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Land acquisition – Rejection of Sale Deeds on surmises not valid – High court too not corrected the error – Apex court held that In the order of the Reference Court as well as in the order of the High Court there is no indication on what basis the said finding had been arrived at. What had led the learned courts below to come to the conclusion that the appellants had prior knowledge of the proposed acquisition and on that basis had executed the sale deeds “in a hurry to dispose of the plots which had been carved out” also is not known. The further conclusion that the vendees of the aforesaid sale deeds, not being local residents, did not know about the acquisition proceedings and they were charged fanciful prices for the land is plainly unacceptable in the absence of any materials on record to the said effect. Evidence of vital nature furnished by the two sale deeds dated 13.06.1969 (Exbt.1) and 16.10.1969 (Exbt.2) could not have been rejected on the basis of such surmises and conjectures as has been done in the present case. =M/S MAHAMAYA GEN. FINANCE … APPELLANT (S) CO. LTD. VERSUS STATE OF U.P. & ORS. … RESPONDENT (S)= 2014 ( May. Part ) http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41525

Land acquisition – Rejection of Sale Deeds on surmises not valid – High court too not corrected the error – Apex court held that In  the  order  of   the Reference Court as well as in the order  of  the  High  Court  there  is  no indication on what basis the said finding had been  arrived  at.    What  had led the learned courts below to come to the conclusion that  the  appellants had prior knowledge of the  proposed  acquisition  and  on  that  basis  had executed the sale deeds “in a hurry to dispose of the plots which  had  been carved out” also is not known.  The further conclusion that the  vendees  of the aforesaid sale deeds, not being local residents, did not know about  the acquisition proceedings and they were charged fanciful prices for  the  land is plainly unacceptable in the absence of any materials  on  record  to  the said effect.   Evidence of vital nature  furnished  by  the  two  sale  deeds dated 13.06.1969 (Exbt.1)  and  16.10.1969  (Exbt.2)  could  not  have  been rejected on the basis of such surmises and conjectures as has been  done  in the present case.  =

 

The appellant sought a reference under Section 18 of the Act.   Before

the Reference Court the appellant filed sale deeds dated  13.06.1969  (Ex.1)

and 16.10.1969 (Ex.2) executed by it in respect of land in the  vicinity  of

the land acquired. The Reference Court, however, refused to accept and  rely

on the said sale deeds on the ground that  the  appellant,  having  come  to

know of the acquisition proceedings, had sold land at  inflated  price;  the

correct price was not known to the vendors who were not local  residents  of

Meerut.   The  Reference  Court,  by  order  dated  26.08.1975,  accordingly

maintained the compensation awarded by the Land Acquisition Officer. – High court also dismissed the appeal = 

 

 

The finding of the Reference Court, upheld  by  the  High

Court, to the effect that the  sales  covered  by  Exbt.1  and  Exbt.2  were

executed at inflated rates by  the  appellant  on  coming  to  know  of  the

acquisition  proceeding  cannot  be  appreciated.   

In  the  order  of   the

Reference Court as well as in the order  of  the  High  Court  there  is  no

indication on what basis the said finding had been  arrived  at.   

What  had

led the learned courts below to come to the conclusion that  the  appellants

had prior knowledge of the  proposed  acquisition  and  on  that  basis  had

executed the sale deeds “in a hurry to dispose of the plots which  had  been

carved out” also is not known.  

The further conclusion that the  vendees  of

the aforesaid sale deeds, not being local residents, did not know about  the

acquisition proceedings and they were charged fanciful prices for  the  land

is plainly unacceptable in the absence of any materials  on  record  to  the

said effect.  

Evidence of vital nature  furnished  by  the  two  sale  deeds

dated 13.06.1969 (Exbt.1)  and  16.10.1969  (Exbt.2)  could  not  have  been

rejected on the basis of such surmises and conjectures as has been  done  in

the present case.  

The High Court having failed  to  rectify  the  aforesaid

apparent errors we are of the view that the  transactions  effected  by  the

two sale deeds  dated  13.06.1969  (Exbt.1)  and  16.10.1969  (Exbt.2)  must

receive due consideration in the determination of the  compensation  payable

to the appellant.

 

 In the aforesaid circumstances, we set aside the compensation  awarded

by the learned Acquisition Officer as affirmed by the  Reference  Court  and

the High Court by the orders under appeal.   Instead,  we  direct  that  the

compensation payable to the appellant shall now be computed by  taking  into

account the average of the price, at which  the  two  transactions  by  sale

deeds dated 13.06.1969 (Exbt.1) and 16.10.1969 (Exbt.2)  were  effected,  as

noted above, along with solatium and interest  as  payable  under  the  Act.

