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Union of India Vs. Pushpavati Chaudhry - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberRegular First Appeal No. 134D of 1965
Judge
Reported inILR1974Delhi422
ActsLand Acquisition Act, 1894 - Sections 23; Code of Civil Procedure (CPC), 1908 - Order 41, Rule 27
AppellantUnion of India;pushpavati Chaudhry
RespondentPushpavati Chaudhry;union of India
Advocates: S.S. Chadha,; P.N. Sethi,; H.L. Dutt,;
Excerpt:
.....such evidence would arise in cases where there is some inherent lacuna or defect in the case and when the court feels that on the material before it, it would not be able to pronounce the judgment. - - (1) in these two appeals, union of india as well as the owner whose land had been acquired under section 4 of the land acquisition act, 1894 (hereinafter called 'the act') have assailed the award of the learned additional district judge fixing compensation for the acquired land at rs. (4) after hearing the learned counsel for the parties, we are of the view that the learned additional district judge was perfectly justified in his assessment. the awards relied upon by the learned additional district judge, thereforee, furnished a good basis for the determination of the market value of the..........learned additional district judge was perfectly justified in his assessment. land covered by the award exhibit a/10 consisted of the very fields which now formed the subject-matter of reference to the learned additional district judge. that award related to the other half-share in this very land that was owned by one rani krishna kumari. according to aks shajra exhibit a/2, lands that formed the subject-matter of the award. exhibit a/1. were also similarly situated as the land of the appellant towards the north side- lands of exhibits a/9, a/12 and a/13. likewise, were lands situated in the vicinity of the acquired land. the awards relied upon by the learned additional district judge, thereforee, furnished a good basis for the determination of the market value of the acquired lands. we.....
Judgment:

S.N. Shankar, J.

(1) In these two appeals, Union of India as well as the owner whose land had been acquired under section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereinafter called 'the Act') have assailed the award of the learned Additional District Judge fixing compensation for the acquired land at Rs. 17,000.00 per bigha. The Union of India contends that the market value of the land should have been assessed at the rate of Rs. 4400.00 per bigha whereas the owner claims that the rate of compensation should be enhanced to Rs. 25,000.00 per bigha.

(2) Raghbir Singh Chaudhry, husband of the appellant in R.F.A. 135- of 1965, owned onc-half share of land measuring 2 bighas 5 bids was comprised in field Nos: 438/44 and 440/43 situated in the estate of Kalu Sarai. This land was acquired by notification dated March 5, 1962 under section 4 of the Act for the 'Establishment of College of Engineering and Technology.'- The Land Acquisition Collector by his award No. 1312 fixed compensation of this land at Rs. 4400.00 per bigha. On reference under section 18, the learned Additional District Judge enhanced it to Rs. 17,000.00 per bigha.

(3) To arrive at this rate, the learned Additional District Judge placed reliance on Exhibit A/I 2, an award assessing compensation in respect of land situated in the same estate of Kalu Sarai which had also been acquired for College of Engineering and Technology and where compensation had been assessed at the rate of Rs. 17,000.00 per bigha. He also relied on the awards Exhibits A]l, A[9, A]10 and Ajl3. Lands in Exhibits A/1 and A/10 situated in the estate of Kalu Sarai were acquired by notifications dated August 18, 1960 and February 5, 1962 respectively for the same project of College of Engineering and Technology. Lands covered by Exhibits A/9 and A/I 3, both falling in field No. 40, also situated in the same estate of Kalu Sarai, were acquired for the 'Planned Development of Delhi'. The market value of all these lands on the dates of the respective notifications, according to these awards, was assessed at Rs. 17,000.00 per bigha.

(4) After hearing the learned counsel for the parties, we are of the view that the learned Additional District Judge was perfectly justified in his assessment. Land covered by the award Exhibit A/10 consisted of the very fields which now formed the subject-matter of reference to the learned Additional District Judge. That award related to the other half-share in this very land that was owned by one Rani Krishna Kumari. According to Aks Shajra Exhibit A/2, lands that formed the subject-matter of the award. Exhibit A/1. were also similarly situated as the land of the appellant towards the North side- Lands of Exhibits A/9, A/12 and A/13. likewise, were lands situated in the vicinity of the acquired land. The awards relied upon by the learned Additional District Judge, thereforee, furnished a good basis for the determination of the market value of the acquired lands. We further find that according to Exhibit A/11. which is also an award in respect of land situated in the same estate of Kalu Sarai and which was acquired for Planned Development of Delhi pursuant to notification dated November 13. 1959, the compensation was assessed at Rs- 17,000.00 per bigha. Nothing was pointed out to show that this land was not comparable to the acquired land. This award also supports the conclusion of the learned Additional District Judge.

