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Land Acquisition Act sec.18,54 = No enhancement basing on 6 km far away situated land in developed area – Award at Rs.4.50 lakhs and odd and Reference court enhanced to Rs. 5.50 lakhs and odd and High court further enhanced to Rs.6.51 lakhs per acre – claiming Rs.10 lakhs per acre basing on the land situated at 6 km away and situated in a well developed area by the side of main Road – Lower courts both rejected the same – Apex court also dismissed the appeal and confirmed the lower court orders = Bhule Ram …Appellant Versus Union of India & Anr. …Respondents= 2014 (March. Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41360

Land Acquisition Act sec.18,54 =  No enhancement basing on 6 km far away situated land in developed area – Award at Rs.4.50 lakhs and odd and Reference court enhanced to Rs. 5.50 lakhs and odd and High court further enhanced to Rs.6.51 lakhs per acre – claiming Rs.10 lakhs per acre basing on the land situated at 6 km away and situated in a well developed area by the side of main Road – Lower courts both rejected the same – Apex court also dismissed the appeal and confirmed the lower court orders = 

 

 High  Court  has

      assessed  the  market  value  of  the  land  @Rs.6,51,000/-  per  acre

      modifying the award under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894

      (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Act’) under which the land  had  been

      assessed @Rs.5,99,850/- per acre.  The appellant claimed that his land

      ought to have been assessed @Rs.10,00,000/- per acre.=

The award under Section 11 of  the  Act

      was made on 6.6.1994 assessing the market value of  the  land  of  the

      appellant @Rs.4,65,000/- per acre.

      C.    Aggrieved, the appellant preferred a reference under Section  18

      of the Act and the Reference Court  made  the  award  dated  10.1.2007

      assessing the market value of the land @Rs.5,99,850/-  per  acre  with

      other statutory benefits.

      D.    Appellant preferred appeal under Section 54 of  the  Act  before

      the High Court claiming further enhancement contending that his   land

      ought to have been assessed @Rs.10,00,000/- per acre. The  High  Court

      disposed  of  the  appeal  vide  impugned  judgment  and  order  dated

      8.12.2009 assessing the market value of the  land  @Rs.6,51,000/-  per

      acre placing reliance on other judgments in  appeal  before  the  High

      Court.

            Hence, this appeal.=

Thus, it is evident that the High  Court  in  the  instant  case

      awarded the compensation as per the demand of the  appellant  himself.

      There is nothing on record to show that any other  argument  had  been

      advanced at his behest.

      20.   Before us, what is being argued are the same  issues which  have

      already been rejected by the Reference court 

pointing out the distance

      of the appellant’s land from the Mathura Road and  non-suitability  of

      comparing with other lands.  

We  do  not  see  any  cogent  reason  to

      interfere as the Reference Court has clearly held that the appellant’s

      land so acquired had been at a distance of 6  Kms.  from  the  Mathura

      Road, while other lands relied upon by the  appellant  before  us  are

      adjacent to Mathura  Road,  and  thus  the  lands  are  surrounded  by

      hospitals and residential and commercially developed areas.

      21.   Land of the appellant is situated in  revenue  estate  Aali  and

      appellant claims compensation at the rate which has  been  awarded  in

      revenue estate Jaitpur. 

No site plan has  been  produced  showing  the

      distance between the land in Jaitpur and the appellant’s land, 

nor any

      other evidence is shown to compare the lands and to  determine  as  to

      whether the award in respect of the land in Jaitpur could be  used  as

      an exemplar as only on a comparison would it be possible to arrive  at

      a conclusion that  both  the  lands  are  similarly  situated  in  all

      respects.

      22.   In view of the above, we do not think that the judgments in  RFA

      No.416 of 1986 dated 6.10.1986, Ram Chander & Ors. v. Union  of  India

      in respect of the land situated in Jasola; and in Hari Chand v.  Union

      of India, 91 (2001) DLT  602  in  respect  of  the  land  situated  in

      Tughlakabad have any relevance in the present appeal.

            In view of the above, we do not find any merit in  this  appeal.

      It lacks merit and is accordingly dismissed.

