1. These appeals are by the Special Land Acquisition Officer, Upper Kirishna Project, Alamatti, challenging awards made by the Civil Judge, Bagalkot, in L.A.C. Nos. 599 to 569 of 1980.
2. In pursuance of the preliminary notification deed 22nd Feb., 1979, lands belonging to the respective respondents claimants situate in Walakaldimma village in Hungund Taluk, Bijapur District, were acquired for the Narayanapur Reservoir project. The claimants having claimed compensation at Rs.20,000/- per acre, the Land Acquisition Officer, classifying the lands as good and medium type of lands on the basis of the assessment, fixed the market value of good type of lands at Rupees 3,320/- per acre and of medium type of lands at Rs.3,120/- per acre. On reference, the learned Civil Judge came to the conclusion that there is no justification for classifying these lands into two categories and held that all the lands are good type of lands. He awarded compensation at uniform rate of Rs.10,500/- per acre. He has determined the market value adopting the capitalisation method taking fifteen as the multiple. He has taken the average net income at Rupees 700/- per acre. It is this enhancement that is challenged in these appeals.
3. Shri R.P. Hiremath, learned Government Advocate appearing for the appellant contended that the compensation awarded is on the higher side. He submitted that the court below has unreasonably made an over estimate of the agricultural produce grown on these lands. He contended that there was no justification for the court below to treat these lands as falling under category-4. It is necessary to point out that the claimants have produced Ex. P-37, the average yield notification for the Taluk prepared under the rules framed under the Karnataka Land Reforms Act. The said notification contains information about the average yield of the taluk in respect of different agricultural produce grown on lands filling under categories-4 and 6. Shri Hiremath submitted that the note under Ex. P.37 shows that category-4 lands are those which receive water from different sources and which are wet lands. Category-6 lands, according to the note, are dry lands where the rainfall varies from 25' to 30'. Shri Hiremath then invited our attention to the entries in the Record of Rights produced in these cases as Exhibits P-12 to P-35 which describe these lands as kushki or dry lands. On the basis of these documents, it was contended that as the lands are dry lands, they cannot be regarded as falling under category-4 in Ex. P-37 having regard to the fact that, that category of lands are only wet lands and not dry lands. The contention as put forward by Shri Hiremath is well founded. But, it appears to us that the discussion on this question is not necessary for the reasons to be stated presently.
4. In our opinion, there is evidence in regard to the yield from these lands and it appears to us to be more appropriate to consider the said evidence. The yield notification prepared under the rules framed under the Karnataka Land Reforms Act only gives the average yield for the entire taluk in respect of lands falling under different categories. There would not have been any problem in making use of the yield notification for determining the average yield, but for the special features of these cases which show that the lands in question are special type of lands having certain special advantages. The evidence on record, namely that of P. Ws.1 and 2 makes it abundantly clear that all these lands are situate on the bank of the river or the bank of nalla which is very close to the river. Their evidence also discloses that every year when the river is in spate, all these lands get submerged and there will be sufficient deposit of silt. The Land acquisition Officer has himself admitted that he has seen silt deposit to the extent of 10' to 12' on the lands. These lands are therefore treated as special lands and described as Madikattu lands. The evidence on record therefore clearly establishes that these lands get replenishment of soil every year and that therefore they are very fertile lands. It is precisely for this reason that the claimants are in a position to grow two crops every year on these lands. Normally, it is not easy to grow two major crops every year in the absence of satisfactory irrigation facilities. Exs. P-12 to P-35, the entries in the record of rights for the year 1978-79 show that the claimants were able to take two major crops every year. Sometimes, the claimants were raising crops of groundnut and cotton in one year and jawar and groundnut during the other year. The evidence on record therefore clearly establishes that these lands are very fertile lands situate on the bank of the river or nalla on which the claimants were able to take two crops every year. Having regard to these special features, it will not be proper to determine the yield from these lands treating them as average type of lands, relying upon the yield notified in the yield notification.
