Jaganmohan Reddy, J.
(1) These appeals arise out of a judgment and decree of the District Judge, Warangal, in respect of compensation fixed for lands comprised in S. Nos. 55 to 59, 61, 77, 79, 80, 92, 86 and 87 compulsorily acquired by the Government under the Hyderabad Land Acquisition Act for the purpose of workers' Colony of the Azam Jahi Mills. The lands are said to have belonged to the claimant, one Raghavender Rao, but several persons filed claim petition. Under these, we need only confine our consideration to that made by Appan Venkatram Narsiah, Mittineni Ramaswami and Mohammed Hussain.
The Collector had given his award on the 8th Sharewar 1354 Fasli assessing compensation for survey numbers 61, 77 and 59 at the rate of Rs. 500/- per acre, 56, 57, and 58 at the rate of Rs. 450/- per acre and 80, 86 and 87 at the rate of Rs. 400/- per acre and S. Nos. 79 and 92 at the rate of Rs. 300/- per acre, apart from the compensation for wells, trees and building situated on these lands, which was separately assessed. The total amount awarded including wells, trees, buildings etc.,. came to Rs. 1,36,177/2/-. Raghavender Rao being aggrieved with the award, made an application on this 24th Shrewar 1354 F., that the case may be referred to the Court under Section 14 of the Hyderabad Land Acquisition Act.
In that application, he challenged the public purpose for which the properties were taken and stated that originally they were acquired for the Municipality and were handed over to the Azam Jahi Mills and as such wee not taken for the purposes declared in the notification and therefore the acquisition was not necessary for any purpose of the Government.
He further contended that the procedure necessary for the acquisition is not followed and the enquiry was not proper and that the assessment was made by the Tahsildar and not the Collector, though the latter passed the award on the basis of the Tahsildar's report, which is not correct. As such, he submitted that the award was invalid and the whole proceedings null and void.
He further impeached the award of the Collector on the ground that the lands which are situate near the town and suitable for building purposes within the town area municipal limits with all its amenities which they had, could not be considered as agricultural lands and that compensation could not be assessed on that basis, that the prices at which the neighbouring lands were acquired and sold recently wee not taken into consideration and if taken into consideration Rs. 5/- per sq. yd. will be the fair market price of the land. In this view, he claimed enhanced compensation for the wells, buildings and trees on the land with disturbance charges under Section 18.
It may be stated that the other claimants did not apply for a reference, but notwithstanding the dispute between them was also referred to the Court by the Collector under Section 25 of the Land Acquisition Act. After the award, there were some attempts at compromise between the Government and Raghavender Rao had also filed a suit against the Government for cancellation of the award and for the grant of a permanent injunction against the Government restraining them from interfering with the possession of the claimants. That suit was dismissed.
A further fact may also be stated, namely, that after the reference to the Court, a compromise was arrived at between Ram Narsu, Ramaswamy and Md. Hussain on 29-7-1959 according to which 44 acres 3 guntas of Survey Nos. 55, 58, 59, 77 and 92 admittedly belonged to Raghaveder Rao exclusively and 11 acres, 11 guntas of Survey Nos. 86, 87, 77, 92 jointly to V. Ram Narsu and M. Ramaswamy and the claim against survey No. 56. was withdrawn.
In respect of S. No. 56, three persons, namely Shaik Dadan, Abdul Razak and Yasin Bi filed an objection petition against Md. Hussain in the District Court claiming that S. No. 56 is an ancestral property and they as co-heirs of Mr. Hussain are entitled to 3/4 the share of the compensation awards for this plot according to Muhammadan Law and a separate enquiry was made regarding this objection petition.
The Government and Azam Jahi Mills in their counter stated that the land was used an agricultural land inspite of its close proximity to the town and compensation awarded on that basis was correct, that the land for Grain Market brought by the Warangal Municipality is not so near the disputed plot as to justify the claim petitioner's demand, that the price of the lands should be judged by the price awarded for it, that the claim-petitioner is not entitled to any enhanced compensation, nor his contention that the Collector had no competence to make the order correct.
