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State of U.P. Vs. Nathhoo and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberFirst Appeal No. 215 of 1976
Judge
Reported inAIR1986All172
ActsLand Acquisition Act, 1894 - Sections 23; Evidence Act, 1872 - Sections 11, 13 and 43
AppellantState of U.P.
RespondentNathhoo and ors.
Advocates:Standing Counsel
Excerpt:
property - compensation for acquisition - section 23 of land acquisition act, 1894 and sections 11, 13 and 43 of evidence act, 1872 - determination of compensation by court - reliance can be placed upon previous judgment - compensation determined in accordance to the value of adjoining land - held, no error in determining compensation. - - ). their lordships observed as follows :these police orders are in their lordships' opinion admissible in evidence on general principles as well as under section 13 of the indian evidence act to show the fact that such orders were made......pradesh against the judgment and decree dt. 30-3-1976, passed by the district judge, meerut in land acquisition reference no. 118 of 1974, awarding compensation to the respondents for their land acquired under the land acquisition act (hereinafter referred to as the act) at the rate of rs. 6/- per sq. yard. the notification under section 4(1) of the act was made on 13-8-1962. some adjoining land at the same site belonging to other persons had also been acquired in respect of which compensation had been determined at the rate of rs. 6/- per sq. yard by this court in an appeal filed in this behalf against the judgment of the district judge. for the state of uttar pradesh, appellant, reliance was placed on a sale deed as an exemplar indicating that the land was sold at a lesser price in.....
Judgment:

N.D. Ojha, J.

1. The first appeal has been filed by State of Uttar Pradesh against the judgment and decree dt. 30-3-1976, passed by the District Judge, Meerut in Land Acquisition Reference No. 118 of 1974, awarding compensation to the respondents for their land acquired under the Land Acquisition Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act) at the rate of Rs. 6/- per sq. yard. The notification under Section 4(1) of the Act was made on 13-8-1962. Some adjoining land at the same site belonging to other persons had also been acquired in respect of which compensation had been determined at the rate of Rs. 6/- per sq. yard by this Court in an appeal filed in this behalf against the judgment of the District Judge. For the State of Uttar Pradesh, appellant, reliance was placed on a sale deed as an exemplar indicating that the land was sold at a lesser price in the neighbourhood. The District Judge did not place reliance on the said sale deed on the ground that it had been executed about 4 1/2 years prior to the acquisition of the land of the claimant-respondents. He on the other hand placed reliance on the judgment of this Court, whereby the compensation in respect of the adjoining land had been awarded at the rate of Rs. 6/- per sq. yard In this connection, the District Judge has pointed out that the land in respect of which compensation at the rate of Rs. 6/- per sq. yard had been determined by the High Court was acquired at the same time as the land of the claimants respondents.

2. It has been urged by the counsel for appellant that the judgment of this Court in another case, which was not inter partes, was not admissible and could not be taken into consideration by the District Judge in determining the amount of compensation. In this connection, our attention was invited to Sections 40, 41 and 42 of the Evidence Act and it was pointed out that the judgment relied on by the District Judge did not fall within any of the categories mentioned in these three sections. He, then, placed reliance on Section 43 of the Evidence, Act, which contemplates that a judgment, order or decree other than those mentioned in Sections 40, 41 and 42 is irrelevant unless the existence of such judgment, order or decree is a fact in issue or is relevant under some other provision of that Act. In our opinion even if the judgment of this Court relied on by the District Judge was not admissible under Sections 40, 41 and 42 of the Evidence Act, it was certainly admissible under Section 11 of the said Act and in view of the last clause of Section 43 which refers to a judgment, order or decree being relevant under some other provision of the Act, the said judgment of the High Court was admissible and rightly taken into consideration by the District Judge. In Collector of Bilaspur v. Lachhman , a similar question arose for consideration. In a case about determination of compensation under the Land Acquisition Act reliance was sought to be placed on an earlier judgment in the case of one Mehta Nand Lal. It was urged that the said judgment was inadmissible. Repelling this submission it was held that :--

'It is true that the judgment in Mehta Nand Lal's case (F. A. No. 12 of 1962, Him Pra) was not inter partes and is not admissible, either under Section 40, 41 or section 42 of the Evidence Act. But judgment, not inter partes, may be admissible under other sections of the Evidence Act, read with Section 43 of that Act, under certain circumstances and for certain limited purposes. Their Lordships of the Privy Council had admitted Magistrate's orders, not inter partes, passed under Section 145, Cr. P. C. in Dinomoni Chowdhrani v. Brojo Mohini Chowdhrani, (1902) 29 Ind App 24 (P. C.). Their Lordships observed as follows :

'These police orders are in their Lordships' opinion admissible in evidence on general principles as well as under Section 13 of the Indian Evidence Act to show the fact that Such orders were made. This necessarily makes them evidence of the following facts, all of which appear from the orders themselves, namely, who the parties to the dispute were; what the land in dispute was; and who was declared entitled to retain possession. For this purpose, and to this extent, such orders are admissible in evidence for and against every one when the fact of possession at the date of the order has to be ascertained.'

