T.U. Mehta, Ag. C.J.
1. This appeal arises out of the decision given by the Additional District Judge, Mandi in Reference Nos. 195 of 19,65 and 383 of 1965 under Sections 18, 30 and 31 of the Land Acquisition Act. The land acquired comprises of Khasra Nos. 2622/1 and 2622/2 and measuring 4 Bighas and 3 Biswas, and khasra No. 2626/1, measuring 6 Bighas and 15 Biswas. Thus, the total measurement of the land acquired in this case is 10 Bighas and 18 Biswas.
2. One Basant Singh son of Hira Singh claimed compensation with regard to this acquired land originally at the rate of Rs. 3,000 per bigha.
3. The claimants of Reference No. 883 of 1965, who are respondents Nos. 2to 9 in this appeal, came forward before the learned Judge with their claim that by virtue of the document Exhibit PA the claimant Basant Singh had surrendered his ownership from 5 Bighas 10 Biswas of land of Khasra No. 2626/1 and document evidencing this relinquishment was registered on 3-9-1959. He, therefore, claimed apportionment of compensation exclusively . to himself with regard to this 5 Bighas and 10 Biswas land of Khasra No. 2626/1.
4. The claimant Basant Singh claimed further compensation with regard to injurious affection of his remaining land as a result of this acquisition, for the standing crop; and for rehabilitation.
5. As a result of these pleas, the learned District Judge framed separate issues in both the references. After recording evidence offered by the parties he came to the conclusion that the claimant Basant Singh was entitled to get entire compensation for the acquisition of land of khasra Nos. 2622/1 and 2622/ 2 measuring 4 Bighas 3 Biswas. He further found that this Basant Singh was entitled to get half of the compensation for 5 Bighas, 10 Biswas of Khasra No. 2626/1, the other half to be shared by the present respondents Nos. 2 to 9 in equal shares on the footing that they are the tenants over this land of 5 Bighas, 10 Biswas.
6. The learned Judge found that the compensation given by the Acquisition Officer at the rate of Rs. 760 per bigha was inadequate and should therefore be enhanced to Rs. 1,200 per bigha.
7. As there was no evidence about injurious affection or the value of the standing crop or regarding rehabilitation the learned Judge has not awarded any compensation on these counts.
8. During the pendency of this appeal, the High Court of Delhi, Himachal Bench, passed an order dated 19th June, 1970 remanding the matter back to the lower court giving direction that it should make further enquiry into the matter as to what portion of land, namely, 6.15 Bighas of Khasra No. 2626/1 which had been acquired, belonged to the claimant Basant Singh, and which portion belonged to present respondents Nos. 2 to 9. This remand order was made with a view to arrive at a correct decision with regard to the apportionment of compensation between the claimant Basant Singh and respondents Nos. 2 to 9 who claimed to be the tenants,
9. As a result of this remand, the learned Judge of the lower court submitted the report dated 1-9-1970 to thefollowing effect:
'I would, however, like to add that the respondents Nos. 2 to 9 no more assert that 5-10-0 bighas of land transferred to them under Ex. PA was included in the acquired land. They admitted before me that they were in actual possession of their land except to the extent of 4 or 5 biswas only which according to them had been included in the acquired land. In other words, the respondents Nos. 2 to 9 claim compensation in respect of 4 or 5 biswas only out of the acquired area of ,6-15-0 bighas and the applicants who have applied for being impleaded as legal representatives of the deceased appellant were in (no) mood to contest this claim of the respondents Nos. 2 to 9.'
As against the above referred report of the lower court none of the parties to this appeal has filed any objection.
10. The first question which remains to be decided is whether the compensation as ordered by the learned Judge of the lower court is adequate or not. As already noted above, he has enhanced compensation to Rs. 1,200 per bigha. The original claim of the claimants was to obtain compensation at the rate of Rs. 3,000 per bigha. However, in this appeal they have limited their claim only to the extent of the rate of Rs. 1,500 per bigha. Thus, in this appeal, they claim Rs. 300 more per bigha over the amount already awarded to them by the learned Judge of the lower court. While enhancing the amount of compensation, the learned Additional District Judge has not discussed any evidence. He has simply cited the sales statistics as found from different mutation entries which have been produced by the parties and then he has observed as under:--
'In view of the evidence referred to above and keeping in mind the factors and the general principles for determining compensation that are specified in Sections 23 and 24 and having in view the nature of the acquired land, its situation, the surrounding circumstances, the price at which neighbouring similar lands in the locality with similar advantages are sold and price which a willing buyer will give to the willing seller at the timeof the notification under Section 4, I assessthe market value of the acquired land as under:
Bakhal--I--Rs. 1200 per bigha.' The evidence which the learned Judge refers to, is the evidence consisting of only mutation entries. He has not indicated whether these mutation entries are taken by him as proved or not nor is there anything in his judgment to show how he has evaluated the comparative value of the acquired land with reference to the lands covered by different mutation entries having regard to their locations, fertility or produce. Parties have led some oral evidence but he has not made any reference to this oral evidence and has come to the conclusion about the market value of the land at the rate of Rs. 1200 per bigha merely by making a general reference to the well known principles accepted for arriving at the correct market value of the land acquired under Section 23 of the Land Acquisition Act. In my view, this is not the proper approach. If the authority determining the market value of the acquired land wants to rely upon sales statistics, then such a reliance can be placed only if the instances of sale are actually proved with reference to the circumstances in which sale transactions in question took place* the location of the land with regard to which the sale transactions have taken place, and the potential value of these lands in comparison with the acquired land. It is only after this, that the sales statistics would be able to provide clue for the correct assessment of market value of the acquired land. Mere production of mutation entries without proving the transactions in question would almost invariably be of no help in assessing the value of the acquired land. Under these circumstances, it is not possible to know what precise factors weighed with the learned Judge in assessing the market value of the acquired land at the rate of Rs. 1200 per bigha.
