1. These appeals relate to the compensation payable for the acquisition of certain sites in Guntur town Municipality for the extension of the Government Head-Quarters Hospital, Guntur. There was a notification for the acquisition of these sites under Section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act on 22-4-1953. The subject-matter of these appeals, are 3 sites bearing Town Survey No. 317/1 admeasuring 1136 sq. yards, 1124 sq. yards and 1253 sq. yards. One Pamulapati Venkata Krishnayya Chowdary, Guntur, was the owner of the first site and his son, Pamulapati Lalithendranath Chowdari is the owner of the other two sites. One Khambhampati Gopalakrislinayya was interested in the site admeasuring 1253 sq. yarcis, as a lessee who was carrying on a business in motors under the name and style of 'Bedford Co.' The said Gopalakrishnayya had obtained a lease of the site for 20 years from 1-1-1948 to 31-12-1968. The rental for the first 10 ysars was Rs. 150/- per month and for the later 10 years Rs. 160/- per mensem. The lessae had himself put up a building on the site for the purpose of his business. It was stipulate that at the end of the lease period he should surrender the site with the structures thereon to the lessor, Pamulapati Lalithendranadha Chowdari. The Revenue Divisional Officer by his proceedings dated 28-2-1955 awarded Rs. 33,810/-, Rs. 40,942-9-5 and Rs. 64,198-12-0 for the three items of property respectively. In this context, it may be noted that the Revenue Divisional Officer valued the sites at, Rs. 25/- a square yard, valued the structures and the other items separately and added 15% solatium to the said property values in arriving at the said amounts.
2. Inasmuch as Khambhampati Gopalkrishnaian presented a separate claim for compensation as a lessee and there was a dispute between the owner of the site and the lessee with regard to the compensation for the building, the Revenue Divisional Officer made a reference to the court under Sections 30 and 31(2) of the Land Acquisition Act, hereinafter to be referred to as the Act. The owners and the lessee were dissatisfied with the amount of compensation offered by the Revenue Divisional Officer and so applied for reference to the Court under Section 18 of the Act claiming enhanced amounts of compensation, and in particular the owners claiming Rs. 50/- a square yard as the market value of the sites acquired. These references were enquired into by the Additional Subordinate Judge, Guntur, as 0. Ps. 14 and 15 of 1956. 0. P. 14 of 1956 related to the site admeasuring 1136 sq. yards.
0. P. 15 of 1956 related to the sites admeasuring 1124 sq. yards. They claimed enhanced compensation for all the items.
2. The learned Additional Subordinate Judge accepted the claim put forward for the sites. He made a few modifications with regard to certain other items. In 0. P. 14 of 1956 he made the following order : Enhancement of Rs. 25/- per sq. yard plus Rs. 500/- as the value of the barbed wire and R. C. Posts. These amounts are to carry additional solatium of 15% and the aggregate sum to bear 6% interest from 9-4-1955 the date of taking possession. In 0. P. 15 of 1956 he ordsred an enhancement of Rs. 25/- a square yard plus Rs. 500/-towards the value of the barbed wire and R. C. Posts. 15% solatium is to be added to the said values and the amounts will carry interest at 6% from 94-1955. The second claimant in 0. P. No. 15 of 1956, Gopalkrishnaiah, the lessee, was granted Rs. 1,000/- for shifting charges and interest on the said amount at 6% per annum from 94-1955. The Revenue Divisional Officer has preferred appeals against the enhanced amounts granted: A. S. 427 of 1957 relates to 0. P. 14 of 1956. A. S. 428 of 1957 relates to 0. P. 15 of 1956. A. S. 512 of 1957 is filed by Gopaiakrishnaiah, the lessee of the site admeasuring 1253 sq. yards, (item 12).
