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Brij Nandan Vs. State of Haryana - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberRegular First Appeal No. 416 of 1974
Judge
Reported inAIR1980P& H27
ActsLand Acquisition Act, 1988 - Sections 4, 18 and 30; Punjab Occupancy Tenants (Vesting of Proprietary Rights) Act, 1933 - Sections 3
AppellantBrij Nandan
RespondentState of Haryana
Cases Referred and Smt. Nanda Rani Debi v. Messrs. Apcar Collieries
Excerpt:
- sections 80 (2) & 89 & punjab motor vehicles rules, 1989, rules 85 & 80: [t.s. thakur, cj, jasbir singh & surya kant, jj] appeal against orders of state or regional transport authority imitation held, a stipulation regarding the period of limitation available for invoking the remedy shall have to be strictly construed. that is because any provision by way of limitation is in the nature of a restraint on the remedy provided under the act. so viewed two inferences are clear viz., (1) sections 80 and 89 of the act read with rule 85 of the rules make it obligatory for the authorities making the order to communicate it to the applicant concerned and (2) the period of limitation for any appeal against the order is reckonable from the date of such communication of the reasons would imply.....s.s. sandhawalla, c.j. 1. the galaxy of the learned counsel appearing for the parties in this set of fifty-three regular first appeals are agreed that the issues of law and tact are so substantially common, it not identical, that all these appeals may be disposed of by a single judgment.2. by a notification under section 4 of the land acquisition act dated 6th sept. 1988, published in the government gazette 23rd sept. 1968. an area of 248.30 acres was sought to be compulsorily acquired for the public purpose of the planned development of sector 16 of the new industrial township of faridabad. the consequential notification under s 8 followed and in the subsequent proceedings the collector rendered his award on the 20th jan. 1988, whereby he classified the whole of the area aforesaid into.....
Judgment:

S.S. Sandhawalla, C.J.

1. The galaxy of the learned counsel appearing for the Parties in this set of fifty-three Regular First Appeals are agreed that the issues of law and tact are so substantially common, it not identical, that all these appeals may be disposed of by a single judgment.

2. By a notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act dated 6th Sept. 1988, published in the Government Gazette 23rd Sept. 1968. an area of 248.30 acres was sought to be compulsorily acquired for the public purpose of the planned development of Sector 16 of the New Industrial Township of Faridabad. The consequential notification under S 8 followed and in the subsequent Proceedings the Collector rendered his award on the 20th Jan. 1988, whereby he classified the whole of the area aforesaid into three categories, A, B and C and then proceeded to further subdivide each category into three kinds as shown in the following table

(See Table) Class Cultivated Banjar land. Ghair-mumkin. Category A Rs. 605/- Rs. 400/- Rs. 180/- Category B Rs. 380/- Rs. 200/- Rs. 120/- Category C Rs. 190/- Rs. 152/- Rs. 100/- It is manifest from the above that the Collector considered the whole land as agricultural and assessed its market value primarily 0n its quality as agricultural land He further awarded compensation for the buildings, wells,. trees and henna plants (for which the land in question seems to be particularly suited) in existence on the land in dispute primarily in accordance with the assessment of the value thereof made by the Sub-Divisional Officer. The landowners feeling dissatisfied with the assessment of value both as regards the land and appendages thereto made as many as ninety-three claim-applications for references under S. 18 of the Act Of these 91 references were consolidated and tried together (two being decided separately).

3. The State of Haryana in contesting the aforesaid references took up the stand that more than ample compensation has already been awarded to the claimants It was stated on its behalf that the land in dispute had been correctly assessed as agricultural and the stand of the claimants that the same had primarily to be determined with regard to its potentiality of being used for residential, commercial and industrial purposes, was sought to be denied. The claim with regard to the fragmentation of the land, as also with regard to the fruit bearing and non-fruit bearing Plants, etc, was further not admitted, On the pleadings of the parties, the following issues were originally framed:--

1. What was the market value of the lend at the time of publication of the notification under S 4 of the Lend Acquisition Act?

2. What was the market value of the wells tube-wells and constructions, if any, which were acquired along with the lend at the time of notification under S. 4 of the Land Acquisition Act ?

3. Whether any fruit bearing trees and non-fruit bearing trees existed on the acquired land. If so, to what compensation are the petitioners entitled in respect to them ?

4. What was the market value of the henna plantation acquired with the lend at the time of notification under S. 4 of the Act?

5. Whether any severance and fragmentation of other lands of the petitioners was effected due to the acquisition, if so to what compensation are the petitioners entitled on this account?

6. Whether the claim of the petitioners is barred by the provision of S. 25 of the Land Acquisition

Act?

