A.B. Rohatgi, J.
(1) These are three appeals. One is by the owner (R.P.A. 172 of 1967) and the other two (R.F.A. 331 of 1968 and S4 of 1971) are by the Union of India, the taker of the land. The common question in these appeals is this: What was th3 market value of the land on November 13,1959
(2) The land in all the three cases was acquired by a common notification under s. 4 of the Land Acquisition Act (the Act) dated November 13, 1959. By this notification land measuring 72 bighas and 17 bids was in the estate of Bahapur was acquired by the Government for a public purpose. This included the lands of Ranjit Singh, appellant in R.F.A. 172 of 1967 and Punjab Colonising Co. respondent in Appeal No. 331 of 1968 as well as of Rajesh and Bhoop Singh, respondents in R.F.A. 84 of 1971.
(3) Id due course the Land Acquisition Collector made the award (Award No. 1690). He assessed the market value of the whole of the acquired land at a flat rate of Rs. 1600.00 per bigha.
(4) Dissatisfied with the adequacy of the award the owners sought enhancement of compensation of the land belonging to them. They claimed a reference under s. 18 of the Act.
(6) From the above it will appear that Ranjit Singh was awarded the lowest compensation while Punjab Colonising Co. and Rajesh & Bhoop were awarded Rs. 5500.00 generally speaking with the exception of two khasras. Now Ranjit Singh has come in appeal seeking enhancement of compensation in his case. In the case of Punjab Colonising Co. and Rajesh and Bhoop the Union of India has brought the appeals on the ground that the enhancement made by the court below was unjustified. I will first take up the appeals of the Union of India. R.F.A. 331 of 1968 and 84 of 1971
(7) Before the Additional District Judge a number of judgments of the land situated in close vicinity were tendered in evidence. The following is a summary of the judgments :
____________________________________________________________________________ S. No. Nature of the documents Field No. Price fixed. ____________________________________________________________________________ 1. Judgment dated 9.2.65 1477/830/2 Rs.4000.00 per bigha (notification dated and 1480/849 13.11.59). 2. Judgment dated 3.3.65 1255/806 Rs. 4000.00 per bigha. (notification dated 13.11.59). 3. Judgment dated 12.7.65 893/2/1/1 Rs. 5000.00 per bigha. (notification dated 13.11.59). 4. Judgment dated 207.66 1270/872 Rs. 5455.00 per bigha. (notification dated. 13.11.59). 5. Judgment dated 16.10.67 876/2 Rs. 5500.00 per bigha. (notification dated 13.11.59).
(8) It will appear that the land which was the subject matter of these judgments is situated quite close to the land of Punjab Colonising Co. and Rajesh and Bhoop. The learned judge who decided these two references of Punjab Colonising Co. and Rajesh & Bhoop were naturally impressed by these judgments and in particular by the last two wherein the courts had awarded compensation at the rate of Rs. 5455.00 and Rs. 5500.00 per bigha. These judgments have the merit of objective assessment. I see no reason why the value of the land should not be ascertained with the help of these judgments. This is what the judges really did in these two cases. They awarded Rs. 5500.00 per bigha generally to Punjab Colonising Co. and Rajesh & Bhoop. In the case of Punjab Colonising Co. for field No. 1287/ 873 a higher price of Rs. 5750.00 per bigha was awarded because of the advantageous position of this particular khasra. In the case of Rajesh and Bhoop Rs. 45.00 less was given for khasra No. 1270/872 and that is some thing inconsequential.
(9) Counsel for the Union of India has referred me to certain mutations. These mutations were found to be 'not dependable' by the Judges. The reason is that the Land Acquisition Collector himself had awarded more than what the mutations showed. Counsel next referred me to the judgment of the court in Ranjit Singh v. Union of India wherein Ranjit Singh was awarded Rs. 4000.00 per bigha. This he did to buttress his argument that the judges in the case of Punjab Colonising Co. and Rajesh & Bhoop were in error in awarding compensation at the rate of Rs. 5500.00 . I cannot accept this argument because, as I will presently show, Ranjit Singh's case was wrongly decided.
(10) The judgments summarised above show that the price of the land on 13th November, 1959 was Rs. 5500.00 . This price was ascertained after examining the sale deeds which were referred to in the abovejudgments and in particular judgment dated 20th July, 1966 and 16th October, 1967 (Items 4 and 5).
(11) For these reasons these two appeals of the Union of India are dismissed. But I make no order as to costs. R.F.A. 172 of 1967
(12) This is the appeal of the owner Ranjit Singh. He was awarded Rs. 4000.00 per bigha for his land measuring 25 bighas and 8 bids was comprised in field No. 1284/873/3, 874/2/1 and 874/2/2 in which he and his coappellants have one half share. In my opinion, the learned judge was in error in awarding compensation at this low rate of Rs. 4000.00 per bigha. A number of sale transactions were produced in evidence before him. The sum total of these transactions was that the average sale price of the land in the locality during the year 1957 to 1960 to which the transactions related was in the neighborhood of Rs. 5000.00 per bigha. That this is the price deducible from the sales is not denied even by the learned judge. He himself said.
'ALLthese sales varying from the year 1957 to 1960 show that there has been comparative rise in price of land and average of these sales comes to about Rs. 5500.00 per bigha.'
It, is surprising that inspire of this finding of the learned judge himself he went on to fix value of the land of Ranjit Singh and his co-appellants at Rs. 4000.00 per bigha. It is difficult to appreciate how the court came to this conclusion when admittedly the sale transaction showed an upward trend in the market price. This is amply borne by the judgments, to one of which he himself was a party. (Judgment dated October 16, 1967 in Raghbir Singh v. Union of India, L A.C. 348 of 1965) item 5 of the above summary of judgments). It is true that in Raghbir Singh's case he delivered the judgment in October 1967 while the impugned judgment in Ranjit Singh he delivered in March 1967. This will show that the learned judge changed his opinion later on and came to the conclusion that the fair and reasonable compensation to award was Rs. 5500.00 per bigha
(13) I see no reason why Ranjit Singh and his co-appellant should not be awarded the same compensation which was awarded to Punjab Colonising Co and Rajesh and Bhoop. thereforee for khasra No. 874/2/1, 874/2/2 Ranjit Singh and his co-appellants will get compensation at the rate of Rs. 5500.00 per bigha. In respect of khasra No. 1284/873/3 they will get compensation at the rate of Rs. 5750.00 because khasra abuts on the Link Road as is admitted by the learned judge himself.
(14) For these reasons the appellants in this appeal (R.F.A. 172 of 1967) are allowed enhancement in the manner following :
(1)For khasra No. 874/2/1 & 874/2/2 Rs. 1550.00 per bigha. (2) For khasra No. 1284/873/3 - Rs. 1750.00 per bigha together with 15 per cent solarium and interest enhanced compensation at the rate of 6 per cent per annum from the date of dispossession till the date of payment.
(15) The appellants will also get interest at the rate of 6 per cent per annum on the 'market value' of the land under S. 4(3) of the Land Acquisition (Amendment and Validation) Act, 1967 as there is a difference of more than 3 years between the notification under S. 4 (13.11.1959) and declaration under S. 6 (31.12.1963) with this proviso that there shall be no overlapping in the payment of interest under S. 28 of the Act and S. 4(3) of the Amendment Act. The appellants will also be entitled to proportion costs.