P.S. Safeer, J.
(1) This judgment will dispose of regular First Appeals Nos. 27-D and 28-D of 1962. A Additional District Judge of Delhi, disposed of Land Acquisition case No. 74 of 1960 by his detailed order dated the 27th October, 1961, in terms whereof he also disposed of land acquisition case No. 73 of the same year. These two appeals are directed against the aforementioned two orders.
(2) The appellants in Regular First Appeal No. 27-D of 1962 are Patiala Flour Mills Company (Private) Limited, while Regular First Appeal No. 28-D of 1962 has been preferred by Messrs. Modi Sugar Mills. Limited. The appellants in the two appeals purchased land in Delhi through Rai Bahadur Gujarat Mal Modi, who happened to be the Chairman of Modi Sugar Mills, Limited. The land was purchased for setting up a flour mill and a vanaspati factory. The flour mill was, according to the deposition of A. W. 10 Rai Bahadur Gujar Mal Modi, to be set up by Patiala Flour Mills Company, Limited, appellants in Regular First Appeal No. 27-D of 1962. The vanaspati factory was to be set up by Modi Sugar Industries. At the time of the purchases the land was claimed under a notification issued under section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, hereinafter called 'the Act).
(3) The case set up by the appellants was that A. W. 10 was called by the Ministry of Food and asked to set up a Flour Mill at Delhi as the Ganesh Flour Mill had been gutted by fire. On information received from the Delhi Development Authority, Okhla, Industrial Area was considered as the proper site for purchasing the land. According to the deposition of A. W. 10 before the Additional District Judge, he met Shri A. D. Pandit, the then Chief Commissioner of Delhi, and told him that it was not possible to purchase a plot of land in the Okhla Industrial Area because the land in that area was going to be acquired. The concerned notification being No. F. 15 (141)/55-LSG(ii) had been issued on the 2nd of January, 1957, under section 4 of the Act for acquiring land measuring 177.14 acres situated in village Bahapur for the public purpose of establishing an Industrial Estate. It may be noticed that the notification under section 6 of the Act in respect of the same land was issued on the 2nd of November, 1957. A. W. 10 stated in court that he had told the Chief Commissioner that it would not be possible for him to purchase the land until the notification issued under section 4 was withdrawn. He was directed to see Mr. Mathur, the then Secretary to the Chief Commissioner in the Department of Industries, who told A. W. 10 that no land could be de-notified at his instance unless he acquired an interest, in it. According to his deposition, he sew the Chief Commissioner again as also Mr. Mathur and it was after receiving assurance that the land to be purchased by him would be denotified that he made the actual purchases. In order to prove them A. W. 10 produced Exhibits 6 to A. 8, the certified copies of the sale deeds, staling that the originals had been lost. He could not produce any copy of any order allegedly dictated by Shri A. D. Pandit directing de-notification and took the stand that although at one time de-notification of the land, purchased by him, became imminent, the actual notification was never gazetted. The witness was unable to produce any writing to substantiate any of his assertions regarding the assurances allegedly given by the Chief Commissioner of Delhi or his Secretary in the Department of Industries. The Land Acquisition Collector acting under section 4 of the Act allowed compensation for the land at the rate of Rs. l,000.00 per bigha. Out of the land for which compensation was to be paid at that rate, 23 bighas and Ii bids was had been purchased by Messrs Modi Sugar Mills Limited, while 33 bighas and 14 bids was had been purchased by Patiala Flour Mills Company (Private) Limited. A notice was issued to the appellants under section 9 of the Land Acquisition Act and on receiving the same they claimed compensation at the rate of Rs. 10.00 per square yard. Being dissatisfied with the award of the Land Acquisition Collector, the appellants applied under section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act for obtaining a reference to the District Judge and urged in their petitions that the Land Acquisition Collector had arbitrarily fixed the market price at a low figure, and the said price could not in any case be less than Rs. 5.00 per square yard. It was also urged that the land had been purchased on account of the assurances received from Government officials and, since it was not denotified, the claimants, the present appellants, had suffered loss in shifting to another site. The two references urged by the present appellants were forwarded by the Land Acquisition Collector and being land acquisition cases Nos. 73 and 74 of 1960 were disposed of by the impugned orders.
