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Nayan Monjuri Dasi and ors. Vs. Hem Lal Dutt and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Judge
Reported in58Ind.Cas.417
AppellantNayan Monjuri Dasi and ors.
RespondentHem Lal Dutt and ors.
Excerpt:
land acquisition - land in occupation of tenant--compensation, apportionment of, between landlord and tenant, method of. - 1. this is an appeal in a case for apportionment of compensation awarded for land acquired for the calcutta improvement trust. the land acquired is one of three parcels of which a lease for 99 years was granted by the predecessors of the appellants to the predecessor of the respondent on the 28th february 1859 at an annual rent of rs. 25. a sum of rs. 13,140 has been awarded as compensation, and the question in controversy is as to the mode in which this sum is to be divided between the landlord-appellants and the tenant respondent.2. the first question for determination is as to the proportionate amount of rent fairly payable by the tenant to the landlords, in respect of this parcel, the president of the tribunal has held, on the basis of a series of rent receipted, in which the amount.....
Judgment:

1. This is an appeal in a case for apportionment of compensation awarded for land acquired for the Calcutta Improvement Trust. The land acquired is one of three parcels of which a lease for 99 years was granted by the predecessors of the appellants to the predecessor of the respondent on the 28th February 1859 at an annual rent of Rs. 25. A sum of Rs. 13,140 has been awarded as compensation, and the question in controversy is as to the mode in which this sum is to be divided between the landlord-appellants and the tenant respondent.

2. The first question for determination is as to the proportionate amount of rent fairly payable by the tenant to the landlords, in respect of this parcel, The President of the Tribunal has held, on the basis of a series of rent receipted, in which the amount of rent payable was stated to be Bs. 7, that that figure should be accepted as conclusive between the parties. In our opinion, this view cannot be supported No explanation has been given as to the circumstances under which this entry came to be made in the rent receipts. The entries themselves were immaterial, because the total rent of Re. 25 was paid in one lump sum and a joint receipt obtained therefor. No explanation has been suggested as to why and on what principle the rent was distributed amongst the three parcels as Rs. 16, Rs. 7 and Rs. 2. On the other hand, there is important evidence to show that the rent payable in respect of the parcel now acquired is nearly equal to the rent payable in repeat of the other two parcels. In 1892, proceedings were instituted on the original side of this Court for partition of this property and the parcel now acquired was stated to be worth Rs. 3,550, while the other two parcels were valued at Rs. 3,035. We have further the significant fact that the area of the plot now acquired is 2 cottas 2 ch., whereas the areas of the other two plots were 2 cottas 14 ch. and 10 chittaks respectively. We must also bear in mind that the parcel acquired has frontage on two streets, whereas the other two plots have frontage on one street only. Consequently, in view of the areas of the plots as also their valuation, it is not unfair to draw the inference that the rent payable in respect of the parcel now under consideration is equal to the rent payable on account of the other two plots. We consequently hold that the rent payable in respect of this parcel must be taken to be Rs. 12-8 a month, that is, RS. 150 a year.

3. The question next arises, how the sum awarded as compensation should be distributed between the landlords and the tenant. The amount awarded as compensation is Rs. 13,440. From that sum deduction is to be made for the value of the huts; we thus get the net amount, Rs.12,990, The President of the Tribunal has held that the principle to be followed in the apportionment of the compensation money is identical with the principle adopted for assessment of the compensation. In our opinion, this view is erroneous. The amount of compensation was calculated on the basis that the lard would remain permanently covered with huts as they were at the date of the declaration and that the property, that is, the land and the huts, would yield in perpetuity a net return of Rs. 940 8 0 per annuam. It is not for us to consider whether this hypothesis was or was not Bound ; but it is plain that this hypothesis cannot to made the basis of apportionment of the compensation as between the landlord and the tenants. The reason is obvious. The market value of the land acquired may be determined on many by pathetical considerations. But the question of apportionment of the sum awarded as between the landlord and his tenant must be based, not on hypothetical ground, but on an accurate determination of the value of their respective interests in the land. The moment the land is acquired, it ceases to be the property of both the landlord and the tenant, and it is consequently erroneous to bring into consideration the hypothetical assumption that the land would continue to be covered by the huts for 42 years and that at the end of that period would be delivered by the tenant to the landlord. What we have to do is to calculate the prefect value of the interests of the respective parties in the land acquired, in which both of them have lost their interest by the action of the State. Now what is the position of the landlord P At the moment of acquisition he was entitled to the reversion in the land. During the continuance of the tenancy, he was entitled to Rs. 150 a year as rent. It is not difficult to calculate the present value of each of these interests. The value of the land has been determined to be Rs. 12,990. The present value of Rs. 12,990, if the rate of interest is taken at 5 per cent. per annum, is Rs. 1,673. If the landlord is entitled to Rs. 150 annually from this land for a term of 42 years, the present value is Rs. 2,638. The aggregate amount which the landlord is entitled to obtain is the total of these two figures; that is Rs. 4,286. We may point out that the principle which the President has applied would have been obviously inapplicable if the land had been valued, for instance, by a reference to the price fetched at sales of similar lands in the neighbourhood. No question could then have arisen as to the hypothetical delivery of the land by the tenant to the landlord after the' expiry of 42 years. We hold accordingly that the order made by the President cannot be supported.

4. The result is that this appeal is allowed and the decree of the Court below modified. The landlord appellants are entitled to Rs. 4,286: but as the appeal has been valued at Rs. 1,500, the decree will be limited to that sum and the balance of the compensation will be given to the tenant. The appellants are entitled to their costs of this appeal. We assess the hearing fee at five gold mohurs.


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