7. Relief.

Later on, on 17th July, 1972 the following two additional issues were struck:--

6-A, Who is the person entitled to receive compensation

6-B. In case the compensation has to be apportioned, in what Proportion should it be paid to different claimants?

4. Before us challenge has been laid only to the findings on Issues Nos. 1, 4, 6-A and 6-B. It is, therefore, unnecessary to advert to the findings on the remaining issues, which we hereby affirm for the detailed reasons recorded by the learned District Judge, Gurgaon.

5. On the critical issue (Issue No. l), with regard to the market value of the land, which forma the main burden of the song here, the District Judge after an exhaustive discussion divided the land Into lour blocks, as under:--

Block A: The land immediately adjoining the main bazar road and the abadi of the town of Faridabad extending up-till Khasra Nos. 387, 564, 566 and 587. Compensation of land comprised by Khasra Nos. 384, 385, 386 and 387 has already been awarded to the owners thereof. This block shall now thus consist of the land comprised by following Khasra Nos. 370 to 381 564 to 586 and 560 and 561, 358/1 and 322/1.

Block B: Land consisting of the following Khasra numbers and situated immediately adjoining Rhasra No. 387 on the eastern side and Khasra Noa 564, 566 and 567 on the western side of the main bazar road and extending u-till Khasra Nos. 408, 409, 8, 9 and 10, etc.:-388 to 405 and 407 to 410,.538 to 554, 556 to 559, and 562, 563.

Block C: Lend immediately adjoining the land comprised by block B on its southern side in between a passage commonly known formerly as Shershah Suri Road on its western side and the other passage on its eastern side and extending up-till Khasia Nos. 451-782 and consisting of they following Khasra numbers:--412 to 537 and 778 to 783.

Block D: All other remaining land in dispute adjoining the Shershah Suri Road on its eastern side and not connected with abadi of the town of Faridabed otherwise through the field. I have included the whole of this land in D Block for the reasons that there is other land situated on the northern side of this block, adjoining the abadi of the town of Faridabad and this land had no direct approach to the town of Faridabad and the land comprised by this block is situated tar away from the main Delhi-Mathura Road on the one hand and the abadi of the town of Faridabad on the other end away from the abadi. Even otherwise it would appear from the sale deeds Exs. PW 5/1 to PW 5/13 and the facts stated in the copy of judgment Ex. C-A, that the trend of extension of the abadi is on the western side and not on the eastern side of the town of Faridabad and that importance of the land on the western side of the abadi has been added as a result of the main bazar mad abutting business centres and the octroi post situated as found stated in the judgment Ex. C-A, near Khasra Nos. 384 to 387.'

The learned District Judge awarded compensation for the land. included in Block A at the rate of Rs. 10/- per square yard but with regard to a small portion he held as follows:--

'This shall however, not apply to a portion of the land comprised by Khasra Nos. 370 and 372 purchased by Chander and Parkash son of Nanak Chand and Sohan Lal son of Deva Ram vide sale deeds Exs. PW 5/6 and PW 5/7, Tara Chand son of Kishori Lal and Deep Chand son of Tara Chand vide sale deeds Exs. PW 5/8 and PW 5/9, Chetan Dass son of Budhu Ram and Gurdial son of Matwala Ram vide sale deeds Exs. PW 5/10 PW 5/11, PW 5/12 and PW 5/13 who shall be entitled to the actual amount paid by them to the vendors.'

6. As regards block B, C and D, the compensation was allowed at a flat rate of Rs. 6/-, 5/- and 4/- per square yard, respectively,

7. Now the gravamen of the challenge on behalf of the landowner-appellants has been first primarily directed to the division of the land into the aforesaid blocks A, B, C and D. It was forcefully and plausibly argued that whilst the Collector had erred in assessing the land with regard to its agricultural value, the learned District Judge has equally fallen into a pitfall by dividing it into four categories, which were challenged as unsupportable on any principle or rationale. Counsel contended that once it has been held that the acquired lend had to be assessed on the basis of its potential for development, then any other finical distinctions were unwarranted it a broad perspective of the situation thereof was to be taken. The forceful claim, therefore, was that a uniform rate at market value of the land was called for in the present case.

8. There is patent merit in the aforesaid contention and in view of the fact that the-learned Advocate-General of Haryana, Shri S. C. Mohunta, with his illimitable fairness had conceded that in the present case the categorisation into four blocks was not supportable, it would be unnecessary and wasteful to examine the question with any degree of detail or elaboration. It suffices to mention that the learned District Judge had himself arrived at the following conclusion, which has not been challenged on either side:--

'I am thus convinced while being in agreement with the learned counsel for the petitioner-claimants that the Collector has committed an error while determining the market value of the land in dispute considering it as purely agricultural. I, on the other hand believe, that the land in dispute had all the potentiality of being used for commercial, industrial and residential purposes on the date of notification and was wrongly classified into categories having regard to its user for agricultural purposes.'

