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D.L.F. United Ltd. Vs. Union of India - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberRegular First Appeal Nos. 169 and 170 of 1975
Judge
Reported inILR1979Delhi203
ActsLand Acquisition Act, 1894 - Sections 4
AppellantD.L.F. United Ltd.; Union of India
RespondentUnion of India;d.L.F. United Ltd.
Advocates: S.L. Watel,; R.C. Beri,; Arun Kumar,;
Cases ReferredSecretary of State v. Charles Worth Pilling Co.
Excerpt:
land acquisition act (1894) - sections 4, 6, and 23--determination of market value--instances must be comparable in time and quality--higher sale if dissimilar in intrinsic worth not to be preferred--evidence produced by the claimants before the collector can be taken note of by a court of law--no authority is binding if it goes wrong on facts.; the facts giving rise to the instant two appeals are that certain lands of the appellant d.l.f. united in r.f.a. 169 of 1975 were acquired by the government for a public purpose. notification under section 4 of the land acquisition act, 1894 was issued on 24th october, 1961, whereby a large area of 1680 bighas, 12 bids was in a trans-jamuna colony known as dilshad garden was sought to be taken. in due course the land acquisition collector made.....avadh behari rohatgi, j.(1) these are two appeals. one is by the owner, d.l.f. united ltd. (r.f.a. 169 of 1975). the other is the cross-appeal of the taker of the land, the union of india (r.f.a. 170 of 1975). as the conclusion of the hearing i pronounced the judg- ment. i dismissed both the appeals with no order as to costs. now i give my reasons. (2) these appeals arise out of proceedings under the land acquisition act, i of 1894 (the act). certain lands of the appellant d.l.f. united limited in r.f.a. 169 of 1975 were acquired by the government for a public purpose. notification under s. 4 of the act was issued on october 24, 1961. the declaration under s. 6 of the act was made on october 26, 1968. a large area of 1680 bighas 12 bids was in a trans-jamuna colony known as dilshad garden.....
Judgment:

Avadh Behari Rohatgi, J.

(1) These are two appeals. One is by the owner, D.L.F. United Ltd. (R.F.A. 169 of 1975). The other is the cross-appeal of the taker of the land, the Union of India (R.F.A. 170 of 1975). As the conclusion of the hearing I pronounced the judg- ment. I dismissed both the appeals with no order as to costs. Now I give my reasons.

(2) These appeals arise out of proceedings under the Land Acquisition Act, I of 1894 (the Act). Certain lands of the appellant D.L.F. United Limited in R.F.A. 169 of 1975 were acquired by the Government for a public purpose. Notification under s. 4 of the Act was issued on October 24, 1961. The declaration under s. 6 of the Act was made on October 26, 1968. A large area of 1680 bighas 12 bids was in a trans-Jamuna colony known as Dilshad Garden was thus sought to be taken. In due course the Land Acquisition Collector made the award (Award No. 8 of 1969)- The collector awarded compensation for 1648 bighas 3 bids was leaving out the remaining area of 32 bighas and 6 bids was on the ground that houses and factories existed thereon. The land acquired was vacant land situated in an approved colony, having the basic facilities like roads, parks and a shopping complex.

(3) The idea of Dilshad Garden colony was conceived way back in 1941. The lay out of the colony was sanctioned in 1952 by the Shahdara Municipality within the limits of which it was situated. The development of the colony could not proceed as planned and, thereforee, a trust called Dilshad Trust was created by the Chief Commissioner for its development. By 1960 the Trust completed the development. The collector gave the following description of the colony in the award dated June 13, 1969. He said :

'IN fact, the situation and location of the land under aquisition is much better than that of the land acquired under the Award No. 2111. It is much closer to Shahdara and Delhi and is fairly inhabited. The Grand Trunk Road from Delhi to Ghaziabad runs at a distance of about 1-1/2 to 2 furlongs only towards the Southern side of the land under acquisition. It adjoins the Dilshad Extension No.1 on the Eastern side which is fully developed colony which was approved by the shahdara municipal committee on 25-3-1952 by the delhi development provisional Authority on 27-6-1956 and subsequently by the municipal corportation. The Mental and lerprosy hospitals exist on the orthern side of the land under qcistition and on the western side, is the railway crossing hardly one fulong away. The area is partially developed and equipped with the civil amentites like road, electricity water supply, etc'

(4) On a reference under s. 18 of the Act the Additional District Judge by judgment dated February Ii, 1975 allowed a substantial increase over the amount awarded by the collector. The appellant D.L.F. now appeals to this court for further enhancement.

