Swatanter Kumar, J.
1. For the development and utilisation for residential area in the urban estate of Ambala, the State Government of Haryana issued a notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act (hereinafter referred to as the 'Act') dated 26.5.1981 intending to acquire a large chunk of land. In furtherance thereto a notification under Section 6 of the Act was issued on 10.1.1989. The total land sought to be acquired was nearly 250.51 acres in villages Patti Mehar Sonda and Jandli of District Ambala. This acquisition of land led to passing of 3 different awards i.e. award Nos. 4, 11, and 12 respectively. Different amount of compensation was awarded by the Land Acquisition Collector in different awards. Vide award No. 11 and 12 both dated 13.9.1986, following compensation was awarded by the Land Acquisition Collector for different kinds of land:
a) Chahi land : Rs. 34,500/- per acreb) Barani land : Rs. 27,520/- per acrec) Banjar and Gair Mumkin : Rs. 13,760/- per acre
Vide award No. 4 dated 26.5,1981 he awarded flat amount of compensation of Rs. 52,000/- per acre. In addition thereto separate amounts were awarded to the individuals on account of tube well, super structure and trees. The claimants being dis-satisfied with the amount of compensation awarded, filed objections, and references were made by the Land Acquisition Collector to the District Judge, under Section 18 of the Act. All these 165 references led to pronouncement of 3 judgments by the learned District Judge, Ambala. In the first judgment dated 17.3.1987 the learned Additional District Judge enhanced the amount of compensation to Rs. 57,000/- per acre in regard to the references dealt with therein. This amount of compensation was followed in the judgment dated 9.10.1991. However, vide judgment dated 6.5.1992 the learned District Judge, Ambala, awarded the compensation at the rate of Rs. 3,38,800/- per acre in the references covered by that judgment.
2. These three judgments have given rise to 214 Regular First Appeals which have been preferred by the claimants as well as by the State Government of Haryana. With this background, I propose to take up the RFAs arising from the judgment of the learned District Judge, Ambala, dated 6.5.1992. The leading cases in this bunch are RFA No. 2872 of 1992 titled as 'Harpal Singh v. State of Haryana' and R.F.A. No. 3603 of 92 titled as 'State v. Harpal Singh'. It will be appropriate to dispose of these R.F.As. together which would obviously have the result of disposing of other connected R.F.As. arising from the same judgment.
3. From the above noted facts it is clear that the land was acquired under same notification in village Patti Mehar, Jandli and Sonda which gave rise to the appeal in the aforestated cases, though highest compensation was awarded to the claimants vide judgment dated 6.5.1992 and 14.2.1992. But the claimants were still not satisfied and have approached this Court for enhancement of compensation, while the State aggrieved by the same judgment to the extent that the compensation ought to be reduced and given at par with the compensation awarded to the other claimants i.e., Rs. 57,000/-. The State has not preferred any appeal in the other two judgments where the learned District Judge has awarded the compensation of Rs. 57,000/- per acre, to the claimants. As such, the compensation awarded to the claimants has been accepted by the State. But in order to critically examine the respective contentions of the parties for enhancement and/or reduction of the compensation awarded, references to the evidence adduced on record is relevant. The claimants produced 3 sale instances on record being Ex.P.1 to P.3. In addition thereto, the claimants have also proved on record Ex.P.7, the site plan. Reliance on behalf of the claimants was also placed on Ex.P.5, Ex.P.13 and Ex.P.16. It was contended that the judgments Ex.P.5 and P.13 have already become final and would form definite basis for awarding enhanced compensation to the claimants. The claimants claimed a compensation of Rs. 200/- per sq. yard or in any case Rs. 136/- with 12% increase per year. To meet this case of the claimants, the respondents produced no oral evidence in their support and only tendered Ex.R.1 which is the copy of award passed by learned Additional District Judge, Ambala dated 17.3.1987 in LAC No. 105/4 of 10.3.1986 titled as 'Mahant Ram Narain Dass v. State of Haryana'. As is evident, the basic factor which falls for determination by the Court is the appreciation of the evidence adduced by the petitioners in regard to sale instances or otherwise. Before I enter into this field of controversy, I would prefer to refer to the findings arrived at by the learned. District Judge on the issue of payment of compensation, which run as under:-