Once that finding has been arrived at it is plain that this area of nearly 250 acres, now under acquisition, had to be evaluated with regard to its potential for being developed for commercial, industrial and residential purposes of the rising and expanding new township of Faridabad-Ballabgarh complex.

9. That all this area is now comprised in Sector 16 of the aforesaid township and is immediately below Sector 16-A, which abuts continuously on the main Delhi-Mathura highway, which is the hub of this developing. area, is not disputed. So far as the situation and importance of this urban complex is concerned, one cannot do better than to quote the observations of the learned District Judge himself in para 8 of the judgment:--

'As regards situation, Faridabad has a peculiar importance of its own. As judicially noticed, it is situated at a distance of about 20 miles from Delhi, the capital and heart of the country and is connected with U. P. by main Delhi-Mathura Road, which passes through the centre of this area. It had obviously the potentiality of being developed as an industrial town and a posh residential and commercial area. It was on account of these factors that the State of Haryana thought of developing it as a regular industrial town, It cannot be disputed that it is now humming up with all industrial activity and may be said to be one of the biggest industrial towns of the State of Haryana. The printed plan Ex. p. 51 prepared and published by the Secretary to Government of Punjab, Town and Country planning Department well indicates that even the Govt of United Punjab thought of developing it as an industrial end residential town before the bifurcation of Punjab into two States of Punjab and Haryana in the year 1966 and divided it into as many as 23 Sectors each carved out into a regular independent, residential and industrial area with all facilities of sewerage, electricity, water and pucca roads. As found indicated in the plan Ex. P-51 according to the scale adopted while preparing the plan, old Faridabad town is situated at a distance of about little less than two furlongs from the main Delhi-Mathura pucca metalled mad and whereas Sector 16-A adjoins the aforesaid road, Sector 16 is situated contiguous to Sector 16-A, on its eastern side adjoining old Faridabad town on its southern side. Another plan Ex. AW 1/1 prepared by Shri Sawan Ram, retired Municipal Engineer, Gurgaon (PW 1) further points to the existence of main major industrial units all along adjoining the main Delhi-Mathura Road commonly known as G. T. Road on its eastern side. The correctness of this plan could not be disputed even by the counsel appearing for the State of Haryana and there is no rebuttal on record of the plan referred to above. The industrial units situated adjoining the main Delhi-Mathura Road on its eastern side are for instance New Suraj Transport Company Ltd., India Motors, Central Rubber Mills, South Eastern Roadways, Ajronda Cold Store Tyre & Tubes Company, Stara Rubber Centre, Jagatjeet Engineering Works, Delton Cotton Industries and Associated Engineering Industries. The Canal Colony is also situated adjoining the main Delhi-Mathura Road on its eastern side. All these units are, however, situated in Sector 16-A adjoining the area of Sector 16 on its eastern side. It would thus appear that the area of old Faridabad town as compulsorily acquired for development of Sector 16 had assumed importance as regards its user for industrial, residential and commercial purposes, with the publication of the plan Ex. P. 51 before the date of notification in the instant case. This area has another important aspect as regards situation of its being contiguous to old Faridabad town, as would appear from the perusal of plan Ex. P. 51. Even otherwise. this is not disputed that the land in disputed adjoins old Faridabad town'

10. Now an analysis of the judgment of the learned District Judge would disclose that the broad basis for the four categories made by him appears to be the proximity of the land therein to the abadi of the old town of Faridabad or to the Delhi-Mathura highway or Sector 16-A abutting thereon. Indeed the pride of place has been given to the land immediately adjoining the main bazar and the abadi of the town of Faridabad, Reference to the printed plan Exhibit P-51 would however, show that in the present case the aforesaid criteria ceased to have any meaningful relevance. Once it is held that the land has to be assessed primarily with regard to its potential for development as commercial, industrial or residential purposes of a newly created township, then its mere proximity to the admittedly old, decrepit and declining town of Faridabad can hardly be termed as an advantage and indeed may be a rather mixed blessing. The learned Advocate-General frankly conceded that nearness to the ancient and crowded town of Faridabad in no way adds to the potential of the land for development either as a commercial, industrial or residential plots, which have tube carved out therefrom. Indeed from some angle this contiguity might well have been a disadvantage. It is, therefore, plain that the primary criteria for categorisation into lour blocks here does not seem to hold water,

