Land Acquisition Officer Vs. R.K. Hanmantanawar & Anr  INSC 1187 (23 September 1996)
O R D
have heard learned counsel on both sides.
under Section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (for short, the 'Act') was
published on April 14, 1977 acquiring an extent of 3 acres 34 gunthas, 1 acre 2
gunthas for extension of Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee, Gadag in Dharwad
District of Karnataka State. The Land Acquisition Officer (LAO) by his award
dated January 23, 1982 determined the compensation at the
rate of Re.0.76 per sq. ft. On reference, the Civil Judge, Gadag in his award
dated November 29, 1982 enhanced the compensation to Rs.
8.50 per sq. ft. On appeal under Section 54, in the impugned judgment dated October 7, 1992 and November 4, 1992 in MFA No. 837/87 and MFA No.1962/87 respectively, the High
Court of Karnataka reduced the compensation to Rs. 7/- per sq. ft. Thus, these
appeals by special leave.
reference Court and the High Court relied on three sale instances of an extent
of 38.4 sq. ft. and 87.35 sq. ft. which worked out at the rate of Rs. 8/- and
Rs. 19.98 per sq. ft; another sale deed of 78 sq. ft. was worked out at the
rate of Rs. 31.25 per sq. ft. The question is whether the principle adopted by
the courts below is correct in law? It is now settled legal position by catena
of decisions of this Court that the civil Court has to sit in the arm chair of
a willing prudent purchaser and put a question to itself and answer whether
such a willing prudent purchaser would offer to purchase in the open market at
the rate Court proposed to determine as compensation. When a total extent of 7
acres and odd is sought to be acquired no prudent purchaser in open market would
offer to purchase the open land on sq. ft. basis that too on the basis of few
small sale transactions and small extents would always fetch higher market
value and the same will never command such price in respect of large extent.
This Court had always rejected such instances as being not comparable sales.
the Civil Judge adopted feats of imagination and determined the compensation on
the basis thereof.
the High Court also fell into the same grave error in determining the
compensation on the same basis but deducted 1/3rd towards developmental
charges. The principle adopted by the courts below is obviously erroneous and,
therefore, it cannot be sustained on that basis. However, when we asked the
learned counsel for the parties to produce the evidence, the appellant has
produced certain documents indicating therein that for the same purpose they
appeared to have negotiated and purchased the properties from others at the
rate of Rs. 9,000/- per acre and registered sale deed came to be executed. They
are produced for the first time.
Kumar, learned counsel for the respondents, contended that the documents were
not places either in the reference Court or in the High Court. He also says
that location of the lands are different. Under these circumstances, we cannot
decide for the first time the value of the land on the basis thereof without
giving an opportunity to either of the parties for adducing evidence and
without consideration thereof by the reference Court.
the awards and decrees of the reference Court and that of the High Court stand
set aside. The cases are remitted to the civil Court for decision afresh after
giving an opportunity to the parties to adduce evidence afresh and then decide
the market value according to law. Pending these appeals since the respondents
have withdrawn the amount as per the interim direction passed by this Court,
the same may not be disturbed and the amount withdraw will be adjusted when the
award was passed by the reference Court.
appeals are accordingly disposed of. The judgment of the High Court to the
extent of awarding additional amount under Section 23(1-A) of the Act stands
set aside since the LAO had made his award before the Amendment act came into
force. No costs.