(5) The acquired lands of D.L.F. which are the subject of this appeal have been divided into six groups. The following table will immediately show the compensation awarded by the collector and the increase allowed by the Land Acquisition Judge and the claim now made by D.L.F. in appeal 17 residential plots of area exceeding I bigha and not exceeding 3 bighas Total area =44 bighas 14biswas. (1) Collector awarded =Rs. 7000.00 perbigha. (2) Additional District Judge incresed it to =Rs. 12000.00 per bigha (3) Claim in appeal =Rs. 16000.00 Per bigha. 14 residential plots of area less than 1000 sq. yard Total are =8 bighas 6 biswas. (1) Collector awarded =Rs. 7000.00 per bigha. (2) Additional District Judge = Rs. 13.000.00 per bigha. increased it to (3) Claim in appeal =Rs. 17.000.00 per bigha. Market land in two blocks: I block 8 bighas 16 biswas. Ii block 8 bighas 16 biswas. Total : 17 bighas 12 bids was (1) Collector awarded ==Rs. 10.000.00 per bigha. (2) Additional District Judge increased it to =Rs. 13,000.00 per bigha (3) Claim in appeal ==Rs.21,600.00 per bigha. Note : The Additional District Judge has observed that this market land 'had yet to be developed as commercial plots'. IV. 3 commercial plots of I bigha, I bigha - 10 bids was and 4 bighas - 9 biswas: (1) Collector awarded =Rs. 10,000.00 per bigha. (2) Additional District Judge increased it to =Rs. 16.003.00 per bigha. (3) Claim in appeal : = Rs. 23,000.00 per bigha V. 56 commercial plots of shop-cum-residence : (1)11 plots of 2 bids was each i.e. = (100 sq. yards) (2) 14 plots of 3 bids was each i.e. = (150 sq. yards) (3) 29 plots of 8 bids was each i.e. = (400 sq. yards) Total = 15 bighas 6 bids was (1) Collector awarded == Rs. 10,000.00 Per bigha. (2) Additional District Judge increased it to = Rs. 17.000.00 per bigha. (3) Claim in appeal = Rs. 24,000.00 Per bigha. Cinema plot area 6 bighas 9 biswas. 1. Collector awarded = Rs. 15,000.00 Per bigha. 2. Additional District Judge raised it to Rs. 30,000.00 per bigha. 3. Claim in appeal = Rs. l,00,000.00 per bigha.

(6) The cross-appeal of the Union of India R.F.A. 170 of 1975 relates to this cinema plot. The Union claims that the just compensation to award ought to be Rs. 20,000- per bigha and not Rs. 30,0001- per bigha as given by the Additional District Judge

(7) The relevant documentary evidence given by the D. L-F. before the Additional District Judge will appear from the following synoptic table : l. SI. No. Ex. No Date of sale with name of the Price paid and the area sold. Price oer sa. yd. as worked Situation and location and Vendor and purchaser. out. number of the plot. 1 2 3 4 5 6 1. A/8 21-4-1955. Sold by Housing Rs. 1250.00 for 125 sq. yards. Rs. 10.00. Plot no. 55B Shop-cum- & General Finance Fvt. Ltd. residential in Dilshad Garden in favor of Girdhari Lal. Colony. 2. A/I 23-8-1959. Sale at public auc- Rs. 8500.00 Area not given in Rs. 8.50. Plot No. 244-D Dilshad corporation by Department of Reha- the sale certificate but from Garden Colony. bilitation. lay out it appears that it measures 1000 sq. yards. (Payment made in claims). 3. A/7 3-10.1960. Sale by Housing Rs. 1780.00 for 125 sq. yards. Rs. 14.25 (Including conveyance Plot No. 53B. Shop-cum- General Finance Pvt. Ltd, to charges it comes to Rs. 15.67). residential plot in the colony. Jagan Nath Ghai. 4. A/5 1-3-61. Sale by Shyam Prakash Rs. 25,0001- for 1222 sq. yards Rs. 20.50 Field No. 1103/293 on main & Co. to Caltax (India) Ltd. G. T. Road going from Delhi to Ghaziabad.

