Avadh Behari, J.
(1) These are two appeals from the orders of the Additional District Judge. In R.F.A. No. 54 of 1980 the impugned order was passed on 22-12-1979. In R.F.A. No. 378 of 1980 the impugned order is dated 6th June, 1980. As the point is common in both the appeals we have taken these matters together.
(2) The land of the appellants in village Ghazipur was acquired by the. Government pursuant to a notification dated 13-11-1959 under section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act (the Act). The declaration under section 6 was issued on 20-6-1966. In due course the Land Acquisition Collector made the award (Award No. 27-D/70-71). He divided the land into two blocks-block A and block B. Block A he valued at Rs. 750.00 per bigha. In block B he put that land from which earth had been dug. Consequently he valued it at Rs. 500.00 per bigha. On a reference under section 18 of the Act the learned Additional District Judge in the case of Pritam Singh & others (R.F.A. No. 54 of 1980) dismissed the reference holding that they .were not entitled to any enhancement. In the other case of Mani Ram Sharma (R.F.A:. No. 378 of 1980) the learned judge enchanted the compensation by Rs. 150.00 and thereby raised it tors.900.00 per bigha. ' The land in, both these cases was classed in block A by the Collector. But the judge abolished this distinction of blocks. Dissatisfied with the decision in reference the appellants appeal to this court for enhancement. In B.F.A. No. 54 of 1980 the appellants claim compensation at Rs. 8.000.00 per bigha In R.F.A. 378 of 1980 the claim is for Rs. 6.000.00 per bigha.
(3) The real. question is: What was the market value of the land in this .village-Ghazipur on 13-11-59? Counsel for the appellants has invited our 'attention to judgments in the adjoining villages. One is Ujjal Singh vs. Union of India R.F.A. No. 397 of 1968, decided on 29-3-1979 by .one of us.(Avadh Behari Rohatgi J). This judgment relates to village Karkarduma. Karkarduma adjoins this village Ghazipur. In Karkarduma the value of the land was fixed at Rs. 6.000.00 per bigha as on 13-.11-.59. Strong reliance has been placed on this judgment and it is submitted that in the neighborhood the value of the land was Rs. 6,000.00 per bigha and thereforee the appellants ought to be awarded compensation at the same rate. The other judgments to which our attention has been invited are relating to Mandavali village. In Shrimati Chander Kanta vs. Union of India, L.A.C No. 134 of 1971 Shri N.C. Kochhar, Additional District Judge, fixed the market price of land in village Mandavali at Rs.4,000.00 per bigha for the land acquired pursuant to the notification dated 13-11-59. In another case Kaushalya Devi vs. Union of India, L.A.C. 147 of 1971 he again fixed the same market value, that is. Rs. 4,000.00 per bigha vide his judgment dated 31-10-75. Yet in another case Raj Kaur vs. Union of India, L.A.C. No. 378 of 1972, decided on 26-2-1976, he fixed the same market value. Now this village Mandavali adjoins village Ghazipur. Some of the owners of Mandavali have preferred appeals from the orders of Shri Kochhar which, we are told, are pending in this court.
(4) The main argument of learned counsel for the Union of India in these cases is that the land in this village was subject to the Land Reforms Act while in Karkardoma the village was not subject to the Reforms Act. Karkardoma was a part of the Shahdra Municipality. Taking these two points of distinction counsel submits that compensation cannot be the same as was awarded in the case of Karkardoma. It is true that this land was subject to the Land Reforms Act. But we must take into consideration the potentiality of the land. The building activity was space in the surrounding villages. In Karkardoma there were sales of plots for building houses. If in the neighborhood the land was being sold at Rs. 6,000.00 per bigha it will not be fair to values the land in Ghazipur as purely agricultural land. This.is what the Collector did. He valued it is purely agricultural land. The learned judge on reference seems to have fallen into the error. The essential inquiry mast be what is the property worth in the market.viewed not merely with reference to the uses to which it is at the time applied, but also with reference to the uses to which it may be devoted in future. Potentiality will thereforee include probabilities, possibilities and prospects. The Privy Council has said:
'FOR it has been established by numerous authorities that the land is not to be valued merely by reference to the use to which it-is being pat at the time at which its value has to be determined (that time under the Indian Act being the date of notification under section 4(1) but also by reference to the uses which it-is-reasonably capable of being put in future. No authority indeed is required for this proposition. It is a self-evident one.'
(vyricherla Narayana GaJapati vs. Revenue Division Officer Vizagpathem Air 1939, Pc 98 at p. 102. A leading authority says :
'ALL advantages which the land possesses, present or future, in the hands of the owner may be taken into consideration, and the owner is entitled to have the price assessed in reference to the advantages which will give the land the greatest value. The value of an owner's interest is not properly compensated by assessing, the amount of pecuniary benefits obtained by past user in disregard of possible benefits in the future. The possibility of a more profitable use is one such advantage which may be taken into consideration. Thus the land which may probably be used for building purposes must not be valued on the same basis as purely agricultural land.'
(Cripps on Compulsory Acquisition of Land 11th ed. p. 680.
(5) The Collector valued the appellants' land as purely agricultural land. He said that the land is undeveloped. On this basis he Valued The learned judge dismissed the reference in one case and in the other he gave a pittance of enchancement. They, the Collector and the Judge, both disregarded the potentiality. They did not take the potentiality into account. Potentiality consists of all advantages which the land possesses, present or future. Potentiality is a true element of value If you ignore it you do not give just compensation to the expropriated owner. This is what happened in this case.
(6) In our opinion the judgments of Karkardoma and Mandavali are a highly relevant piece of evidence for determining compensation in these cases. Judgments of Courts are the best evidence. In assessing value for purposes of compensation a tribunal is not required to close its mind to'the value of the land in the neighborhood or adjoining areas for they may well be relevant or of assistance to a greater or lesser degree.
(7) We cannot ignore the potential value of the land. Potential is an element of value to be taken into consideration. It is a true element of market value. Proximity of the appellants' land to Karkardoma and Mandavali raises the hope that an urgent need of houses or the growing appreciation of local needs coupled with the fact that there is a change in the neighborhood and removal of similar restrictions in the immediate vicinity' will enable the appellants to obtain permission for a more profitable use of their land in future.
(8) The possibility that the authorities under the Reforms Act would have given permission to build on the land has also to be taken account. It cannot be said that the land is worth nothing. Restrictions must be kept in view. The chance of such restrictions being discharged must also be kept in view. (Corrie vs. Mac Dermodtt (1914) Ac 1056. The possibility, the probability of a more advantageous use to which the land could be put in future have all to be taken into account while determining the market value of the land. On a consideration of all these factors we have come to the conclusion that the appellants' land in village Ghazipur ought to be assessed at Rs. 5,000.00 per bigha.
(9) For these reasons the appellants are awarded compensation at the rate of Rs. 5,000.00 per bigha. Whatever has already been paid will be deducted. In addition to compensation the appellants will be entitled to 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.
(10) As there is a difference of more than three years between the notification under section 4 (13-11-59) of the Land Acquisition Act (the Act) and the declaration under section 6 of the Act (20-6-1966) the appellants are allowed interest at the rate of 6 per cent per annum on the market value of the land under section 4(3) of the Land Acquisition (Amendment & Validation) Act, 1967 provided there is no overlapping in the payment of interest under section 4(3) of the Amendment Act and section 28 of the Act.