3. The learned Government Pleader contended that the Additional Subordinate Judge was not justified in granting Rs. 50/- per square yard for the sites in question. He would say that it was for the claimants to show that similar sites in the neighbourhood fetched as much as Rs. 50/- a square yard recently and that in the absence of such evi-dence the enhancement of the site value by Rs. 25/- by the learned Subordinate Judge cannot be sustained. Ex. B-4 dated 29-3-1949 is the only sale deed which was exhibited for the Referring Officer before the learned Sub-ordinate Judge which partains to a site continuous to the sites in question. Under the said sale deed one Dr. Nage-swara Rao C. W. 2, sold 977 sq. yards of site at Rs. 25/-per square yard. The said vendor gave evidence before the Land Acquisition Court. He said that he and others including the claimants in these cases purchased sites behind the Government Hospital. Subsequently they all divided the sites as per the partition deed Ex. A-2 dated 29-10-1946. His site was to the south of the sites of the claimants. He said that he had sold the plot to the Proprietors of the Saraswathi Picture Palace at Rs. 25/-per square yard. The vendees later built a cinema on the site.
At the time he sold this plot, there were some equatters upon the plot whom he could not evict. There were also same pits in his plot here and there. In cross-examination he said that he had given evidence at the re-quest of one of the claimants whom he referred to as a man of status and influence. Whatever may be the proclivities of this witness, the fact remains that he had sold a similar site in 1949 at Rs. 25/- per square yard. The claimants would have it that between 1949 and 1953 the market values of the sites in Guntur town have shot up and the value at Rs. 50/- per square yard was a proper market value on the material date, the date of notification under Section 4(1) of the Act. This plea for enhancement appears to have weighed with the learned Subordinate Judge. We have, however, to notice that apart from the arguments for and against, no evidence of recent sales as such was adduced by either party after 1949 and nearer to the material date. This is indeed surprising.
4. The learned Subordinate Judge has checked the market value claimed by the owners of the sites with reference to the capital value computed on the basis at the net rental value. In the resume pait of this judgment, we have referred to the lease of the site admeasuring about 1253 square yards in favour of Gopalakrishniah. The said lease deed is Ex. A4 dated 24-1-1948, the rental value fixed thereunder being Rs. 155/- per month on an average. There is no controversy about the truth and genuineness of this lease deed. This rental value was taken as the net rental value as the lessee undertook to pay the taxes. The learned Subordinate Judge capitalised the annual rental value at 33 years purchase and arrived at a figure which compared favourably with the market value claimed.
5. The learned Government Pleader has argued that in matters of awarding compensation under the Act, it is the market value as on the material date of notification that has to be ascertained and that usually there are 3 methods by which the market value could be arrived at : (1) opinion of experts, (2) the price paid within a reasonable time in bona fide transactions of purchase of the lands. acquired or the lands adjacent to the lands acquired and possessing similar advantages; and (3) a number' of years purchase of the actual or immediately prospective profits of the lands acquired. The learned counsel has invited our attention to the reference made to these methods by the Supreme Court in Special Land Acquisition Officer, Bangalore v. T. Adinarayan Setty, : AIR1959SC429 . He would urge that the price paid under Ex. B-4 dated 29-3-1949 is the only relevant sale which is a correct guide with reference to the second method indicated. Should the thirds method of capitalising the net rental value be adopted on the basis of Ex. B4 dated 29-3-1949, he contended that the number of years purchase cannot be more than 20 as, the sites in urban areas used for building purposes are expected to fetch an income much more than investments in gilt-edged securities.