11. Similarly the suggested criteria of the proximity to the Delhi-Mathura Road again does not bear a closer scrutiny. Learned counsel for the landowner-appellants pointed out with reference to the plan Exhibit P-51 that in fact some parts of the 'C' Block made by the learned District Judge would be nearer to the Delhi-Mathura Road than some of the land comprised in blocks 'A' and 'B'. This apart, the admitted position is that the whole of the acquired land, which is now comprised in Sector 16, does not have any frontage or even a point of contact with the main highway. It is fully separated from the said highway by the width of Sector 16-A, immediately below which Sector 16 is located. That Sector 16-A is of considerable depth is evident from the plan Exhibit P-51 and is even otherwise not disputed. Once it is held that the acquired land has neither any frontage of contact with the main highway and b admittedly at some considerable distance therefrom, then any further distinction being drawn with regard to the par thereof which are proximate or distant from the highway would indeed be finical Counsel have rightly placed reliance on Dhara v. Punjab State, 1976 Rev LR 229 (Punj), wherein the proximity of this very Delhi-Mathura highway was considered and it was held therein that whilst one could visualise the rationale of the preferential situation of land abutting or having a frontage on the main highway up to a reasonable depth, no such distinction can be drawn with regard to lands which are reasonably far away from the main highway. and consequently the belting with regard to the distant land was set aside.

12. What has been said with regard to the proximity of the highway applies equally to the nearness of the acquired land to Sector 16-A as well. A bare look et the plan Exhibit P-51 would show that the whole of Sector 16 is located just be low Sector 16-A and, therefore, drawing a line on the point of proximity of the parts of the acquired land to Sector 16-A would be rather artificial.

13. As noticed earlier the learned Advocate-General, Haryana had conceded that in the present case the categorisation of the land in tour blocks is unsustainable and it is, therefore, unnecessary to dilate upon the point. I would accordingly hold that the land herein is to be evaluated at a uniform rate based primarily on its potential for urban development.

14. On the aforesaid finding the crucial issue that then arises is the fixation of this uniform rate to be allowed to the landowner;. In this context the corner stone of the landowners' case in sought to be rested on two instances of sales in the locality. Exhibits PW 5/6, PW5/7 and Exhibits PW 5/8 and PW 5/9, relate to the sale of an area of 183 sq. yards on 7th Oct. 1964 for a consideration of Rs. 3,000/- each. These exhibits indicate both the sale of proprietary as also of leasehold rights. The reliance is next placed on Exhibits PW 5/11 and PW 5/13 pertaining to sale of 200 sq. yards of land on l2th Nov. 1964 for a sum of Rs. 3,500/only. Both these transactions relate to Khasra No. 372 which is part and parcel of the acquired land. Counsel contended that the aforesaid sates would indicate the market price of the land at Rs. 16/and Rs. 17.50 Paise per sq. yard only and perhaps would also be indicative of a consistent rise in prices within a period of one month. It was also pointed out that the trial Court had come to a finding that the aforesaid transactions were genuine and there was no reason to doubt the same. This apart it was argued that these sales were nearly two years prior to the present acquisition and it would be consequently necessary to take notice of the uptrend in prices in the vicinity of the rising and developing township of Faridabad-Ballabhgarh complex. Reliance was Placed in this context on the observations in Lakhmi Dass v. The Punjab State, 1977 Pun LJ 484.

Herein it does not seem possible to accede to the aforesaid contention of the landowner-appellants and place overly reliance on the two instances noted above, The learned Advocate-General, Haryana rightly pointed out that these transactions related to the extreme corner of the area and close to the abadi of the old town of Faridabad. These strips of land may have been of some peculiar value or advantage to the vendee and considering the trifling sale considerations of rupees three thousand and odds in each case, these cannot provide a true indicia for the larger evaluation of land to the extent of about 250 acres. Particular emphasis, however, is on the fact that the area comprised therein is minimal being hardly 200 sq. yards or less in both the transactions. The learned Advocate-General contended that the lend acquisition having already been made of the adjoining areas and in view of the impending acquisition of the present one, the posslbi1ities of even these transactions being shown at some inflated price cannot be entirely ruled out. It seems to be settled law that isolated instances of sale of very small areas cannot form a satisfactory basis for a general evaluation of e big chunk of land Reference in this connection may be made to the observations of their Lordships of the Supreme Court in Smt. Padma Uppal v. State of Punjab 1977 Rew LR 1:

'It is also well settled that in determining compensation the value fetched for small plots of land cannot be applied to the lands covering a very large extent and that the large areas of land cannot possibly fetch a price at the same rate at which small plots are sold.'

