not depict the true indication of the market value. The learned reference Court, therefore, assessed the market value at Rs. 50,000/- per acre.
On consideration, I find that the learned reference Court was not justified in rejecting the sale deeds Ex. P-1 & P-6 merely for the reason that they related to small pieces of land though it was located near the acquired land. The Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of H.P. Housing Board Vs. Bharat S. Negi and others, AIR 2004 Supreme Court 1800, has been pleased to lay down that in order to assess the market value all sale instances proved are required to be taken into consideration and in case the sale transactions are with regard to the small pieces of land and the acquisition is of large piece of land, a deduction of 33-1/3 % be made towards development cost. Again the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of The Deputy Director, Land Acquisition v. Malla Atchinaidu and Ors. AIR 2007 Supreme Court 740 reiterated the view that sale deeds of smaller area can be relied upon for assessing the market value of the larger area by making necessary deductions.
In view of the law laid down by the Hon'ble Supreme Court, RFA No. 508 of 1992 (O&M)
it is held that the reference Court was not justified in rejecting the sale instances merely for the reason that they were of smaller areas of the land.
Mr. Rajiv Kawatra, Sr. DAG, Haryana, however, contends that sale transactions qua smaller pieces of land could not be taken into consideration to determine the market value. In support of this contention he placed reliance on the judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Smt. Kaushalya Devi Bogra and others. etc. Vs. The Land Acquisition Officer, Aurangabad and another AIR 1984 Supreme Court 892. However, the reading of the judgment would show that the Hon'ble Supreme Court merely laid down that deduction should be imposed on the basis of sale of smaller property. Mr. Rajiv Kawatra, Sr. DAG, Haryana also placed reliance on the judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Tarlochan Singh and another Vs. The State of Punjab and others (1995-2) PLR 100 in support of the contention that sale transactions of small pieces of land cannot be taken into consideration.
In the case of Tarlochan Singh and another Vs. The State of Punjab and others (supra ) it was on the facts and circumstances of the particular case that the Hon'ble Supreme Court recorded a finding that assessment of market value on the basis of sale transactions of small pieces of land under the circumstances was absolutely and totally irrelevant, therefore, could not form the basis of determining the compensation. This cannot be said to be precedent laying down that the RFA No. 508 of 1992 (O&M)
small transactions have to be ignored for determining the market value as contended.
The learned State counsel contended that the reference Court was justified in rejecting the sale instances Ex. P-1 & P-6 being transactions with regard to small pieces of land keeping in view the fact that the large area was acquired for setting up of a grain market. The learned State counsel also pointed out that the sale deeds Ex. P-1 & P-6 relate to the area which has commercial potentiality near the road and was otherwise surrounded by the shops. The plea of the learned Sr. DAG, Haryana, though looks impressive but on consideration cannot hold the field and the subsequent view of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in The Deputy Director, Land Acquisition v. Malla Atchinaidu and Ors. ( supra ), on which the reliance has been placed by the learned counsel for the appellants has to be followed. Therefore, the contentions raised by the learned Sr. DAG, Haryana deserve to be rejected. As held by the Hon'ble Supreme Court, the necessary deductions can be made from the price fixed in the small transactions, keeping in view the facts and circumstances of each case. In this case, once it is proved that sale instances Ex. P-1 & Ex. P-6 relate to small area of 1 Marla that too located near the road which has commercial value it would be appropriate to impose deduction of 60% on the amount assessed. This view finds support from the judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Kanta Devi & Ors. Vs. State of Haryana & Anr. 2008 AIR SCW 5241. Thus, if 60% cut is imposed RFA No. 508 of 1992 (O&M)
on the sale consideration paid vide Ex. P-1 & Ex. P-6, which was with respect to the land near the acquired land, and immediately prior to notification under Section 4 of the Act, the appellant would be entitled to the compensation for the acquired land @ Rs. 3,84,000/- ( Rupees three lac and eighty four thousand only ) per acre. This appeal is accordingly allowed and the market value fixed by the learned reference Court for the acquired land is enhanced to Rs. 3,84,000/- ( Rupees three lac and eighty four thousand only ) per acre. The appellant shall also be entitled to other statutory benefits like solatium and interest etc., as per the Act, on the enhanced compensation. (Vinod K. Sharma)
November 12, 2009