6. The law bearing on this question has not been uniform. We may appropriately notice that the basis of this multiple, to wit, the number of years purchase has been lucidly explained in the Madras Case : Collector of Kistna, Masuiipatam v. Sivarama Prasad, AIR 1938 Mad 33, Where Venkata Subba Rao, J., stated thus:
'The only real question that these appeals raise is, what is the number of years' purchase, at which the rental of the lands acquired should be capitalised? The contention of the learned Government Pleader that there prevails a rule to be rarely departed from that no more than 20 years' purchase should be allowed, does not rest upon any sound principle. What does the 20-year purchase rule-imply? It means that the value of the property might be taken to be a capital sum which, if invested at the rate of 5 per cent per annum, would yield an income equivalent to the rent. Thus, if Rs. 500/- represent the annual return and the 20 year rule is adopted, the capitalized value of the property would be Rs. 500 x 20 i.e., Rs. 10,000/-. Now let this sum be invested at 5 per cent interest. It would yield a return of Rs. 500A. Therefore the 20-year purchase rule rests upon this assumption. The owner of the property compulsorily acquired, if paid twenty times the annual rental, would get a 5 per cent return upon his money (5 per cent of any given amount being the 1/20th. of it). There is another assumption upon which this rule rests, namely that the return expected from immovableproperty is 5 per cent and that therefore if the rental is capitalized at 20 years' purchase, the owner would be properly compensated for the acquisition, it will thus be seen that the rule of the number of years' purchase, is not a theoretical or legal rule, but depends upon economic factors, such as the previaling rate of interest. That there is no uniform or rigid principle in regard to the number of years' purchase is illustrated by several decisions,'
Sri Ramachandra Rao for the Government has placed strong reliance on Sub Collector, Rajahmundry v. Parthasarathi Naidu, ILR 1943 Mad 127 : (1942) 2 Mad L J 512: (AIR 1942 Mad 739), for limiting the multiple to 20 yearspurchase. In the said case the learned Judges were con-sidermg a site of 648 sq. feet in the Town of Rajahmundry. The lower Court in that case had adopted 12 years purchase whereas the claimant pressed for capitalization at 30 years'purchase. The learned Judge Krishnaswamy Ayyangar, J. who delivered the judgment of the Bench, was of the opinion that 20 years' purchase should be adopted observing that the number of years' purchase which should be adopted in a given case must vary with individual cases and will have to be decided upon the material placed before the Court. The learned Judge wont on to say :
'This is ordinarily adopted as the basis and we sesno reason to depart from the rule of ordinary practice.'
Sri Ramachandra Rao would argue that these observations are pertinent to the sites in question and the samemultiple has to be adopted. We have examined this decision carefully; but we are unable to say that this decision is an authority for the proposition that in assessing the market value of urban sites in Municipalities 20 years' annual net rental value of the site is the rule. Far from laying down a rule to that effect, the learned Judges said that in the absence of evidence on the point, they thought that 20 years' purchase might be adopted as the basis for fixing the market value. Earlier the learned Judge observed that there was no evidence on record upon which it could be decided that any Particular number of years' purchase should be taken as the basis and further that there was no material for the learned Judge? of the Court below to fix it at twelve years' purchase and further that the claimant himself did not put forward any material for ger-suading the Court to accept 30 years' purchase. Further after observing that the number of years' purchase which should be adopted in a given case must vary with individual cases and will have to be decided upon the material placed before the Court, the learned Judge referred to with approval the observation of Vankatasubbarac, J., that there was no uniform or rigid practice in regard to the number of years' purchase. This decision is therefore not of much assistance to the learned counsel in support of the contention that 20 years' purchase was accepted as a rule in the case of urban sites.
7. True it is that difference do exist between rural sites and urban sites. Agricultural land differs from urban sites, and sites with buildings thereon are not the same on sites without buildings thereon. But so far as the Madras decisions go, there is no departure from the view express-ad in Land Acquisition Officer, Calicut v. S. V. Suhba Rao, (1941) 2 Mad LJ 75 at p. 77 : (AIR 1941 Mad G34 at p. 684), thus at page 77:
'it is clearly laid down in the case already cited (1937) 2 Mad LJ 744: ILR 1938 Wad 431: [AIR 1938 Mad 33) that it has long been the practice of the Courts in thisPresidency to calculate the profits from any form of landed property as equal to the profits made by investing money in gilt-edged securities. It is no doubt argued on behalf of the Government in this appeal that a purchaser of house property in a Municipality like Calicut would expect to get more for his money than, if he had invested it in Government securities. But on this point there is no evidence available in the proceedings before the learned Subordinate Judge and we have not been shown any authority in which any distinction of this hind has been drawn between sites in a Municipality and sites in the country.'
The aforecited case related to 2 cents of land in Calicut Municipality with a building thereon. The learned Judges adopted the method of capitalization by taking 33 1/3 years' purchase. This and the other decisions including the case relied on by the learned counsel for the Government, ILR (1943) Mad 127 : 1942-2 Mad LJ 512 : (AIR 1942 Mad 739), bearing on the question have been reviewed in a later case, Radhakrishna Chettiar v. Province of Madras, ILR 1949 Mad 497 : (AIR 1949 Mad 171). In that case the property acquired was a sits with a building thereon. The learned Judges observed that both on principle and on account of the similarity of the facts, the valuation in the case should follow the basis adopted in 1941-2 Mad LJ 75 : (AIR 1941 Mad 684), i.e., 33-1/3 years' purchase, taking into account the interest yielded by Government securities at the time of the notification under Section 4(2) of the Act. Referring to ILR (1943) Mad 127 : 1942-2 Mad U 512 : (AIR 1942 Mad 739), specifically, Rajarnannar, C. J., observed that they did not understand that case to lay down that the ordinary rule was to adopt 20 years' purchase as the basis for fixing the market value of any kind of property.