(8) Before the collector D.L.F. produced the following sale transactions by tendering in evidence the copies of the registered sale deeds. The following table gives the particulars of the transactions produced by D.L.F. before the collector and mentioned in his award: i SI. No. Date of Sale Pi-ica paid and the area sold. Price psr sq. Situation, location and number of the plot. yd. as worked out. 1 2 3 4 5 A 20-4-61 Rs.49,790.00 for 4979 sq. yards. Rs. 10.00 Plot No. 21. Block No. 5 situated in main Dilshad Garden and abuts on the main G. '1'. Road. B 17-6-61 Rs. 23.000.00 for 2475 sq. yards. Rs. 9.29 Plot No. 49. Block No. 9 in Dilshad Garden Colony. Very close to G. T. Road, but did not form part of present acquisition.

(9) For their claim of enhancement D.L.F. relies heavily on a judgment of the division bench of this court in Union of India v. Justice Shamsher Bahadur, 2nd 1974 2 Del 565. This judgment merits close examination. Justice Shamsher Bahadur's case arose from this very award of the collector. He was the owner of a plot admeasuring 2 bighas-18 biswa?, that is, nearly 3000 sq. yards. On appeal by him the division bench enhanced the compensation to Rs. 16,000 per bigha. When this judgment was delivered it raised high hopes in the minds of other owners. The result was a spate of appeals. Everyone claimed Rs. 16,000.00 per bigha on the strength of this judgment.

(10) This judgment was also cited before the Additional District Judge in this case. Notwithstanding this decision he came to the conclusion that D.L.F. was not entitled to Rs. 16,000.00 per bigha. Not that he doubted the wisdom of the judges of the division bench. In fact he considered it as the 'best piece of evidence'. But be found that the transaction of sale dated March 18, 1959 on which this judgment is founded is 'misleading and does not reflect the true picture'. The division bench made the sale transaction of March 18, 1959, as the basis of the increase allowed by them. They thought that on March 18. 1959 one bigha of land was sold for Rs. 19.000.00 and that the price worked out at Rs. 19.00 per sq. yard. In fact much more area than I bigha had been sold for Rs. 19,000/. The additional district judge took the trouble of reading the sale deed dated march18, 1959 On a carefull exam of document. found that the price paid works out to Rs. 3.80 per sq. yard. The vendor had purchased the land at Rs. 4.00 per sq. yard on April 2, 1954, and he sold it to his son at Rs. 3.80 per sq. yard. The mutation No. 1414 of this sale showed Rs. 19,000.00 as the price of I bigha. This misled the judges of the division bench. This was the main source of error in their judgment. They accepted the sale of March 18, 1959 as 'a safe guide for assessing the market value of the land in question', to use their own words. As the land of sale dated March 18, 1959 was better situated the division bench made an allowance for the advantages enjoyed by that land and estimated the market value of the land in, question before them at Rs. 16,000.00 per bigha. That this is an error in the judgment has been admitted before me at all hands. Counsel for D.L.F. and other owners were unable to defend this part of the judgment. thereforee, the Additional District Judge rightly came to the conclusion that if correct facts had been brought to the notice of the court compensation at Rs. 16,000.00 per bigha would not have been fixed. In my opinion the authority of the division bench ruling has been completely shaken by reason of the fact that the fundamental assumption on which it is based is erroneous. What was thought as a 'safe guide' has turned out to be absolutely unreliable.