2014 (March. Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41360

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6251 of 2010
Bhule Ram …Appellant
Versus
Union of India & Anr. …Respondents

 
J U D G M E N T
Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN, J.

 
1. This appeal has been filed against the judgment and order dated
8.12.2009 passed by the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi in Land
Acquisition Appeal No. 154 of 2007 by which the High Court has
assessed the market value of the land @Rs.6,51,000/- per acre
modifying the award under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894
(hereinafter referred to as the ‘Act’) under which the land had been
assessed @Rs.5,99,850/- per acre. The appellant claimed that his land
ought to have been assessed @Rs.10,00,000/- per acre.
2. Facts and circumstances giving rise to this appeal are that:
A. Land comprised in Khasra Nos. 752(4-16), 753(4-16), 765(4-16),
in all 24 bighas, in which the appellant had 1/3rd share and Khasra
Nos. 757 (6-15), 758(4-17) and 761(4-16), in all 16 bighas 8 biswas
(full share), situated in revenue village Aali, Delhi, stood notified
under Section 4 of the Act for the purpose of construction of Ash Pond
at Badarpur Thermal Power Station on 16.10.1992 alongwith a huge tract
of land belonging to other persons in different villages.
B. In respect of the said land, a declaration under Section 6 of
the Act was made on 23.3.1993. The award under Section 11 of the Act
was made on 6.6.1994 assessing the market value of the land of the
appellant @Rs.4,65,000/- per acre.
C. Aggrieved, the appellant preferred a reference under Section 18
of the Act and the Reference Court made the award dated 10.1.2007
assessing the market value of the land @Rs.5,99,850/- per acre with
other statutory benefits.
D. Appellant preferred appeal under Section 54 of the Act before
the High Court claiming further enhancement contending that his land
ought to have been assessed @Rs.10,00,000/- per acre. The High Court
disposed of the appeal vide impugned judgment and order dated
8.12.2009 assessing the market value of the land @Rs.6,51,000/- per
acre placing reliance on other judgments in appeal before the High
Court.
Hence, this appeal.
3. Ms. Shobha, learned counsel appearing for the appellant and Ms.
Priya Hingorani, learned counsel appearing in other connected appeals
have raised serious issues that the land ought to have been assessed
at the rate on which the land covered by the same notification under
Section 4 of the Act in the neighouring village have been assessed.
Therefore, the appeal deserves to be allowed.
4. Appeal is opposed by Mr. Puneet Taneja and Ms. Rachna
Srivastava, learned counsel appearing for the respondents submitting
that the market value of the land of the appellant cannot be assessed
on the basis of compensation paid in the adjacent village for the
reason that the land is not similar in any circumstance, either in
quality or geographical situation/location, and thus, there is
nothing on record on the basis of which it can be held that the
appellant is entitled for the same compensation which had been given
to other claimants in different villages. Thus, the appeal is liable
to be dismissed.
5. We have considered the rival submissions made by learned counsel
for the parties and perused the record.
6. The scheme of the Act is that every man’s interest is to be
valued rebus sic stantibus, just as it occurs at the time of the
notification under Section 4(1). Thus, the assessing authority must
take into consideration various factors for determining the market
value, but exclude the advantages due to the carrying out of the
purpose of acquisition and remote potentialities. It is the duty of
the claimant that he must produce the relevant evidence for
determining the market value while filing his claim under Section 9 of
the Act atleast before the trial court or before the reference court
for the reason that the appellate court may not permit the party to
adduce additional evidence in appeal.
7. The market value of the land is to be assessed as per Section 23
of the Act. Valuation of immoveable property is not an exact science,
nor it can be determined like algebraic problem, as it abounds in
uncertainties and no strait-jacket formula can be laid down for
arriving at exact market value of the land. There is always a room for
conjecture, and thus the court must act reluctantly to venture too far
in this direction. The factors such as the nature and position of the
land to be acquired, adaptability and advantages, the purpose for
which the land can be used in the most lucrative way, injurious affect
resulting in damages to other properties, its potential value, the
