Avadh Behari Rohtagi, J.
(1) This is an appeal from the order of the Additional District Judge dated 31st July, 1967. The appellants were the owners of 3/4th share in the land hearing Khasra Nos. 77 and 73 admeasuring in all 5 bighas and 6 bisswas in the revenue estate of Nangal Raya. The respondent Union of India, acquired this land pursuant to. a notification under section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act (the Act), dated 13-11-1959. Section 6 notification followed. In due course the land Acquisition Collector made the award (Award No. 1620). He offered compensation to the appellants at the rate of Rs. 3,000.00 per bigha. On a reference under section 18 of the Act, the Additional District Judge enchanted the compensation from Rs. 30001- per bigha to Rs. 5,0001- per bigha. From his decision the appellants appeal to this court for further enhancement.
(2) The appellants gave evidence of 5 sale deeds. The first in point of time is a sale deed (A-3) dated 16-12-1954. A plot of land measuring 125 sq. yards was sold for Rs. 1878/. The price conies to Rs. 15,'- per sq. yard. .The second in point of time is the sale deed(A-2) dared 23-2-1955. A plot of 300 sq. yards was sold for Rs. 40001-. The price, comes to Rs. 13.00 per sq. yard or thereabout. The third is the sale deed (A-1) dated 18-7-1957.95 sq. yards of land was sold for Rs. 1,000.00 the price works out of Rs. 10.50 per sq. yard. Next in point of time is the sale deed(A-5) dated 20-12-1958. A plot of 32 sq. yards was sold for Rs. 2,500. The price comes to Rs. 77 per .sq. yard. The last is the sale deed (A-4) dated 13-2-1959. Apiece of-land measuring 100 sq. yards was sold for Rs. 2,244.00 . The price comes to Rs. 22.44 per sq yard.
(3) Besides this evidence there was the evidence of mutations. The Judge referred to a mutation in respect of a sale dated 13-9-1954. 14 bids was of land was sold for Rs. 3,000.00 . The price per bigha comes to Rs. 4,300.00 . That was a sale of 1954. But the land in dispute was acquired in 1959. The learned judge assessed the market value of the land in dispute at Rs. 5,000.00 per bigha in 1959 on the basis of this mutation, after making allowance for appreciation in prices. This he made the basis of his award. He accordingly gave compensation to the owners at the rate of Rs. 5,000/ per bigha.
(4) In other appeals of this very village there are decisions of other judges, also. One is by Mr. D. R. Dhamija, additional District Judge, which is referred to by the learned judge in this case and which he accepted as a safe guide. Mr. Dhamija in the case of Jai Bhagwan fixed the market value of the land at Rs. 5,000/ per bigha. However in the case of Sender Lal, another learned Additional District Judge, Mr. C. D. Vashisht, arrived at the conclusion that the value of the land ought to be fixed at Rs. 6,200/ per bigha. In that case the Land Acquisition Collector had himself offered compensation at the rate of Rs. 400/ per bigha.
(5) We are not impressed by the sale deed of 13-2-1959. The reason is that the land which was the subject matter of that sale was on the extreme end of the village abutting village of Sager. The sate deed of 20th December, 1958 similarly cannot be taken into account for the reason that it appears to us that the purchaser was paying a fancy price for 32 so sq. yards of the land which he purchased for Rs.. 2,5000. As regards the sale deed of 16-12-1954, this is much prior in point of time and cannot be a safe guide for determining the price prevailing in 1959. The same will apply to the sale deed of 23-2-1935. In our opinion the sale deed dated 18-7-1957 will reflect the prevailing market price. But we cannot lose sight of the fact that it was a small plot of 95 sq. yard which was sold for Rs. 1,000/ . To fix the market price on its basis will be to give misleading importance to it. The sale of small plot can serve no more than as pointers. They cannot be a safe and reliable guide to the market value of the land at the critical time.
(6) One thing seems to beclear. The prices were rising. People were buying land for building houses. There was an upward rise. The Land Acquisition Collector in his award has noticed the fact of potential value of the site. He says :
'I had inspected the land under acquisition. It is situated opposite Delhi Cantt. Railway Station and forms one big block. It has some potential value as future building sites.'
(7) In the decision of this appeal we have kept two important factors in mind. In the first place it is evident- that in the locality there was demand for small building plots and thereforee prices ruled high. No court can refuse to look at this evidence of small plots. But under importance cannot be attached to the value of small plots. To follow the evidence of small sites is to follow a misleading guide. But they are not to be entirely E disregarded because they afford some help in the task of fixing the proper price of the acquired land. That there had been an upward trend in market values generally is not only indisputable as a matter of opinon, but is affirmatively supported by satisfactory proof. The sale of small plots mirrors in some measure the trend of a market where land is bought and sold. 'Award of fair compensation is not an algebraic problem which can be solved by an abstract formula.' (Nowroji v. Govt. of Bombay 49 Bom. 700. True valuation involves both computation and judgment. Every intrinsic circumstance ' must enter the judgment on value. It is the duty of the valuer to take into consideration every intrinsic quality and every intrinsic circumstance which tends to push the value up and down. just because it is relevant to the valuation.
(8) Secondly, potentiality is a true element of the market value. The learned judge did not take into account the potentiality of the land. It will not be right to ignore this factor altogether as having no place at all in a rigid system of calculation. On this aspect we differ from the learned judge. The land possesses advantages, present and future. We think it should be estimated more highly than what the learned judge has done. The value of the land has to be determined in its actual condition at the time of expropriation with all its existing advantages and with all its possibilities. The Land Acquisition Collector admits the potential of the land as 'future building sites', It was situated in the close proximity of Delhi Cantt. Railway Station. There is not the slightest reason for not giving to the owner the benefit of potential value. To do otherwise would be to permit the authority to acquire property at less than the fair market value.
(9) In any system of compulsory acquisition individual pain is inescapable. But this legal injury to the expropriated owner is sought to be redressed by awarding monetary compensation. That sum constitutes the just compensation turn the property acquired. It is an amount in money representing the market value. The 'highest and the best use' of the land to which it can be put in future cannot be ignored by a properly instructed valuation ribunal.
(10) This important factor of potentiality, we find, has not been taken note of by the learned Additional District Judge in the evaluation process adopted by him. In our opinion, after taking the future potential of the land into account, the right figure of compensation to award will be Rs. 9,000.00 per bigha. This is the proper measure of compensation. This, in our opinion, is just compensation for the acquired land, after taking everything into account.
(11) For these reasons the appellants are awarded compensation at the rate of Rs. 9,000.00 per bigha. Whatever has already been paid will be deducted. In addition to compensation, the appellants will get solarium at the rate of 15 per cent and interest at the rate of 6 per cent per annum from the date of dispossession till payment and proportionate costs.