With these allegations between the parties, several issues were drawn. But it is unnecessary to consider them in detail, except to state, that the compensation was allowed at the rate of Re. 1/- per sq. yd., and that the share of claimant Reghavender Rao or his assignees Abdul Ali Khan and Bhowri Lal at whose instance the claim was referred to the Court under S. 14 are entitled to be paid compensation at that rate.
The Court also considered the authority as to whether respondents 4 to 6, namely, N. Venkataram Narsiah, M. Ramaswami and Md. Hussain; who have not applied for a reference under S. 14 for enhancement of the compensation can benefit by the compensation made on a reference made by the claimant Raghavender Rao. The learned District Judge thought that they could not and as such directed that those respondents will receive compensation only at the rate settled by the Collector in his award for the portion of the lands to which their title has been admitted in the compromise.
In so far as the claim of Shaik Dadan, Abdul Razak and Yasin Bi in respect of s. No. 56 is concerned, the claim was dismissed and that Md. Hussain was entitled to the compensation as per compromise. Against this judgment and decree, Md. Hussain filed F. A. 78/1 and the Collector of Warangal and the Azam Jahi Mills Ltd., filed F. A. 79/1 and Mithineni Ramaswamy. In all these appeals, the points that arise for determination are :
!. Whether the enhanced compensation awarded by the District Judge is justified? And
2. If , so, whether the appellants in F. A. 78/1 and 80/1 are entitled to their enhanced compensation?
Taking the last point first, namely, whether the appellants in F. A. Nos 78/1 and 80/1 are entitled to the enhanced compensation notwithstanding the fact that they had not applied for making a reference under S. 14 of the Hyderabad Land Acquisition Act, it may be stated that the District Judge had evidently omitted to consider the order made by his predecessor on the 9th January 1951 in respect of the same matter.
In that order it is clearly stated that the point for determination was, when on behalf of defendants 4, 5 and 6 (who are the appellants in the two appeals before us) no application was made under Section 14 of the Land Acquisition Act against the Taluqdars within time to refer the matter to the Court, are they entitled to the compensation fixed by the Court and can the permission be given to them to adduce evidence regarding the valuation.
In so far as the 6th defendant is concerned, i.e., the appellant in D. A. 78/1, no application was made by him against the compensation fixed is the award, nor is it contended that the value fixed is low. But, it was however contended by him that he was entitled to the whole compensation amount. As such the 6th defendant can adduce evidence in that respect only so that he can substantiate his claim. As regards the compensation, he neither can apply nor lay any claim nor can adduce evidence in that respect.
So far as defendants 4 and 5, that is, the appellants in F. A. 80/1 are concerned, since A. Raghavender Rao had made an application in respect of the survey numbers under S. 14 within time and since the dispute was only in respect of the distribution of the compensation amount between defendants 4, 5 and the Plaintiff Raghavender Rao and since it was settled by a compromise dated 4th August, 1950 whatever compensation is to be fixed, the plaintiff and defendant would be declared entitled to distribution in accordance with the compromise.
The District Judge stated in other words, it can be said that the application has been made as against all the survey numbers within time under S. 14, that the distribution of compensation would be in accordance with the compromise and defendants 1 to 3 have no concern and that whatever evidence the plaintiff Raghavender Rao would lead can be treated as evidence of defendants 4 and 5 and that it is not necessary for defendants 4 and 5 to adduce separate evidence.
In the result, the District Judge held that although no application was made on behalf of defendants 4 and 5 under the Land Acquisition Act, as the claim of the plaintiff was made within time under the section for the total numbers, it can be treated as sufficient. While it is true that the District Judge ignored the previous decision on this matter, we have to consider the question. But before we do so, it is necessary to set out the two compromise petitions filed by Raghavender Rao in respect of the appellants in F. A. Nos. 78/1 and 80/1. He filed the following compromise petition D/- 8-12-1951 relating to the appellant in F. A, 78/1.
'In the above suit the petitioner who was a claimant to the extent of half the share in Survey No. 56 for compensation relinquishes his claim to the extent in favour of Mohammed Hussain minor under the guardianship of Jameela Bee. If now first Taluqdar wants to lead rebuttal, he may be permitted to do so. After inspection of site, final arguments can be heard. The duration of the case also has been long enough. It is prayed Mohammed Hussain the minor and after inspection of the site final arguments be heard.'