locality, situation and size and shape of the land, the rise or
depression in the value of the land in the locality consequent to the
acquisition etc., are relevant factors to be considered. Section 23
mandates that the market value of the land is to be assessed at the
time of notification under Section 4 of the Act. Therefore, value
which has to be assessed is the value to the owner who parts with his
property and not the value to the new owner who takes it over. Fair
and reasonable compensation means the price of a willing buyer which
is to be paid to the willing seller. Though the Act does not provide
for “just terms” or “just compensation”, but the market value is to be
assessed taking into consideration the use to which it is being put on
acquisition and whether the land has unusual or unique features or
potentialities. (Vide: Raja Vyricheria Narayana Gajapatraju Bahadur
Garu v. Revenue Divisional Officer, Vizianagaram, AIR 1939 PC 98; and
Adusumilli Gopalkrishna v. Spl Deputy Collector (Land Acquisition),
AIR 1980 SC 1870).
8. The concept of guess work is not unknown to various fields of
law as it applies in the cases relating to insurance, taxation,
compensation under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 as well as under the
Labour Laws. The court has a discretion applying the guess work to
the facts of the given case but it is not unfettered and has to be
reasonable having connection to the facts on record adduced by the
parties by way of evidence. The court further held as under:
“‘Guess’ as understood in its common parlance is an estimate
without any specific information while “calculations” are always
made with reference to specific data. “Guesstimate” is an
estimate based on a mixture of guesswork and calculations and it
is a process in itself. At the same time “guess” cannot be
treated synonymous to “conjecture”. “Guess” by itself may be a
statement or result based on unknown factors while “conjecture”
is made with a very slight amount of knowledge, which is just
sufficient to incline the scale of probability. “Guesstimate” is
with higher certainty than mere “guess” or a “conjecture” per
se.”
(See also: Thakur Kamta Prasad Singh v. State of Bihar, AIR 1976 SC
2219; Special Land Acquisition Officer v. Karigowda & Ors., AIR 2010
SC 2322; and Charan Das & etc. etc. v. H.P. Housing & Urban
Development Authority & Ors. etc., (2010) 13 SCC 398).
9. In Trishala Jain & Anr. v. State of Uttaranchal & Anr., AIR 2011
SC 2458, this Court held that in case the parties do not lead any
evidence on record it is difficult for the court to award compensation
merely on the basis of imagination/conjectures, etc. The Act provides
for compensation for acquisition of land and deprivation of the
property which is reasonable and just. The court must avoid relying on
a sham transaction which lacks bona fide and which had been executed
for the purpose of raising the land price just before the acquisition
to get more compensation for the reason that fraudulent move or design
should not be considered as a proof in such cases though such a
conclusion can be inferred from the facts and circumstances of the
case.
10. The market value of the land should be determined taking into
consideration the existing geographical situation of the land,
existing use of the land, already available advantages, like proximity
to National or State Highway or road and/or notionally or
intentionally renowned tourist destination or developed area, and
market value of other land situated in the same locality or adjacent
or very near to acquired land and also the size of such a land.
(Vide: Viluben Jhalejar Contractor v. State of Gujarat, AIR 2005 SC
2214; Executive Engineer, Karnataka Housing Board v. Land Acquisition
Officer & Ors., AIR 2011 SC 781; Bilkis & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra
& Ors., (2011) 12 SCC 646 and Sabhia Mohammed Yusuf Abdul Hamid Mulla
v. Special Land Acquisition Officer & Ors., AIR 2012 SC 2709).
11. Where huge tract of land had been acquired and the same is not
continuous, the court has always emphasised on applying the principle
of belting system for the reason that where different lands with
different survey numbers belonging to different owners and having
different locations, cannot be considered to be a compact block. Land
having frontage on the highway would definitely have better value than
lands farther away from highway. (Vide: Andhra Pradesh Industrial
Infrastructure Corporation Limited v. G. Mohan Reddy & Ors., (2010)
15 SCC 412).
12. In Ashrafi & Ors. v. State of Haryana & Ors., AIR 2013 SC 3654,
this Court emphasised on belting system and observed that while
determining the market value of the land, the court must be satisfied
