1. This appeal arises out of an; order passed under land acquisition proceedings. The Municipal Board of Agra wished to acquire a shop for the purpose of widening a road. It was a very small shop with an area of 38 square feet. The Land Acquisition Officer estimated the compensation at Rs. 402-8-0 including the legal percentage for compulsory acquisition. On a reference to the learned District Judge,1 he increased the amount to Rs. 800 which was the sum originally claimed by the owner of the shop. This claim was based on a deed of sale said to have been executed in favour of the owner by his predecessor in the year 1934. The notable fact is that this sale took place about twenty days after the municipal board had offered to buy the house by private treaty for Rs. 150. There seems to be no doubt that the owner of the shop was well aware that there would be compulsory acquisition on behalf of the municipal board and that he consequently entered into this sale with a false consideration so as to obtain a large amount by way of compensation. The house had been sold in 1931 for Rs. 200 and there is no reason to suppose that it had appreciated in value. Some argument was based upon the fact that the municipal board had assessed the house at a rental of Rs. 36 a year for the purpose of taxation, but this fact is easily explicable. It was pointed out by the Land Acquisition Officer that the owners of the houses in this lane had learnt about the scheme for widening it and as the assessment of houses was in progress at the time they voluntarily agreed to a high assessment so as to obtain large sums by way of compensation. We have no doubt that this was really the case. In our judgment, the learned Judge of the Court below was wrong. No oral evidence was produced before him. The parties both agreed that all the documents on the record should be read and they include a number of statements taken before other officers. An Honorary Magistrate and the next-door neighbour of the person who owns this shop both said that it was not worth more than Rs. 350. We have no doubt that they were right in view of the price which the shop fetched in 1931.
2. We set aside the order of the learned Judge of the lower Court and direct that compensation shall be paid as assessed by the Land Acquisition Officer, that is, a sum of Rs. 402-8-0 shall be paid. The appellant will get his costs from the respondent including the costs which the appellant has incurred for printing the respondent's papers.