The other compromise dated 29-7-1959 related to the appellants in F. A. 80/1 and Raghavender Rao and is as follows :
'In the above-said case compromise has been effected between the plaintiff and the defendants as regards their claim for compensation as follows and they have put their signatures.
3. The area acquired by the Azam Jahi Mills is shown in the margin. The area of Survey Nos. in the margin belongs to Akula Raghavender Rao and he alone is entitled to get the compensation. The trees and the well situated in Survey Nos. 55 and 58 and the compensation that would be fixed. Akula Raghavender Rao would be entitled to get it.
Ac. Gts.1. Survey No. 55, assessed at Rs. 7-0-0 (whole) 10 82. Survey No. 58, assessed at Rs. 14-0-0 (whole) 13 313. Survey No. 59, assessed at Rs. 8-0-0 (whole) 11 264. Survey No. 77, assessed at Rs. 5-8-0(to the extent of share) 7 185. Survey No. 92, assessed at Rs. 1-00-0 (to the extent of share) 1 00____________________________Total Rs. 34-8-0 44 3____________________________ 4. The area acquired by Azam Jahi Mills shown in the margin is owned and possessed jointly by defendant Nos. 4 and 5. Defendants would be entitled to the compensation of this area. Defendant Nos. 4 and 5 would be entitled to the compensation for the trees and the well that are situated in Survey No. 86.
1. Survey No. 86, assessed at Rs. 6-0-IN THE HIGH COURT OF MADRAS(whole) 5 302. Survey No. 87, assessed at Rs. 3-0-0 (whole) 1 203. Survey No. 77, assessed at Rs. 1-8-0 (whole) 3 004. Survey No. 92, assessed at Rs. 1-0-0 (whole) 1 00 5. So far as Survey No. 56 is concerned, from the very beginning there is not dispute between the parties undersigned.
6. So far as the survey Nos. 105, 106, 107 are concerned to that extent a separate compromise has been filed in the Municipality. It is prayed that in accordance with the compromise claims of the parties be settled and the enquiry about the compensation completed.
Akula Ragahvender Rao
Appan Venkat Ram Narsiah
Muttineni Rama Swami.
We the parties verify the contents of the compromise, 29th July, 1950.'
(2) It may be noted that the above compromise petitions were filed in Court after the reference was made by the Collector. This reference, as we have already stated, was made on the application of Akula Raghavender Rao on the 24th Shehrewar 1354, F., under Section 14 in respect of S. Nos. 92, 86, 87, 56, 77, 59, 57 and 58 situated in Lachmipur Village in Warangal Taluk and that the Collector made the reference to the Court, as also the dispute between the parties.
In F. A, 78/1 the dispute was as to who is entitled to the compensation for S. No. 56, Md. Hussain, the appellant in F. A. 78/1 claiming the whole of it. While it was said that Raghavender Rao had got this survey number fictitiously included in the sale deed executed in his favour on 16th Sherewar 1345 Fasli for a consideration of Rs. 332-8-0, while in the other appeal F. A, 80/1 the appellants were claiming half share in S. Nos. 59 and 77, half-share in S. Nos. 55 and 58, the whole of Survey Nos. 86 and 87 and one area out of s. No. 92.
It is thus seen that in so far as F. A. 78/1 is concerned, the claim was for the whole survey number, the rival claimants being Raghavender Rao and the appellant and the result of the compromise is that Raghavender Rao had released his rights in that survey number in favour of the appellant in F. A. 78/1. While in so far as the other appellants are concerned, there was not even semblance of relinquishment of any of the rights in their favour, but there was recognition of rights in definite survey numbers and in definite shares. In the setting of these facts, the question is whether the reference made at the instance of Akula Ragahvender Rao under S. 14 will ensure for the benefit of the appellants and if so for whom.
Mr. Vidya cites the decision of a Bench of this Court in Mohammed Ibrahim Sahib v. Land Acquisition Officer, AIR 1958 Andh Pra 226 for the proposition that it is only those who ask for a reference are entitled to claim enhanced compensation, but if a reference has been made at the instance of others, they are not entitled to claim anything higher than that what they have been awarded.