The aforesaid view has again been reiterated in Prithvi Raj Taneja v. State of Madhya Pradesh 1977 Rev LR 290 (SC), I would, therefore, hold that the aforementioned two instances of sale primarily relied upon by the landowner-appellants do not furnish a correct. or valid indicia for, the determination of a uniform rate of compensation for the land In question.

15. Reliance on behalf of the landowner-appellants was placed on Exh C-I, which is an instance of sale transaction in 1962 with regard to Khaara No. 579 adjoining to block 'A' which works out the rate of Rs. 10/- per square yard only. Counsel further contended that adequate margin should be given for necessary uptrend of prices in the succeeding four years.

16. It is the admitted position that the aforesaid sale is not out of the acquired area itself, but is at some distance on one side of the acquired land. This solitary instance, therefore, also is not conclusive. Indeed in evaluating the market value of so large an area broader consideration of the compensation already awarded for the land in the adjoining areas cannot possibly be excluded. It deserves recalling that the learned counsel for the landowner-appellants had themselves made reference to and indeed relied upon the compensation awarded for the acquisition of land comprised in the nearby sectors of 9 and 13 of this very complex, whilst assailing the low value in Blocks 'B', 'C' & 'D' made by the learned District Judge. It is admitted position that the acquisition for Sector 9 was made vide notification under S. 4 of the Act dated l7th May, 1966. In RFA No. 506 of 1989 DLF United Ltd. v. State of Haryana, decided. on 24th May, 1977 compensation at the uniform rate of Rs. 7/- per sq. yard was awarded for the land acquired for this Sector. Counsel also pointed out that LPA No. 255 of 1977 State of Haryana v. DLF United Ltd. against the aforesaid decision was also dismissed on 5th March 1979.

Again with regard to the acquisition made for Sector 13 vide notification under S. 4 of the Act dated 8th Sept. 1968, compensation for some area comprised in this sector, was by implication awarded at Ra. 7/- per sq. yard, but as the landowner himself had claimed lesser rate of Rs. 8/- per sq. yard the same was awarded in RFA No. 247 of 1978 DLF United Ltd. v. State of Haryana decided on 3rd Mar. 1979. Of the same tenor are the observations and findings in RFA No. 350 of 1989 Ganga Parshad v. State of Haryana, decided on 8th May, 1978.

Learned A. G: Haryana had argued that Sector 12 is planned to be the main commercial centre of the complex, and lands in Sectors 9 and 13 are in closer proximity thereto and have been evaluated at only Rs. 7/- per sq. yard and also printed out that in the adjoining Sector 14, the valuation has been made even on a much lower rate. However, it is pointed out on behalf of the landowner appellants that as yet no visible and preferential development has taken place in Sector 12 and also that the award with regard to Sector 14 is as yet under appeal in the High Court. Again one cannot lose sight of the fact that acquisition for the immediately adjoining Sector 16-A took place vide notification under S. 4 of the Act dated 8th Sept. 1966. This Court in RFA No. 542 of 1971 decided on 10th May, 1977 has awarded compensation at a uniform rate of Rs. 14.60 P. per sq. yard 'only for the land comprised in the said Sector. This, however, had to be conceded by the landowner-appellants that the situation of the land in Sector 16-A is patently Preferential to the present land in so far as that land all along abuts on and has a direct frontage on the Delhi-Mathura highway. which is the main blood artery of the whole complex. The evaluation of the present land, therefore, has inevitably to be at a rate reasonably lower than that preferentially situated in what is now Sector 16-A.

17. Taking into consideration all the aforesaid facts and inevitably resorting to what is now judicially recognised as some rational guesswork, we are of the view that the whole of the area under acquisition (with the exception noticed below), now comprised in Sector 16 must be assessed at a uniform rate of Rs. 10 per square Yard only and it is Ordered accordingly.

18. An exception, however, is to be made with regard to the land comprised in Khasra Nos. 370 and 372 purchased by Chander Parkash son of Nanak Ghand and Sohan Lal son of Deva Ram vide sale deeds Exhibits PW 5/6 and PW 5/7, Tara Chand son of Kishori Lal and Deep Chand son of Tara Chand vide sale deeds Exhibits PW 5/8 and PW 5/9, Chetan Dass son of Budhu Ram and Gurdial son of Mstwala Ram vide sale deeds Exhibits PW 5/10, PW 5/12, PW 5/11 and PW 5/13. With regard to the aforesaid transfers the learned District Judge had. after exhaustive discussion, come to the following conclusion:

'No evidence has been led by the respondents is rebuttal to lead me to suspect or doubt the genuineness of these transactions of sale. I, therefore, in absence of. such evidence for the respondents and in view of all the facts found stated therein, hold all these sale deeds as genuine transactions evidencing payment of sale consideration in cash by the vendees tao the vendors.'