(4) Before the Additional District Judge applications were preferred by the appellants for amending their petitions and in consequence of the orders allowing amendments the appellants were allowed to claim compensation at the rate of Rs. 10.00 per square yard. The Union of India replied to the appellants' petitions denying that any assurance was given by the Chief Commissioner of Delhi that the land would to be denotified. In the alternative, it was urged by the Union of India that Shri A. D. Pandit, the then Chief Commissioner, was not competent to give any such assurance. It was pleaded that the claimants, the present appellants, were not entitled to any enhancement. The Additional District Judge framed the following issues:-
'1. Whether the claimants are entitled to enhanced compensation in respect of their land which has been acquired and if so, to what extent 2. Was the land in dispute purchased by the claimants after the issue of notification under section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act in respect to it on account of some assurance given by the then Chief Commissioner, Delhi, and Union of India is bound by it 3. In case issue No. 2 is proved, whether the claimants suffered any damages due to the non-fulfilment of that assurance and to what extent? 4. Whether Shri A. D. Pandit was competent to give that assurance and are the respondents liable to pay damages if any, suffered by the claimants as a result of the same 5. Relief.
The Additional District Judge dealt in detail with the deposition of A. W. 10 and after discussing all aspects came to the conclusion:-
'FROM the evidence on the record I am not convinced that any assurance was given by the then Chief Commissioner, Delhi, to the effect that the land in dispute would be denotified after it had been purchased by the claimant company. The Additional District Judge also held that under Article 229 of the Constitution of India no oral assurance could have been given in respect of any immovable property on behalf of the President of India. He held that the claimants, the present appellants, had not purchased the land in dispute on account of any assurance given by the then Chief Commissioner and that the Union of India were not bound by any alleged assurance. He discussed issue No. 1 separately and after going through the certified copies of the various sale-deeds the Additional District Judge reached the conclusion :- 'The Land Acquisition Collector has assessed the market value of the land in dispute at Rs. 1,000.00 per Bigha. No evidence has been produced by the claimants to show that the market price of the land in dispute in January, 1957, was more than that. He did not find that the appellants were entitled to any enhanced compensation and dismissed both the reference petitions.
(5) We have heard the parties' counsel in detail. It is urged on behalf of the appellants that the best evidence which should have been relied upon for purposes of determining compensation was that of the price for which the land had been purchased by them. It is contended that the purchases by the appellants were nearest to the date of the notification under section 4 of the Act. It is also urged that the respondents have not proved that the transactions, to which the certified copies of the sale-deeds produced by them related, were genuine. The respondents, it is urged by the appellants, have not proved any instance of the price fetched by the sale of land comparable to the one which was in dispute between the parties. The last contention is the the appellants having purchased the land in consequence of the assurance held out to them by the then Chief Commissioner of Delhi and the Secretary in the Department of Industries, they should have been compensated for the purchase made in the peculiar circumstances pleaded by them. It was submitted on behalf of the appellants that they had purchased the land at Rs. 2,500.00 per Bigha and had apart from that paid Rs. 2,000.00 per Bigha to the occupancy tenants. Amplifying his submission Mr. Aggarwala, appearing for the appellants, placing reliance on the observations contained in Collector of Panchmahals v. Desai Keshavlal Panalal, : AIR1969Guj276 , has urged that the certified copies of the sale-deeds produced by the respondents to this appeal cannot be relied upon in-as-much as no witness has been examined in order to prove that the prices mentioned therein had been paid.
(6) As to what can be really relied upon for assessing compensation has to be determined in terms of the provisions contained in the Act. Section 23 therein is :-
'23.(1) In determining the amount of compensation to be awarded for land acquired under this Act, the Court shall take into consideration- first, the market value of the land at the date of the publication of the notification under section 4, sub-section (1); secondly, the damage sustained by the person interested, by reason of the taking of any standing crops or trees which may be on the land at the time of the Collector's taking possession thereof; thirdly, the damage (if any), sustained by the person interested, at the time of the Collector's taking possession of the land, by reason of severing such land from his other land; 'fourthly, the damage (if any), sustained by the person interested, at the time of the Collector's taking possession of the land, by reason of the acquisition injuriously affecting his other property, moveable or immovable, in any other manner, or his earnings; fifthly, if, in consequence of the acquisition of the land by the Collector, the person interested is compelled to change his residence or place of business, the reasonable expenses (if any) incidental to such change; and sixthly, the damage (if any) bona fide resulting from diminution of the profits of the land between the time of the publication of the declaration under section 6 and the time of the Collector's taking possession of the land. (2) In addition to the market value of the land, as above provided, the Court shall in every case award a sum of fifteen per centum on such market value, in consideration of the compulsory nature of the acquisition.'
