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Secretary of State Vs. Altaf Hossein - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Reported inAIR1927Cal827,103Ind.Cas.714
AppellantSecretary of State
RespondentAltaf Hossein
Cases ReferredHarish Chunder Neogy v. Secretary of State
Excerpt:
- .....of 4 cottas 5 chattaks odd. the collector's award was at the rate of rs. 450 per cotta. the second plot is plot 6, with an area of 13 cottas & chattaks odd. this was divided by the collector in two sections and his-award was at the rate of rs. 400 per cotta for 9 cottaks 10 chattaks and odd and at the rate of rs. 300 for the rest amounting to 4 cottas 2 chattaks. the owner who is a mutwalli asked for a reference and the special judge has increased the award by rs. 100 per cotta in each case. it is contended by the government pleader that the judge having practically discarded the evidence of the sale adduced by the claimants should not have enhanced the collector's award, that the increase is arbitrary and that, so far as plot 6 is concerned, there was the definite evidence that the plot.....
Judgment:

Roy, J.

1. This appeal is by the Secretary of State for India in Council and against the decision of the Special Land Acquisition Judge, 24-Perganas. Lands, were acquired for a new road between Paddapukur Road and Michael Dutt Street in Kidderpore. This was one of the references made under Section 18, Land Acquisition Act. It concerned two plots of land, viz., plot 111, with an area of 4 cottas 5 chattaks odd. The Collector's award was at the rate of Rs. 450 per cotta. The second plot is plot 6, with an area of 13 cottas & chattaks odd. This was divided by the collector in two sections and his-award was at the rate of Rs. 400 per cotta for 9 Cottaks 10 chattaks and odd and at the rate of Rs. 300 for the rest amounting to 4 cottas 2 chattaks. The owner who is a mutwalli asked for a reference and the Special Judge has increased the award by Rs. 100 per cotta in each case. It is contended by the Government pleader that the Judge having practically discarded the evidence of the sale adduced by the claimants should not have enhanced the Collector's award, that the increase is arbitrary and that, so far as plot 6 is concerned, there was the definite evidence that the plot was settled by the mutwaili to a tenant at an annual rent of Rs. 72, and this should have been the basis of the award.

2. The learned Judge seems to have considered the evidence produced, and although he does not indicate the particular evidence he relies on, he was apparently led to the conclusion that the award should be increased to some extent and he thereupon made this all round increase of Rs. 100 per cotta. As pointed out by their Lordships of the Privy Council it is not always easy to give the precise reasonings in cases of this kind : Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs v. Charles Worth Pilling & Co. [1902] 26 Bom. 1.

3. The Collector made his valuation according to him on personal enquiry, regard being had to the nature of the land, its area, configuration and situation. It does not appear that he placed any reliance on the fact that plot 6 had been let at Rs. 72 per annum, for his award is much more than what the compensation would have been if he had followed this basis. It was a temporary arrangement made by the mutwaili in respect of basti land and the rent of such land is often no criterion for ascertaining the actual value of the land : Harish Chunder Neogy v. Secretary of State [1907] 11 C.W.N. 875. On the other hand the mutwaili produced evidence of actual sales of adjoining lands, as for instance Ex. 2, where the mokurrari tenants' rights were sold at Rs. 515 par cotta in 1909. This refers to plot 4. The learned Judge has observed that this is a small plot and there is a road alongside eight to ten feet wide. The judge has not said anything, however, against Ex. 3 which concerns plot 5. This sale was in 1913 and works out at Rs. 542 per cotta Then there is the fact that the Collector made this award in plot 9 at the rate of Rs. 450 per cotta and in plot 8 at Rs. 500 per cotta and for the back lands of plot 11, immediately to the south, he gave at the rate of Rs. 750 per cotta. It is not necessary to refer to the evidence of the expert valuer examined by the mutwaili or to the sale-deed of premises 22/1, where the purchaser paid Rs. 1,158 per cotta in 1915 in order apparently to extend and improve his land. There is ample evidence to justify the conclusion of the learned Judge that the award of the Collector should be increased. The increase given by him does not appear to be unreasonable. We consider, therefore, that the Judge was right and that the appeal should be dismissed with costs, hearing-fee being assessed at ten gold mohurs.

4. The mutwaili has a cross-objection, and his claim is that the award should be increased still further. The learned vakil wished to refer us to the evidence of the expert valuer but this evidence had not been printed and we were unable to accede to his request that we should refer to it at this stage. We have listened to his argument that land value increased between the dates of the various sales put forward in the evidence and the date of the declaration which was the 16th July 1918. There was probably some increase, but the increase was not large, and regard being had to all the circumstances specially the awards in respect of plots 8 and 9 on which he himself relies for the first branch of the case, we do not think a sufficient case has been made out for raising the compensation any further. The result is that the cross-objections are dismissed, but without costs.

5. The appellant must pay ad valorem Court-fee on appeal. Let the deficit Court-fees be accepted.

Ghose, J.

6. I agree.


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