In the case referred to Bhimasankaram and Krihsnarao, JJ. after considering Sections 18, 19, 20 and 21, held that a special jurisdiction is conferred upon the Court by those sections, which jurisdiction arises out of an application made to the Collector by a person interested, who has not accepted the award made by that Officer. As such there can be no reference except at the instance of such a person unless it be a reference under Section 30 of the Act with which they were concerned.
They also held that the phrase 'interested in the objection' does not cover persons interested in the success of the objection. Even if it does, it cannot cover the case of persons who could have made a similar objection on their own behalf. Where a person claims a higher compensation for the land of which he is co-owner., he may claim it either for his own share or for the whole of the land or a manager of the joint family may make such a claim on behalf of the joint family of which he is the manager. Similarly, a partner of a firm may make it on its behalf. Bhimasankaram J. went on to observe at p. 229 as follows:
'But where the owner of a specific share claims a higher compensation for his own share, the owner of another share cannot be said to be interested in the objection raised by the applicant to the amount of compensation awarded in respect of the applicant's share ............................................ Any co-owner who has filed an application under S. 18 cannot, in the circumstances, be described as a person who has not accepted the award and a person who has accepted the award cannot ask for its alteration though at the instance of any person who has not accepted it he may be brought before the Court for the proper determination of all the objections raised by the applicant.'
After thus observing, he concluded :
'In our view, therefore, the mere fact that a person is brought before the Court as a non-applicant party does not entitle him to ventilate his own grievance against the award when he himself has not filed an application to the Collector for a reference under S. 18 of the Act.'
The case in Narayana Gajapati Raju v. Annapurnamma, AIR 1941 Mad 660 and the decision referred to therein were distinguished on the ground that in that case the appellant who was the owner of the kudiwaram in the land acquired was awarded a much higher amount than was awarded to the melwaramdar and that melwaramdar herself did not seek reference under Section 18. But on a reference made at the instance of the kudiwaramdar, the Court below awarded an enhanced amount to her. The learned Judge pointed out that the Court had no jurisdiction to do so when she had made no objection to the award and he had not asked for an obtained a reference to the Court. In Abu Bakar v. Peary Mohan Mokerjee, ILR 34 Cal 451 it was decided (1) that a party who raises no objection to the apportionment of the compensation made by the Collector must be taken to have accepted the award in that respect and (ii) that under Ss. 18, 20, 21 of the Act all that the Court can deal with is the objection which had been referred to it, and it cannot go into a would raised for the first time by a party who had not referred any question or any objection to it, under S. 18 of the Act, Maclean, C. J. observed at p. 454 as follows :
'If we read that section in connection with Section 20 and S. 18, I think it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the Legislature intended that all that the Court could deal with was the objection which had been referred to it; and this seems to be a view consistent with common sense and with the ordinary method of procedure in civil case.'
It is true that s. 14 of the Hyderabad Land Acquisition Act, which corresponds to S. 18 of the Indian Land Acquisition Act states that it is only the person who is interested and who is displeased with the Taluqdar's award that may ask for a reference. If any person is interested and has not asked for a reference, then he cannot claim higher compensation. But where two persons claiming the same interest and one of them alone who has a legal right on the face of it and against whom proceedings under the Land Acquisition Act have been taken has asked for a reference and a reference has in fact been made, then any subsequent compromise between the two, whereunder the interest in the land which has been acquired has been relinquished in favour of the non-party does not preclude the non-party from obtaining the compensation which the claimant would be entitled. We do not think there is anything in the case referred to which militates against this proposition. It is of course abundantly clear that where the interests are distinct and no application bas been made under S. 14 for a reference, then merely because a reference has been made at the instance of a co-owner, the person entitled to the other half or entitled to a share in it cannot claim the benefit of that reference and ask for a higher compensation.
In Nagendra Nath v. Bhagwati Prasad, AIR 1946 pat 447 Meredith and Ray, JJ. had gone to the extent of holding that the term 'interested' in cl. (b) of Section 20 is wide enough to include both the persons interested in supporting or opposing the applicant; that means that cl. (b) must have reference to parties having conflicting claims to the compensation either whole or part, as against the applicant. Section 20, as it may be noticed is a provision enabling the Court on a reference made to the Court
'to cause a notice specifying the day on which the Court will proceed to determine the objection and directing their appearance before the Court on that day, to be served on the following reasons, namely ;
(a) the applicant;
(b) all persons interested in the objection, except such (if any) of them as have consented without protest to receive payment of the compensation awarded and
(c) if the objection is in regard to the area of the land or to the amount of the compensation, the Collector.'