3. As such we cannot adopt ILR (1943) Mad 127 : 1942-2 Mad L J 512 : (AIR 1942 Mad 739), as applicable to the sites in question.
9. A Bench of this Court in Doredla China Kotayya v. Sub-Collector of Bezwada, : AIR1955AP286 , went into this question. In the said case a site with a building thereon was acquired for the Vijayawada Municipality for widening lane. The Sub-Collector, Vijayawada, gave compensation capitalized at 25 times the rental value. The learned Judges allowed 33 1/3 years' purchase on the basis of the yield from the gilt-edged securities in the year of acquisition which was 3 per cent. The learned Judges observed that was not to be applied as an invariable rule to all cases of valuation of immovable property of whatever description and condition.
10. It seems to us that there is a uniform line of authority in favour of correlating the number of years' purchase to the rate of interest on gilt-edged securities at the time of the acquisition, that is to say, on the date of notification under Section 4(1) of the Act in awarding compensation for the acquisition of landed property. It does not appear that any material distinction was made between sites in a Municipality and sites in the country and different forms of landed property. It seems to us that this method of capitalization of net rental value applied all these years is rested on a sound principle and may be adopted as reasonable. There are a few departures from this rule; but they appear to be rested on the facts pecliar to those cases.
11. Sri Ramachandra Rao has cited to us certain cases decided by the Mysore High Court. One is Rajasekhara v.Chairman, City Improvement Trust Board, Mysore City, : AIR1957Kant20 . The properly in that case consisted on buildings situated in Mysore City. The learned judges capitalized the net rental value at 18 years' purchase. In Banganna v. Special Land Acquisition Officer, City Improvement Trust Board, Mysore, : AIR1959Kant123 , which dealt with house properties in Mysore, the learned Judges adopted 20 years' purchase for the purpose of capitalization. These decisions do not evolve any material line of distinction between forms of landed property. They are best understood as confined to the facts of those cases.
12. In the instant case, the learned Subordinate Judge had no positive evidence before him as to the rate of Interest payable on Government Securities in the year of acquisition. For this reason we called for a finding which has since been submitted stating that the rate of interest on gilt-edged securities as on 22-4-1953 was 3 per cent simple interest. The finding is accepted by the appellant as correct. That would mean that capitalization at 33.1/3 years' purchase would be proper. If the rental value is capitalized adopting 33.1/3 years' purchase, it would amount to Rs. 62,000/- (that is to say, 155 x 12 x 33.1/3) which is about the same as now awarded for the site in question. It may be recalled that the learned Subordinate Judge adopted this method only to check upon the value of the site claimed at Rs. 50/- per square yard and his ultimate decision rested on the valuation of the sites at Rs. 50/- per square yard. It is not necessary for us to consider the reiatlva merits of either method, inasmuch as the result achieved is substantially the same. We do not therefore consider that the learned Subordinate Judge was wrong or unreasonable on the facts of this case in awarding an enhancement of Rs. 25/- per square yard for the site) covered by Ex. A-4.
13. The other sites are contiguous to the site and could be accepted as sites with similar advantages, if so, the same enhancement would hold good for the other sites as well, viz., the site admeasuring 1124 sq. yards, and the site admeasuruing 1136 square yards. We may also notice that Ex. A-3 dated 11-5-1949 is a rental deed for the site admeasuring 1124 square yards in favour of one Meka Malta Reddi of Penurnaka for a period of 10 jrears, the rent stipulated being Rs. 2,000/- per annum. The learned Subordinate Judge observed that the genuineness of the lease deed was not questioned and under the lease deed the municipal taxes were payable by the lessee. The learned Subordinate Judge therefore took this rental as net rent. If the rental value is capitalized at 33.1/3 years' purchase, it would amount to much more than the enhanced value claimed for the site.