'xx xx xx xx6. The claimants have mainly relied upon award given by this very court in earlier acquisition relating to Patti Mehar and adjoining land falling within the Revenue Estate of Village Sonda. The State of Haryana through Notification No. LAC(P)-MTLA-83/2604 dated 19.4.1983 had acquired land in village Patti Mehar situated in the Sub-Urban area of Ambala City. The Land Acquisition Collector had awarded compensation at the uniform rate of Rs. 60,000/- per acre. This Court through orders dated 26.11.1991 in LAC case No. 83/4 of 3.8.1987 titled Satish Kumar v. State of Haryana had enhanced compensation from Rs. 60,000/- per acre to Rs. 100/- per square yard in respect of land acquired in Patti Mehar in the year 1983. In another LAC Case No. 8/4 of 3.8.1987 titled Buta Ram v. State of Haryana, this Court through its order dated 14.2.1992 had enhanced compensation from Rs. 53,000/- per acre to Rs. 3,38,800/- per acre (Rupees 70/- per square yard in respect of land acquired at Village Sonda (adjoining to village Patti Mehar acquired through Notification No. LAC(P)-NTLA-82/5569 dated 20.10.1981. It may be worthwhile to mention that in Regular First Appeal No. 985 of 1981 titled Pala Singh and other v. State of Haryana, our own High Court allowed compensation at the rate of Rs. 70/- per square yard for acquisition in Patti Mehar in the year 1978 as is evident from Ex. P-6 of the High Court order. In Letter Patent Appeal No. 1340 of 1982 titled Om Parkash v. State of Haryana our own High Court had enhanced compensation to Rs. 70/- per square yard in respect of land acquired in the year 1973 in the Revenue Estate of village Patti Mehar within the Municipal limits of Ambala City. The claimants have produced evidence of instances of small areas which can in no way be accepted as guiding factor in this case. Learned Government Pleader has relied upon copy Ex.R-1 of Award given by Shri J.K. Sud the then Additional District Judge, Ambala, wherein he had awarded compensation at the rate of Rs. 57,000/- per acre for the land acquired on 26.5.1981 in three villages Patti Mehar, Jandli and Sonda on the outskirts of Ambala City. In view of the authorititative pronouncements of our own High Court, the instances of award given by the Additional District Judge, Ambala, can be of no avail to the respondent-State of Haryana. For the land acquired in the year 1973 our own High Court had awarded compensation at the rate of Rs. 70/- per square yard. Again for the land acquired in the year 1978 our own High had awarded compensation at the rate of Rs. 100/- per square yard for the piece of land abutting on the road and Rs. 70/- per square yard for the rear land. This court had also awarded compensation at the rate of Rs. 70/- per square yard for the land acquired in the adjoining village Sonda. The perusal of the site plan Ex.P.7 which gives a clear picture of the acquired land and the adjoining areas shows that land now acquired is adjoining to village Sonda, the proprietors of which villages have been awarded compensation at the rate of Rs. 70/- per square yard by this court in LAC case No. 8/4 of 3.8.1987 titled Buta Ram v. State, for the land acquired on 20.10.1981, vide order dated 14.2.1992. No doubt, some proprietors of village Patti Mehar whose land had been acquired in 1973 and 1978 had been awarded compensation at the rate of Rs. 70/- per square yard for those years but taking into consideration that the land now acquired in village Patti Mehar and Jandli is situation wise away from the main road and National Highway and is situate towards rear of land acquired earlier in 1973 to 1978, this Court has no hesitation in accepting Rs. 70/- per square yard as market value in the year 1981 of the land acquire now under reference. Since the land was acquired in acres, the market price roughly worked out at Rs. 70/- per square yard is accepted at Rs. 3,38,800/- per acre. This issue is, therefore, decided with the findings that market value of the acquired land as Rs. 3,38,800/- per acre at the time of acquisition.'