(11) Counsel for D.L.F. contends that the division bench authority is still binding on me. I cannot agree. No authority is binding if it goes wrong on facts. Precedents should be treated as 'guides to lead and not as shackles to bind', to use a phrase of Sir Samud was Two instances were cited before the division bench. One was this transaction of sale of March 18, 1959 which, as I have said, misled the judges. The other instance was the sale of a plot at land of 1222 sq. yards which was conveyed by Shayam Prakash Co. to Caltax (India) Ltd. on March 1, 1961 for Rs. 25,000.00 . This worked out to Rs. 20.50 per sq. yard. This is A/5 (item No. 4 in the tabular abstract of evidence given above). I will call it, for brief, the Caltax sale.

(12) This Caltax sale on which counsel strongly relies and to which the division bench refers is not, in my opinion, a comparable sale. Nor is this the major premise of reasoning of the division bench judgment. They refer to the Caltax sale to buttress their reasoning. They seek support from it. But the core instance on which they found their decision is the sale of March 18, 1959. They proceeded to enlarge upon it and explain it by referring to a sale in the neighborhood. That the division bench was conscious of the fact that Caltax sale is not a true illustration of the market price of the land in the colony and is not a true measure of compensation is clear from their judgment. They say : 'Even if the use of land in Ex. A/5 is a petrol pump site and its proximity to G.T. Road are taken as advantages, suitable allowance can be made for these factors'-

(13) The question that arises for decision is : Ought the Caltax sale to be preferred to a sale in the colony of which the transaction of October, 1960 (A/7) (item No. 3 in the charge) is a highly pertinent instance Obviously a sale inside the colony at the material time will be a fair test of market value. We wander for instances elsewhere when no instance nearer home is available as a dependable guide. The Caltax sale represents the price of a commercial plot on the main G.T. Road leading from Delhi to Ghaziabad. The plot was purchased for a commercial purpose, namely, for a petrol pump. The land, subject of these appeals, is inside the colony and is at a distance of about 2 furlongs from the main road. The evidence of transaction of sale in the colony are the best evidence. This is what the division bench also thought- But the transaction on which they founded their judgment proved to be a misleading guide.

(14) To prefer the Caltax sale to sales inside the colony is to go against all principles of valuation. In fact it is against all methods of' weighing judicial evidence. The Caltax sale is not a comparable sale. The land there was not similarly situated as the land acquired. A pertinent instance of sale must be 'comparable in time and quality'. Khawaja Faizuddin v. State of Hyderabad, C.A. No. 176 of 1962 decided on April 10, 1963 SC (2). Caltax sale is not comparable in quality. Tile actual transactions of sale inside the colony will give us the real value of the plots. The valuer has to set himself to enquire at what prices land in the colony of similar character changed hands near about the time of notification. Market price has to be inferred from the actual transactions in the colony- Concrete instances of sale and not abstract reasoning are our basic tools. It was said that I should go by the highest sale in the neighborhood which was the Caltax sale. I was referred to the following observations in Sri Rani M. Vijayalakshmamma Rao v. Collector of Madras, (1969) 1 Mad. L.J. 45 :

'it seems to us to be only fair that where sale deed pertaining to different transactions are relied on behalf of the Government, that representing the highest value Should be preferred unless there are strong circumstances justifying a different course.'

(15) COUNSEL'S argument shows a confusion of thought. No doubt a higher sale is to be preferred if the two sales presented to the court are comparable in time and quality with the land acquired. But if they are dissimilar in their intrinsic worth this principle will not apply.

(16) In the case of Caltax sale, the natural and special adaptability of land for a particular purpose has to be reckoned. The land on the main road (the Grand Trunk Road which is a national highway) provided an ideal site for a petrol pump. The special adaptability of a parcel of land for some purpose or other is the very basis of the market value of the land. In town lands advantages of site are a true instance of a special adaptability. This tends directly to increase the value of the market price of the lands in the hands of a private owner and it has never been doubted that he could urge them in augmentation of the compensation which he was entitled to receive. (In re : Lucas & Chesterfield Gas & Water Board, 1909 1 K.B. 16. This shows that the land sold to Caltax occupied a highly advantageous position and the private owner was able to sell it for a high price. The owners of the acquired land in the colony cannot claim the same advantage which the vendor enjoyed in the Caltax sale.