It is the market value of the land as on the date of the publication of the notification under section 4 which is to be taken into consideration for determining compensation. The effect of the first item in sub-section (1) of section 23 deserved in this case to be considered along with clause 'seventhly' of section 24 of the Act, which is as under :-
'24.But the Court shall not take into consideration- * * * * * * seventhly, any outlay or improvements on or disposal of, the land acquired, commerced, made or affected with- out the sanction of the Collector after the date of the publication of the notification under section 4, sub-section (1)'.
The effect of clause 'seventhly', quoted above, is that while computing compensation the price evidenced by any transactions which may have taken place after the date of the publication of the notification under section 4 of the Act, cannot be taken into consideration. Clause 'seventhly' is purposeful. Where a notification has been published under section 4 of the Act, the land covered there by is placed in a different situation in the hands of its owner. The legislative intent is that the owner to be deprived of his property should have its market value which he could have obtained on the date of the notification under section 4 of the Act. Subsequent disposal of the property cannot be allowed to be the basis for furnishing any true measure of the compensation to be awarded. The notification under section 4 of the Act in this case having been issued on the 2nd of January, 1957, the evidence furnished by the sale-deeds involving disposition of land in favor of the appellants subsequent to the publication of the said notification cannot be taken into consideration. The first contention raised on behalf of the appellants that the purchases made by them as evidenced by Exhibits A-6 to A-8 furnish the best evidence is unacceptable and it is held that the said documents cannot be looked into in view of the clear terms employed in clause 'seventhly' of section 24 of the Act.
(7) The submission then is that even though documents produced by the respondents had been exhibited, only their execution had been proved and their contents could not be relied upon in as much as no evidence had been produced by examining any witness that the prices mentioned therein had been genuinely settled and paid. As mentioned earlier, the appellants rely in this behalf on the observations contained in : AIR1969Guj276 . In the course of that judgment the Gujarat High Court adopted the observations made in an earlier judgment of that court while disposing of First Appeal No. 171 of 1964, which were:-
'ITwould, thus, appear clear that even if any document came to be exhibited by the consent of parties, that would only mean dispensing with the proof of execution thereof unless contents are also admitted by the other side. The claimant, who is in the nature of a plaintiff in any such proceeding, is not absolved from his having to establish by proper evidence the contents of any such document. The proof of any such contents of the deed or about the transaction relating to that property, can best be offered by examining the parties to that deed or the transaction or any person who knew about the same or brought about the transaction.'
The Gujarat High Court was also dealing with an appeal which had been preferred against an award made under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.
(8) It is to be noticed that the provisions contained in the Civil Procedure Code, the Evidence Act and the Indian Registration Act, which have been cited before us, were not urged before the Gujarat High Court. Before dealing with those provisions, the proceedings out of which these appeals arose, may be noticed. A. W. 10 produced documents A. 6 to A 8, in the course of his deposition in court, and after the claimants closed their evidence, documents Exhibits R. I to R. 18 were tendered in evidence on 6th October, 1961, by Shri R. K. Mehra, counsel for the respondents by making the following statement:-
'It ender in evidence copies of the sale-deeds R.I to R. 18 and close the case for the respondents.'
The statement of A. W. 10 had been recorded on that very date and a reference to the proceedings discloses that the statement by the counsel for the respondents was made in the presence of the counsel for the present appellants and no objection was urged by him at that time that the documents, which were tendered by the respondents, could not be admitted in evidence. The order under appeal does not disclose that any argument was raised before the Additional District Judge impugning either the proof of the execution or of the contents of the documents, certified copies whereof were tendered and admitted in evidence as Exhibits R.I to R. 18.