The Special Land  Acquisition  Officer,  Ghaziabad,  U.P.,  shall  make  the

necessary computation in terms of the present order  so  as  to  enable  the

appellant to receive the balance amount of compensation along with  solatium

and interest as payable, forthwith, and in  any  case  within  three  months

from the date of receipt of this order.

 

 

 

13.   Both the appeals shall now  stand  allowed  to  the  extent  indicated

above.

2014 ( May. Part ) http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41525

SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA, RANJAN GOGOI

NON-REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5514 OF 2014
(Arising out of SLP (C) No. 2715 OF 2009)
M/S MAHAMAYA GEN. FINANCE … APPELLANT (S)
CO. LTD.

VERSUS

STATE OF U.P. & ORS. … RESPONDENT (S)

WITH

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5515 OF 2014
(Arising out of SLP (C) No. 11371 OF 2009)
J U D G M E N T

RANJAN GOGOI, J.

1. Leave granted.

2. By notification dated 21.10.1969 issued under Section 4 of the Land
Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”) approximately
455 acres of land situated in villages Prahlad Garhi, Maharajpur and Karket
Madan was proposed to be acquired in favour of the Uttar Pradesh Industrial
Development Corporation (hereinafter referred to as “the Corporation’). An
area measuring 42 bighas belonging to the appellant was included in the
said Notification.

3. Consequential Notifications under Section 6 and 17(1) of the Act were
published on 23.6.1970. Possession of the acquired land was taken over on
10.09.1970 and the award was made by the Special Land Acquisition Officer
on 4.5.1972 granting compensation at the rate of Rs.1.33 per square yard.
In doing so, a sale deed dated 20.1.1969 in respect of an area of about 200
square yard situated in the village Maharajpur sold for Rs.400/- was taken
as the base exemplar. 33% deduction was made on account of the smallness
of the area covered by the aforesaid sale deed, thereby, assessing
compensation for the acquired land at Rs.1.33 per square yard.

4. The appellant sought a reference under Section 18 of the Act. Before
the Reference Court the appellant filed sale deeds dated 13.06.1969 (Ex.1)
and 16.10.1969 (Ex.2) executed by it in respect of land in the vicinity of
the land acquired. The Reference Court, however, refused to accept and rely
on the said sale deeds on the ground that the appellant, having come to
know of the acquisition proceedings, had sold land at inflated price; the
correct price was not known to the vendors who were not local residents of
Meerut. The Reference Court, by order dated 26.08.1975, accordingly
maintained the compensation awarded by the Land Acquisition Officer.

5. Aggrieved, the appellant filed a first appeal before the High Court
seeking enhanced compensation. The claim was refused by order dated
17.8.2004 primarily on the ground that before determining the rate of
compensation, the Land Acquisition Officer had verified 66 sale deeds in
respect of lands situated in the neighbourhood which were sold within one
year of/from the date of issuance of the Notifications in question.

6. Not satisfied, the appellant sought a review of the aforesaid order
dated 17.8.2004 which was declined by the High Court by its order dated
26.08.2008. The appeal arising out of SLP (C) No.2715 of 2009 has been
instituted in respect of the order of the High Court dated 26.08.2008
passed in the review application whereas SLP (C) No.11371 of 2009 has been
filed against the main order of the High Court dated 17.08.2004.

7. We have heard Mr. B.P. Gupta, learned counsel for the appellant and
Mr. Rakesh Uttamchandra Upadhyay, learned counsel appearing on behalf of
the respondent.

8. Learned counsel for the appellant has contended that the order dated
26.08.1975 passed by the Reference Court is ex-facie erroneous inasmuch as
the sale deeds dated 13.06.1969 (Ex.1) and 16.10.1969 (Ex.2) which could
have furnished a reasonable basis for computing the correct quantum of
compensation was brushed aside by the learned Reference Court for reasons
that are plainly unacceptable. Learned counsel has drawn our attention to
the fact that Exhibit-1 (sale deed dated 12.6.1969) pertains to an area
measuring 233 square yards and the sale transaction was effected at
Rs.5126/- i.e. Rs.22/- per square yards whereas Exhibit-2 (sale deed dated
16.10.1969) pertains to an area of 675 square yards which was sold for a
total consideration of Rs.13,320/- i.e. Rs.19.73 per square yards. The
aforesaid sale transactions being in respect of land located in the same
village i.e. Maharajpur and additionally belonging to the appellant itself,
the Reference Court was not right in brushing aside the same on the
grounds, already noticed. It is urged that the High Court having failed to
correct the aforesaid error, appropriate interference by this Court will be
justified.

