1. These appeals from a common judgment of the Gujrat High Court arise out of proceedings relating to acquisition of land situate in three villages Achar, Ranip and Kali, the notification Under section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act 1894, hereinafter called the Act having been issued on July 14, 1954.
2. We shall first deal with the group of Civil AppealsNos. 1030,1031/66 and 1092/69 out of which the first two are by special leave and the third by certificate. The first appeal arises outof compensation case No. 53/56. The award which was made bythe Land Acquisition Officer comprises two categories of lands (i) 25building plots in survey No. 127; the total area being 2720 sq.ydsand (ii) road plot, the being 8170 sq yds. The Land AcquisitionOfficer awarded compensation at the rate of Rs. 6/- per sq. yd, inrespect of the building plots and Rs. 1/- per sq. yd. for the roadplot. The district Judge to whom the matter was taken by meansof reference confirmed the award of the Land Acquisition Officerwith regard to the building plot but enhanced the compensationpayable for the road plot. According to his award the compensation was to be payable at the rate of Rs. 1.50 per sq. yd. for thatplot. The High Court, in appeal, reduced the compensation payable for the land covered by the building plots to Rs. 3.80 per sq. yd. But increased the compensation on account of the road plot to the same figure, namely, Rs. 3.80 per sq. yd. In other words according to the decision of the High Court which was given in appeals preferred by the claimants, the rate was to be uniform for the land under 25 building plots and the road i.e. Rs. 3.80 per sq. yd. In the next appeal which arises out of compensation case No. 60/56 the area involved was 4481 sq. yds which was covered by 39 building plots in/survey No. 127. The Land Acquisition Officer had awarded compensation at the rate of Rs. 6/- per sq.yd. The District Judge on reference confirmed his award. Although no appeal had been preferred by the Land Acquisition Officer the High Court reduced the compensation payable by fixing the rate at Rs. 3.80 per sq.yd. The third appeal arises out of compensation case No. 49/56. We are concerned with 3 survey Nos. in this case. An area of 32 acres was acquired out of survey No. 267/A, of 4 acres and 14 gunthas out of survey No. 258/A and 2 gunthas only out of survey No. 271. The compensation awarded by the Land Acquisition Officer for the first area was at the rate of Rs. 1.50 per sq.yd. The District Judge on reference increased the rate to Rs. 3.00 per sq.yd. The High Court on appeal fixed the rate at Rs. 4/- per sq.yd. As regards the area in survey No. 268/A the compensation awarded- by the Land Acquisition Officer, the District Judge and the High Court was at the rate of Rs. 1.50, Rs. 2.250 and Rs. 4/- per sq.yd. respectively. The valuation of small area of 2 gunthas in survey No. 271 was determined by the Land Acquisition Officer District Judge and the High Court at the rate of Rs. 75/-, Rs. 180 per guntha and Rs. 2.75 per sq.yd. respectively.
3. Now, so far as 39 building plots in survey No. 127 were concerned which formed the subject matter of compensation case No. 60/56 we are unable to appreciate how the High Court could reduce the compensation awarded below the figure fixed by the Land Acquisition Officer namely Rs. 6f- per sq.yd. Section 25 of the Land Acquisition Act Provides in unequivocal terms that the amount awarded to the claimants by the Court shall not exceed the amount claimed by him or be less than the amount awarded by the collector under Section 11. It was, therefore, not open to the High Court to reduce the rate of at which the compensation was to be calculated from Rs. 6/- to 3.80 per sq.yd. According to the claimants compensation should have been awarded at the rate of Rs. 7.50 per sq.yd. The High Court considered in detail the history of survey No. 127, its situation, and potentalities. The evidence which was led in respect of the sale transaction was also discussed. One instance in particular which was of a sale deed Exh. 89 dated July 5, 1954 may be mentioned. By this sale two plots measuring 226 sq.ys. were sold out of survey No. 127 at a rate which worked out at Rs. 7.19 per sq.yd. In the opinion of the High Court Exh. 89 afforded a good instance. The arguments on behalf of the claimants were entirely based on this instance before the High Court. It was pointed out by the High Court that the pricepaid for the two plots covered by the sale deed Exh. 89 was paid not only for the ownership rights in those plots but also for the rights of easement over the whole area of the road plot totaling 8176 sp.yds. The High Court proceeded to evaluate the rights of easement and came to the conclusion that was represent the interest of the dominant tenement and 1/4th that of the servent tenement. In this manner the price was worked out at 5.66 per yd. It is unnecessary to go into the other deductions which were made at the rate of 33 1/3% on account of the largeness of the area by the High Court. The real position which emerges is that even after taking into consideration the instance furnished by the sale deed Exh. 89 the market value would not exceed Rs. 6/- per sq. yd. As compensation had been awarded at that rate by the Land Acquisition Officer the High Court had no jurisdiction to reduce it to Rs. 3.80 per sq.yd. The judgment of the High Court in so far as it relates to C.A. 1031/66 will have to be set aside and that of the district Judge restored.
