& Ors Vs. The State of U.P. & Ors  INSC 483 (30 April 1997)
RAMASWMAY, S. SAGHIR AHMAD, G. B. PATTANAIK
Mr. Justice K. Ramaswamy Hon'ble Mr. Justice S. Saghir Ahmed Hon'ble Mr.
Justice G.B. Pattanaik V.R. Reddy, Additional Solicitor General, Shanti Bhushan,
Raju Ramachandran, A.B. Rohtagi, S.S. Ray, Sr. Advs., Sunil Kr. Jain, J.K.
Bhatia, Sanjeev Anand, A. Suhrawardy, Zaki Ahmad Khan, Shamamma Anis, Manoj Swarup,
Jayant Bhushan, Dheer Singh, Ranjan Mukherjee, J.M. Sharma, S.S.
Ms. Meenakshi Arora, S.S. Tiwari,.,' , Sanjeev Anand, A.K. Goel, S. Markandeya,
Ms. Chitra Markandeya, B. Dayal, M. Aggarwal, (S.K. Sinha) Adv. (NP) , Prashant
Kumar, Advs. with them for the appearing parties.
O R D
E R The following order of the Court was delivered:
4227,4228, 4229-4243, 4244, 4245-48, 4249-50, 4251, 4252, 4253 & 4254 OF
1997 [Arising out of SLP (C) Nos. 14082-92/95, 3619, 1160/96, 27701-15/95,
327/96, 331-34, 336-37, 326, 1510/96, SLP (C) No...... /97 (CC-3695/95) and SLP
(C) No..... /97. (CC- 5753/96)] AND CIVIL APPEAL NOS.7746-48, 7754,8870-9005,
9007-93, 9237- 9258, 9292, 10540-43, 9646-54, 10318-19/950 AND 248-53/97 O R D
E R In case pertaining to the village Dantal, leave confined to the question of
interest, stands revoked.
have heard learned counsel on both sides.
granted in all the matters except where the appeals are already on record.
Notification in respect of the lands of an extent of 235.95 acres of lands situated
in village Quasimpur Nagla Tashi was issued on August 14, 1987 under Section
4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (1 of 1894) (for short, the 'Act') for
planned development of Meerut City. The Land Acquisition officer awarded
compensation. under section 11, on February 22, 1990 at the rate of Rs. 50/- per sq. yard.
On reference under section 18, the Additional District Judge passed the award
and decree dated May
11, 1992 awarding
compensation at the rate of Rs. 240/- per sq. yd.
aggrieved by the said judgment, when the Development Authority and the
Government filed appeals followed by the cross appeals by the claimants, the
High Court in the judgment dated January 12, 1995 reduced the compensation to Rs.
75/- per sq. yard. Thus, these appeals.
respect of the lands situated in Mukarabpur Palhera admeasuring 416.5 acres,
the notification under section 4(1) of the Act was published on February 12, 1980. The Land Acquisition officer in
his award dated January
9, 1988 made a belting
and awarded compensation for the first belt, i.e., land admeasuring 34.46 acres
at the rate of Rs.30/- per sq. yard and for the second belt, i.e., land
admeasuring 368.32 acres, at the rate of Rs. 11.25 per sq. yard. On reference,
Additional District Judge award compensation for the land admeasuring 33.45
acres falling in first belt at the fate of Rs. 70/- per sq. yard by his award
and decree dated May 7, 1990; for the land admeasuring 3.53 acres falling in
second belt at the rate of Rs. 37.50 per sq. yard; and for land admeasuring
16.38 acres of the second belt he awarded compensation at the rate of Rs. 70/-
per sq. yard. In his another award dated December 18, 1991 for the land admeasuring 1.99 acres
covered in the second belt he awarded compensation at the rate of Rs. 100/- per
sq. yard. On appeals, the High court reduced the compensation for the first
belting to Rs.55/- per sq. yard by judgment and decree dated December 20, 1994 and for the second belting at the
rate of Rs. 30/- per sq. yard. With regard to 1.99 acres of land falling in the
second award compensation was reduced to Rs. 65/- per sq. yard by the judgment
dated March 20, 1995.
