Union of India & Ors Vs. Sher Singh
& Anr  INSC 218 (15 April 1995)
O R D
have heard learned counsel on both sides.
appeal by special leave arises from the order dated April 5, 1990 of the Division Bench of the Punjab & Haryana High
Court made in LPA No.444/90. The land of the respondents, along with others,
admeasuring 50.55 acres situated in village Behar Tehsil, Pathankot was
requisitioned and subsequently acquired for defence purposes under the
Requisition and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act, 1952 [for short, the
'Act']. The Land Acquisition Officer had determined the compensation at
Rs.201/- per canal. When an application was made by the respondents under
Section 8 of the Act, the arbitrator in his award dated December 6, 1986 determined the compensation at Rs.1,000/-
per canal. He also awarded solatium @ 30% and interest @ 9% per annum for one
year from the date of taking possession and @ 15% thereafter till date of
deposit. When challenged, the appeal came to be dismissed by the learned single
Judge and affirmed by the Division Bench. Thus this appeal by special leave.
only question that arises for consideration is:
the respondents are entitled to the payment of solatium and interest awarded by
the arbitrator?. This Court in Union of India v. Hari Kishan Khosla [1993 Supp.
2 SCC 149] held that the claimants are not entitled to the solatium and
interest since the Act does not provide for the payment thereof. On the last
occasion when the matter had come up for hearing, this Court passed an order on
March 25, 1996 directing the appellants to produce
the record of K- Form. A letter dated December 19, 1995 has been placed before us by the
learned counsel for the appellants stating that the respondents have not
received the amount under protest nor have they made any application for
appointment of arbitrator within the stipulated period. We need not go into the
question as regards the appointment of the arbitrator for determination of the
compensation against the award of the Land Acquisition Officer since that order
has become final. The only question is: whether the respondents are entitled to
solatium and interest? Learned counsel for the respondents sought to contend
that the Act provides for determination of just compensation. All the three
components form part of the determination of just compensation and that,
therefore, the award passed by the arbitrator does not warrant interference. We
find no force in the contention.
of just compensation is with reference to the value of the land acquired under
the Act. Since the payment of solatium and interest is in addition to the
compensation determined under the Act, this Court in Hari Kishan Khosla's case
[supra] had held that the arbitrator is devoid of jurisdiction to award solatium
and interest. Under these circumstances, the High Court was not right in
upholding payment of solatium and interest.
appeal is allowed to the extent of awareding of solatium and interest and with
respect to determination of compensation @ Rs.1,000/- per canal the order of
the High Court stands upheld. No costs.