The aforesaid finding has not been remotely challenged on behalf of the State of Haryana. Even otherwise on examination of the aforesaid documentary evidence we see no reason to take a different view from the one arrived at by the learned District Judge. In this context therefore, there is no option but to uphold the same and it is accordingly, ordered that the vendees above-mentioned shall be entitled to the actual amount paid by them to the vendors indicated in the respective sale-deeds and the findings of the learned District Judge with regard to the same are hereby affirmed.

19. Adverting now to issue No. 4, which has been the subject-matter of some half-hearted challenge. on behalf of the claimants, it deserves recalling that it pertains to the market value of the henna plantation, which admittedly covered a major portion of the land under acquisition. The Collector by his award had allowed the compensation therefor at a relatively insignificant rate of Rs. 480 per acre. The learned District Judge after an in depth discussion of the evidence, both Oral and documentary enhanced the compensation for the henna plantation to a flat rate of Re. 1 per square yard. Whilst doing so he has relied first on exhibits P-20 sad P-21, as also the ora1 testimony of P.W. 17 Raghubar Dial, P.W. 18 Luxmi Dutt and P.W. 19 Raja Ram with regard to the general excellent quality of henna grown in Tahsil Ballabgarh and the coveted valuation of the land bearing henna plantation. However as regards the specific compensation therefor, the learned District Judge based himself on the under-mentioned awards earlier rendered by the District/Additional District Judges with regard to the compensation for henna plantation:

(See Table)Exhibit/Date of the award Rendered by Date of notification Amount of compensation awarded. Exh. P-48 Dt. 26-2-64. Sh. F.S. Gill, Addl. Distt. Judge, Gurgaon. 18 January 1969 Rs. 4800/- per acre. Exh. P-19 Dt. 18-4-55 Sh. A.S. Gilani, Sr. Sub-Judge, Gurgaon. 2-8-52 Rs. 5600/- Bigha Pukhta (allowing Rs. 1500/- per Bigha Pukhta as claimed.) Exh. P-22 Dt. 8-3-71 Sh. P.R. Aggarwal, Addl. Distt. Judge, Gurgaon. 8th Sept. 1966 Rs. 4,800/- per acre. Exh. P-24 Dt. 31-8-70. Sh. A.K. Jain, Addl. Distt. Judge, Gurgaon. 8th Sept. 1966 Rs. 4,800/- -do- Exh. P-83 Dt.24-11-70. Sh. A.K. Jain, Addl. Distt. Judge, Gurgaon. 8th Sept. 1966 Rs. 4,800/- -do-

20. While assailing the valuation awarded by the learned Judge for the henna plantation, learned counsel for the claimants had attempted to argue that whereas Annexures P-18 and P-19 pertain to relatively earlier notifications of 1960 and 1962 respectively, the learned District Judge had allowed compensation at the rate of Rs. 4,800. per acre and Rs. 5,600 per Bigha Pukhta (allowing Rs. 1500 per Bigha Pukhta as claimed) and consequently by sheer passage of time in Sept., 1966 a higher rate of valuation should have been granted. We are unable to appreciate this line of reasoning. Even when pressed the learned counsel could cite neither principle nor precedent for the claim that the income or the valuation of henna plantation must necessarily register an uptrend over the years. There is no warrant for such a proposition and it is more so in the absence of any acceptable evidence whatsoever to indicate that by 1966 the net Income from henna plantation and its consequent valuation had necessarily been rising continuously. On an examination of the evidence it is evident that there was no data worth the name which indicated the cost of the plantation of henna, its, maintenance and harvesting the same. Nor was there any unimpeachable testimony about the rise in price of henna leaves and the re. cords were silent about the mode and manner of growing and recovering the crop therefrom. The learned Advocate General, Haryana was right in pointing that the claimants' own witnesses P.W. 18 Lakshmi Dutt and P.W. 19 Raja Ram had conceded in cross-examination that no accounts had been maintained far from being proved. It was also highlighted that even on behalf of the claimants no specific figures, which could be claimed as inevitable income from an average acre of henna plantation or its valuation was forthcoming. The trial Judge was, therefore, right in not placing much reliance on the mere ipse dixit of interested witnesses.

