1. These Miscellaneous First Appeals arise from the order awarding compensation at Rs. 10,000/-per acre by the II Addl. Land Acquisition Officer, City Improvement Trust Board, under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act in L. A. Misc. Nos. 61, 62 and 63 of 1966 respectively. The appellant is the claimant in those proceedings. He was the owner of Section Nos. 15. 16/1 and 11 of Karisandra village, Uttarhalli Hobli, Bangalore South Taluk. These lands were notified for acquisition under Section 18 (1) of the City of Bangalore Improvement Act of 1945 (to be herein-after referred to as the Act of 1945) for formation of a lay out between Banashankari and Mysore Road Second stage. Notice under Sections 9 and 10 of the Mysore Land Acquisition Act (to be hereinafter referred to as the Land Acquisition Act) was issued to the Khatadar. The claimant who was the khatadar wanted the lands notified for acquisition to be retained by him for starting an industry. He approached the Land Acquisition Authority and also the Trust Board to retain the lands for himself and did not file his statement claiming any particular sum of compensation for the lands acquired in. the case. The Land Acquisition Officer valued these lands at the rate of Rs. 7,000/- per acre. Aggrieved by the award of compensation of Rs. 7,000/- .the claimant sought for a reference to the Civil Court. The reference was made by the Additional Land Acquisition Officer, City Improvement Trust Board, to the Court of the Additional Civil Judge, Bangalore.
2. The learned Civil Judge, after recording the evidence and on a consideration of both oral and documentary evidence has fixed the compensation at the rate of Rs. 10,000/- per acre and has allowed statutory allowance at 15 per cent, on the said amount and interest at 5 per cent. p. a. from the date of taking possession of the land till the date of payment. The learned Civil Judge has rejected the contention on behalf of the Land Acquisition Officer that the claim for compensation by the claimant should be rejected on the ground that the claimant had not asked for any compensation before the Land Acquisition Officer except protesting against the very acquisition of the lands in question. As these M. F. As. arise out of a common order passed by the Civil Judge, they are disposed of by this common judgment.
3. The claimant in these M. F. As. has challenged the correctness of the award of compensation at the rate of Rs. 10,000/- per acre. Mainly, two questions arise for decision in these appeals: (1) What is the nature of the lands acquired and (2) what is the amount of compensation to be fixed for these lands at the relevant time. Mr. Mohd. Hafiz Ali, learned Advocate for the appellant, strongly contended that the lands acquired in these cases were, although used as agricultural lands at the time of acquisition, had the potential value as building sites. He pointed out that they were all situate in a flourishing area situate between Banashankari and Basavanagudi South End Road and VII and VIII Blocks of Jayanagar. beside an industrial locality. There is overwhelming evidence besides the admission of the Land Acquisition Officer who has been examined asR. W. 1 to show that the lands acquired in these cases are situate in the midst of Layouts township and Industrial area. Mr. Narayanappa, learned Advocate for the Additional Land Acquisition Officer does not dispute this position. Therefore, we are clearly of the opinion that the nature of the lands acquired in these cases is that they are potential building sites.
4. The next question for determination is, what is the amount of compensation to be fixed for the lands at the relevant time. The Land Acquisition Officer has awarded Rs. 7,000/- per acre. The learned Civil Judge has awarded Rupees 10,000/- per acre. While reaching the conclusion that the compensation to be awarded to these lands would be at Rs. 10,000/- per acre, the learned Civil Judge has solely relied upon Ex. P-2, the sale transaction relating to Karisandra village. Mr. Mohd. Hafiz AH, learned Advocate for the appellant, contended that the learned Civil Judge has completely ignored the documentary evidence at Exs. P-l, P-3, P-6 and also the evidence of P. Ws. 1 to 7 while determining the compensation of Rs. 10,000/- per acre. He further contended that in cases in which lands were acquired within the limits of Karisandra, Yadiyur and Nagasandra villages under the same Notification, this Court has awarded compensation of Rs. 20,000/- per acre in respect of the lands situate in Karisandra village in M. F. As. Nos, 217 to 228 of 1971 in which Section Nos. 20 to 24 were involved. He further urged that though the market value of the lands acquired in these cases is Rs. 20,000/- per acre, the claimant restricted his claim to Rs. 15,000/- per acre in this Court which is very much lower than the one awarded by this Court in other cases and, therefore, he urged that a sum of Rs. 15.000/- per acre is the reasonable market value that the claimant is entitled to receive in these cases.
Mr. Narayanappa, learned Advocate for the Additional Land Acquisition Officer, faintly contended that the Civil Judge was wrong in awarding compensation when no claim was made before the Land Acquisition Officer, and that the claim for enhancement of compensation should be rejected outright by this Court. He nextly urged that the compensation awarded in the M. F. As. relied upon by the learned Advocate for the appellant cannot form the basis to fix the market value and that it would at best be a piece of evidence to be considered along with other material evidence in these cases He also contended that the appellant is not entitled to any interest on the solatium of 15 per cent, allowable under Section 23 (2) of the Land Acquisition Act.
5. We proceed to examine the contentions raised on behalf of the parties inthe light of the evidence and other material produced by both the parties in these cases.
