1. This first appeal arises out of an order passed on 19-10-1962 by the learned Additional District Judge, Gwalior, awarding compensation to the respondent, as amended further by the order, dated 7-2 1963, awarding interest on the amount of compensation, on a reference made under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act (hereinafter called the Act).
2. The land acquired measures 3 bighas and 15 bishwas situated at Dabra. The respondent held this land (bearing khasra Nos. 660 and 661) in pucca tenancy rights. The land was acquired for the public purpose of constructing a police station. Notification under Section 4 of the Act was issued and duly published on 11-2-1951. The Collector made the award on 6-2-1968 for payment of compensation to the respondent amounting to Rs. 802.50 Np. only. The respondent unsuccessfully filed a review application before him. He, however, withdrew the amount of compensation under protest.
3. The respondent had made an application for reference being made to Civil Court. The Collector made the necessary reference under Section 18 of the Act, the learned Additional District Judge, vide his order, dated 19-10-1962, enhanced the amount of compensation to. Rs. 49,680 allowing compensation for the land which in all measured 9600 square yards at the rate of 0-8-0 per square foot. On an application made by the respondent under sec-lions 151 and 152 of the Code of Civil Procedure read with Section 28 of the Land Acquisition Act, the learned Additional District Judge directed on 7-2.1963 that interest shall he paid to the respondent on the amount of compensation at 3 per cent per annum from the date of acquisition of the land till the amount was paid. Being aggrieved by the aforesaid orders, the State has filed this appeal under Section 54 of the Ac).
4. The first contention raised by Shri R.J. Bhave. Government Advocate, on behalf of the Stale, is that the land acquired was agricultural land and the compensation should have been fixed on the basis of its being agricultural land without considering the fact that it may he used for constructing Police Station. It IB also urged that the learned Additional District Judge crept into an error in valuing the large area on the basis of sales of small areas.
5. Before considering the evidence adduced on these points, we may state some of the principles on which compensation is required to be determined. Under Section 23(1) of the Act, compensation is to be determined on the basis of the market value of the land at the date of publication of the notification under Section 4 of the Act. The Tribunal assessing compensation is required to take into consideration not only the present purpose or the present use to which the land is applied but also any other more beneficial purpose to which it might reasonably he put by the owner. No doubt, it is true that regard can be had only to the existing conditions and what is likely to happen in reasonably near future and compensation cannot be fixed on the basis of what might happen in the dim and distant future. Where there is a reasonable possibility of the land being put to a more profitable use within a reasonable period, the same cannot he ignored in assessing its value. Compensation has always to be determined by reference to the price which a willing vendor may reasonably expect to obtain from a willing purchaser When the land possesses, some unusal, special or unique features as regards its location or potentialities, due weight must be attached to all these elements. After considering all the circumstances, the Court has to arrive at a fair estimate with reference to the surrounding circumstances and evidence in the case and to award a fair compensation on that basis. The Court further ought to be liberal in the sense that it should not he too meticulous or pedantic in dealing with the evidence. It is also true that ordinarily it is wrong to value large areas on the basis of small area sales and vice versa. All the same, there may he cases when such a basis may be required to he adopted looking to the entire circumstances of the case. We may also emphasise that there is no real antithesis between agricultural and mm agricultural lands. The same land may be useful for both the purposes. If the land acquired is found to be useful both for agricultural or non-agricultural purposes, merely on the ground that it was used as agricultural land by the owner till the time of its acquisition, its potentiality as non-agricultural land cannot he ignored.
6. We may now examine the evidence adduced in this case in the light of the principles, enumerated above. The respondent examined eleven witnesses in the case including himself to prove that the land in question had a very fine situation, it being located on the two important cross roads at Dabra. One of these roads is the Gwalior Jhansi Road and the other is the Dabra Road connecting the other road. It has been also established that immediately in the vicinity of the land acquired, there are constructed buildings, the maternity-home, the bus-stand and some other residential houses are also situated in the vicinity of the land.
7. The respondent proved the following sale deeds by his witnesses. The execution of these sale deeds has not been disputed. These sale deeds have been discussed by the lower Court in paragraph 8 of the order as under :
Name of the witness
Sale deed No.
Sale dead date.
Rate per sq. ft.
(Dayashankar to Pannalal) proved by Harikishan (Pw 5) & Ramgir (Pw 6.)
32 x 120
(Onkarlal Bansidhar to Seumal proved by Durgadas (Pw 9.)
Ex P. 8. A
42 x 79
(Chhunni Lauhar to Bindravan Ramsewak proved by Ramgir(Pw 6) and Chhunnilal (Pw 7.)
Ex A-3 & A4
30 x 68
(Prabhudayal Shrigovind to Rampyari) proved by Ramnath (Pw.2)and Radhakishan (Pw 3)
92 x 30
(Ramgir to Chunnilal) proved by Vanbihari (Pw 1) and RamdasGupta (Pw 4)
100 x 20
8. When the location of the lands covered by these sale deeds is compared with the lands acquired it becomes clear that the land covered by the sale deed dated 10-2-1949 (Ex. A-1) is just on the opposite side of one of the acquired fields survey No. 661. Under the sale deed (Ex. A-1), 2000 sq. ft. of land was sold for Rs. 2.000. This works out at the rate of Re. 1 per square foot. Survey No. 660 which is the other survey number acquired is in close vicinity of survey No. 658 which was sold under Ex. A. 5 at the rate of annas nine per square foot, on 18-2 1954. The sale deed (Ex P.-8) is the nearest in point of time to the dale of notification under Section 4 of the Act. Under it 3318 sq. ft, of land was sold on 13-2 1951 at the rate of annas nine per square foot The land covered by the sale deed (Ex. A-3) is situated beyond the land covered by the sale deed (Ex A-1). It was sold on 10-2-1949 at the rale of Rs. 1-3-0 per sq. ft. We will omit from consideration the sale deed (Ex. A-2) because under it, the land was sold about 51/2 years after the date of acquisition.
