1. This is a case under the Land Acquisition Act on appeal from the Acting District Judge of Rajahmundry. The land acquired is 1 acre 77 cents in Survey No. 78, an inam dry land in the village of Tottaramudi in Amalapur Taluk. The claimant has been allowed Rs. 500 an acre plus cost of trees and allowances. Before the learned District Judge, the claimant claimed Rs. 4,500 as compensation and before us the learned Vakil has stated that he is entitled to Rs. 2,500 more than has been awarded. The claim is put on two grounds, first, that, as the surrounding lands have been acquired to extend the Settiga hamlets and that as this land has been acquired for the same purpose, we must value it as a building site. Alternatively it is said, that, as it is a cocoanut tope with a valuable annual yield of cocoanuts, it may be valued on that basis. Rupees 2,000 an acre is claimed as building site and a net sum of Rs. 3,600 as a cocoanut tope estimating the price at 20 years' annual value. It is perfectly clear that the claimant cannot have it both ways: as pointed out by the learned Judges of this Court in. Shanmugha Valayuda Mudaliar v. Collector of Tanjore 93 Ind. Cas. 639 'It is obvious that the same land cannot simultaneously be used as a cocoanut tope and for buildings.'
2. If it is acquired for a building site, the trees will have to come down. If it is acquired for a value of the yield of the trees, the trees will of course remain standing. The learned Judge has awarded compensation on the basis first of the land as land merely, and, secondly, a sum has been awarded as the value of the cocoanut trees on it. The documentary evidence which is relied on for the claimant for the purpose of showing the value of the land is as follows:
3. Exhibit B which, however, relates to & very small piece of land about 3 cents which comes to about Rs. 1,500 an acre. Exhibit G is another small piece which works out at about the same sum. Exhibit D is 40 cents and works out at Rs. 1,000 an acre, Exhibit C is another small piece of 3-1/5 cents. Another, Ex. K. is an acquisition by the Taluk Board for a road of another small piece consisting of about 6,000 or 7,000 Jinks which, when worked out comes to Rs. 2,400 an acre. Mr. J. Ramiah Pantulu, who has been called for the claimant, has made purchases very close to the suit land in question under Ex. D in 1915 and under Ex. E in August 1922. Exhibit E works out at a little over Rs. 800 an acre and Ex. D at about Rs 1,000. The witness says that the price paid for the cocoanut garden will be 8 to 15 years' purchase on the net income, i. e., the value of the trees. The lands in the neighbourhood fetch about 20 years' purchase. The witness was of opinion that under Ex. E he paid a little over the market price. It should be pointed out that the award works out at about Rs. 1,035 an acre including the trees. The claimant has in her petition apparently Estimated the value of the property as a Cocoanut tope only because she states that the land every year yields 8,000 cocoanuts Worth Rs. 500 and that she requires Rs. 4,500 as compensation if the land is to be acquired from her. That is clearly 9 years purchase of the value of the cocoanuts and in this connection Exs. III and J were relied on her behalf. Exhibit III is an award passed about a month before the present one where land alone was taken at Rs. 500 an acre plus the cost of trees and allowances.
4. Mr. Ramiah Pantulu's purchase in the previous year at Rs. 800 an acre was there relied on by the Acquisition Officer. Exhibit J also is an award made by the Commissioner of Labour at Rs. 800 an acre, In the case, however, of Ex. II it will be observed that the reason why the award comes out at slightly higher per acre is that a little more is awarded for trees whereas under Ex. J the award is practically for the land alone, the valuation on, account of buildings, wells, crops, trees and etc., being only Rs. 29. If the claim in this case is confined to the value of the land as land plus the value of the trees, I am unable to say that the award is bad or unfair in that the price of the land per acre has been undervalued. Let us turn to the consideration, which is her own case, of the land as cocoanut tope. Under Ex. A she has leased a larger portion of the land than the land in question, namely, 2 acres 24 cents for Rs. 200 per annum which works out at about Rs. 160 per annum for the extent in question. Taking 9 times the value of that, it comes to about Re. 1,440 and it should be observed in this connection that Mr. Ramiah Pantulu's purchases under Exs. I and II were of cocoanut topes for which he paid (land and trees included) about Rs. 800 to Rs. 850 an acre. It must be remembered that if the land is to be regarded as land fit for building purposes, it is quite evident that it is not tit as it stands. Claimant witness No. 4 who is said to be the owner of the land closest to the land acquired, says that the land on either side is unfit for building sites and it must be raised a foot in some places and If feet in other places. There is no evidence as to what the cost of such raising would be and, therefore, in addition to the other reasons that I have already given, I think that it is a sufficient reason for declining to consider the land on the footing of the land acquired for building purposes. I, therefore, think that it is an indulgence to the claimant if her case can be regarded as a claim for acquisition of land for building purposes and she ought to be confined strictly to the claim she put forward before the Acquisition Officer which is clearly that for the value of the land as a cocoanut tope. The District Judge has on the whole come to a correct valuation and no grounds have been shown to us why that valuation is wrong or ought to be enhanced. In my opinion, therefore, the appeal should be dismissed with costs.
Madhavan Nair, J.
5. I agree and have nothing to add.