4. At the very outset, I must concur with the findings arrived at by the learned District Judge to the effect that the sale instances Ex.P.1 to P.3 produced by the claimants cannot be considered as a definite criteria for determining the market value of the land in question. Firstly, the sale instances produced by the claimants relate to such small pieces of land like 13 sq. yards to 19 sq. yards which cannot be considered even an indication of the market price prevalent in regard to the area where such huge acquisition of the land is involved. Even otherwise these pieces of land are not identically located, like the land of present acquisition. In this regard, reference can be made to a judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in the case of 'The Agricultural Produce Market Committee v. The Land Acquisition Officer and Asstt. Commissioner and Anr. etc., J.T. 1996(9) S.C. 432, where the Apex Court held as under:-
'xx xx xx xxWhen a total extent of 7 acres of odd is sought to be acquired no prudent purchaser in open market would offer to purchase the open land on sq. ft. basis that too on the basis of few small sale transactions and small extents would always fetch higher market value and the same will never command such price in respect of large extent. This Court had always rejected such instances as being not comparable sales.'
The learned Counsel appearing for the claimants relied upon a judgment of this Court in the case of Surjit Singh and Anr. v. State of Punjab and Anr., 1990 P.L.J. 69 to argue that instances of sale of small pieces of land are also relevant. The reliance placed by the learned Counsel is totally misconceived as the pieces of land which were held to be of some relevancy in final determination of the prevalent market value of the land, were of respectable sizes say 300 or 400 sq. yards. Even in that case they were not construed as a basis for determination of market value of the land.
5. In order to examine the acceptability of compensation awarded, discussion, on the references relied upon by the learned District Judge, for this purpose, is essential. The case of 'Satish Kumar v. State of Haryana' where the compensation was awarded as Rs. 60,000/- per acre and was enhanced to Rs. 100/- by the learned ADJ related to the acquisition for the year 1983. This instance would not have a direct bearing on the matter in question, inasmuch as the present acquisition is dated 16.5.1981, two years prior to the acquisition in that case i.e. 1983. The reference to the case of 'Buta Ram v. State of Haryana', Ex. P. 16, where the compensation awarded by the Land Acquisition Collector, Rs. 53,000/- per acre in village Sonda was enhanced by the learned District Judge to a sum of Rs. 3,38,000/-, itself is a subject matter of appeal before this Court. Having rejected the sale instances produced by the claimants and the reference to the awards being irrelevant for determining the controversy in issue, now the Court has to advert to the discussion on exhibits P.5, P. 16 and P. 13 which are the judgments of the Court below. Learned Counsel appearing for the claimants relied upon a judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in the Case of Karan Singh v. Union of India, 1997(4) R.C.R. (Civil) 288, to argue that the awards and judgments of the Courts below are duly proved on record and can be taken into consideration as a material piece of evidence for determining the market value of land in question. There cannot be any dispute to this principle in law. As such, I would proceed to discuss these awards in some elucidation. Vide Ex.P.5 the learned District Judge enhanced the compensation by judgment dated 12.11.1984 to Rs. 200/- and 100 per sq. yard adopting the belting system. This land was acquired in village Patti Mehar. The land acquired under this award was only 1 kanal 9 marlas and was acquired as an additional land for completion of the over bridge which was being constructed in the crowded city and was on the crossing of Ambala Hisar Road. The Ex.P.6 on which the basic reliance has been placed by the learned District Judge was well as by the claimants before this Court is in relation to the case of Pala Singh where compensation was enhanced by Rs. 70/- to Rs. 100/- by adopting the belting system for an acquisition of the land in May 1978 measuring only 8.59 acre in village Patti Mehar for the construction of the over bridge. This land at the time of acquisition was within the municipal limit of Ambala City. It is a conceded case that the land under acquisition in the present case was not in municipal limit at the time of acquisition and also that the land acquired by present notification is of much larger area than the land acquired in Pala Singh's case. As such, the present cases are totally distinct and different from the two cases referred to above. The land was acquired in that case for the construction of over bridge while in this case it is for development of residential and commercial sectors.