(17) What is the sale transaction which can be classed as a fair test of value? In my opinion, sale in favor of Jagannath Ghai on October 3, 1960 of a plot of 125 sq. yards for Rs. 1780 (A/7) exemplifies the market value of the land in question. The price works out to Rs- 14.25 per sq. yard. It was a commercial plot of shop-cum-residence. This was a very small plot no doubt. But smaller the plot higher the price. This is well known. Equally well recognised is the rule that a commercial plot fetches a higer price than a residential plot. Ghai's sale is truly representative of the prevailing price in the market in 1960. It has not been shown that between 1960 and October 24, 1961 this interval of tune made any marked difference or there was any drastic change. Nor is there any evidence of a rising market. All the same the Land Acquisition Judge has awarded Rs. 17.00 per sq. yard for a small commercial plot of shop-cum-residence. It is not worthy that Ghai's sale was not given in evidence in Justice Shamsher Bahadur's case. This is another distinguishing feature of this case.

(18) There was no construction in the colony after 1958. The plots were unbuilt. L.C. Jain President of the Shahdara Municipality, in his evidence admitted : 'This is correct that no construction of residential houses had been made in the colony after 1958 because no plans had been sanctioned in respect thereof after that year'. The D.D.A. Provisional Authority had imposed restrictions on construction. There is no proof that the shop-cum-residence plots were in great demand or that there was any feverish commercial activity in the locality.

(19) The only instances to be taken into consideration are those that are as similar as possible to the one under consideration, similar not only in point of site but also as regards other intrinsic circumstances. If a particular person has some particular object in desiring to acquire some special piece of land he would be inclined to pay a higher price. See Amrita Lal Basak v. Secy. of State. 22 I C 78(5. Such appears to be the case with Caltax- Instances produced must relate to lands, which on the whole, have the conditions of quality and situation as the acquired land : See Raghunath Das v. Collector of Dacca, 11 C. L. J. 612. In Khawaja Faizuddin's case (supra) the Supreme Court said :

'PRICE paid for a land acquired within a reasonable time from the date of acquisition of the land in question would certainly be the best piece of evidence.'

(20) It was suggested that the sale transaction dated October 3, 1960 was a speculative purchase by Jagan Nath Ghai. It was argued that as all the commercial plots in the colony had been cornered by D.L.F. this single sale of a commercial plot did not illustrate the market value of the land in question. I cannot accept this argument. Sale in favor of Jagan Nath Ghai is not suspect on the ground that D.L.F. had purchased all the commercial plots. The monopoly of D.L.F., if anything, should have contributed to a rise in land prices. In my view this sale reflects the prevailing purchase price of a small commercial plot of urban land in the colony. It is true that misleading importance ought not to be given to sales of small building plots and that this was a sale of a small plot of 125 sq. yards. But this is something which goes in favor of the owners and not against them. This conclusion is confirmed by the fact that in 1955 the price was Rs. 10.00 per sq. yard in open market of a shop-cum residential plot (A/8) and in 1959 the price was Rs. 8.50 per sq. yard (See A/I) in Rehabilitation sales at public auction.

(21) There is further proof on the record that in 1961 the prices did not go beyond Rs. 10 per sq. yard. This is clear from the two sale deeds which tendered inevidence by D.L.F. before the collector. On April 20, 1961, 4979 sq. yards of land was sold at the rate of Rs. 10 per sq. yard. On June 17,, 1961, 2475 sq. yards of land was sold for Rs. 9.29 per sq. yard. Both plots were of large area and were situated in the main colony and had the added advantage of being close to the G.T. Road. These two sales are apt illustrations and can reasonably be accepted as guide to the value of the land in the colony on the given day in 1961. This also strikingly illustrates the error into which we would again fall, as did the judges of the division bench, if we admit into our minds the Caltax sale because that represents an exceptional instance of land enjoying the unique advantage of an ideal site for a petrol pump on a national highway.