that the land under exemplar is a similar land.
(See also: Sher Singh etc. etc. v. State of Haryana & Ors., AIR 1991
SC 2048).
13. In Executive Engineer (Electrical), Karnataka Power Transmission
Corporation Ltd. v. Assistant Commissioner & Land Acquisition Officer,
Gadag & Ors., (2010) 15 SCC 60, this Court held that in towns and
urban areas, distance of half kilometer to one kilometer makes
considerable difference in price of the land. Therefore, the court has
to determine the market value on the basis of the material produced
before it keeping in mind that some of the lands were more
advantageously situated.
14. In Ramanlal Deochand Shah v. State of Maharashtra & Anr., AIR
2013 SC 3452, this Court held that the burden of proof lies on the
land owner and in case he does not lead any evidence in support of his
claim to prove the inadequance of market value fixed of the land
acquired, the court cannot help him.
(See also: Jawajee Nagnatham v. Revenue Divisional Officer, Adilabad,
A.P. & Ors., (1994) 4 SCC 595; and Land Acquisition Officer & Sub-
Collector, Gadwal v. Sreelatha Bhoopal (Smt) & Anr., (1997) 9 SCC
628).
15. In view of the above, the law can be summarised to the effect
that the market value of the land is to be assessed keeping in mind
the limitation prescribed in certain exceptional circumstances under
Section 23 of the Act. A guess work, though allowed, is permissible
only to a limited extent. The market value of the land is to be
determined taking into consideration the existing use of the land,
geographical situation/location of the land alongwith the
advantages/disadvantages i.e. distance from the National or State
Highway or a road situated within a developed area etc. In urban area
even a small distance makes a considerable difference in the price of
land. However, the court should not take into consideration the use
for which the land is sought to be acquired and its remote potential
value in future. In arriving at the market value, it is the duty of
the party to lead evidence in support of its case, in absence of which
the court is not under a legal obligation to determine the market
value merely as per the prayer of the claimant.
There may be a case where a huge tract of land is acquired which
runs though continuous, but to the whole revenue estate of a village
or to various revenue villages or even in two or more states.
Someone’s land may be adjacent to the main road, others’ land may be
far away, there may be persons having land abounding the main road but
the frontage may be varied. Therefore, the market value of the land is
to be determined taking into consideration the geographical situation
and in such cases belting system may be applied. In such a fact-
situation every claimant cannot claim the same rate of compensation.
16. The instant appeal is required to be examined in light of the
aforesaid settled legal propositions.
The appellant has not put on record as what was his claim under
Section 9 of the Act before the Land Acquisition Collector. The award
had been made relying upon some other awards. In his application for
reference under Section 18 of the Act, the appellant has inter-alia
taken the following grounds:
“(iii) That the land acquisition is very closed and
surrounded by the developed and posh colonies and
industrial area such as Tughlakabad, Railway Station,
Sarita Vihar, Badarpur Town and other colonies …..
iv) That the Revenue Estate of Aali is surrounded by adjacent
villages such as Badarpur, Madanpur Tekhand and
Tughlakabad.
iii) That the land of village Aali is better situated and
has more potential value village Jaitpur as the land
of village Aali is near to Delhi and main Mathura
Road.
iv) That the Land Acquisition Collector should have
assessed the market value of the land in question on
the basis of the judgment of the courts of
surrounding villages as Tughlakabad, Tekhand,
Badarpur, Madanpur Khadar. Several awards of the
Collector or courts are based on the sale
transactions of each other being same area and same
potential value.”
17. The Reference Court while determining the market value of the
land recorded the following findings:
“Since the instances of sale in land in village Aali
relied by respondents and referred by LAC in the Award are
available the sale prices of the land in village Jasola,
Tughlakabad and Badarpur is not required to be looked into.
Further it has not been proved on record in case the
potentiality and quality of land in village Jasola and
Tughlakabad is the same as that of village Aali and as such the
sale deeds pertaining to aforesaid villages cannot be relied
upon to assess the market value in village Aali. It has further
come on record in other cases pertaining to same award the
village Madanpur Khadar is located between village Jasola and