6. Ex.P.16 will not have much bearing on the present case because Ex. P.16 itself is a subject matter in another appeal. The mere fact that the learned District Judge had passed that award a few days earlier, would not become, per se, a ground for granting identical compensation. Ex. P. 13 is an award passed by the learned District Judge enhancing the compensation at the rate of Rs. 100/- per sq. yard and this award was upheld by the High Court in the case of 'Satish Kumar v. State of Haryana, (1994-3)108 P.L.R. 243. The High Court while affirming the reasoning of the award enhanced the compensation to Rs. 112/- in the case of Satish Kumar (supra). This needs to be noticed that the acquisition was dated 19.4.1983 i.e. nearly two years subsequent to the acquisition in question and, in any case, is a judgment subsequent in point of time.
7. The learned counsel for the claimants while relying upon the judgment of Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in the case of 'Suresh Kumar v. Town Improvement Trust, Bhopal, A.I.R. 1989 S.C. 1222, contended that compensation ought to be granted keeping in view the future potentiality of the land and, infact, should be more than the compensation awarded in any of the aforestated exhibits. He relied upon the following observations of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in the case of Satish Kumar (supra):-
'xx xx xx xxIn such a situation the land might have already been valued at more than its value as agricultural land, if it had any other capabilities. However, only reasonable and fair capabilities but not far-fetched any hypothetical capabilities are to be taken into consideration. In sum, in estimating the market value of the land all of the capabilities of the land, and all its legitimate purposes to which it may be applied or for which it may be adapted are to be considered and not merely the condition it is in and the use to which it is at the time applied by the owner. The proper principle is to ascertain the market value of the land taking into consideration the special value which ought to be attached to the special advantage possessed by the land; namely, its proximity to developed urbanised area, xx xx'
PW2 who prepared Ex. P.7 stated that the site plan was in accordance with the situation at the site and in his cross examination nothing material could come out to indicate different location of the present land. PW.11 has proved the Ak-shijra Ex.P.14. Thus, reference by this Court to Ex.P.7 become necessary. Ex.P.7 depicts that the acquired land which has been shown in red colour is on the one side of the railway track while Prem Nagar, Sessions Court and Market etc. are on the other side of the railway track. The land for which the compensation was paid in Pala Singh and Satish Kumar cases (supra), in relation to construction of over bridge, is quite at some distance from the present land and is on Hisar road near the railway track.
7. The learned District Judge has placed total reliance upon Pala Singh's case (supra) but did not notice certain basic distinguishable features which have rendered that case as a relevant piece of evidence but still not as an instance on which the entire evidence could be concluded. In Pala Singh's case, which relates to village Patti Mehar, the land was acquired within the municipal limits of Ambala City and comparatively small pieces of land were acquired for construction of bridge over the railway line passing through Ambala City. The main road leading to Hisar as well as the railway line were the main points which were like-ly to be covered by the over bridge. In other words, the land was located within the City's municipal limits and that too at a thickly populated place. Thus, it could not form sole basis for granting the compensation which has been awarded by the learned District Judge. The instances of judgments in aforereferred awards may be the relevant pieces of evidence but they are not absolutely identical instances in comparison to the land sought to be acquired by the present notification.
