V.K. Bali, J.
1. I propose to dispose of three connected Regular First Appeal Nos. 1297, 1298 and 1299 of 1981 by a common order as ail these appeals arise from the same award dated 9.4.1981 rendered by Addl. Distt. Judge, Sangrur.
2. Brief facts of the case reveal that 89 acres, 4 kanals and 12 marlas land was acquired by the government. The land aforesaid was notified under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act on 27.1.1978 and in due course of time follow up declaration under Section 6 of the said Act came to be issued. The Land Acquisition Collector vide his award categorised the land into six blocks namely, A, B, C, D, E & F, whereas market value of the land pertaining to block A was assessed at Rs. 30,000/- per acre, for Block B Rs. 25,000/- per acre, for Block C Rs. 20,000/- per acre, for Block D Rs. 15,000/- per acre, for Block E Rs. 10,000/-per acre for Block F Rs. 6,000/- per acre. Feeling dissatisfied a reference under Section 18 of the said Act was sought by the respondents-claimants. On references of the matter, learned Addl. District Judge assessed the market value of the land at Rs. 1,000/- per Biswa. It is against this award that the State of Punjab has filed these three connected appeals. Respondent in: R.F.A. No. 1297 of 1981 has filed cross objection No. 46 of 1982.
3. The crucial question in regard to market value of the land was discussed by learned Addl. District Judge in paragraph 8 which reads as follows
'This, therefore, naturally brings me to the question as to what was the market value of the acquired land at the relevant time. In order to establish as to what was the market value of the acquired land at the relevant time the applicants have placed on the record evidence of about seven sale transactions, copies of the sale deeds are Ex.P3 to Ex.P9. The land covered by these sale transactions has been shown in plan Ex.P2 prepared by Kartar Singh draftsman PW2. A perusal of this plan would show that the land sold by private sale transact is near the acquired land of the applicant and others. The land vide sale transactions covered by sale deeds copies of which are Ex.P3 to Ex.P9 was sold at the rate of Rs. 1,000/- per biswa to Rs. 2,000/- per biswa. The average sale price of these transactions comes to about Rs. 1,126.53 per biswa. After going through the above said sale deeds and keeping in view the situation of the land covered by these sale deeds as shown in plan Ex.P2, I find that this land had potentiality to be put to use for building and business purposes. These sale deeds are all of pre-notification period. So it can safely be concluded that at the time of notification the market value of the acquired land of sold in small pieces must not have been less than Rs. 1,126.53 per biswa. This value for the land sold in small parcels although may not be held to be the market value of the land purchased in larger area but it can certainly be made the basis to work upon the question of determining the market value of the acquired land. So, making this as the basis we can make a rational guess of the market value of similar land at the time of notification. Making such a rational guess I think the similar land if sold in larger area at the relevant time would not have fetched less than Rs. 1,000/- per biswa.'
4. Learned counsel representing the State vehemently contends that land acquired in the present case was about 90 acres and learned Addl. District Judge relied upon sale instances of very small pieces of land and even if the sale instances were of comparable land, the said instances being of small pieces of land, a cut of 1/3rd ought to have been imposed. This argument appears to be attractive at first instance but when examined in some details, the same is found to have no substance. The sale deed Ex.P3 pertains to year 1976 and P4 pertains to 4.9.1972. The other four sale deeds are dated 23.2.1977, 12.2.1977, 15.6.1977 and 25.8.1975. A look at these sale instances would reveal that price was always escalating. Learned Addl. District Judge worked out average of above said sale instances and assessed Rs. 1,000/- per Biswa as market value of the land. The sale instance of Ex.P3 pertains to 16 Biswa of land and if the price of a Biswa is worked out on the basis of this sale instance, it comes to Rs. 1,600/- per Biswa. It is, thus, clearly proved that prices were escalating and last sale instance was of Rs. 1,600/- per Biswa.
5. In these circumstances, it was not appropriate to make an average of the sale instances as mentioned above. One sale instance relied upon pertains to 1972 and other or 1975, yet another of 1976 whereas other sale instances are of 1977. it is true that when a big chunk of land is acquired, sale instances of small pieces of land do not furnish proper guidance to assess the market value. It was not proper for learned Addl. District Judge to make an average of sale instances as all the sale instances pertain to different years. There was escalation in the price, as noticed in the aforesaid sale instances. The last instance of Rs. 1,600/-per Biswa has been proved on record as Ex.P.3 and even if, therefore, a cut of 1/3rd was to be made, the market value would have worked out more than Rs. 1,000/ per Biswa. I find absolutely no merit in these appeals and the same are dismissed.
6. So far as the cross objections are concerned, nothing could be argued which could detract from the market value as determined by the Addl. District Judge. I find no merit in cross objections and the same are dismissed. Parties are left to bear their own costs.