1. These two appeals are concerned with the acquisition of certain properties for the Kalupur Relief Road under construction in Ahmedabad. The amount involved in these appeals is very small, but we are told that they have been presented because they involve a question of principle, namely the question of the extent to which it is permissible to separate the value of the land itself from the value of the buildings on the land for the purposes of comparison with sales and other dispositions of property in the neighbourhood.
2. It is stated in Government of Bombay v. Merwanji Muncherji : (1908)10BOMLR907 , that land is a marketable commodity of one description, and land with buildings on it is a marketable commodity of another and a different description, and that there is no known process by which, from the ascertained value of land plus buildings as an investment, it is possible to deduce the value of the land alone. With that remark we are in entire agreement. But the difficulty in this case is that it is not possible to ascertain the value of the property being acquired except by reference to transactions relating to property in the neighbourhood, and in many cases it happens that the comparison, owing to substantial differences between the nature of the structures on the land, or even owing to the fact that there may be no structure at all on the land, cannot be made except by attempting to estimate the value of the buildings apart from the land. As the learned Judge of the trial Court remarks, we have to do the best we can with the available evidence of transactions relating to the property in the neighbourhood. It is not disputed by the learned Government Pleader that we are entitled to compare, for example, the price of land with buildings on it with the price of land without buildings on it. But his contentions ignore the practical difficulty of making any such comparison without coming to an independent estimate of the value of the buildings apart from the land.
3. Dealing first with appeal No. 81 of 1942, it consists of three blocks of property. I have dealt with the question of separating the value of the structures from the value of the land ; and in this particular instance it was absolutely necessary to do so. The basis of the learned Judge's decision is the price of property referred to as A and B The buildings on those properties were negligible. The learned Judge came to an estimate of the value of the buildings apart from the land to be acquired and estimated them at Rs. 7,740. It is not suggested that this valuation is wrong. All that is suggested is that it was wrong to come to any valuation of the buildings at all. The Land Acquisition Officer estimated Rs. 125 a square yard as a, fair price for land plus buildings on the frontage of the Swaminarayan Temple Road and Rs. 70 a square yard as a fair price for land plus buildings to the rear. Having estimated the value of the buildings the learned Judge deducted this value from the total amount awarded by way of compensation and treated the value awarded for the land on the frontage of the road as Rs. 80 and the value awarded for the land to the. rear as Rs. 70. He thought that in each case this was too low a valuation and that he ought to increase it by Rs. 4 having regard to the price awarded for properties A and B on the basis of the land value alone. Having done so he increased the value of the land to Rs. 84 and Rs. 74 a square yard respectively and increased the total award by a sum of Rs. 1,048. We are quite unable to say that the valuation arrived at by the learned Judge is incorrect. It is impossible for a Court of Appeal to distinguish such small differences between the valuation of the District Court and the valuation of the Land Acquisition Officer. One of them may be right or both of them may be wrong. But if one of them is right, we are quite unable to say which is right. We are satisfied that neither in principle nor in fact is there anything wrong with the estimate reached by the District Court.
4. So far I have dealt with City Survey Nos. 4233 to 4237. The next item with which we are concerned in this appeal is property No. 4334. The Land Acquisition Officer awarded Rs. 50 a square yard, and the District Court awarded Rs. 57-8-0-a square yard, a total increase) of Rs. 341. This was a piece of open land, and the only transactions capable of comparison relate to land with buildings, The learned Judge felt obliged to separate the land from the buildings, and having done so he has given good reasons for considering Rs. 57-8-0 as the value of the land being acquired. The same remarks apply to No. 4335. Neither with respect to this property nor with respect to any of the other properties which are the subject of appeal No. 81 do we feel ourselves in a position to say that the District Court has come to a wrong: valuation.
5. As to appeal No. 82 of 1942, that again relates to open land, and once more it has not been possible to find any transaction except transactions relating to land with buildings on it. Having separated to the best of his ability the value of the land used for comparison from the value of that land together with the buildings on it, the learned Judge has come to the conclusion that Rs. 80 per square yard is a fairer valuation than Rs. 70. He says that on a consideration of the evidence derivable from four transactions he feels that the land value of Rs. 70 awarded by the Land Acquisition Officer is rather too low and that he ought to put it at Rs. 80. On what principles an appellate Court is expected to differ from that conclusion and interfere is not clear. At any rate we feel ourselves entirely unable to do so.
6. The result is that both the appeals fail and are dismissed with costs.