This discussion makes it amply clear that the learned Additional District Judge has not allowed the very same price as compensation to the respondent as was obtained on the sale of smaller lands Survey No. 661. from the view-point of advantages it has, compares more favourably with the land covered by the safe deed (Ex A-1) but the price in the present case has been allowed only at half the rate that was obtained on sale deed (Ex. A-5) enjoys very small front of one road. The price that was obtained was nine annas per square fool though the sale deed was made about 2 years after the date of acquisition. It is pertinent to note that on behalf of the State, absolutely no evidence has been led in rebuttal although this Court by its order dated September 14, 1959, had specifically observed 'From the passage quoted above it would appeal that in proper circumstances both the owner whose land is being acquired and also the Government who acquires the land can lead evidence in support of their respective claims before the District Judge' and the case was sent hack to the District Judge with a direction to record evidence of the respondent who was appellant in that case and also to give an opportunity to the Collector to give evidence, if any in support of his award. The appreciation of the evidence made by the learned Additional District Judge does not appeal to be faulty of unreasonable The learned Additional District Judge does not appear to have exercised his discretion capriciously in making an sort (Sic) award in favour of the respondent. If the appellant did not choose to adduce any evidence in spite of the opportunity being afforded by the High Court, it has to thank itself. There is no precise rule on the basis of which it could be said that the value of any plot of larger size would vary in a particular proportion to the value of a plot of smaller size. We, therefore, agreeing with the view of the learned Judge of the lower Court hold that the respondent was entitled to gel compensation at the rate of 0-8-0 per square fool We further hold that he was also entitled to get 15 per cent compensation on account of compulsory nature of the acquisition of the land in this case.
9. It was then urged that the Additional District Judge having omitted to award interest to the respondent under Section 34 of the Act on 19-10-1902 when be assessed the compensation, had no jurisdiction to give a direction for the payment of interest at the rate of 3 per cent per annum subsequently by his order, dated 7-2-1963 in Misc. Judicial Case No. 1 of 1963. The argument of the learned counsel for the appellant-State is that according to Section 34(2) of the Code of Civil Procedure, where a decree is silent with respect to payment of further interest on such principal sum from the date of the decree to the date of payment or other earlier date, the Court shall be deemed to have refused such interest. It was contended that when according to this provision, interest was refused the only remedy of the respondent for getting interest adjudged in his favour could he by way of an appeal or by way of review and as none of these two remedies was sought, interest could not be awarded on an application under Section 151 or 152 of the Code of Civil Procedure
10. In out opinion, the contention advanced on behalf of the State (appellant) cannot be accepted as correct. Under Section 152 of the Code of Civil Procedure, errors arising in judgments, decrees or orders from any accidental slip or omission may at any lime be corrected by the Court either of its own motion or on the application of any of the parties. All that is necessary for invoking the jurisdiction of the Court under Section 152 of the Code of Civil Procedure is that the Court must be satisfied that an error of the type mentioned in the section has crept which is apparent on the face of the record or from the evidence adduced before it. Where a direction as to interest is inadvertently omitted, we do not see any reason why the decree or order may not be amended by adding any appropriate direction
In the instant case, it is obvious that omission us to payment of interest was so made inadvertently because Section 84 of the Land Acquisition Act as amended in this State expressly provides that when the amount of such compensation is not paid or deposited on or before taking possession of the land, the Collector shall pay the amount awarded with interest thereon at the rate which shall not he less than 3 per cent per annum and more than 6 per cent per annum from the time of taking possession until it shall have been so paid or deposited. There is nothing in the order passed by the learned Additional District Judge, dated 19 10-1962, to indicate that he wanted to deprive the respondent of interest for any assigned reason Indeed, his order, dated. 7-2-1963. clearly shows that it was a mere omission Therefore, the said omission in our view, could be amply corrected under Section 152 of the Code of Civil Procedure. We are fortified in our view by the decision of a Division Bench of this Court in Devidas v. Yeolmal Central Bank, AIR 1956 Nag 239 as also Collector of Darrang v. Phani Bhusan. AIR 1955 Assam 124 In these cases, interest was allowed to be recovered by an order passed later than the passing of the decree Shri Bhave, however, tried to distinguish the decision in Devidas's Case by pointing out that in that case, interesl was awarded at a time when the decree was not drawn up and that fact was stressed in the judgment However, in our opinion, the fact of the decree not having been drawn up was not ratio of the case interest was allowed to be recovered because there was an omission to direct payment of interest and error of this kind could be corrected Reliance was placed in that case on Kassim Ahmed Jewa v Narain Chetty (1910) ILR 37 Cal 623 (PC) and Sachindra Nath v Probodh Chandra AIR 1948 Cal 126 to support the view that such an error could be corrected by the Court.
11. Further, in our view, Section 34 of the Code of Civil Procedure has no application to the award of interest in cases of acquisition of the land under the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act. The said provision in the Act with regard to interest, in our opinion, controls the general provisions under the Code of Civil Procedure. The award of interest is not mandatory under the said Code but Section 34 of the Act peremptorily provides for payment of interest on the amount of compensation.
12. For the reasons aforesaid, this appeal fails and is dismissed with costs Counsel's fee Rs. 250, if certified