9. Controverting the submissions advanced on behalf of the appellant,
learned counsel for the respondent No.2 has contended that the compensation
determined by the Land Acquisition Officer, as affirmed by the Reference
Court and the High Court, was preceded by an elaborate exercise wherein as
many as 66 contemporaneous sale deeds were verified. That apart, leaving
aside the two sale deeds dated 13.06.1969 (Ex.1) and 16.10.1969 (Ex.2), no
other material was laid by the appellant at any stage of the proceeding to
show that in respect of same acquisition higher compensation has been
awarded to any land owner. The award made by the Land Acquisition Officer
as upheld by the Reference Court and the High Court is, therefore,
contended to be fair and reasonable not justifying any interference.

10. We have considered the submissions advanced on behalf the parties and
the materials on record. The compensation awarded to the appellants at the
rate of Rs.1.33 per square yard is based on the sale deed dated 20.01.1969
(Ex. A-1) in respect of a plot measuring 200 square yards situated in the
village Maharajpur which was sold by one Naseerudin for Rs.400/-. The sale
deeds dated 13.06.1969 and 16.10.1969 exhibited by the appellant before the
Reference Court were not considered for the reasons already noted. The
close proximity of the dates of aforesaid two sale deeds with the date of
the acquisition which has been cited as one of the reasons for not
accepting Exbt.1 and Exbt.2 sale deeds does not commend to us. That the
said sale deeds are in close proximity of time with the acquisition and
being in respect of land located in one of the villages, covered by the
acquisition Notification and above all the land being owned by the
appellant itself, in our considered view, are vital factors that could not
have been ignored. The finding of the Reference Court, upheld by the High
Court, to the effect that the sales covered by Exbt.1 and Exbt.2 were
executed at inflated rates by the appellant on coming to know of the
acquisition proceeding cannot be appreciated. In the order of the
Reference Court as well as in the order of the High Court there is no
indication on what basis the said finding had been arrived at. What had
led the learned courts below to come to the conclusion that the appellants
had prior knowledge of the proposed acquisition and on that basis had
executed the sale deeds “in a hurry to dispose of the plots which had been
carved out” also is not known. The further conclusion that the vendees of
the aforesaid sale deeds, not being local residents, did not know about the
acquisition proceedings and they were charged fanciful prices for the land
is plainly unacceptable in the absence of any materials on record to the
said effect. Evidence of vital nature furnished by the two sale deeds
dated 13.06.1969 (Exbt.1) and 16.10.1969 (Exbt.2) could not have been
rejected on the basis of such surmises and conjectures as has been done in
the present case. The High Court having failed to rectify the aforesaid
apparent errors we are of the view that the transactions effected by the
two sale deeds dated 13.06.1969 (Exbt.1) and 16.10.1969 (Exbt.2) must
receive due consideration in the determination of the compensation payable
to the appellant.

11. The acquisition in the present case was proposed in the year 1969 and
the possession of the land had been taken from the appellant as far back as
in the year 1970. Due to long efflux of time that has occurred we are of
the view that the present is a fit case wherein the task of determination
of the basis for quantification of the compensation due and payable to the
appellant should be undertaken by us in order to give a quietus to the lis
between the parties.

12. In the aforesaid circumstances, we set aside the compensation awarded
by the learned Acquisition Officer as affirmed by the Reference Court and
the High Court by the orders under appeal. Instead, we direct that the
compensation payable to the appellant shall now be computed by taking into
account the average of the price, at which the two transactions by sale
deeds dated 13.06.1969 (Exbt.1) and 16.10.1969 (Exbt.2) were effected, as
noted above, along with solatium and interest as payable under the Act.
The Special Land Acquisition Officer, Ghaziabad, U.P., shall make the
necessary computation in terms of the present order so as to enable the
appellant to receive the balance amount of compensation along with solatium
and interest as payable, forthwith, and in any case within three months
from the date of receipt of this order.

 

13. Both the appeals shall now stand allowed to the extent indicated
above.

……………………….…………………………J
[SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA]
……………………….…………………………J
[RANJAN GOGOI]
NEW DELHI,
MAY 08, 2014.
———————–
9

 

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