(22) Whether evidence tendered before the collector and mentioned by him in his award can be looked at by the court has given rise to questions of some subtlety. It was vehemently argued that though these two instances of 1961 are mentioned in the award they do not constitute legal evidence in the case. I was asked to throw them out of consideration altogether. Counsel for D. L. F. referred me to Collector Raigarh v. Hari Singh Thakur, : [1979]2SCR183 and submitted that unless the vendor or the purchaser is produced the sale is not admissible in evidence and cannot bs relied upon. This is a perfectly correct statement of law. But what is the value of the evidence led before the Land Acquisition Collector. The collector has tlis power to take evidence. He has the power to summon and enforce the attendance of the witnesses including the parties interested or any of them, and to compel the production of documents by the same means and in the same manner as is provided in the case of a civil court undei the Code of Civil Procedure (See s. 14 of the Act), s. 12 lays down that, subject tos- 18 of the Act, the award 'shall be final and conclusive evidence as between the collector and the persons interested'. Evidence taken before the collector, generally speaking, is not evidence when the matter is contested in a court of law under s. 18. The reason is that 'throughout the proceedings the collector acts as the agent of the Government and he is clothed with certain powers to require the attendance of persons to make statements relevant to the matters which he has to inquire into in respect of land acquisition. He is in no sense a judicial officer Nor are the proceedings before him judicial proceedings.' Ezra v. Secy. of State 2nd 32 Cal. 605. But the collator can take evidence. As an expert official charged with the duty of fixing a value he can avail himself of all that is offered at, the enquiry, his ultimate duty being not to conclude the owner by his so-called award, but to fix the sum which in his best judgment is the value and should be offered. The collector is not precluded by anything in the statute from inviting at the inquiry the criticism of the owner or any information he had in his hands, if he thought that in the circumstances this would advance knowledge, but this is for his discretion. (Ezra, supra p. 629).

(23) Before the collector D.L.F. produced the sale deeds. He has faithfully reproduced the evidence put forward by the claimant? in support of their objections. This evidence was tendered by D.L.F. itself. The D.L.F. cannot say that the court cannot look at the evidence which they themselves had adduced before the collector. If that evidence were to be usd against the Government they can justly complain that such evidence is not conclusive as they had no opportunity to cross-examine the vendor or the purchaser. But D.L.F. cannot be heard to say that the sale deeds produced by them before the collector do not constitute evidence of which a court of law will take notice. It is true that the cllector did not accept these transactions of 1961 as conclusive, chiefly on the ground that these sales, in his opinion, did not give a fair estimate of the market value of the land.

(24) If an authority is needed one can quote with profit Arunchala Aiyar v. Collector of Tanjor, Air 1926 Mad. 961. There it was held that the award of the acquisition officer is evidence in proceedings under reference under s. 18. Statements in the award, such as statements as to the contents of certain documents examined by the acquisition officer, are evidence and need not be produced by production of documents themselves. The burden of proof is on the claimant to show that the award is wrong. The Madras decision was followed in Nageswar Rao v. Spl Dy. Collector, : AIR1959AP52 . But for our present purpose it is not necessary to go that far. What I think is that these two sales of 1961 can properly be pressed against the claimant as that was his own. evidence before the collector. He produced this data before an officer authorised to take evidence to assist him in forming a value idea. A claimant who came forward with these sales himself cannot complain of prejudice. I am not saying that he cannot ask for more. To say that is to misrepresent my position. All I say is that he cannot deny the existence of the sale deeds on which he founded his claim at an earlier stage of the proceedings.

(25) The D.L.F. do not say that they did not produce the above narrated sale deeds or that they are untrustworthy guides. If these transactions are taken into account then we have a full picture of the market price ruling in 1955, 1959, 1960 and 1961. The sale transactions of 1961 confirm the inevitable conclusion that the price of the land was nearly Rs. 10 per sq. yard at the time of acquisition and of very small commercial plots of land it was about Rs. 15 per sq yard. On a proper assessment of evidence this conclusion appears to me well founded.

