1. A short question that arises in this petition is as to what should be the capitalised value of the cash allowance paid to junior members of the family of ex-jagirdar. The question arises in the following circumstances:
2. One Mansinhji Karansinhji was the ex-Ruler of Sihora State which was formerly a semi Jurisdictional State under the Revakantha Agency but was treated for all intents and purposes as a Jagir in view of the nature of its merger agreement with the erstwhile State of Bombay effected on June 10, 1948. Mansinhji died leaving behind him three sons, namely, Pruthvisinhji and the two appellants herein Surendrasinhji and Bhupendrasinhji; two daughters Harishchandrakunverba and Laxmikunverba; his widow Lilakunverba and Fulkunverba the widow of his predeceased son Natversinhji. According to the rule of primogeniture, being the custom of the family. The eldest brother Pruthvisinhji became the Ruler of the State. However, since he was minor at the time of the demise of his father Mansinhji the state was under the management of the Deputy Regional Commissioner of Revakantha Agency. The late Mansinhji had, by document of December 29, 1947, granted the lands for maintenance of the Respondents Nos. 1-2 herein who were the appellants before the Revenue Tribunal and their mother Lilakunverba, and by second document of December 30, 1947, besides the lands granted a cash allowance of Rs. 150/- per month to respondent No. 1 Surendrasinhji and Rs. 175/- per month to respondent No. 2 Bhupendrasinghji. He further sanctioned by the said document a sum of Rs. 7,000/- for construction of house for each of the said respondents and also directed that the State should bear the expenses for the education of these two respondents. The State under the management continued to Pay cash allowance to the said two respondents till Pruthvisinhji attained majority on 6-12-1951 and ascended Gadi, Pruthvisinhji, in his turn, continued to pay cash allowance to his two brothers the respondents herein according to the aforesaid document of December 30, 1947.
3. On abolition of Jagir pursuant to the Bombay Merged Territories and Areas (Jagirs Abolition) Act. 1953 (hereinafter referred to as 'the said Act') having come into effect an and from August 1, 1954, respondents Nos. 1 and 2 herein applied for payment of compensation on account of extinguishment of their rights of cash allowance and for loss of Rs. 7,000/- being the house construction allowance, and for the loss of their right to be paid the expenses for education. The Competent Authority under the said Act did not uphold this claim of the respondents. The Gujarat Revenue Tribunal also confirmed that view. However this Court in Special Civil Application No. 10 of 1962 and other companion matters, by its common judgment of August 27, 1964, held that the cash allowance received by the junior members of the family of a jagirdar was an incidence of jagir and the respondents were entitled to be paid compensation for extinguishment of this right under the said Act and in that view of the matter, this Court remanded the cases to the Tribunal for disposing of the appeals in respect of the claim of compensation according to the correct principles of law.
4. The Gujarat Revenue Tribunal, therefore, heard the appeals and partially upheld the claim of the respondents herein. The Tribunal following its earlier decision, computed the value of the cash allowance at 30 times the annual value thereof and, therefore, fixed the compensation of Rs. 54,000/- and Rupees 63,000/- for the loss of the right of annual cash allowance of respondents Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, The Tribunal, however, rejected the claim of the respondents on account of the construction allowance of Rs. 7,000/- or for allowance on account of the expenses for education. The Tribunal also directed the State Government to pay interest at the rate of 3% on the aforesaid two amounts of compensation from the date of coming into force of the said Act, that is, 1st August, 1954. This order is the subject matter of this Petition, at the instance of the State Government.
5. What would be the capitalised value of an annuity is a question of fact depending on the circumstances in each case. No hard and fast rule can be laid down as to what should be the number of years purchase which the Court should legitimately allow in assessing the compensation of loss of property because a particular number of years purchase which should be allowed with regard to one kind of property might not be a fair allowance for other kinds of property and the Court must always guard against laying down any hard and fast rule as to the number of years purchase which ought to be allowed (vide Heysham v. Bholanath Mullick (1872) 11 Beng LR 230). The Tribunal, in my opinion, was justified in computing the value of cash allowance by fixing it at 30 times the value of the annual allowance and granting compensation on that basis having regard to Section 22 of the said Act which provides as under:
'22. The amount of compensation payable under the provisions of this Act shall be payable in transferable bonds carrying interest at the rate of three per cent per annum from the date of the issue of such bonds and shall be repayable during a period of twenty years from the date of the issue of such bonds by equated annual instalments of principal and interest. The bonds shall be of such denomination and shall be in such forms as may be prescribed.'
Having regard to this statutory prescription for payment of compensation by the Government bonds carrying rate 3% only it cannot be gainsaid that 30 years purchase would be the fair capital value of the annual cash allowance since the bonds in which the compensation would be Payable would bear interest at the rate of 3% per annum. The Tribunal, therefore, did not commit any error on the matter of principle which would justify any interference by this Court. The Tribunal was also justified in granting interest on the commuted amount of compensation since the respondents were deprived of the benefit of cash allowance from the date of the coming into force, that is, August 1, 1954. The Tribunal has granted at the rate of 3% which is the prescribed rate under the said Act.
6. The result, therefore, is that this petition fails and is dismissed. Rule is discharged with no order as to costs.
7. Petition dismissed.