4. The compensation relating to 25 building plots and theroad plots in survey No. 127 covered by compensation caseNo. 53/57 which has been awarded by the High Court cannot beincreased for the reasons which may be stated. Logically thevalue of the 25 building plots in survey No. 127 should have beenthe same as that of the 39 building plots covered by compensationcase No. 60/56. The Land Acquisition Officer had also fixed thevaluation at Rs. 6/ per sq. yd. and the same had been confirmedby the District Judge. As regards the road plot, however, theLand Acquisition Officer had awarded compensation at the rate ofRs. 1/- per sq. yd. which had been increased to Rs. 1.50 per sq.yd.by the District Judge. Although the claimants had claimedcompensation at the rate of Rs. 7.50 for the land under the building plots but for land under the road plot which had an areaof 8170 sq.yds the claim was made at the rate of Rs. 188 per sq.yd.Now even if we were to restore the award of the District Judgewhich was at the rate of Rs. 6/- per sq. yd. for the building plotsand if compensation for the road plots amount of compensation forthe 25 building plots and the road plots would work out at thefigure which would be less than the total figure awarded by theHigh Court. Under section 25 it is not open to the court to award compensation at a rate higher than the one claimed. Therefore forthe road plot it is not possible to fix the compensation at a figurehigher than at the rate of Rs. 1.88 per sq.yd. As there is noappeal on behalf of the Land Acquisition Officer the total amountawarded for 25 building plots and the road plot by the High Court be cannot reduced which is awarded at the rate of Rs. 6/- per sq.yd. and for the road plot at the rate of Rs. 1.88 per sq. yd. Although the result is somewhat anomalous it is not possible toalter other compensation awarded by the High Court in compensa-tion case No. 53/56 to which C. A. No. 1030/66 relates. In otherwords this appeal will have to be dismissed.
5. Coming now to the compensation case No. 49/56 which gave rise to C.A. No. 1092/69 the first area measures 32 acres. The High Court has awarded compensation at the rate of Rs. 4/- per sq. yd. for this area. We have been shown the plans and it has been pointed out that survey No. 267/A is practically adjacent to survey No. 127 in which compensation has now been awarded by us with regard to 39 building plots at the same rate at which it was awarded by the Land Acquisition Officer and the . District Judge. This area, however, is very large and has not been divided into building plots. Counsel for the appellant has not been able to satisfy us how in these circumstances it would be given the same valuation as the land covered by 39 building plots in survey No. 127. In our opinion the High Court has awarded the compensation at the correct rate. It is significant that although the claimants bad claimed compensation at the rate of Rs. 7.50 per sq.yds for the 39 building plots in survey No. 127 their own claim with regard to the aforesaid area in survey No. 267/A was at the rate of Rs. 6/- per sq.yd.
6. As regards the area of 4 acres in survey No. 268/A the claimants had laid a claim at the rate of Rs. 5/- sq.yd. There can be no possible justification for awarding compensation at the higher rate than the rate at which it have been awarded for the land in survey No. 267 A, namely, Rs. 4/- per sq.yd. The third item comprises land with a area of gunthas only in survey No. 271. The compensation which has been awarded by the High Court is at the rate of Rs. 2.75 per sq.yd. Counsel for the appellant has not been able to show any infirmity in the judgment of the High Court on this point. For the these reasons C.A. 1092/69 has no merit and is liable to be dismissed.
7. Coming to the other group of appeals C.A. 1073/66. relates to the lands in survey Nos. 269 and 269/A and 328/2. C.A. No. 1074/66 concerns No. 131 and C.A. No. 1075 relates to the lands in survey No. 130/1 and 132. The following chart will indicate the respective areas and the awards of the land Acquisition Officer, the District Judge and the High Court:
a well1 Acre
yds.Rs. 1.75 per
Sq. yd.Rs 4/- per
confirmed----------269Ramp7 GunthasRs. 1.75 per
Sq. yd.Rs. 4/-
sq. yds.Rs. 90/-per
GunthsRs. 180 per
confirmed-----131 Acherx5 Acres
sq yds.Rs. 80/
GunthaRs. 180/ per
gunthsRs. 190/ per
confirmed-----132 Dox2 Acres
24 ganthasRs. 90/-
gunthaRs. 180/ per
The main argument on behalf of the claimants before the High Court and before us was is that the above survey Nos. are very near survey No. 127 and some of them have even a better situation. The High Court fully considered the proximity or otherwise of survey No. 127 and other survey Nos. which formed the subject matter of the first group of appeals and the other material features of the above survey Nos. and came to the following conclusions; (1) there were no grounds on the basis of which survey No. 269 could be treated differently from survey No. 268 A; (2) survey No. 269 A, could be under no circumstances, be regarded as superior to survey No. 269; (3) the land in survey No. 132 could not be assigned the same value as building plots in survey No. 127 (4) the land value of survey No. 131 could not be more than Rs. 180/- per gunth. If the value of the land in survey No. 132 was kept n view. Survey No. 130 even deserved a lower valuation than survey No. 132. As regards land in survey No. 328/2 it was contiguous to survey No. 127 and the advantage which that survey number possessed was the access to public road which survey No. 132, 131 and 130 did not possess. Therefore its value should be at the rate of Rs. 180/-per gunths. It may be mentioned that the value of the land in survey No. 328/2 as fixed by the District court was not increased because the value of survey No. 130 as awarded by that court was not decreased. Now it is significant that at least with regard to the lands in survey No. 328/2 and survey Nos. 131/1 and 132, the claim of the claimants themselves was at the rate of Rs. 4/- Rs. 3/-per sq.yd. respectively. This was very much less than the claim made in respect of the building plots in survey No. 127. Nothing has been brought to our notice which would persuade us to interfere with the judgment of the High Court in the matter of the award of compensation relating to the aforesaid survey numbers. It must also be remembered that the second group of appeal are by special leave and the award made by the District court was confirmed by the High Court. There can be no reason or justifi-cation for interfering with the decision of High Court in these appeals,
8. On the result C.A. No. 1031/66 is allowed and the award made by the High Court is set aside and that of the District Court restored. All the other appeals fail and dismissed. In view of the entire circumstances the parties are left to bear their own costs in this court.