Their Lordships of the Supreme Court admitted previous judgments, not inter partes, in Srinivas Krishnarao Kango v. Narayan Devji Kango : [1955]1SCR1 and Sital Das v. Sant Ram : AIR1954SC606 . In the latest, 1864 (9th Edition) of Field's law of Evidence, revised by Sri T. L. Venkatarama Aiyar, formerly Judge, Supreme Court, it has been said on page 542 that:

'In recent years the tendency has been to admit judgments which are not inter partes in evidence under certain circumstances and for certain limited purposes, under the provisions of Section 43, Evidence Act read with Sections 11 and 13 of that Act. Although they do not operate as res judicata they ought to be treated as pieces of evidence to be used for certain limited purposes and to be taken into consideration along with the other evidence, if indeed any other evidence exists.'

3. The judgment in Mehta Nand Lal's case, will be relevant and admissible, in the present case, under Section 11 of the Evidence Act, for showing that the rate of Rs. 600/- per bigha, allowed in that case would be a highly probable rate, in the present case, as the lands, in both the cases were contiguous, similarly situated and were acquired under the same notification and for the same purpose.

There are cases, in which judgments and awards not inter partes, under the Land Acquisition Act were held admissible for determining the market value of land. Reference may be made to Madan Mohan Burman v. Secy, of State : AIR1925Cal481 . The learned Judges referred to the case of Secy. of State v. India General Steam Navigation and Rly. Co. Ltd., (1909) 36 Ind App 200 (P. C.) and observed:

'In that case certain judgments of the High Court in other proceedings were relied upon by the claimant. It was urged on behalf the appellant to the Judicial Committee that these judgments were not evidence of the value of the land in dispute. Their Lordships, after stating in their judgment had revised the earlier awards, dismissed the appeal, holding that no question of principle was involved in it. There cannot be a clearer authority that previous decision in Land Acquisition cases are relevant in a subsequent case where the market value of lands in the same neighbourhood is in issue.'

Awards, made, by the Collector under the Land Acquisition Act, were admitted in evidence, in a subsequent case, not inter partes, in Pribhu Diyal v. Secy, of State, AIR 1931 Lah 364'.

4. In H. Narayaniah v. Land Acquisition Officer : AIR1981Kant26 also a question arose about the determination of market value under Section 23 of the Land Acquisition Act. Reliance in that case, too was sought to be placed on an award in respect of adjacent land containing determination of value on fairly proximate date. It was urged that the said award was inadmissible in evidence. This objection was overruled and it was held that the award was admissible in evidence. In support of this view the learned Judges of the Karnataka High Court placed reliance on an unreported decision of the Supreme Court in Civil Appeal No. 176 of 1962, decided on 10-4-1963. The relevant observation in this regard is to be found in para 8 of the report. It reads:

'In Khaja Fizuddin v. State of Andhra Pradesh, (C. A. No. 176 of 1962 decided on 10-4-1963), a Bench of three Judges of the Supreme Court of India held that such judgments would be relevant if they relate to similarly situated properties and contain determinations of value on dates fairly proximate to the relevant date.'

We accordingly, do not find any substance in the submission that the District Judge has committed an error in relying on the judgment of this Court determining compensation in regard to adjouring lands. No other point has been pressed in support of the appeal by the counsel for the appellant.

5. The respondents have filed a cross-objection asserting that they were entitled to 15% solatium also in view of the mandatory provision contained in Section 23(2) of the Act. On a plain reading of Clause (2) of Section 23 of the Act it is apparent that the requirement of the said section is mandatory. The judgment of the District Judge is dt. 31-3-1976 when the provision in regard to the payment of solatium had already come into force. The cross-objection, therefore deserves to be allowed.

6. In the result, the appeal filed by the State of Uttar Pradesh fails and is dismissed, whereas the cross-objection filed by the claimant-respondents is allowed and the judgment and decree dt, 30-3-1976 passed by the District Judge, Meerut, are modified to the extent that the claimant-respondents shall also be entitled to solatium at the rate of 15% on the compensation awarded to them by the District Judge. There shall, however, be no order as to costs.


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