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It is clear from Ex. D. 5 that R. W. 1 has determined the compensation on the basis of the sale transactions three years previous to 1963. In Venkatamma v. Spl. Land Acquisition Officer, C. I. T. B.t Mysore, (1972) 1 Mys LJ 398 = (AIR 1972 Mys 193) (FB), this Court has observed as follows:--
'We are of the opinion that the position of law relating to the relevant date which should be taken into account for purpose of determining the market value of the land acquired under the Act remains unaltered after it was enacted and compensation is payable to the properties acquired even after Mysore Act I of 1927, on the basis of the market value of the properties as on the date of the publication of a declaration under Section 18 of the Act.'
In view of the above decision, we are of the opinion that the relevant date for determining the market value of the lands acquired under the Bangalore City Improvement Act, 1945 is the date on which the declaration is published under Section 18. We have followed the decision in our judgment in M. F. As Nos. 444 to 450 of 1970 (Mys) which related to the Binnamangala II Stage Lay-out in another part of Bangalore City. The Land Acquisition Officer should have collected the sale statistics at or about the year 1964 and decided the question of award of compensation to the lands acquired. Therefore, Ex. D-5 does not afford a proper basis for fixing the compensation payable to the lands acquired in these cases. The unchallenged evidence produced by the claimant and set out above, satisfactorily establishes that the lands bought and sold by the C. Ws. under various exhibits for the years 1962-1967 ranged between Rs. 12,000/- and Rs. 25.000/- per acre.
6. In addition to the evidence discussed above, Mr. Mohd. Hafiz Ali relies upon the decision of this Court in M. F. As. Nos. 83 to 85 and 217 to 228 and 252 of 1971 decided on 20-8-1971 (Mys) to show that this Court had fixed compensation at Rs. 20,000/- per acre of dry land in respect of Section Nos. 22, 23 and 24 within the limits of Karisandra village. These lands admittedly, were notified for acquisition under the same notification as in the instant case. It is also not in dispute that Karisandra, Yadiyur and Nagasandra villages are adjacent to and situate close to one another. After considering the evidence produced in those cases, the Court has fixed compensation at Rupees 20,000/- per acre in Karisandra village. The lands in question were also situate within Karisandra village. While dealingwith the cases of acquisition in the adjacent villages, this Court has observed in Union of India v. Narasiyappa, (1970) 1 Mys LJ 319 as follows:
'Once that conclusion is reached, there is no escape from the further conclusion that the value for lands in Dod-dabommasandra and Kodigehalli which are adjacent to and quite close to Lotte-gollahalli and possess the same advantages could not be fixed at less than Rs. 5,000/- per acre without being unfair to claimants and without committing the error of actually dissenting from a decision of this Court'
In the instant case, there is no evidence to show that the lands acquired in these cases had any disadvantage. They appear to possess the same advantages. Therefore, the compensation to be fixed in these cases, cannot be less than the compensation fixed in M. F. As. mentioned above at Rs. 20,000/- per acre. Therefore, at the relevant point of time, the market value of the lands acquired is Rs. 20,000/- per acre. But the claimant has restricted his claim to Rs. 15,000/-per acre which is less than Rs. 20,000/-. Therefore, the claimant is entitled to get compensation at Rs. 15,0007- per acre and not Rs. 10,000/- as fixed by the learned Civil Judge.
7. Mr. Narayanappa for the Additional Land Acquisition Officer, contended that under Section 23 (2) of the Act, the claimant is not entitled to any interest. He relied upon a decision of the Supreme Court in Union of India v. Ram Mehar, : 2SCR720 . The decision relied upon by Mr. Narayanappa does not support his contention. While interpreting the expression 'market value' in Section 4 (3) of the Amending Act, the Supreme Court has laid down 'the solatium is not included within the meaning of the expression 'market value',' But in the instant -case the question of payment of interest arises only under Section 34 of the Land Acquisition Act and not under Section 4 of the Amended Act. At p 885 (of SCWR) = (at p. 309 of AIR), their Lordships have observed in the said decision as follows:--
'The key to the meaning of the word 'compensation' is to be found in Section 23 (1) and that consists (a) of the market value of the land and (b) the sum of 15 per cent, on such market value which is stated to be the consideration for the compulsory nature of the acquisition.' Thus, it is clear that compensation includes market value, and the solatium at 15 per cent. Under Section 34, interest is allowed on the amount of compensation not paid or deposited before taking possession of land. : Therefore, since the solatium is also included in the amount of compensation, the claimant is entitled to get interest on the amount of compensation from the date of taking possession of the land till the payment is made. In this view1 of the matter, it is not possible to agree with the contention raised by Mr. Narayanappa, to disallow interest on the solatium payable in these oases.
8. Therefore, the claimant isentitled to compensation at the rate ofRs. 15,000/- per acre and statutory allowance at Rs. 15 per cent, on the amount ofcompensation. He is also entitled to interest at Rs. 5 per cent, per annum fromthe date of taking possession of the landtill the date of payment It is orderedaccordingly. Appeals are allowed withcosts.
9. Appeals allowed.