respect of an extent of 105.23 acres of the land situated in village Dantal,
the notification under section 4(1) of the Act was published on June 11, 1985. Possession was taken on June 16, 1985, of an area of 53.5 acres and
compensation was awarded for 1.03 acre of land in the first belt at the rate of
Rs.37.5/- per sq. yard and for 52.45 acres of land falling in the second belting
at the rate of Rs. 28.13 per sq. yard. On reference, the Additional District
Judge granted compensation by award dated 31.10.1990 for 4.94 acres of land of
the first belt at the rate of Rs. 75/- per sq. yard and for 20.85 acres of land
of the second belt, at the rate of Rs.70/- per sq. yard by award dated August 28, 1991. By another award of the same date,
for the second belt area of 9.66 acres, compensation was awarded at the rate of
Rs.70\- per sq. yard. For the second belt area of 29.81 acres, by the award
dated January 8, 1991 compensation was awarded at the
rate of Rs. 70/- per sq. yard. For small portion of the second belt area of
admeasuring 2.45 acres compensation at the rate of Rs. 56.25 per sq. yard was
awarded by award dated 31.10.1990. On appeal, the High Court has reduced the
compensation to Rs.70/- per sq. yard in respect of 48.44 acres by the judgment
dated February 12, 1995. Thus, these appeals by special
have heard learned counsel on both sides.
have perused the map produced before us and also the sale deeds filed by the
parties and their location as well as the award of the reference court made
pursuant to the notification published on April 5, 1980 for acquiring the similar lands for
laying the Grand Turnk by-pass Road. The reference Court awarded compensation
at the rate of Rs.
per sq. yard which had become final. From this factual matrix, the question
that arises for consideration is:
the determination of the market value by the reference Court as well as the High
Court is vitiated by any error of law and whether the appellants are entitled
to higher compensation ? it is seen that the lands in all the village are
abutting the national highway and are situated on either side of the National
highway and are situated on either side of the National Highway. Some of the lands are in between the developed Meerut
Cantonment and the National highway and some of the lands are on the either
side of the National highway but at a closer proximity to the lands abutting
the National highway. In view of this proximity of the lands of the developed
area, the question arises: as to what would be the reasonable market value of
the lands in question? Shri Shanti Bhushan, learned senior counsel, relied on
the sale deeds which were filed in the reference Court but none connected with
them was examined. Though the certified copies are admissible under section
51-A, examination of either vendor or vendee is mandatory. So, they are
inadmissible in evidence. However, the award of compensation at the rate of
Rs.70/- per sq. yard having become final, would form the basis to the compensation
. In view of the gradual rise in prices, reasonable approximation . in view of
the gradual rise in prises, reasonable approximation may be made. Though, it
involves an amount of cost for developments, reasonable approximation should be
made which, according to the appellants, it would be Rs. 240/- per sq. yard as
determined by the reference Court. This was determined after deducting
developmental charges. The High Court, therefore, is wrong in reducing the
compensation from Rs. 240\- to Rs.75/- per sq. yard.
S.S. Ray, learned senior counsel and Shri V.R. Reddy, learned Additional
solicitor General, on the other hand, contended that the Meerut Development
Authority filed an application under order XLI, Rule 27, CPC to take certain
documents on record which are, admittedly negotiated rules in respect of the
lands covered under the notification dated April 5, 1980 for extension of
by-pass Grand Trunk Road.
the parties by negotiation had agreed to sell their lands at the rate of Rs.
32.25 per sq. yard. That would form the basis. Though, in law they cannot go
behind the award of Rs.50/- per sq. yard further enhancement is not warranted
on the basis of the above unimpeachable evidence.
High court, therefore, is wrong in determining the compensation at the rate of
Rs.75/- per sq. yard. Shri S.S. Ray further contended that the lands are
situated in different village and near different fertility and are, therefore,
not capable of securing the same market value.
reference court, though adopted the belting system did not properly consider
the fixation of the market value on the rational basis. In the absence of
adduction of evidence either of the vendor or of the vendee, sale deeds cannot
be looked into. The Land Acquisition officer considered unimpeachable evidence
and his award can be looked into. Necessarily, the award there was no need to
increase further enhance the compensation.
Ramachandran, learned senior counsel appearing for the claimants in Mukarabpur Palhera,
contends that though the notification is dated February 12, 1980, necessarily,
there is a rise in prices and the reference court was not right in making the
belting and fixing the compensation at Rs.70/- and Rs.37.50 per sq. yard etc.