8. As already noticed, the land in 3 villages i.e., Sonda, Patti Mehar and Jandli is around Ambala City and the boundaries thereof are common to each other. The nearest out of them to the city is Patii Mehar. In a very recent judgment passed by this Court in State of Haryana v. Jagir Kaur and Ors., R.F.A. No. 716 of 1995, pronounced on 24.12.1998, the Court considered in great detail the amount of compensation payable to the land acquired in villages Sonda and Jandli which are adjacent to Patti Mehar. All the awards and instances relied upon in the present cases were also relied upon by the parties to those proceedings and after considering the entire evidence, the Court held as under:-
'The principle of determination of market value of the land by applying the principle of averages of the sale instances proved on record and which are admissible would be a safe measure to arrive at a figure which should finally be paid to the claimants. Application of principle of average is no where an innovative application, but is a mere reiteration of a well accepted norm and principle which has been approved by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Rajashekhar Sankappa Taradandi (supra). This principles was also fully accepted by a Division Bench of this Court in the case of Khushi Ram and Anr. v. The State of Haryana, 1988 L.A.C.C. 653.
To arrive at a fair computation on average basis, valuation of the following exhibits proved in accordance with law and relevant and comparable instances aforestated would be proper:-
Exhibit Date of Amount of Compensation RemarksNotification awarded by High Courtunder District JudgeSection 4A. CLAIMANTS INSTANCES . Rs. (per acre)PAA 31.8.1987 5,80,800/-by A.D.JPX 30.5.1978 4,84,000/-by High Court(Has attained finality)P.18 19.4.1983 5,42,000/-by High Court(Has attained finality)B. RESPONDENT'S INSTANCESRW-l/H' 26.5.1981 57,000/-RX 26.5.1981 57,000/-RZ 23.5.1978 30,000/-Therefore, the amount of compensation payable to the claimants would come to Rs. 2,91,800.00 (Total of the figures 'A' and 'B' Rs. 17,50,800.00 / 6 = Rs. 2,91,800.00 per acre.'
9, Comparable instances of adjacent land in different revenue estates, normally should be granted somewhat similar compensation. The concept of awarding uniform compensation has to be applied subject to its known limitations. A reference to the guiding principles in this regard, at this stage, would be appropriate. The application of principle of averages can be construed to be a proper safeguard against the inflated sale instances. The computation of fair market value, thus, has to be computed keeping in view the above stated twin principles. At this stage, reference to a judgment indicating these principles, would be appropriate. In the case of Union of India v. Dr. Balbir Singh, R.F.A. 2382 of 1997 decided on 10.12.1998 the Court held as under:-
'xx xx xx xxThe land of average would be fairly applicable in such circumstances because the value of the land even as per sale deeds above mentioned have been fluctuating towards decrease by a considerable margins during the period for which the sale-deeds have been produced. In the case of Khushi Ram and Anr. v. The State of Haryana, 1988 L.A.C.C. 653, it was considered by Division Bench of this Court to apply the principles of average to reach at a fair conclusion.
The instances of sale proved by the claimants relate to very small pieces of land and indicate considerably a higher value of the land. Such value cannot form a comprehensive base for determination of a definite market value of the acquired land at the relevant date. In other words, the Court must take recourse to an equitable balance between the two extremes and such balance must not be founded only on a guess work, but apparently should have an acceptable rational or reason behind it. The principle that the highest value of the land emerging from the sale instances should be fixed as the market value of the acquired land, was rejected by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in the case of Gulzara Singh and Ors. etc. v. State of Punjab and Ors., 1993 L.A.C.C. page 612. In this very judgment the Hon'ble Court further held that the belting system would again be not appropriate method of computation and it must be better to base on the principle of average price. It could be relevant at this stage to refer to the following observations of the Hon'ble Apex Court:-