(9) The documents relied upon by the present appellants being Exhibits A. I and A. 6 to A. 8 were not printed in the paper books prepared for these appeals and it is on an application made for the purpose that we have allowed reference to those documents, but the notification under section 4 of the Act having been published on the 2nd of January, 1957, Exhibits A. I and A. 6 to A. 8, which pertain to the sales in May, 1957, as held earlier, cannot be taken into consideration. It is to be examined as to what extent and to what effect Exhibits R.I to R. 18 can be looked into. The counsel for the respondents has invited attention to Rule 4 contained in order 13 of the Civil Procedure Code. It would, however, be proper to notice both rules 3 and 4 in Order 13, which are:-
'3.The Court may at any stage of the suit reject any document which it considers irrelevant or otherwise inadmissible, recording the grounds of such rejection. 4. (1) Subject to the provisions of the next following subrule, there shall be endorsed on every document which has been admitted in evidence in the suit the following particulars, namely:- (a) the number and title of the suit, (b) the name of the person producing the document. (c) the date on which it was produced, and (d) a statement of its having been so admitted; and the endorsement shall be signed or initialled by the Judge. (2) Where a document so admitted is an entry in a book, account or record, and a copy thereof has been substituted for the original under the next following rule, the particulars aforesaid shall be endorsed on the copy and the endorsement thereon shall be signed or initialled by the Judge.'
When a document is produced as evidence in the course of any trial, the court can within the scope of rule 3, quoted above, reject it if it is inadmissible. Where, however, the document is admitted in evidence, then the court will comply with requirements of rule 4. It is open to a party to the litigation to urge when a document is offered as evidence that it is inadmissible and should be rejected. In Padman and others v. Hanwanta and others A.I.R. 1915 P.C. 111 it was noticed that a registered copy of a will had been admitted in evidence by the trial Court. When argument was raised that the registered copy of the will had been admitted in evidence without laying sufficient foundation for it, the Privy Council observed:-
'IT was urged in the course of the argument that a registered copy of the will of 1898 was admitted in evidence without sufficient foundation being laid for its admission. No objection, however, appears to have been taken in the first Court against the copy obtained from the Registrar's office being put in evidence. Had such objection been made at the time, the District Judge, who tried the case in the first instance, would probably have seen that the deficiency was supplied. Their Lordships think that there is no substance in the present contention.'
As a matter of law it is open to the party to a litigation to raise the objection to the admissibility of a document when produced in the course of the trial and contend that it should be rejected. If the party exercises its right to urge rejection of the document within order 13, rule 3 of the Civil Procedure Code, then the opponent gets an adjudication and in case of rejection it becomes open to the party, whose evidence furnished by the document is rejected, to adduce further evidence either to prove the document or to substantiate the plea which it may have sought to prove through that document. It is indicated by the observations made by the Privy Council that any objection to the admissibility of a document and to the reliance to be placed thereon, should not be allowed at the appellate stage. The document produced by the respondents, Exhibits Rs. 1.00 to Rs. 18.00, contain endorsements made thereon in accordance with the provisions contained in the Indian Registration Act. As an instance, a reference to Exhibit R. Ii, a certified copy of the original, discloses the following endorsements:-
'3879deed of conveyance of land for Rs. 5,000.00 Reg. fee Rs. 82/8/. Presented by Shri Manohar Lal son of Shri Kanyaha Lal, Business resident of Tijara, Alwar at the office of the Sub- Registrar, Delhi (Nazuf) Sub-District, New Delhi, this 23rd day November, 1956, Friday between the hours 2 and 3 P. M. Dated the 23rd November 1956. (Sd.) J. N. Singh, Sub-Registrar, New Delhi. (Sd) (Illegible), (In Mundi.) (Thumb Impression). Execution admitted by the said Shri Manohar Lal vendor, who is identified by Shri Shimbhu Dayal son of Shri Munna Lal, Business, Baidwara, Delhi and Shri Gaja Nand, Advocate, East Park Road, Karol Bagh, Delhi, who is known to me. Vendor admits a prior receipt of Rs. 7,000.00 Seven thousand only and the balance of Rs. 8,000.00 Eight thousand only has 7--2 H. C. Delhi/72 been paid by the vendor before me in currency notes by Shri Chandra Parkash On behalf of the vendee. Dated the 23rd November 1956. (Sd.) J. N. Singh, Sub-Registrar, New Delhi. (Sd.) Illegible, In Mundi, Thumb Impression. Gaja Nand Advocate, Shimbu Dayal Jain, Chandra Parkash.