The High Court also committed same error of law. The learned counsel appearing
for the claimants from the village Dantal, contended that the lands are
situated in between the development Meerut cantonment area and the by-pass road possessed of high potentiality for
immediate use as building purpose. The fixation of the market value by the High
Court and the reference Court, therefore, is wrong in law.
regard to the respective contentions, the question that arises for
consideration is: whether the determination of the compensation by the
reference Court and the high court is correct in law? It is settled legal
position that the Court, while determining the compensation must sit in the arm
chair of a willing and prudent vendee and put a question whether the market
value sought to be determined would be capable to fetch the price that hypothitic
he should determine just and adequate compensation for the land acquired. Since
none connected with the sale deeds was examined, the sale deeds are
inadmissible in evidence though certified copies marked under Section 51-A are
available. So, all the sale deeds stands excluded. It is the duty of the Court
to take all the relevant factors into account before determination of the
compensation. Applying the above acid test, in view of the paucity of evidence,
instead of remitting the matter to the reference Court and prolonging the agony
of the claimants, we thinks that the appropriate course would be to base the
award of the reference court in respect of the notification dated April 5, 1980
in which the compensation was determined at the rate of Rs.70/- per sq. yard
and which has become final, That would form the foundation and base to
determine the compensation treating that area as a block. That was determined
after giving necessary deductions towards developmental charges, as required
under law. The belting in this case is not reasonable for the entire lands are
situated in well defined and developed blocks. The lands are possessed of
immediate potential value as building sites. Having regard to that base, the
question is: whether the claimants are entitled to higher compensation then was
determined? In view of the fact that Meerut City is a fast growing industrial and
commercial city and in many a part it is already developed area, there is
pressure on the land for the developmental activities, viz. for building and
commercial purposes. In fact , under these circumstances, we think that we
should take into account reasonable rise in prices, particularly in view of the
gap of several years, we think that the approximate net market value would be Rs.
175/- per sq. yard after giving deduction for developmental charges for the
lands situated in Quasimpur Nagla Tashi and the claimants are entitled to the solatium
at 30% on enhanced compensation. They are also entitled to interest at the rate
of 95 per annum of one year and 15% per annum on enhanced compensation from the
date of the taking possession till date of deposit in the court.
case the land owners are still in possession, they are not entitled to the
payment of the interest. similarly, they are entitled to additional amount
under section 23(1- A) from the date of the notification till date of the award
or date of the taking possession, whichever is earlier.
appeal of claimants in respect of the aforesaid village stands disposed of. The
judgment and decree of the High Court stand set aside. The judgment and decree
of the reference Court stand modified accordingly.
respect of the Mukarabpur Palhera, it is seen that the notification is dated July 12, 1980. In view of the fact that this land
also is in very close proximity to the developed Meerut city and the lands also
were possessed of potential value for building purposes as on the date of the
notification, we think that approximate market value would be Rs.85/- per sq.
yard. The claimants are entitled to solatium on the enhanced compensation at
the rate of Rs.
They are also entitled to interest in case the possession was delivered by them
with effect from the date of taking possession for one year at 9% and
thereafter at the rate of 15% till the date of the deposit in the Court.
possession was not so taken, no interest is payable .
are also entitled to additional amount at 12% per annum under section 23(1-A)
till date of passing of the award. Equally, in Dantal village, the lands are
situated very close to the developed Meerut city and they also possessed of same potential value as other areas on
the date of the notification. Therefore, they are entitled to compensation at
the rate of Rs.85/- per sq. yard. They are entitled to solatium at the rate of
30% in case delivery of the possession had taken place; in fact possession was
taken in respect of the extent of 53.5 acres. The claimants are entitled to the
interest at the rate of 9% form June 16, 1985 for one year and at the rate of 15% thereafter till date of
deposit. They are entitled to additional amount under Section 23(1) from the
date of notification till date of passing of the award or delivery of the
possession at the rate of 12% per annum, whichever is earlier.
appeals are, accordingly allowed. The judgment of the High Court stands set
aside. The award and decree of the reference Court in respect of villages stand
modified. In view of the facts and circumstance of the case , parties are
directed to bear their own costs. If the amount has already been deposited as
per the award of the reference Court to the extent of variation, the Meerut
Development Authority is entitled to restitution. It is open to the Meerut
Development Authority to enforce the award for seeking restitution. In view of
the increase in the case of valuation of the lands, necessarily, enhanced
compensation would from a component for charging the said amount from the
purchaser in respect of the respective plots or buildings, as the case may be,
towards the developmental expenses.