14. The extent admeasuring 1136 square yards has not been leased out to anybody; but its location is between the other two sites. This is what the learned Sub-ordinate Judge said in awarding enhanced compensation at Rs. 50/- per square yard for this site :
'But however the location of item 10 is important. It is in between item 11 on the one side and item 12 on the other, it had continued to be a vacant site with the Bedford Co., on one side and Mallareddy's structures on the other. If anything, the value which Item 10 would fetch at the time of the Gazette notification in the year 1953 would not be less than that of either item 11 or of item 12, the commercial importance of item 10 having Increased by reason not only of the Bedford Company, having been constructed in item 12 but also by reason ofthe construction of the Saraswathi Picture Palace by the side of item 11 in the year 1951. As I said, the value of item 10 could not possibly be less than that of either item 11 or of item 12 as in the year 1953. Therefore there can be no hesitation whatsoever in granting enhancement of Rs. 25/- per square yard in respect of item 30 just as it was done in respect of items 11 and 12.'
Once these values for the other two sites are accepted as proper there is nothing faulty about this reasoning of the learned Subordinate Judge. We would therefore affirm the enhancement granted by the learned Subordinate Judge for all these sites in question.
Sri Ramachandra Rao has next contended that if the not rental values are capitalized, additional compensation cannot be given for the structures put up by the lessees on the sites admeasuring 1124 square yards, and 1253 square yards. It may be recalled that Exs. A-3 and A-4 are the leases for these sites and the lessees had undertaken to raise structures themselves at their own cost and surrender the sites to the lessor after the expiry of the leases. Sri Ramachandra Rao would say that the rental values fixed under the leases must be taken as relating to the siles and structures thereon taken as a unit and if so, additional compensation could not be claimed for the structures. He has relied on the observations made in Rathnamasari v. Secretary of State, 44 Mad LJ 132 : (AIR 19Z3 Mad 332).
In the said case 3 plots of land suitable for house building were acquired for the purpose of building a hostel for the Salem College in 1915. On S. Nos. 34 and 35 there was a bungalow and that was also acquired. The extent of these survey numbers was 8 1/2 acres and the building was fairly large. The building was let out. In awarding compensation the District Judge capitalized the net rental at 20 years' purchase and arrived at the same as the proper value of the plots. It was contended in appeal before the High Court that that method was not correct, and that the land and the building should have been valued separately and the aggregate would represant the total market value. The learned Judges disapproved of that contention and said that a plot consisting of a house and a garden is much more satisfactorily valued in the manner in which the District judge had done by capitalizing the rental in the absence of other evidence which would five a more satisfactory value. The main point to be noticed here is that it was a lease of a building with extensive land attached thereto.
15. Another case died in support of this contention is State of Madras v. Mohammed Ibrahim, : AIR1960Mad252 . That was a case of acquisition of house property which was leased to a tenant at Rs. 32A per month. The learned Judge stated thus :
'It is wrong in such a case to attempt to value the site, independently of the superstructure and then value the superstructure as a separate unit and add the one value to the other with s view to arrive at the compensation payable to the owner of the property. The site and the structure cease to be capable of yielding separate items of income. The house property is enjoyed as a unit by the owner or by the lessee. The method adopted by the Land Acquisition Officer in valuing the site and the superstructure separately and then adding the values for the purpose of arriving at the compensation payable was wrong. The learned Subordinate Judge was right in hold-ing that the house property, inclusive of the site and the superstructure, should be valued as a single unit,'
Here again, it is the case of a house. Taking the method indicated in the said decision as correct, there is this marked distinction in the cases under consideration as the leass deeds, Exs. A-3 and A4 relate to the sites only. The lessees undertook to put up some structures thereon for their businesses and further undertook to surrender the sites on the expiry of the lease periods. If so, that makes all the difference as the present rental values referred to sites only and not to structures put up thereon. This contention must therefore fail.
16. The learned Subordinate Judge has confirmed the award of the Revenue Divisional Officer for the buildings and the other items and so the items of compensation so awarded do not arise in these appeals.
