The Kerala State
Electricity Board Vs. B. Sreekumari  INSC 483 (14 March 2008)
Dr. Arijit Pasayat & P.
CIVIL APPEAL No 1994 OF 2008 (Arising out of SLP (C ) No. 14309 of 2006) Dr.
ARIJIT PASAYAT, J 1. Leave granted.
2. Challenge in this appeal is to the judgment of a learned Single Judge of
the Kerala High Court dismissing the Civil Revision Petition filed by the
appellant-the Kerala State Electricity Board (in short the 'Board'). Challenge
in the Civil Revision was to the order passed by Learned Additional District
No. 1 Mavelikara granting the enhanced compensation for alleged loss suffered
by the respondent (hereinafter referred to as the 'claimant') on account of
drawal of electricity line over her property. The dispute related to the compensation
awarded for diminution in land value and the grant of interest.
Relying on a full Bench decision on a Kerala High Court in Kumba Amma v.
K.S.E.B. [2002 (1) KLT 542], the High Court dismissed the Civil Revision
3. In support of the appeal learned counsel for the appellant-Board
submitted that the High Court's judgment is clearly unsustainable as the Full
Bench decision in Kamba Amma's case (supra) was set aside by this court in The
Kerala State Electricity Board v. Livisha etc. etc.[2007(6) SCC 792] by the
common judgment in Civil Appeal No. 289 of 2006 and other Civil Appeals. This
Court set aside the impugned order in each case and remitted the matter back to
the High Court for a fresh consideration. It was inter-alia observed as follows:
"10. The situs of the land, the distance between the high voltage
electricity line laid thereover, the extent of the line thereon as also the
fact as to whether the high voltage line passes over a small tract of land or
through the middle of the land and other similar relevant factors in our
opinion would be determinative. The value of the land would also be a relevant
factor. The owner of the land furthermore, in a given situation may lose his
substantive right to use the property for the purpose for which the same was
meant to be used.
11. So far as the compensation in relation to fruit-bearing trees are
concerned the same would also depend upon the facts and circumstances of each
case. We may, incidentally, refer to a recent decision of this Court in Land
Acquisition Officer v. Kamadana Ramakrishna Rao5 wherein claim on yield basis
has been held to be relevant for determining the amount of compensation payable
under the Land Acquisition Act; same principle has been reiterated in Kapur
Singh Mistri v.
Financial Commr. & Revenue Secy. to Govt. of Punjab6, State of Haryana
v. Gurcharan Singh7, para 4 and Airports Authority of India v.
Satyagopal Roy8. In Airports Authority8 it was held: (SCC p. 533, para 14)
"14. Hence, in our view, there was no reason for the High Court not to
follow the decision rendered by this Court in Gurcharan Singh case7 and
determine the compensation payable to the respondents on the basis of the yield
from the trees by applying 8 years' multiplier. In this view of the matter, in our
view, the High Court committed error apparent in awarding compensation adopting
the multiplier of 18."
12. We are, therefore, of the opinion that the High Court should consider
the matter afresh on the merit of each matter having regard to the fact situation
obtaining therein. The impugned judgments, therefore, cannot be sustained.
These are set aside accordingly. The matters are remitted to the High Court for
consideration thereon afresh. The appeals are allowed. In the facts and
circumstances of the case, there shall be no order as to costs.
4. There is no appearance on behalf of the respondent though notice has been
5. Following the view expressed by this Court in the decision referred to
above, we set aside the impugned order of the High Court and remit the matter
to it for fresh consideration keeping in view the principles set out in the
decision referred to above.
6. The appeal is allowed without any order as to costs.