B.K. Behera, J.
1. The award passed by the learned Subordinate Judge, Dhenkanal, on a reference made under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act (for short, the 'Act') is under challenge in this appeal. Lands measuring an area of 18.27 acres were acquired by the State Government for public purposes. The Land Acquisition Collector valued the land at Rs. 60/- per gunth at a flat rate. The respondents Nos. 1 and 2 received the compensation awarded by the Land Acquisition Collector under protest and claimed higher valuation for the lands at Rs. 250/- per gunth. They led evidence before the learned Subordinate Judge who valued the lands at Rs. 100/- per gunth. The respondents Nos. 1 and 2 were, awarded a sum of Rs. 22, 996.80 paise towards the compensation along with interest thereon at the rate of 6 per cent per annum with effect from May 11, 1968 till its realisation.
2. The learned Advocate General has raised but one question, viz., the valuation of the land, which, according to him, has been assessed by the learned Subordinate Judge on the higher side while it has been contended on behalf of the respondents Nos. 1 and 2 that the valuation has been proper on the basis of the oral and documentary evidence put in by the petitioners-respondents against which no evidence was led by the appellant.
3. It is a well-settled principle that the market value on the basis of which compensation is payable under Section 23 of the Act means the price that a willing purchaser would pay to a witling seller for a property having due regard to its existing condition, with all its existing advantages and its potential possibilities when laid out in its most advantageous manner, excluding any advantages due to the carrying out of the scheme for which the property is compulsorily acquired. The market value is generally ascertained on a consideration of the prices obtained by sales of adjacent lands with similar advantages. In the case before us, no sale deeds in respect of the lands of the village in which the lands have been acquired had been proved. But reliance had been placed by the respondents Nos. 1 and 2 on Exts. 1 to 3, three sale deeds in respect of similar lands in the neighbouring villages and they had examined P. Ws. 1 to 3 in that regard. There was, in addition, the evidence of P. W. 4, a co-villager of the respondents, who had spoken about the yield of the lands in question. On a careful consideration of the claims, of the respondents Nos. 1 and 2 and the evidence of the respondent No. 1 and that of P. Ws. 1 to 4 and the valuation of the lands sold under Exts. 1 to 3 and keeping in mind the fact that no evidence had been adduced by the appellant, the learned Subordinate Judge has put the valuation of the lands at Rs. 100/- per gunth which is reasonable and cannot be said to be excessive.
4. The appeal fails and is dismissed leaving the parties to bear their own costs of this appeal.
R.C. Patnaik, J.