17. in 0. P. No. 34 of 1956 the learned Subordinate Judge granted Rs. 500/- as the value of the barbed wire fencing and R. C. posts. The same sum was awarded In 0. P. No. 15 of 1956 also for the same Hem. In view of the positive evidence of R.W. 2, the Sub-Divisional Officer that 42 cement posts meant for barbed wire fencing were taken possession of by the Department, the 'earned Subordinate Judge fixed the approximate' value at Rs. 1,000/-. It is also the evidence of R.W. 1 that according to the practice of the P.W.D. when buildings are valued, the cost of any fencing would also be included and that he has not calculated the cost of 42 cement concrete posts. The evidence in this matter is brief and superficial. We are not inclined to interfere with this additional amount awarded by the learned Subordinate Judge.
18. The next point raised by Sri Ramachandra Rao is that the learned Subordinate Judge was wrong in awarding interest at 6 par cent per annum on the amounts, inasmuch as by Madras (Amendment) Act, 1953 (Act 12 of 1953 interest was permissible only at 4 per cent. The Madras amendment with reference to Sections 28 and 34 of the Act provided for an interest of 4 per cent only. Section 28 of the Act provides for interest at 4 per cent to be paid on the excess awarded by the Court from the date of taking possession of the land to the date of payment of such excess into Court. Section 34 provides for payment of interest on the compensation at 4 per cent per annum from the time of taking possession. The learned counsel for the respondents does not dispute that interest has to he reduced in view of this amendment. The direction as to interest will therefore be modified providing only for 4 per cant interest on the excess compensation from the date of possession, to wit, 94-1955 till the date of deposit.
19. Appeals Nos. 427 and 423 of 1957 preferred 6y the Revenue Divisional Officer succeed only to the extent of this modification in the rate of interest. In other respects they fail.
20. A. S. No. 512 of 1957 is confined to a claim by Sri Gopalakrishnaiah of Rs. 3,000/- for loss of business. Obviously this claim has reference to Section 23(1), Fourthly, of the Act which states thus:
'Section 23(1) In determining the amount of compersa-tion to be awarded for land acquired under this Act, theCourt shall take into consideration--firstly ...... secondly ........thirdly, ........fourthly, the damage (if any) sustained by the personinterested, at the time of the Collector's taking possession of the land, by reason of the acquisition injuriously affecting his other property, movable or immovable, in any other manner, gr his earnings .... ...'
Gopalakrishniah claims to have been running a prosperous business in cars, trucks, spare parts and tyres. It is said that he was having a workshop. According to C.W. 10, who is said to be the Accountant under Gopalakrishniah, the concern was making a minimum annual profit of Rs. 2000/-. He denied the suggestion that the business was! running at a loss. It is an undisputed fact that he has net filed any accounts to show what profit he was making: The evidence of C.W. 10 is that after the acquisition Gopalakrishnaiah tried to get suitable accommodation for locating the business but that he could not. There is nothing in evidence to show what particular advantages he-had at the acquired site and what he had lost by shifting his business elsewhere. There is no evidence that there was a special market for his business at the acquired site. There must be credible evidence that his business could not be shifted elsewhere with equal advantage. There must be also reliable evidence as to the amount of profit, before the Court could be convinced of having to compensate film for the loss of his earnings. The loss of business or loss of earnings does not mean profit made by using the corpus. What it means is what a man by shifting alsewhere has suffered in his earnings.
21. The learned Subordinate Judge held in para 31 of his judgment thus;
'I should think that Gopalakrisinian must have been glad that he had an opportunity to wind up his business at Guntur. If he was making any substantial profit here, he would certainly have loohed for an alternative premises to locate his Guntur Branch. It is true that C.W. 10 states that Gopalakrishniah had looked for an alternative4 premises at Guntur, but I do not believe it. C.W. 10 does not say as to which was the alternative site or premises that Gopalakrishniah had tried for. Therefore the claim in respect of loss or profit is negatived.'
Thus it is the Subordinate Judge's opinion, that Gopala-krishnaiah has not sustained any loss in his business earnings. We have to take into account the opinion of thetrial Judge as well. For all the reasons stated, we cannot possibly admit a claim for alleged loss of businessearnings.
22. No other matters were argued before us.
23. The appeals fail and are dismissed except to theextent of modification with regard to rate of interest Indl-cated above; but in the circumstances, the parties willbear their own costs In all the appeals.