G.B. Patnaik, J.
1. Land Acquisition Officer, Ganjam, is the appellant in this appeal impugning the order of the Subordinate Judge, Berhampur, in Land Acquisition M.J.C. No. 185 of 1970 whereunder the learned Subordinate Judge has enhanced the market value of the acquired land and fixed the same at the rate of Rs. 25,000/- per acre. In addition, the learned Subordinate Judge has also awarded fifteen per cent solatium.
2. The subject-matter of consideration in this appeal is 1.35 cents of land appertaining to survey Ncs. 348/2F and 348/21 of village Bhapur acquired for the purpose of construction of a medical college in Berhampur town by a notification dt. 5-1-1982 (1962?). Notification under S. 6 of the Land Acquisition Act (hereinafter referred to as the 'Act') was published in the Orissa Gazette on 20-4-1962. The Land Acquisition Officer determined the market price of the land at the rate of Rupees 8,230/- per acre and also awarded fifteen per cent solatium. Objection to the award being filed by the claimant, reference was made to the Subordinate Judge under Section 18 of the Act and the learned Subordinate Judge after analysing the evidence adduced before him fixed the market value of the land at the rate of Rs. 25,000/- per acre.
Before the learned Subordinate Judge on behalf of the Land Acquisition Officer, five sale deeds were exhibited being Exhibits 3 to 3/D, the village plan of Bhapur was exhibited being Ext. 1 and the Bata Sheet of Bhapur was exhibited being Ext. 2. The Land Acquisition Inspector got himself examined. On behalf of the ciaimant-objector, two previous awards of the Land Acquisition Officer pertaining to similar acqui-sitions. (Exts. A and B), certified copy of a registered sale deed (Ext. C) and certified copies of two judgments of the Subordinate Judge passed under Section 18 of the Act (Exts. D and E) were filed. Besides, three witnesses were examined in support of the claimant. It may be stated that the awards of the Land Acquisition Officer (Exts. A and B) as well as the orders of the Subordinate Judge (Exts. D and E) are in respect of similar acquisitions made for the purpose of construction of the medical college by the same notification issued under Section 4(1) of the Act dated 5-1-1962.
The learned Subordinate Judge after analysing the evidence on record came to hold Exts. D and E to be a guide for determining the market value for the acquired land in this case and accordingly determined the compensation at the rate of Rs. 25,000/- per acre.
3. Learned Advocate-General appearing for the appellant raised three contentions, namely-
(i) The learned Subordinate Judge committed an error of law in ignoringthe evidence adduced on behalf of the State, namely sale deeds (Ext. 3 series):
(ii) There is no evidence adduced on behalf of the claimant to correlate the lands covered under Exts. A, B, D and E with the acquired land with regard to the nature of land, the situation of the land and its other potential value and, therefore, Exts. A, B, D and E cannot serve as a guide for determining the market value of the acquired land, and
(iii) The Subordinate Judge has committed an error of record, inasmuch as Ext. D relates to a plot of land in mauza Goilundi and not Bhapur (in which the acquired land situates in this case) as held by the learned Subordinate Judge.
Mr. Rath for the respondent on the other hand contends that the evidence of claimant's witnesses Nos. 1 to 3 and the documentary evidence (Exts. A to E) were sufficient materials on the basis of which the Subordinate Judge determined the market value of the acquired land and there has been no legal infirmity in the same. He also contended that for similar acquisitions for the same purpose acquired by the same notification, there are several judgments of the Orissa High Court in which the valuation of Rs. 25,000/- has been upheld and, therefore, the contentions raised by the learned Advocate-General have no force.
4. The law with respect to determination of market value of a land acquired under the provisions of the Act is fairly well settled and the best way to determine the same is to consider the prices obtained by contemporaneous sale deeds whether of the same land or of lands in the vicinity. Various factors are to be taken into consideration namely the size and shape of the land the locality and its situation, the tenure of the property, the user, the potential value and the rise or depreciation of the value of the land in the locality. Where, however, no contemporaneous sale deed is available on record, the courts can take into consideration the awards in earlier cases for similar lands, provided the similarity is established through oral evidence. There must be evidence on record from which a court could be in a position to com-pare the nature, situation and potentiality of the land acquired with those of the land covered under earlier awards. Judged by the aforesaid principle, if the oral evidence adduced on behalf of the claimant-objector is analysed, it is seen that nothing has been said to prove the similarity of the acquired land with those covered 'under Exts. A, B, D and E and, therefore, Exts. A, B, D and E could net have been a sale guide for determination of market value of the acquired land. If Exts. A, B, D and E are taken out of consideration, then it would be difficult for a court to . arrive at a proper conclusion with regard to the market value of the acquired land. Mr. Rath, learned counsel for the respondent, however, brought to our notice several judgments of this Court where, for acquisition of similar land for the same purpose in the same mauza, a higher valuation has been upheld. In First Appeal No. 17 of 1972 (disposed of on 6-12-1982) this Court has upheld a valuation of Rs. 25,000/-per acre for acquisition of land for the purpose of construction of the medical college. The learned Judges relied upon an earlier judgment of this Court in First Appeal No. 108 of 1969 (disposed of oh 5-7-1977 and several other judgments of this Court referred to in the said first appeal. A perusal of the judgment of this Court in a batch of First Appeals Nos. 72, 74, 81. 82, 88, 92, 97, 106, 107, 112 and 114 of 1969 (disposed of on 10-1-1977) would show that this Court determined the market value of the acquired land at Rs. 200/- per decimal i.e. Rs. 20,000/- per acre and not Rs. 40,000/- per acre as has been observed by their Lordships in 1st Appeal No. 17 of 1972. The judgment of this Court in First Appeal No. 17 of 1972, therefore, has proceeded on a wrong assumption. In the judgment dt. 10-1-1977 whereby the batch of first appeals referred to earlier were disposed of, several other judgments of this Court have also been referred to wherein the market value had been determined of the acquired land at the rate of Rs. 20,000/-per acre. While therefore, we agree with the submissions of the learned Advocate-General that the learned Subordinate Judge was not right in relying on Exts. D and E to arrive at the market value of the acquired land, it would not be fair to remand the case for re-determination of the market value, particularly when twenty-one years have elapsed in the meantime from the date of acquisition. We would, therefore, follow the judgments of this Court pertaining to acquisition of land for construction of the medical college at Berhampur by the same notification as the present one in First Appeal No. 84 of 1969 (disposed of on 19-11-1975), First Appeal No. 80 of 1969 (disposed of on 18-4-1975), First Appeal No. 109 of 1969 (disposed of on 19-2-1976) and the batch of First Appeals Nos. -72, 74, 81, 82. 88, 92, 97, 106, 107, 112 and 114 of 1969 (disposed of on 10-1-1977) and hold that the market value of the acquired land on the date of acquisition would be Rupees 20,000/- per acre. In addition, the claimant would be entitled to fifteen per cent of the value as solatium for the compulsory nature of the acquisition and statutory interest at the rate of six per cent on the extra amount of compensation OH the aforesaid basis from the date of dispossession till the extra compensation is paid.
5. The appeal is accordingly allowed in part, but in the circumstances parties would bear their own costs.
Mohanti, Actg. C.J.
6. I agree.