(2) This section is analogous to Section 16 of the Hyderabad Land Acquisition Act. In that case, as in this case, notices were served on the persons who did not ask for a reference. The appellants in F. A. Nos. 78 and 80 had been served with notices and they had supported Raghavender Rao's claim for higher compensation. In AIR 1946 Pat 447 on an application by the Zamindar and one out of the three Mukarraridars necessitated a reference under Section 18; it was contended that the other two Mukarraridars could not claim the benefit of that reference. It was held that the Court had in fact power, irrespective of any reference at the instance of these two Mukarraridars, to investigate their claims, which claim could not be lost sight of or left undetermined in valuing the interest of the co-sharer Mukarraridar, who had applied for a reference within time.
This decision was dissented from in State v. Narayani Pillai, : AIR1959Ker136 as such a view would amount to entertaining a claim preferred beyond the time allowed by law, which would be in effect to ignore the period of limitation prescribed by the statute and that in the result the failure to prefer the claim in time was to preclude the defaulters from claiming anything more than that granted to them by an award. The Kerala High Court were considering a case of a single award in favour of four sharers, namely, Narayani Amma, Kuttipparu Amma, and her three sons Sivasankaran Nair, Appukuttan Nair and Parameswaran Pillai to whom the property originally belonged and no apportionment was made on the basis of the undisputed claims which had been put forward by Kuttipparu Amma and Sivasankaran Nair. This award was objected to by Sivasankaran Nair alone who filed a petition before the Land Acquisition Officer within the time prescribed by S. 18 of the Land Acquisition Act and prayed that the case may be referred to the District Court for a decision on the question of the enhanced value claimed for the land and also for apportioning the amount due to his half share in the property. In these circumstances, it was held that the mere fact that the award was a joint one in favour of all will not entitle the sharers to take advantage of the petition made by the other.
As we have already stated, where the award relates to distinct shares and some of the shareholders do not ask for a reference they will not be entitled to ask for any enhanced valuation and cannot take advantage of the reference made on behalf of one of such. But that is far from saying that, where the person in whose favour the award has been made has asked for a reference valuation has been given, that cannot be taken advantage of by a non-party to the award whose claim has not been considered and in whose favour the party entitled to the award has relinquished his interest.
It may be stated that the Collector in his award did not in fact determine the claim of the applicants who had filed claims in regard to their rights as against the persons mentioned in the statement prepared by the Tahsildar, who directed the Addl. Collector to enquire into such application and also determine the amount to be paid to each Asami (ryot). So, that is so far as the appellant Md. Hussain is concerned, his allegation that the sale deed entitling Akula Raghavender Rao to S. No. 56, which is a document of title in his favour was a fictitious one, was not enquired into. In fact it was not obligatory for the Collector to enquire into such matters. If the person challenging the legal right of another, who on the face of it has no legal title, has a grievance, he could have it settled in a Civil Court and declare himself entitled to the compensation. But in so far as the other appellants are concerned, the documents vesting title clearly specify their shares.
It is stated by the appellants in F. A. 80/1, that S. Nos. 59 and 77 were sold in favour of Akula Ragahvender Rao and Mathineni Ramaswamy (D. 5), one half belonging to Raghavender Rao and the other half to defendants 4 and 5. In respect of S. Nos. 55 and 58, there is a joint patta in the name of Akula Raghavender Rao and Venkatram Narsiah (D. 4) and similarly while Raghavender Rao holds half-share defendants 4 and 5 are entitled to the remaining half. With respect to joint patta in S. Nos. 86 and 77, it is said that defendants 4 and 5 are entitled to the whole of it and Raghavender Rao is not entitled to any. In S. No. 92 it is said that Raghavender Rao has no right or possession in that land and the same was registered in the name of 4th defendant's father. It is thus clear that the appellants in F. A. 80/1 have distinct interest in the land as is evident from the sale deed itself and in order to avail themselves of any compensation they would have to ask for a reference. The compromise does not assist them in any manner. In this view, they are not entitled to any compensation and Appeal No. 80/1 merits dismissal and it is accordingly dismissed.