Aali and distance between two villages is about 3 Kms. Further
Mathura Road is stated to be about 6 Kms. from the acquired
land. Even village Tughlakabad and Badarpur are more
beneficially located than village Aali. For the foregoing
reasons, the rate of land in village Jasola, Badarpur and
Tughlakabad cannot be compared to assess the rate of land in
village Aali and Ex.P7, 8, 9 and 10 are not relevant.
It may also be observed that the acquired land on the date
of notification under Section 4 was being utilized for
agricultural purposes and no electrical and municipal connection
for water was available. Even the purpose of acquisition in
adjacent land, falling in village Jaitpur was for construction
of ash pond and as such there could not have been any
substantial appreciation of prices, as no building activities
could have taken place. In view of above, the land in village
Aali cannot be compared with villages Jasola and Tughlakabad.”
(Emphasis added)
The Court further held that the three sale deeds referred to by
the Land Acquisition Collector in his award could not provide a proper
guideline for determining the market value of the land acquired as
they relate to land so sought to be acquired where value is less than
land free from encumbrance.
18. Before the High Court, learned counsel for the appellant relied
solely upon the judgment dated 10.4.2008 passed in appeal preferred by
Bishamber Dayal & Ors. from the same village as is evident from the
impugned judgment. The relevant part thereof reads as under:
“Counsel for the appellant submits that the present case is
covered by a judgment dated 10.4.2008 passed in an appeal
registered as LAA 399/2007 entitled Bishamber Dayal & Ors. v.
UOI & Anr., wherein the compensation payable to the land owners
in respect of the same village under the same award was enhanced
from Rs.5,99,850/- per acre to Rs.6,51,000/- per acre with
proportionate statutory benefits including interest on the
amount of additional compensation and solatium on the lines of
the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Sunder v. Union
of India reported as 93 (2001) DLT 569.”
19. Thus, it is evident that the High Court in the instant case
awarded the compensation as per the demand of the appellant himself.
There is nothing on record to show that any other argument had been
advanced at his behest.
20. Before us, what is being argued are the same issues which have
already been rejected by the Reference court pointing out the distance
of the appellant’s land from the Mathura Road and non-suitability of
comparing with other lands. We do not see any cogent reason to
interfere as the Reference Court has clearly held that the appellant’s
land so acquired had been at a distance of 6 Kms. from the Mathura
Road, while other lands relied upon by the appellant before us are
adjacent to Mathura Road, and thus the lands are surrounded by
hospitals and residential and commercially developed areas.
21. Land of the appellant is situated in revenue estate Aali and
appellant claims compensation at the rate which has been awarded in
revenue estate Jaitpur. No site plan has been produced showing the
distance between the land in Jaitpur and the appellant’s land, nor any
other evidence is shown to compare the lands and to determine as to
whether the award in respect of the land in Jaitpur could be used as
an exemplar as only on a comparison would it be possible to arrive at
a conclusion that both the lands are similarly situated in all
respects.
22. In view of the above, we do not think that the judgments in RFA
No.416 of 1986 dated 6.10.1986, Ram Chander & Ors. v. Union of India
in respect of the land situated in Jasola; and in Hari Chand v. Union
of India, 91 (2001) DLT 602 in respect of the land situated in
Tughlakabad have any relevance in the present appeal.
In view of the above, we do not find any merit in this appeal.
It lacks merit and is accordingly dismissed.

 

…………………………….J.
(Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN)

 

 

…………………………….J.
(J. CHELAMESWAR)
NEW DELHI
March 28, 2014.?

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4620 of 2009

 
Raja Ram & Ors. …Appellants
Versus
Union of India & Anr. …Respondents
With
CA Nos.4622, 4624, 4623/2009, SLP(C) Nos.18981, 18982, 18983 and
18984/2008

 

 
J U D G M E N T
Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN, J.

 
In view of the judgment in Civil Appeal No.6251 of 2010, the
abovesaid appeals and special leave petitions are accordingly
dismissed.
…………………………….J.
(Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN)

 

 

…………………………….J.
(J. CHELAMESWAR)
NEW DELHI
March 28, 2014.?
———————–
14

 

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