2l.. As a matter of last resort, counsel had then attempted to Place some reliance on the Socklatings Tea Co. (P.) Ltd. v. Collector of Sibsagar, AIR-1977 Gau 61. That judgment pertains to the valuation of compensation with regard to a tea-garden in Assam. One cannot possibly equate easily a tea-garden in Assam with a henna plantation in Gurgaon. What is however significant is the fact that therein the Bench had adverted W the agreed evidence with regard to gross income over a period of years from each teabush and the cost of production, harvesting, etc As already noticed, any suck data is totally lacking here. Further, even in the said judgment it was noticed that the learned counsel appearing far the State had very fairly conceded to a particular rate claimed and it was on the basis of that concession that evaluation was made for the Yea bushes at a uniform rate. We are unable to see how this judgment advances the case of the claimants.

22. What further concludes the matter herein is the reliance on behalf of the claimants themselves on Exhibits P-22, P-24 and P-83. These were the documents produced and proved on the record and relied upon by the claimants themselves Thus with regard to the virtually identical date of notification being the 8th September 1968 the valuation for all these cases was made only at the rate of Rs. 4,800 per acre for the henna plantation. The learned Advocate-General, Haryana, was on firm ground in contending that the claimants if not bound are inevitably faced with their own evidence that the valuation cannot be more than Rs. 4,800 per acre.

23. In view of the above we are of the firm opinion that the valuation at the rate of Re 4,840 Per acre or-Re, 1 per square yard has been correctly and rightly awarded by the learned District Judge for the henna plantation. The findings on issue No. 4, are, therefore, affirmed.

24. Lastly remain issues Nos. 6-A and 6-B with regard to the persons entitled to receive compensation and the apportionment thereof betwixt the landowners and the lessees thereof. Herein the learned District Judge has rightly divided the lessees into two classes. One class was that of perpetual lessees for a period of 99 years, where the lease-deeds expressly contained condition No. 6 therein to the effect that in case of the acquisition of land under the lease the proprietors shall be entitled to the whole of the compensation of land and the lessees shall be entitled to the compensation of Sardrakhti (trees, plants crops, etc.) standing therein. On the other hand in the second class the land was under occupation of perpetual lessees with no such condition or lease deed. The learned District Judge held that with regard to the first class the lessees were bound by condition No. 6 and, therefore, whole of the compensation for land would go to the proprietors thereof. Whilst as regards the second class the proprietors would only be entitled to its capitalised value, which was assessed at 20 times of the annual rent and the remaining compensation shall be payable to this class of lessees.

25. Taking up first the case of perpetual lessees without any condition or term in the lease deed regarding compensation in the event of acquisition, it may be noticed that no serious challenge was posed to the established mode of apportionment resorted to by the learned District Judge. The half-hearted attempt on the part of the counsel for the landowner-proprietors to the grant of only capitalised value seems to be more than amply repelled by a long line of precedent. Reference in this connection may first be made to Thakur Govind Deo Ji Maharaj v. Rank Ji Maharaj, 1963 All LJ 587-wherein the principle of capitalised value stands accepted by a Division Bench with the following observations:

'The established rule applicable to cases where apportionment has to be made between a landlord and a permanent tenant, therefore, appears to be that the landlord should get the capitalised value of the rent plus something more on account of the right of reversion that vests in him. The balance must go to the permanent tenant in whom the rest of the right in the land vests. In the present case the learned District Judge fixed the amount payable to the appellant on the basis of the capitalised value of the proportionate amount of rent which he was entitled to get. We agree that so far as the basis of capitalising the amount of the annual rental is concerned it is a fair assessment of the amount of compensation. The reversionary interest of the lessor in the land has, however, still to lie valued. While calculating this interest we have to bear in mind that as the provisions of the lease indicate the lease was in favour of Swami Rangachari and his heirs and representatives, Swami Rangachari transferred the land under the lease in favour of the appellants. There is nothing on the record to indicate as to how the land was transferred. The respondent is a deity. There is nothing on the record to indicate the nature of the temple, how it is run and how it is managed and what amount or what proportion of the income from the land acquired if any, is used for purposes of the expenses of the temple. All that we have been informed is that the respondent is a public temple It is true that a public temple in normal circumstances may survive for long. In such cases it may be that the right of the lessor to get the leased property in case the deity or the heirs of the lessor are no more in existence would be a remote possibility. Nonetheless the possibility is there and has to be taken into account.'