11. Be that as it may, the State has not filed any appeal against the evaluation put by the learned Additional District Judge. Therefore, the simple question which arises to be determined is whether there is any justification in still enhancing the valuation of the acquired land as desired by the claimants. I have, therefore, heard the learned Advocate of the claimants at length. I find that apart from the sales statistics put in form of mutation entries, the claimants have put reliance on evidence oftwo witnesses, namely, P.W. 1 Basant Singh and P.W. 2 Kalu, recorded in Reference No. 195 of 1965. Other claimants have not adduced any evidence about the valuation. I have gone through the deposition given by P.W. Basant Singh and P.W. Kalu. It transpires from their evidence that the acquired land is adjacent to a public highway which is known as Simla-Mandi Road. Another fact that is disclosed from this evidence is that the acquired land is located near Sundernagar Housing Colony. None of these witnesses has made any attempt to show the location and the potential value of other lands covered by the sales statistics on which the claimants have put reliance.
12. As already noted above, on the evidence of sales statistics without any proof of transactions themselves or of the location of the lands covered by these sales statistics and their potential value, etc. it would not be possible to take the rates disclosed by these sales statistics as any safe basis on which the valuation of the acquired land can be assessed. For instance, Shri Sud appearing for one of the claimants, drew my attention to the sale dated 23rd December 1964 of 3/46th share in the land measuring 2 Bigha 6 Biswas as found from the mutation entry Ex. PE. This sale is for Rs. 325 and the measurement of share which was sold for the price of Rs. 325 comes to only 3 Biswas. Shri Sud contended that if 3 Biswas of land were sold for Rs, 325 in the month of December, 1964, the rate comes to about Rs. 2160 per bigha. He, therefore, wants enhancement of compensation awarded by the learned District Judge on the basis of this instance of sale. Now, there is no evidence to show that the land sold by this instance of sale had no better potential value compared to the acquired land. There is nothing in evidence to show where that land was situated. There is also no evidence to show whether the sale evidence by this mutation entry Ex. PE was the sale between a willing buyer and a willing purchaser nor is there any evidence to show that the purchaser of this 3/46th share had paid merely the market value or whether any other consideration weighed with him in agreeing to pay this price. Unless all these factors are clearly brought in the record of the case this instance of sale would be of no help in arriving even at a rough estimate about the value of the acquiredland. It need not be over-emphasised that a mere production of a mutation entry does not carry the matter any further and the only purpose which it would serve is to burden the record of the court without rendering any assistance to the cause of justice. It should, therefore, be clearly understood that the parties who want the court to come to a particular conclusion about the correct market value of the land should prove the transactions themselves and also should produce the comparative data to show that the acquired land stands practically on the same footing on which the sale instance concerned was standing. None of the parties has made any such effort in this case.
13. It is no doubt true that the acquired land is proved to have been situated near a public highway and it can also be taken as proved that it is in the vicinity of a Housing Colony of Sundernagar, But then the question is what additional value should be assessed on account of these advantages which the acquired land possessed over the lands which are differently situated. In fact, as already stated above, the Land Acquisition Officer has awarded compensation only at the rate of Rs. 760 per bigha. Therefore, if the claimants wanted further compensation it was for them to show by proving the required data that the enhanced value should be to the extent desired by them. The learned Additional District Judge has enhanced the value by Rs. 440/-. This enhancement in value can legitimately be taken as on account of the advantageous location of the acquired land and its potential value due to the nearness of the Housing Colony of Sundernagar. There is nothing to show that any further enhancement in the valuation can be justified. Under the circumstances, I affirm the findings of the learned Additional District Judge on the question of valuation and reject the claim of the claimants for further enhancement.
14. So far as the question of apportionment is concerned, as already stated, the report submitted by the Additional District Judge after the case was remanded has not been challenged by any of the parties. The learned Advocates of the claimants agree that pursuant to this report, respondents Nos. 2 to 9 should be apportioned compensation m respect of 5 Biswas of land out of the acquired area of 6 Bighas 15 Biswas of Khasra No. 2626/1 and the heirs of theoriginal claimant Basant Singh should be entitled to the whole compensation with regard to 4 Bighas 3 Biswas of Khasra Nos. 2622/1 and 2522/2, and the remaining 6 Bighas and 10 Biswas of Khasra No. 2626/1. This compensation shall be calculated at the rate of Rupees 1200 per bigha along with solatium 15 per cent and interest at the rate of 4 per cent from the date of taking of the possession till the date of payment. The final award is ordered to be drawn accordingly.
15. The learned Advocates for the appellants were justified in not pressing the claims on the grounds of injurious affection, value of the standing crop, or compensation for rehabilitation, as there is no evidence in justification of these claims. This appeal is accordingly disposed of. There shall be no order as to costs.