(26) In Bauman v. Ross (1896) 167 U.S. 548 Gray J. of U.S. Supreme Court in one of his characteristic opinions said that the compensation must be 'just not merely to the individual whose property is taken, but also to the public which is to pay for it. -To award him less would be unjust to him, to award him more would be unjust to the public.'

(27) On the whole case I am of opinion that the Additional District Judge awarded just compensation to D.LF.. and his decision is consonant to the evidence. The D.L.F.'s claim in appeal, I think, is utterly extravagant.

(28) One other matter must hereby mentioned. In an earlier case (H.R. Nanda v. Union of India) the same learned judge who decided the present case awarded between Rs. 9,000 and Rs. 1,1000 per bigha to the owners in the same colony. But that was done before the High Court delivered its judgment in Justice Shamsher Bahadur's case (supra)- After the decision of the division bench and taking that judgment into consideration the learned judge stepped up the compensation and gave Rs. 12,000 and Rs. 13,000 per bigha where previously he had given only Rs. 9,000 and 11,000 per bigha. I am of opinion that his later view which he took in this case is to be preferred to the view expressed by him in H.R. Nanda's case.

(29) There remains the cinema plot. Evidence was given of the sale prices of cinema plots at Asaf Ali Road in 1951 and Wazirpur in 1970. This was done to highlight the vast difference between the prices of ordinary plots and cinema plots. In my opinion, this evidence is worthless. Such a ratio of 1: 4, as is sought to be suggested from these examples, is an utterly misleading guide. Asaf Ali Road in the heart of Delhi cannot be compared to Dilshad Garden Colony in Shahdara. Example of Wazirpur is of a much later day when all of us were caught in the swell and tide of inflation. In Dilshad Garden Colony no residential or commercial buildings had come into existence at that time, atleast on the land acquired. There was no pressure on land, nor building activity. Nothing was done to start the cinema though it was set apart for a picture house in the lay out. A lot more remained to be done in this enterprise. license had to be taken. Machine had to be purchased. The learned Additional District Judge awarded Rs. 30 per square yard for this plot because he thought that cinema business is 'lucrative' and a cinema plot is a 'rare commodity' and is 'bound to fetch much higher rate' as it has an 'edge' over a commercial plot. But he was not unmindful of the type of people to whose needs of entertainment it had to minister. In a fashionable locality like the Connaught Place a cinema plot will be sold for astronomical prices on this day and in this age.

(30) There is an element of guess work in any method of valuation and it cannot be helped. (Thakur Kamta Prasad Singh v. State of Bihar, (1966) 3S.C.R.585 Judges have used colourful phrases to describe it. It has been called 'rational guess work' (Collector of Land Acquisition v. Bhadia, 1967 D.L.T. 562, 'scientific guess' or 'educated guess' (United States v. Miller, 317 U.S. 369. The truth is that it is very difficult to reduce to exact reasoning or explain to others reasons in a matter which is more or less, conjectural. As the Privy Council has said:

'IN such an inquiry as the present relating to subjects abound- in with uncertainties, and on which there is little experience, there is more than ordinary room for such guess work and it would be very unfair to require an exact exposition of reasons for the conclusions arrived at.'

[SEE Secretary of State v. Charles Worth Pilling Co., 2nd 26 Bombay 1 (PC)](15).

(31) As there is no worthwhile evidence on the value of the cinema plot I am not prepared to differ from the land acquisition judge. He reached a conclusion on the material before him as best as he could. 50 per cent increase was allowed by the collector for cinema plot. The Additional District Judge made another 50 per cent increase. I am not prepared to say that this 100 per cent increase does not represent a fair measure of compensation for a cinema plot in a nascent colony far from the maddening crowds of Delhi.

(32) For these reasons the appeal of the D.L.F. (R.F.A. 169 of 1975) and the appeal of the Union of India (R.F.A. 170 of 1975) are both dismissed with no order as to costs.


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