Dutt Vs. State of Punjab  INSC 992 (21 August 1996)
APPEAL NO. 3724 OF 1990 State of Punjab V. Ramesh Dutt
O R D E R
under Section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 [for short, the
"Act"] was published on October 16,1970 acquiring a large extent of
land admeasuring 180 acres in revenue estate of Bhatinda. The award was made
under Section 11 on March 24,l978. The appellant claimed compensation for the
land and also for loss of business of poultry farm run in the land. The
compensation @ Rs.l0/- per sq.yd.was awarded by the Additional District judge which
was affirmed by the High Court as enhancement thereof was not pressed. Thus, as
far as the quantum of compensation for the land is concerned, the determination
at market value of Rs 10 per sq.ya. has become final.
only question in the appeal of the claimant is:
the claimant would be entitled to compensation for loss of business? As per
clause fourthly of Section 23(1) of the Act, in determining the amount of
compensation to be awarded for the land acquired under the Act, the Court shall
also take into consideration the damages, if any sustained by the person
interested at the time of the Collector's taking possession of the land for
loss of his earnings. The yardstick, therefore, is the compensation for the
loss of business as on the date of taking possession. It is seen, as found by
the reference Court, that the appellant remained in possession upto April 26, 1977 and continued his business.
admitted in the cross-examination by the appellant that he was disposing of the
birds in poultry farm even at the time of his adducing the evidence.
Accordingly, the District Judge recorded the finding thus:
cross-examination he admitted that he started disposing of the birds in the
Poultry Farm and that the acquisition of Poultry Farm could not have made any
difference for the disposal of the broilers, which were otherwise to be
disposed off. According to him, he disposed them of in routine business.
Besides this, the produced on record Exh.PX, copy of the judgment of Shri Saranjit
Singh Greal, District Judge. Roop Nagar, dated 26.4.1977, Exh.P copy of the
Judgment dated 22.9.1975 passed by Shri Shamshad Ali Khan District Judge, Ropar.
These copies of the judgments were produced with view to prove that he is
entitled to compensation on account of loss of business." Having illegally
remained in possession and carried on the business he did not suffer any loss
in earnings. On the other hand, he had reaped the benefits. So he is not
entitled to get further compensation.
High Court obviously was in error in directing payment of compensation for one
year for the dislocation of his business at the rate of Rs.1/- for one month
per bird for 12,000 birds. However, since the State has not questioned this
amount in this appeal and since the connected appeal is confined only to the
additional benefits under the Amendment Act 68 of 1984, we need not disturb the
findings of the learned Single Judge in awarding compensation at that rate,
though we find it illegal. The appeal of the claimant, therefore, merits no
further consideration. It is accordingly dismissed. No costs.
as the State appeal is concerned, in view of the fact that the award of the
Collector is of March 24, 1978, the Amendment Act 68 of 1984 granting solatium
u/s 23(2), additional amount at 12% per annum from the date of the notification
till date of award or taking possession, whichever is earlier under Section
23(1-A) and enhanced interest under Section 28 proviso clearly has no
application. Accordingly, the additional amounts granted stand set aside.
Instead, the award of the District Judge granting solatium @ 15% on enhanced
compensation and interest at 6% on the enhanced compensation from the date of
taking possession till date of deposit stands upheld.
appeal of the State is accordingly allowed. No costs.