A perusal of the aforequoted endorsements would disclose that the vendor was questioned before the registration was effected as to the receipt of the price by him and he admitted that he had received Rs. 7,000.00 earlier and Rs. 8,000.00 had been paid before the Sub-Registrar. Similar endorsements are there on all the documents produced on behalf of the respondents. The effect of the aforequoted endorsements made on the certified copies of the original documents produced before the Additional District Judge and exhibited as R. I to R. 18 may be considered in the light of the provisions contained in part Xi of the Indian Registration Act. Section 51 therein describes the books to be maintained in the Registration Offices. Clause (c) in section 52(1) of the said Act may be noticed in this respect:-
'52.(L)(A)AND(B)* * * * (c) subject to the provisions contained in section 62, every document admitted to registration shall, without unnecessary delay, be copied in the book appropriated thereforee according to the order of its admission. Section 52(2) provides:- 52. (1) * * * * * (2) All such books shall be authenticated at such intervals and in such manner as is from time to time prescribed by the Inspector-General'.
A document admitted to registration has to be copied in the book appropriated for the documents of the like nature and there is a sanctity in the provision that the copy of its contents in the particular book would be exact and accurate. Section 57 of the same Act may be noticed in its entirety:-
'57.(1) Subject to the previous payment of the fees payable in that behalf, the Book Nos. I and 2 and the Indexes relating to Book No. 1 shall be at all times open to inspection by any person applying to inspect the same; and, subject to the provisions of section 62, copies of entries in such books shall be given to all persons applying for such copies. (2) Subject to the same provisions, copies of entries in Book No. 3, and in the Index relating thereto shall be given to the persons executing the documents to which such entries relate, or to their agents and after the death of the executants (but not before) to any person applying for such copies. (3) Subject to the same provisions, copies of entries in Book No. 4 and in the Index relating thereto shall be given to any person executing or claiming under the documents to which such entries respectively refer or to his agent or representative. (4) The requisite search under this section for entries in Books Nos. 3 and 4 shall be made only by the registering officer. (5) All copies given under this section shall be signed and sealed by the registering officer, and shall be admissible for the purpose of proving the contents of the original documents.'
While sub-section (1) allows inspection of the books mentioned therein, certified copies of the documents are to be given in terms of the sub-sections that follow and when so given after being signed and sealed by the Registering Officer, such copies are to be admissible for the purpose of proving the contents of the original documents. The provision came in for consideration before the Madras High Court and in the course of his judgment reported as Karuppanna Gounder and .others v. Kolandaswami Gounder and others, : AIR1954Mad486 , Govinda Menon, J. noticed that certain copies had been tendered in evidence after giving notice to the opposite parties to produce the originals which notice had not been complied with. On that basis he observed:-
'WHEN once the case for the introduction of secondary evidence is made out, certified copy got from the Registrar's office can be admitted under section 57, .sub-section (5) of the Registration Act, without other proof than the Registrar's certificate of the correctness of the copy and shall be taken as a true copy.'
The learned Judge proceeded to observe further in the same judgment:-
'WHEN once it is proved that the party is entitled to adduce secondary evidence, then the question arises, 'what is the mode of proof of the certified copy?' As stated already under section 57(5) of the Indian Registration Act, a certified copy obtained from a Registrar's office shall be admissible for the purpose of proving the contents of the original documents. That means that the mere production of a certified copy without any further oral evidence to support it would be enough to show what the original document contained. That a registration copy is the copy of a public document contemplated under section 74, sub-section (2) of the Indian Evidence Act is indisputable and the copy of such a document is a certified copy of a public document under section 76 of the Indian Evidence Act'.