(3) Now the only other question that remains to be determined is that which relates to the rate at which compensation should be awarded. At the outset, it may be stated, the appellant in F. A. 78/1 has confined his claim only to Rs. 1/- per sq. yd. as awarded by the District Judge and he therefore cannot claim anything more. In respect of the first point, which is concerned in F. A. 79/1 the parties have said that there is likelihood of a compromise and consequently this judgment does not concern with that appeal. The learned advocate for the respondents 1 and 3 in F. A. 78/1, Mr. Vidya, contends that even this Re. 1/- per sq. yd. is too higher rate.
The learned District Judge, in our opinion, has dealt elaborately with the evidence on record and fixed Re/ 1/- per sq. yd. The land for the Grain Market was sold a little earlier than the notification for the acquisition of the land, which is the subject-matter of this appeal. The learned District Judge observes that it was sold at a very high price, which is only due to the fact that it was divided into small compact plots and was nearer the railway station than the claimant's land. It may be stated that the land was sold to the Municipality was 500 Sq. yds. of plots for Rs. 55,00/-.
The fact that the claimants have had to spend considerable amount of money in making roads to render the interior portion of the land approachable and would have had to divide them into innumerable plots costing a large sum of money and the fact that the claimant a large sum of money and the fact that the claimant could never have found a single purchaser for the large tract of the vacant land under acquisition willing to pay the very high price at which the very small plots surrounded by two roads nearer the railway station were brought, seems to have influenced the District Judge in ignoring totally the value of the neighbouring land. When neighbouring lands are valuable and fetch high price whether made into plots or otherwise, it cannot be said that merely because some expenses should be incurred in making roads and plots, the acquired land would have value far less and quite out of proportion to what the neighbouring lands have fetched.
Due allowance can always be made and taken into consideration in fixing the value of the acquired land, having regard to the market price of the neighbouring lands. One important consideration that should weigh in fixing the values, is the potential development of the area abutting the developed lands fetching higher prices. It cannot be that a plot of a developed land is Rs. 10/- per sq. yd., while the immediately next to it, though may be on the border of the developed area of the town, is much less. The potentialities of a developing town must be taken into consideration in fixing the value of land, whether it be for building sites or agricultural land. The District Judge even took into consideration another piece of land the price of which admittedly went upto Rs. 4/- per Sq. yd. It was a plot of 1554 sq. yards and was quite close to the land under acquisition and the Azam Jahi Mills purchased it at that rate. But the District Judge Mills took into account that this was a very small plot of land compared to the land acquired and taking into account the factors which tend to reduce large tracks of land to which we have already adverted, he fixed it at Rs. 1-8-0 per sq. yd as the fair price. He also took into account the value on the basis of 20 years rent, which works out to about Rs. 2 per sq. yd. At this stage, it may be stated where there is definite evidence as to the market value of the neighbouring lands, it will not be permissible tot take rent as the basis for fixing the value and apart from that the learned District Judge has gone on whittling down the market value first taking into consideration several factors, namely, of the cost of the plot, the costs of making roads etc. and brought it to Rs. 1-8-0. Then even on a rent valuation he fixed it at Rs. 2/- and then he went on to say that taking into consideration the neighbourhood of a town, all the amenities, reasonable expectations, future prospects and potentialities and making a liberal estimate of what a willing purchaser would have been willing to pay at the time of acquisition for those plots of land judging by the price fetched by the neighbouring plots as proved by the evidence on record and making a most liberal estimate, the fair market value of the land at the time of acquisition would be as far as it is possible to judge Rs. 1-4-0 per sq.yd. He again reduced that 1-4-0 to Re 1/-. We are satisfied that the land at that place is worth more than that was fixed, but having regard to the fact that the appellant did not claim more than O. S. one rupee, he will only be entitled at that rate, along with the statutory solatium of 15 per cent and interest at 6 per cent per annum, from the date of taking possession till payment.
(4) In the result, F. A. No. 78/1 is allowed with costs, and F. A. No. 80/1 is dismissed with costs.
(5) Order accordingly.