(5) Shri S. S. Chadha, appearing on behalf of Union of India, drew out attention to Major General S. P. Bhatia v. Union of India: R.F.A. 52-D of 1963 decided on March 9, 1972(1). In this case, amongst others, compensation in respect of land falling in field No. 50 in the estate of Kalu Sarai was fixed at the rate of Rs. 6.00 per square yard. Reference to Aks Shajra Exhibit R/9, however, shows that field No. 50 was much in the interior whereas the acquired land just abuts on the main Mehrauli Road. To meet this situation, the learned Counsel referred us to Union of India Vs . Qabool Singh and others: where it was held that even though the distinction between lands (in the front) abutting the road and those in the rear was a real distinction but in determining the value of the land, the value of the land in the rear could be determined on the basis of ratio 3:2, On this basis, he argued that the maximum compensation awardable for the acquired land would be at the rate of Rs. 91- per square yard. We cannot accept this submission, firstly, because land in field No- 50 has not the same situational advantage as the acquired land and no basis has been laid in evidence to enable it to be evaluated and compared with reference to the value of land in field No. 50 and, secondly, because in our view, Qabool Singh's case did not lay down a proposition of universal application for evaluating all lands in rear irrespective of their situation and location.

(6) The learned counsel then contended that the learned Additional District Judge erred in ignoring Exhibit A/8, an award, where compensation of a part of land situated in the same estate of Kalu Sarai had been assessed at Rs. 10,000.00 per bigha. The part of the land referred to in this award was the North West portion of field No. 111 situated in the same estate. The land between this portion and Mehrauli Road was left unacquired at the stage when the award determined the compensation of the part of the acquired land- As this part was removed from the road, the compensation was fixed at this rate. This award, thereforee, furnished no proper basis for determining the market value of the acquired land and was rightly not taken into account by the learned Additional District Judge. The record further shows that when the remaining unacquired land of this field was acquired, compensation for the same was fixed at the rate of Rs. 17,000.00 per bigha vide Exhibit A/11. This completely meets the argument of the learned counsel.

(7) Reference was then made by Shri Chadha to Exhibit R/3, copy of the mutation, according to which 1 bigha 11 bids was of land was sold on November 22. 1957 for a consideration of Rs. 9400.00 which worked out to Rs. 6360.00 per bigha as also to mutation Exhibit R/4, according to which I bigha Ii bids was of land was sold on April 22, 1959 for Rs. 4136.74 which worked out to about Rs. 3935.00 per bigha. The rates disclosed by these transactions are, however, not relevant because land forming subject matter of mutation Exhibit R/3 was subsequently acquired for 'Planned Development of Delhi' by notification dated November 13, 1959 and its compensation was assessed at Rs. 17.000.00 per bigha on a reference under section 18 vide Exhibit A/9 and land forming the subject-matter of mutation Exhibit R/4 was subsequently acquired by the same notification dated November 13, 1959 for the same purpose and its compensation was also assessed at Rs. 17.000.00 per bigha on reference under section 18 vide award Exhibit A/13. In face of these assessments, reference to the rates at which these lands were originally purchased is misconceived.

(8) The learned counsel then drew out attention to Parshotam Narain and another v. Union of India (RFA 144-D of 1962 decided on May 19, 1972)(3) where land in the same estate was acquired for 'establishment of a College of Engineering and Technology'- The land forming the subject-matter of this appeal was comprised in Ichasra Nos. 270/1, 386/256 and 385/255. Market value of this land was assessed on appeal by the High Court at Rs. 7.00 per square yard or Rs. 7000.00 per bigha. Reference to Aks Shajra, shows that unlike the acquired land, this land is far removed from the main road and is away from Delhi towards Qutab side. It is, thereforee, not comparable to the land in question and its value cannot be relied upon for purposes of fixing compensation for the acquired land.

(9) We may here state that normally it would not be open to the appellate court to take into account evidence that was not led by the parties during trial and in that view technical exception could be taken to the instances cited by Sliri Chadha in the form of decided cases but as the opposite party has raised no objection to their being referred to we have noticed them in this judgment without going iino the technical aspect.

