Kundanmal Vs. The State  INSC 327 (25 July 1995)
K. Ramaswamy, K. Paripoornan, K.S.(J)
1995 AIR 2396 1995 SCC (5) 336 1995 SCALE (4)701
APPEL NOS. 399-400 OF 1973 ORDER These appeals are by certificate of fitness
granted by the High Court under Article 133(1) of the Constitution of India.
Notification under s.4(1) of Land Acquisition Act. 1894(for short, "the
Act") was published on October 15, 1959 acquiring 10 acres and 12 gunthas
of land situated in Jamnagar for the establishment under development of T.B.
Hospital. The appellants laid a claim pursuant to the rate of Rs. 1,08,898/-
per acre. The Land Acquisition officer in his award dated July 18, 1962 under s.11 awarded a sum of Rs.2,500/-
per acre. Dissatisfied therewith, a Reference to the Civil Judge senior
division was made under s.18 of the Act. The appellants restricted their claim
to Rs.2.00 per sq. ft. The Civil Court
enhanced the compensation to Rs. 1.25 per sq. ft. The High Court in the
impugned judgment in the First Appeal Nos. 521 and 519 of 1963 dated 28.7.72
set aside the award and decree of the Reference Court and confirmed that of the Collector. Since the value
involved is more than 20,000/- the High Court granted a certificate.
learned counsel for the appellants strenuously contended that Ex.39 dated August 8, 1959 to an extent of 5016 sq. ft. land
was sold by Jaisukhlal Devji who was examined under Ex. 32, for a sum worked
out at the rate of Rs.2.25 per sq. ft. and the High Court was not justified in
rejecting that sale deed. In addition, he also placed reliance on Ex. 38 dated December 6, 1959 of Rs. 2,700/- which worked out at
the rate of Rs.2.88 per sq. ft. proved through Lawshankar Monucha Manilal
examined under Ex. 28 who is the son of the vendee. It would also establish,
according to the counsel, that there is a further increase in the value of the
land. He also buttressed his argument by reference to Ex. 41 dated July 12, 1990 under which 1200 sq. ft. was sold
by Vijaykunvarba who was examined as Ex. 176 a neighbouring land. The High
Court therefore, was not justified in reversing the award and decree of the Civil Court . We find no force in the
settled law that the claimants like plaintiffs are entitled to succeed for
higher compensation only on proof of value prevailing as on the date of
is the prevailing market value as on the date of notification is a question of
fact to be proved by adducing evidence. Burden is always on him to prove the
same. It is seen that the appellant himself purchased the land in 1957 at the
rate of Rs.190 per acre. The land adjacent to the land under acquisition in s.No.
225-I admeasuring 8 acres 39 gunthas was purchased by one Umiyashankar Damodar Vyas
under Ex. 55 on August
25, 1960 at the rate
of 568 per acre. Ex.39 strongly relied upon by the claimants was executed just
two months prior to the date of the Notification. It is common knowledge that
issuance of Notification under s.4(1) to intiate acquisition would take
considerable time and the publecation of the NOtification under s.4(1) of the
Act would be made much later on. Having had knowledge, it would be obvious that
documents would be brought into existence to inflate the market value. Ex. 39
was sought to be pressed into service to inflate the market value. The
conclusion of the High Court is that no attempt was made by the claimant or the
vendor or vendee who were examined, to prove Ex.p.39 to prove the distance of the
land covered in Ex.p-39 and the land under acquisition or as a comparable sale.
We have seen the award of the Collector. All the sales referred in the award
would only show the sales on acrage basis. Obviously the documents have been
brought into existence on the basis of the sq. ft. to inflate higher market
value. The property of 10 acres and 12 gunthas , when offered for sale in the
open market, no prudent purchaser would be willing to purchase the same on sq.
ft. basis. If the small extent of land in a commercial area, like Nariman point
in Bombay or Connaught Place in Delhi is sought to be acquired, perhaps,
determination of the compensation on the basis of the sq. ft. may be justified.
But when the claimant himself assessed the market value at Rs. 190/- per acre
and purchased in 1957 and when in 1960 the 8 acres and 39 gunthas of nighbouring
land was sold for Rs. 568/- per acre, no prudent purchaser would offer to
purchase on square foot basis. This Court in a catena of decisions deprecated
the practice of the reference courts or High Court to determine market value of
the lands on sq.ft. basis unless it is established as a fact that the acquired
lands are situated in already highly developed residential and industrial area
where regular sales are on sq.ft. basis. The High Court also has given cogent
and well considered reasons in not accepting the award and decree of the Reference Court. We have carefully gone through the
judgment and we find no compelling reasons to differ from the cogent reasons
given by the High Court.
the appeals are dismissed but in the circumstances without costs.