& Padmanabha Raju & Ors Vs. The Senior Regional Manager, F.C.I.
Hyderabad & Ors  INSC 1062 (3 September 1996)
K.Ramaswamy, K.Faizan Uddin (J)
O R D
have heard the learned counsel on both sides.
under Section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (for short, the
"Act") was published on March 5, 1983 acquiring 33 acres 84 cents of
land in village Srungavruksham in Bhimavaram Taluk, West Godavati District,
Andhra Pradesh for construction of FCI godowns. The Land Acquisition Officer in
his award made under Section 11 on March 30, 1984 determined compensation at
the rate of Rs.32,500/- per acre for wet land and @ Rs.32,000/- per acre for
dry land. On reference, the subordinate Judge, Bhimavaram enhanced the
compensation to Rs.90,000/- per acre by his award and decree made under Section
26 on December 27, 1988. On appeal, the Division Bench of
the Andhra Pradesh High Court by order dated October 25, 1991 in A.S.Nos.1392,
1393 and 1394/89 set aside the award of the reference Court and confirmed that
of the Land Acquisition Officer. Thus, these appeals by special leave.
the claimants have relied upon voluminous sale transactions running into as
many as 20 sale transactions, Ex.A-1 to A-20 all, except Ex.A-4, are
post-notification sales. So they cannot be relied upon as comparable ones. The
only relevant document in this case is the sale deed, Ex.A-4 dated June 17,
1982 in respect of land admeasuring 5 cents sold for a sum of Rs.7500/-. The reference
court dealing with all the sale transactions granted compensation @ Rs.90,000/-
per acre. When a large extent of land of 33 acres 84 cents is acquired for the
purpose of constructing godowns, no willing prudent purchase the land at the
rate of Rs.90,000/- per acre based on mere a sale deed Ex.A-4 involving 5 cents
of land. The reference Court, therefore, was obviously in gross error in
relying upon that document apart from other documents, in determining the
question then is: what would be the reasonable compensation which the lands
were capable to fetch as on the date of the notification? It is an indisputable
fact that all these lands are agricultural fertile lands situated in West Godavari
District and no prudent vendor would sell even at the depressed price for not
less than Rs.50,000/- per acre. It is brought out to our notice from the
evidence that railway track pass near the acquired land and there is an easy
access to railway station; near the land acquired is also situated a cinema
hall; there are built up areas apart from mango growth around the acquired
land. Under these circumstances, the lands are capable of double crops; being
wet land they cannot be sold at a lesser price. Normally, a prudent seller
would sell and the prudent purchaser would purchase at the rate of not less
than Rs.50,000/- per acre.
from this perspective and going by the above price, we hold that the market
value of the acquired lands would be Rs.50,000/- per acre. The claimants are
entitled to the statutory solatium and interest granted by the reference Court.
As regards the value of the trees, the award of the reference Court has not
been interfered with by the High Court.
appeal is accordingly allowed and the judgment and order of the High Court
stand set aside and the award of the reference Court stands modified. The
claimants are entitled to the compensation at the rate of Rs.50,000/- per acre
with solatium at 30% on the enhanced compensation, interest at 9% from the date
of the taking possession for one year and 15% on enhanced compensation
thereafter till date of deposit in court. The claimants are entitled to 12% per
annum of additional amount from the date of the notification till date of the
award under Section 11.
appeals are accordingly allowed. No costs.