We are, thereforee, of the view that no case for reducing the assessment made by the learned Additional District Judge is made out.

(10) This now takes us to R.F.A. 135-D of 1965. Shri H. L. Datt, appearing for he owner-appellant in this appeal, argued that prices of lands in Delhi were on the increase all along from 1959 to 1962 when the notification of acquisition was issued in this case. He urged that the learned Additional District Judge was, thereforee, in error in relying on the valuation that prevailed in the year 1959. He argued that even though no mathematical formula for arriving at the exact market value could be adopted, the prevailing upward trend of the prices should have been taken judicial notice of. Strong reliance was placed on the observations of the Division Bench in Harbans Lal Jain Vs . Union of India: where it was observed that there had 'admittedly been a trend of rise in the prices'. He also cited Civil Appeal Nos: 1106 and 2355 of 1972 decided by the Supreme Court on February 7, 1974 where in this very case (Harbans Lal Jain Vs- Union of India) a further increase was allowed. It is true that the Bench observed in this case that there was a trend of rise in the prices but this observation was based on evidence of instances of sale of plots in the locality as also other agricultural land reliance on which had been placed by the respondent that made it possible for the Bench to determine the extent of the rise. The Bench said :

'THEratio of the rise is indicated not only by the sale of plots in Model Town covered by Exhibits A. I to A. 5 but also by the sale of other agricultural land on which reliance was placed by the respondent and this ratio shows that between 1959 to 1962, there was a rise of at least 100 per cent in the price of land in that area.'

(11) Before the Bench, it was urged that price of undeveloped land in 1962 according to evidence would come to Rs. 16.00 per square yard being double of the rate fixed in 1959 by the High Court for similar land and compensation should be allowed at this rate. The Bench, however, found that the acquired land had two defects which made it less valuable than the land in Model Town and because of these two defects the value was reduced from Rs. 16.00 to Rs. 10.00 per square yard. When the matter went up in appeal, the Supreme Court took the view that the so-called defects referred to by the High Court were not relevant considerations and the compensation, thereforee, should have been granted at the rate of Rs. 16.00 per square yard. In these circumstances, the observation of the Bench on page 746 of the report and the further enhancement of compensation by the Supreme Court do not warrant the submission made on behalf of the appellant that the upward trend should be presumed irrespective of evidence as to the extent of the increase. Every case has to be decided on its own facts and the evidence led by the parties. In the instant case, as stated earlier, it is on record that compensation for the remaining one-half share of this very land which was acquired in the year 1962 was assessed at Rs. 17,000.00 per bigha vide award Annexure A/10. This evidence leaves no room to assume an upward trend in prices to justify further enhancement as far as the acquired land is concerned.

(12) The appellant in this appeal made an application (C.M. 98 of 1974) under Order 41 rule. 27 of the Code of Civil Procedure for permission to lead additional evidence in the form of an award made on reference under section 18 in Col. Hari Chand v. Union of India (L.A.C. 112 of 1964). According to this award, compensation assessed by the Land Acquisition Collector in respect of land sold by a sale-certificate, proved in this case as Exhibit A/7, was enhanced by the learned Additional District Judge. It was urged that this additional evidence was very vital and necessary for this Court to arrive at a correct conclusion. The application was opposed by the Union of India and we think rightly- Additional evidence under Order 41 rule 27 can be allowed only when the Court requires it, i.e. when the Court finds it needful to pronounce judgment or any other substantial cause. The legitimate occasion for admitting such evidence would arise in cases where there is some inherent lacuna or defect in the case and when the Court feels that on the material before it, it would not be able to pronounce the judgment. This is not so in this case. The parties have led evidence that we have already referred to and in face of the evidence consisting of the award Exhibit A/10 assessing compensation of one-half portion of the very land which formed the subject-matter of the reference before the learned Additional District Judge, we do not feel any necessity for going into any further evidence to enable us to pronounce our judgment. No other substantial cause has been made out. C.M. 98 of 1974 is, thereforee, rejected.

(13) For all these reasons, we find that there is no substance in R.F.A. 134-D of 1965 filed by the Union of India for reducing compensation awarded by the learned Additional District Judge, nor is there any merit in R.F.A- 135-D of 1965 filed by the owner for enhancement of compensation. Both the appeals are consequently dismissed but in the circumstances of the case. there shall been & order ai to costs.


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