After dealing with certain decisions in paragraph 5 Govinda Menon, J. held :-
'In the case of copies granted under sub-section (5) of section 57 of the Indian Registration Act, they can be admitted turn the purpose of proving the contents of the original document i.e., in such cases it could be as if the original itself has been produced. The ruling in : AIR1950Mad634 has not considered the effect of sub-section (5) of section 57 of the Indian Registration Act, for in the case of registration copies, what is applicable is not section 90 of the Indian Evidence Act but sub-section (5) of section 57 of the Indian Registration Act.'
(10) In the present case no notice was given by the respondents to the appellants to produce the originals of Exhibits R. 1 to R. 18 for the reason that the present appellants could never have possessed them. Exhibits R.I to R. 18 related to transactions providing instances of transactions of sales of land as between the persons who were never parties to this litigation. Considering the proceedings before the Additional District Judge, out of which these appeals arise, we are of the view that it is not open to the appellants at this stage to impugn the proof either of the execution or of the contents of Exhibits R. I to R. 18. If the appellants had urged rejection on the 6th of October, 1961, when the said documents were admitted in evidence, the respondents could have examined evidence before the Additional District Judge to prove their contents. The appellants without raising any grievance allowed the production of certified copies of documents as secondary evidence furnishing proof of their contents. If objection had been raised urging that the documents so produced be rejected then the counsel appearing for the respondents on 6th October, 1961, might not have chosen to close the case on the mere exhibition of the documents.
(11) We are unable to uphold the contention raised by the appellants at this stage that Exhibits R.1 to R. 18 should not have been looked into. It was urged on the basis of the observations contained in the Special Land Acquisition Officer, Bangalore v. 1. Adinarayan Setty A. I. R. 1959 S. C. 129 by Mr. Aggarwala on behalf of the appellants that as a matter of principle where reliance is to be placed on bona-fide transactions relating to purchase of land adjacent to that which may have been acquired, then the court cannot pick and choose at its sweet will some of the transactions and leave out the others. The Additional District Judge referred to the award made under section 11 of the Act and correctly found that compensation had been allowed at the rate of Rs. 1,000.00 per bigha. He was, however, in error in holding that the sale evidenced by Exhibit R. 1 took place on 1st January, 1957. A reference to the certified copy filed before the Additional District Judge discloses that the said sale had taken place on 1st July, 1955. The sales comprised in Exhibits R. I and R. 18 had taken place in 1952. Those comprised in Exhibits R. 14, R. 15 and R. 16 had taken place in 1953. The sale evidenced by Exhibit R. 13 took place on 16th September, 1954. Exhibit R. 12 pertains to the certified copy of a sale-deed dated 26th April, 1956. Exhibit R. Ii related to a sale-deed executed on 23rd November, 1956, and registered on 26th November, 1956. Exhibit R. 10 evidences a sale dated the 26th of November, 1956. Exhibits R. I to R. 9 pertain to the sales which had taken place in the year 1955. A reference to the award made by the Collector under section 11 of the Act, which was filed before the Additional District Judge, however, discloses that he had inspected the area where the sale transactions had taken place several times. He had noticed:-
'THE land under requisition is situated towards the West of the Railway Lines, South of the Kalka Road and Basheshar Nath Garden; North of a hillock and the hospital of Chandiwala and towards the East of Kalkaji.'
He looked into the various sale transactions and after considering the entire evidence before him concluded :-
'KEEPING in view the claims and evidence produced by the persons interested, the Chief data provided by the Naib-Teh-sildar. Land Acquisition, the Departmental representation, the material on the file, the awards drawn up from time to time for different purposes in this estate and my own observation of the spot, I consider flat rate of Rs. 1,000.00 per bigha as fair and reasonable and award accordingly.'
(12) The conclusion disclosed, as above, has not been shaken by the appellants by producing any evidence, which could have persuaded us to interfere with the award. Whatever may have been the reasoning on which the Additional District Judge based himself, being unable to take into consideration the purchases made by the appellants in May, 1957, after the date of the notification under section 4 of the Act, in respect whereof Exhibits A. I and A. 6 to A. 8 have been produced, we cannot allow the appeals, which are dismissed. There will be no order as to costs.