5. P.W.1 has given an estimate of the yield in respect of these lands. The claimants have no doubt tried to give exaggerated estimate about the yield. If the lands are treated as falling under category-6, as contended by Shri Hiremath, the yield as can be ascertained from Ex. P-37, is two quintals of groundnut, one quintal of cotton and three quintals of jawar. As we have come to the conclusion that these are lands having rich soil and good fertility on which two major crops can be grown, the question for consideration is as to whether the estimate of the yield made by the court below can be regarded as unreasonable. The court below has estimated the yield of groundnut at three quintals, jawar at four quintals and cotton at three quintals per acre. The court below, in our opinion, rightly has proceeded on the basis that the claimants were taking crops on rotation basis, some of them having raised groundnut and jawar in one year and cotton and groundnut in the next year. The evidence on record also clearly indicates that subsidiary crops like Kadale, Agase and Kusubi were being grown on these lands. The estimate of the court below in respect of these subsidiary crops is half quintal each. Having regard to the fact that such subsidiary crops are grown as per the statement of the Land Acquisition Officer himself, it is not possible to take the view that the estimate of the subsidiary crops is unreasonable.
6. So far as the market rates are concerned, the court below has taken the same from Ex. P-36, the price notification of the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee. There is no dispute about the same. On that basis, the court below has come to the conclusion that the market rate of groundnut was Rs.242/- per quintal, that of jawar was Rs.107/- per quintal, that of cotton was RS.259/- per quintal and that of Kadale at Rs.232/- per quintal, that of Kusubi at Rs.245/- per quintal and that of Agase at Rs.296/- per quintal. On that basis the court below has come to the conclusion that the gross income for the first year when groundnut, jawar and kadale are grown would be Rs.1270/- and that gross income when groundnut, cotton, agase and kusubi are grown would be Rs.1773.50 p. Thus the total gross income for two years works out to Rs.3043.50 p. and the average yield for one year works out to Rs.1521.75 p. In the absence of satisfactory evidence regarding cost of cultivation, the court below has rightly deducted fifty per cent towards the same. Thus the average net income works out to Rs.760.87 p. per quintal. After arriving at this figure the learned Civil Judge has observed that some allowance for uncertainties has to be made and accordingly he fixed the net income at Rs.700/- per acre. Adopting the multiple of fifteen, following the decision of this court in Special Land Acquisition Officer, Hassan v. M.S. Mallesha, (1975 (2) Kant LJ 74) : (AIR 1975 Kant 165) he has fixed the market rate of the lands at Rs.10,500/- per acre. In our opinion, the determination made on that basis would be right if the multiple adopted at fifteen by the court below is right.
7. Shri Hiremath, learned Government Advocate next contended that we should not adopt the multiple of fifteen following the decision in the aforesaid case. He pointed out that this court fixed the multiple at fifteen for determination of compensation adopting the capitalisation method in the aforesaid case taking into consideration the fact that the interest in respect of gilt-edge securities in the State during 1972-73 was 53/4 per cent, Shri Hiremath has collected information from the State Government in regard to the rate of interest in respect of gilt-edge securities in the State Government for the years 1971 to 1981. It is clear from the same that the rate of interest for the years 1971 to 1974 was 53/4 per cent. In respect of the first series of the State Development Loan of the year 1975, the rate of interest was 53/4 per cent, but in respect of the second series it was 6 per cent. It continued to remain at 6 per cent during the years 1976 and 1977. During the year 1978 the rate of interest was 61/2 per cent. For the year 1980, the interest is 63/4 per cent. It is thus clear that between the years 1975 and 1980, the rise in interest in respect of the gilt-edge securities in the State was only about 1 per cent. Having regard to the small percentage of increase of interest in respect of gilt-edge securities, we consider it just and proper not to reduce the multiple of fifteen to any lower figure. We consider it appropriate to hold that the proper multiple to be adopted is fifteen for the year 1979 when the rate of interest was 61/2 per cent. As there is rise in the year 1980, we consider it appropriate to hold that the same multiple of fifteen should be adopted for the period up to and inclusive of the year 1980. Hence, we are of the opinion that the multiple of fifteen adopted by the court below is not erroneous.
8. We have held that there is no need to reduce the multiple of fifteen as the rise in interest is not appreciable as and when there is appreciable increase in the rate of interest, it is obvious that it would be open to the State Government to press for the modification of the multiple.
9. For the reasons stated above all these appeals fall and are dismissed. In the circumstances, parties to bear their respective costs.
10. Appeal dismissed.