'That highest value should be fixed cannot be accepted in view of the consistent later view of this Court. In Collector of Lakhimpur's case (supra) this court accepted the principle of average, but however, rejected the small extent of the lands and enhancement based on the average at Rs. 15,000/- per Bigha was reduced to Rs. 10,000/- per Bigha. In Smt. Kaushalya Devi's case (supra), this Court noted that large extent of land in the developed Aurangabad town was acquired for Medical College, accepted the principle of average worked out by the reference court, varying between Rs. 2.25/- to Rs. 5.00 per sq. yard and this Court ultimately fixed the market value at the rate of Rs. 1.50/- per sq. yard. In Administrator General of West Bengal's case (supra) this Court upheld rejection of the small plots of lands and accepted two sale deeds of large extent working out the average rate at Rs. 500/- per Decimal and ultimately reference court fixed the market value at the rate of Rs. 200/- per Decimal. It is, therefore, clear that the Court in the first instance has to determine as to which of the sale deeds are relevant, proximate in point of time and offer comparable base to determine market value. Thereafter, the average price has to be worked out. It would be seen that this Court has taken consistent view of working out average and further deduction have been made in fixing just and fair market value when large chunk of the land was acquired. We respectfully agree and adhere to the principle and we find no compelling reason to divert the stream or arrest the consistence.'While enunciating this principle the Hon'ble Supreme Court quoted with approval the case of The Collector of Lakhimpur v. Bhuban Chandra Dutta, A.I.R. 1971, Supreme Court 2015.XX XX XX XX'
10. The principle referred by this Court in the case of Khushi Ram (supra) was also made applicable by a Division Bench of this Court in the case of Surinder Singh v. Punjab State (1995-1)109 P.LR. 533. A Division Bench of High Court of Delhi in the case of Ram Mehra v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1987 Delhi 130, also stressed the need for application of these principles for determination of fair market value of the acquired land.
11. In a very recent judgment the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in the case of Kanwar Singh and Ors. v. Union of India, J.T. 1998(7) S.C. 397 observed that Courts while applying the market value of the land in the adjacent villages or revenue estates must not cautiously follow the same factors as it is not necessary that compensation granted in adjacent villages would itself be a deciding factor for other lands. The Supreme Court also applied the principle of averages/mean to get the correct market value of the acquired land with some element of conjectures or guess in the case of Krishna Yachendra Bahadurvaru v. The Special Land Acquisition Officer City Improvement Trust Board, Bangalore and Ors., A.I.R. 1979 S.C. 869.
12. In the case of Karrappa Ranghiya v. Special Deputy Collector Land Acquisition, A.I.R. 1982 S.C. 77 the Hon'ble Apex Court granted uniform compensation on the basis that earlier somewhat similar land which was acquired under the same notification, higher amount of compensation was awarded. Seen from any point of view the Pala Singh's case (supra) appears to be the nearest in point of time and location, but as already noticed, the land acquired in that case was in municipal limit and was in the city itself it is a distinguishing feature which would fully justify more potential in the land acquired in Pala Singh's case rather than the land acquired in the present case. While applying the principle of average applied by this court to the adjacent lands of villages Sonda and Jandli, I would have no hesitation in coming to the conclusion that the land acquired in Pala Singh's case (supra) cannot form an identical comparable land of the same potential. The present land has to be placed at a little lesser value than the value of the land in the case of Pala Singh (supra).
13. It will be appropriate to adopt the uniform standard for awarding compensation in land acquisition cases. As such, I would prefer to follow the amount of compensation awarded in R.F.A. No. 716 of 1995 (State of Haryana and Anr. v. Jagir Kaur and Ors.). Unlike Pala Singh's case (supra), the present is a case of large acquisition of land. The land acquired in these three villages have the common boundaries abutting other two villages. The land of the three aforestated villages was acquired by a common notification of the same date and for the same purpose. It must also be noticed that the learned Advocate General, Haryana as well as the counsel appearing for the claimants at the very outset stated that they were not questioning the amount awarded as compensation on account of super structures in the present appeals.
14. The cumulative effect of the aforestated reasons and while adopting the reasoning given in Jagir Kaur's case (supra), is that the appeal preferred by the State should be accepted while the appeals filed by the claimants for enhancement deserve to be dismissed. Consequently, I hold that the claimants would be entitled to the compensation at a flat rate of Rs. 2,91,800/- per acre.
15. The appeals are accordingly disposed of while awarding the compensation of Rs. 2,91,800/- with statutory benefits provided under Section 23(1-A), 23(2) and 28 of the Act. However, in the facts and circumstances of the case, there would be no orders as to costs.