Narain and Anr Vs. Union of India  Insc 122 (28 February 2003)
Raju & Arijit Pasayat
[With C.A. No. 11735 of 1995] ARIJIT PASAYAT,J In these three
appeals, the controversy lies within a very narrow compass relating to the
valuation of lands acquired under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (in short 'the
points in issue are common they are dealt with together. Notifications under
Section 4 of the Act were issued on 13.11.1959 and 15.7.1960 in the two cases.
The acquired lands according to the appellants are situated on the main road
known as the Mall or Delhi
Karnal Road near to
National Highway No.1. They claimed Rs.60 per sq. yard along with interest and solatium.
So far as the acquisitions covered by the Notification dated 13.11.1959 is
concerned, the Land Acquisition Collector divided the acquired land into two
blocks and fixed the market value of land in these blocks separately. As
regards Bagh Nehri land, the rate was fixed at Rs.4,000/- per bigha and Gair Mumkin
land @Rs.3,500/- per bigha in respect of block A. In respect of Block B, he
fixed the market value of garden land @Rs,3,500/- per bigha and for other land
@Rs.3,000/- per bigha. So far as the acquisition relating to Notification dated
15.7.1980 is concerned, the Land Acquisition Collector fixed the compensation
at the flat rate of Rs.3,400/- per bigha.
were made under Section 18 of the Act. In the first case, the reference Court
fixed the compensation at Rs.26,000/- per bigha and in the second case also
similar rate was fixed. Matter was carried in appeals before the Delhi High
Court which by the impugned judgment fixed the compensation @Rs.30,000/- per bigha.
While fixing the value, references were made to several instances of sale
contemporaneous to the period. The High Court felt that the residential plots
and the shop plots had to be sold at different rates and their average was
worked out to fix the compensation. The High Court made reference to the
instances cited by the appellants to hold that they related to smaller plots
and do not provide a reasonable comparison. High Court also made reference to
various data provided by way of evidence and came to conclude that the total plotable
areas cannot be taken into account and only the plotted areas have to be
reckoned. It was hypothetically noted that if the total plotable area was 1000 sq.yds,
plotted area on the basis of materials on record, would come to 637 sq. yds. It
also took note of the development charges, miscellaneous charges on account of
brokerage, administration, interest on investment etc. and worked out the net
price to fix the market value.
Desai, learned senior counsel appearing for the appellants submitted that the
High court erred in not taking note of comparable cases and placed reliance on
instances of sale which cannot be termed to be contemporaneous. With reference
to the location of the acquired land, it was submitted that the market value as
fixed is certainly on the lower side. Judicial notice can be taken note of
rapid upward trend in prices and, therefore, for the subsequent notification,
higher rates were fixed.
contra, Mr. H.L. Agrawala, learned senior counsel appearing for the respondent
submitted that the High Court made detailed analysis of the factual position
and has rightly fixed the market value. There is no material to substantiate
the plea of upward trend in prices.
large area is the subject matter of acquisition, rate at which small plots are
sold cannot be said to be a safe criteria. Reference in this context may be
made to three decisions of this Court in The Collector of Lakhimpur v. Bhuban
Chandra Dutta (AIR 1971 SC 2015), Prithvi Raj Taneja (dead) by Lrs. v. The
State of Madhya Pradesh and Anr. (AIR 1977 SC 1560) and Smt.
Kausalya Devi Bogra and Ors. etc. v. Land Acquisition Officer, Aurangabad and Anr. (AIR 1984 SC 892).
cannot, however, be laid down as an absolute proposition that the rates fixed
for the small plots cannot be the basis for fixation of the rate. For example,
where there is no other material it may in appropriate cases be open to the
adjudicating Court to make comparison of the prices paid for small plots of
land. However, in such cases necessary deductions/adjustments have to be made
while determining the prices.
case of Suresh Kumar v. Town Improvement Trust, Bhopal (1989 (1) SVLR (C) 399)
in a case under the Madhya Pradesh Town Improvement Trust Act, 1960 this Court
held that the rates paid for small parcels of land do not provide a useful
guide for determining the market value of the land acquired. While determining
the market value of the land acquired it has to be correctly determined and
paid so that there is neither unjust enrichment on the part of the acquirer nor
undue deprivation on the part of the owner. It is an accepted principle as laid
down in the case of Vyricherla Narayana Gajapatiraju v. Revenue Divisional
Officer, Vizagapatam (AIR 1939 P.C. 98) that the
compensation must be determined by reference to the price which a willing
vendor might reasonably expect to receive from the willing purchaser. While
considering the market value disinclination of the vendor to part with his land
and the urgent necessity of the purchaser to buy it must alike be disregarded.
Neither must be considered as acting under any compulsion. The value of the
land is not to be estimated as its value to the purchaser. But similarly this
does not mean that the fact that some particular purchaser might desire the
land more than others is to be disregarded. The wish of a particular purchaser,
though not his compulsion may always be taken into consideration for what it is
23 of the Act enumerates the matters to be considered in determining
compensation. The first criteria to be taken into consideration is the market
value of the land on the date of the publication of the notification under
Section 4(1). Similarly, Section 24 of the Act enumerates the matters which the
Court shall not take into consideration in determining the compensation. A
safeguard is provided in Section 25 of the Act that the amount of compensation
to be awarded by the Court shall not be less than the amount awarded by the
Collector under Section 11.
of the potentiality is to be determined on such materials as are available and
without indulgence in any fits of imagination. Impracticability of determining
the potential value is writ large in almost all cases. There is bound to be
some amount of guess work involved while determining the potentiality.
be broadly stated that the element of speculation is reduced to minimum if the
underlying principles of fixation of market value with reference to comparable
sales are made:
sale is within a reasonable time of the date of notification under Section
should be a bona fide transaction;
should be of the land acquired or of the land adjacent to the land acquired;
and (iv) it should possess similar advantages.
only when these factors are present, it can merit a consideration as a
comparable case (See The Special Land Acquisition Officer, Bangalore v. T. Adinarayan Setty (AIR 1959 SC
the aforesaid principles in view we feel that on the basis of the instances
pressed into service by the acquiring authority and the land owner-appellants,
the average can be fixed @ Rs.61.50/- for both the notifications in question by
adopting the extent of plotted area as done by the High Court which appears to
be appropriate in the circumstances of the case. Therefore, the rate per sq.
yard can be fixed @Rs.40/-. Though it was contended that there was marked
variation in price relating to the instances of sale, vis--vis second
notification, it does not appear, on the basis of evidence on record, that the
fluctuation was of very high magnitude. The marginal differences noticed do not
warrant any higher fixation of price. The entitlements of the appellants be
accordingly worked out in addition to statutory entitlements, if any.
appeals are accordingly disposed of. No costs.