(Prayer: Appeal Suit filed under Section 54 of Land Acquisition Act, praying to set aside the decree passed in L.A.O.P. No.72 of 1990 dated 22.03.2004 on the file of the Land Acquisition Tribunal and Principal Sub Court, Tirunelveli.)
1. This appeal has been preferred by the Government aggrieved by the enhancement of compensation by the Land Acquisition Tribunal-cum-Principal Sub Court, Tirunelveli, in LAOP No.72 of 1990, dated 22.03.2004.
2. The following are the brief facts:
2.1. The land belonging to the respondents was located in two survey numbers, namely, Survey No.4/1B and 4/2B in Sivanadiyarkulam in Palayamkottai Taluk within the Sub Registration District of Melapalayam. It is not in dispute that the total area of the land is 1.27.0 hectares equivalent to approximately 3 acres 16 cents. The land was acquired from the respondents by issuing a notification under Section 4(1) of the Act, dated 25.04.1988. The acquisition is for the purpose of laying bye-pass road.
2.2. The Land Acquisition Officer passed an award dated 29.09.1989 in Award No.2/89 and fixed the compensation at Rs.600/- per cent and Rs.60,000/- per acre. However, the land owners claimed compensation at the rate of Rs.2,500/- per cent and Rs.2,50,000/- per acre. The Land Acquisition Tribunal has enhanced the compensation from Rs.600/- to Rs.2,500/- per cent on the basis of sale deeds and other documents. Aggrieved by the same, the present appeal has been filed by the Government.
3. The learned Additional Government Pleader appearing for the appellant raised the following points:
(a) The Land Acquisition Tribunal has awarded a sum of Rs.5,00,000/- towards the loss of income for the period of five years on the assumption that the acquired land would have yielded the income of at least Rs.1,00,000/- per year. The said conclusion of the Tribunal is contrary to the well settled proposition of law that the owners of the land are not entitled to compensation under any other head except the few enumerated under Section 23 of the Land Acquisition Act.
(b)The learned Additional Government Pleader submitted that a further sum of Rs.2,00,000/- has been awarded by the Tribunal by way of damages, erroneously on account of the inconvenience caused to the land owners.
(c) He has also submitted that the compensation has been fixed by the Land Acquisition Tribunal at Rs.2,500/- per cent without any document or other evidence.
4. The third submission of the learned Additional Government Pleader on the question of compensation has no merit. The Land Acquisition Tribunal has taken into account the date of 4(1) notification and the value of the land as on the date of notification relying upon some of the documents pertaining to the lands which are located in the nearby locality. The contention of the learned Additional Government Pleader is that the sale deed relied upon by the lower Court is in respect of a land which is located far away from the acquired land and that the same would not reflect the correct market value.
5. Considering the evidence that was adduced by the claimants, the Tribunal has found that the land acquired is located amidst developed housing colony, industries, police quarters, guest houses, fishing farm, etc. It is also pointed out by the Tribunal that the acquired land is part of the industrial premises of the land owners. The sale deed indicates that the value of the land is Rs.5,570/- per cent. Though the land dealt with under the sale deed is stated to be located beyond one kilometer from the acquired land, the Land Acquisition Tribunal has considered the admitted fact that the location of the acquired land is more developed. Hence, I do not find any reason to interfere with the findings of the Land Acquisition Tribunal, Tirunelveli, fixing the compensation at Rs.2,500/- per cent despite the fact that the market value as per the sale deed is Rs.5,570/- per cent.
6. Regarding the second submission of the learned Additional Government Pleader for the appellant, this Court find that the Tribunal, on a proper appreciation of evidence, has granted a sum of Rs.2,00,000/- by way of damages caused to the land owners because of the severance of all the acquired land from the remaining portion of the land belonging to the land owners. The evidence on behalf of the claimants regarding the document under Ex.C25, topography of the acquired lands are not disputed. From the Commissioner report and plan, the fact that the remaining land of the claimants have lost the facility of irrigation from the well belonged to them is proved. From the oral evidence and the documents, the Tribunal has given a specific finding that the land owners are deprived of a great facility and that severe damage and loss have been caused to the land owners on account of severance of the acquired land. Hence, I find justification for awarding a sum of Rs.2,00,000/- in favour of the claimants / land owners.
7. Regarding the first submission of the learned Additional Government Pleader appearing for the appellant that the Land Acquisition Tribunal has committed an error in awarding a sum of Rs.5,00,000/- towards loss of income from the acquired lands, this Court finds that there is merit. When there is no documentary evidence to prove the actual market value of the land, it is permissible in law to calculate the quantum of compensation by adopting capitalisation method. When the market value has been fixed on the basis of adopting comparable sale method, there is no scope for applying capitalisation method. In the present case, after the compensation was determined on the basis of market value for similar land, the Tribunal has awarded a further sum of Rs.5,00,000/- on the basis that the income of the acquired land per annum will be Rs.1,00,000/- and that the land owners are entitled to a further compensation by adding annual income for five years. This addition is neither contemplated under the Land Acquisition Act nor justifiable on any other equitable ground or rational basis.
8. Except the three heads on which the learned Additional Government Pleader advanced his argument, the learned Additional Government Pleader did not challenge the award. Hence, the award of the Land Acquisition Tribunal, Tirunelveli, on all other heads are confirmed except a sum of Rs.5,00,000/- which was awarded as an additional compensation calculated on the basis of income for the lands for a period of five years. With regard to market value and the additional compensation on other heads, the award of the Land Acquisition Tribunal is confirmed. Accordingly, this appeal is partly allowed to the extent indicated above and the judgment and decree of the Land Acquisition Tribunal is modified by deleting a sum of Rs.5,00,000/- which was awarded by way of damages. Hence, clause (1) of the decree is modified by awarding only a sum of Rs.2,50,000/- towards damages. However, there is no order as to costs. Consequently, the connected miscellaneous petition is closed.