However, with regard to the evaluation of the remote possibility of reversion in the case of a perpetual lessee the matter has now been set at rest by the following observations of the final Court in Ambalal Mansukhram Joahi v. Additional Special Land Acquisition Officer, Ahmedabad, AIR 1974 SC 591:--

'Under Section 30 of the Land Acquisition Act the learned Judge apportioned the compensation between the lessee and the lessor at the ratio of 3: 1. On appeal at the instance of the appellant, the compensation in respect of plot No. 9 was enhanced to Bs. 14 per square yard and in respect of plot No. 42. to Rs. 9 per square yard. In the result, the appellant got over Rs. 45,000 as compensation in respect of his rights for which he was getting annually a sum of Rs. 381. The value of his right to reversion--a remote one--is little or nothing. Even if we calculate the interest on the compensation amount at 6 per cent per annum, the appellant is now getting over Rupees 2,700 per year in the place of Rupees 381 with he was getting previously '

Within this Court, the Observations in Batan Singh v. Nathu Birju, AIR 1961 Punj 503, though not on all fours again tend to favour the claim of the perpetual lessees.

26. It is evident from the above that both on principle and precedent the position of the learned District Judge awarding only the capitalised value of the lend to the proprietors, at the rate of twenty times of the annual rental value and directing payment of the balance of compensation of land to perpetual lessees is wholly well-merited. we accordingly confirm the said finding.

27. As regards the second class of lessees containing an express term under clause 6 of the lease that in the event of acquisition, the compensation for the land would go entirely to the landowners, it appears that a half hearted claim was made on their behalf that they had become owners by virtue of S. 3 of the Punjab Occupancy Tenants (Vesting of Proprietary Rights) Act of 1933. The learned District Judge further noticed that these lessees have neither been recorded as occupancy tenants in the revenue record nor had obtained a right of occupancy in respect of the lands held by them from a Court of competent jurisdiction. He consequently rejected this claim and it deserves pointed notice that this line of argument was not sought to be resuscitated before us

28. Learned counsel for the lessees, however, made a half-hearted attempt to challenge both the existence and the operation of clause 6 of the lease expressly covenanting that in case of acquisition of the land, the proprietors of the land alone would be entitled to the whole of the compensation while the lessees would be only entitled to compensation for Sardrakhti standing thereon. we have for ourselves examined the evidence in the case and in particular Exhibit CX with regard to this condition. The term which admittedly is uniform in all the lease deeds appears to be clear and categoric and there is no evidence whatsoever which could indicate, far from establishing that the 1lase deeds law a whole or clause 6 thereof was ever avoided or cancelled. The learned District Judge was, therefore, patently right in holding that the persons recorded as lessees in the said lease deeds or the successors-in-interest of such lessees were clearly bound by the terms covenanted therein

29. In fairness to the learned counsel for the lessees it may be mentioned that reliance was attempted to be placed on Collector of Bombay v. Nusserwanji Rattanji Mistri; AIR 1955 SC 298; Special Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Officer, Sagar v. M. S. Seshagiri Rao, AIR l968 SC 1045 and Special Land Acquisition Officer Hosanagar v. B. S. Ramachandra Rao, AIR 1972 SC 2224. It, however, suffices to mention that the compliment of individually distinguishing the aforesaid cases need not be paid as all of them appear to have little relevance to the point at issue and obviously are wide off the mark. On the other hand Mr. S. C. Kapoor learned counsel for the landowners had rightly placed reliance on. Biprodas Pal Chaudhri v. Sarat Chandra Singha; (1912) 17 Ind Csa 168 (Cal), F.G Natesa Aiyar v. Kaja Maruf Sahib, AIR 1927 Mad 489 and Smt. Nanda Rani Debi v. Messrs. Apcar Collieries, AIR 1963 Cal 638, which are all a pointer to the tact that apportionment is to depend on the express terms of the deeds Here as already noted the covenant in clause 6 of the deed appears to be clear and categoric.

30. For the aforesaid reasons, the findings on issues Nos. 6-A and 6-B recorded by the learned District Judge are hereby affirmed.

31. To conclude, therefore, we would enhance the compensation for the land acquired at the uniform rate of Rs. 10 per square yard. The claimants would be further entitled to a solatium at the statutory rate of 15 per cent as also interest at the rate of 6 per cent per annum on the enhanced amount from the date of taking over of possession. The compensation for the henna plantation is upheld at the awarded rate of Rs. 4,840 per acre or Re. 1 per square yard. The apportionment of compensation betwixt the landowners and the lessees would be made in accordance with the findings arrived at above on issues Nos. 6-A end 6-B. The appeals and the cross-objections by the claimants are, therefore; allowed in the aforesaid terms, subject to the court-fee paid by them. They would also be entitled to their costs.

32. As a necessary consequence of the above the appeals preferred by the State of Haryana basically seeking a reduction in the compensation awarded have to be dismissed. However; in this set. of appeals we leave the parties to bear their own costs.

Gokal Chand Mital, J.

33. I agree.

34. Order accordingly.


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