Ors. Vs. State of U.P. & ANR.  INSC 1231 (16 July 2009)
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NOS.6230-6251
OF 2002 Satish & Ors. ... Appellants Versus State of U.P. & Ors. ...
Civil Appeal Nos.6300, 6301-6321, and 6253-6299 of 2002
These appeals, involving similar questions of fact and law, were
taken up for hearing together and are being disposed of by this common
National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd. is a Public Sector
Undertaking and is engaged, inter alia, in generation of electricity. With an
intention to set up a thermal power plant at Sarna, Murad Nagar, District 2
Ghaziabad in the State of Uttar Pradesh and nearby villages, a requisition was
sent to the Collector of the District for the purpose of acquisition of some
lands belonging to the appellant herein. Pursuant to or in furtherance of the
said requisition and having regard to the fact that setting up of a thermal
power plant was to be treated to be a public purpose within the meaning of
provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereinafter called and referred
to for the sake of brevity as `the Act'), the State of Uttar Pradesh (the
State) on or about 6.9.1984 issued a notification in terms of Section 4
The lands in question are situated in villages Sarna, Khurrampur,
Sultanpur, Jalalpur and Mohiuddinpur. Herein, we are concerned with the lands
situated in village Sarna only.
notification was published in the official Gazette on 8.9.1984. Keeping in view
the fact that generation of electricity was of urgent and imminent need, a
notification under Section 6 read with Section 17(1) and 17(4) of the Act was
also issued by the State on 26.9.1984. The said notification was published in
the Gazette published by the State of Uttar Pradesh on 29.9.1984.
Notices were issued to the claimants for settlement of their
claims in terms of Section 9 of the Act on 27.10.1984. 80% of the amount of
compensation, as provided for under Section 17(3A) of the Act, as determined,
was also paid to the appellants by way of advance.
of the said lands in question was taken on 16.11.1984.
Collector made an award on or about 24.9.1986.
in question were classified in two categories, namely, `Dakar Doyat Khaki' and
`Dakar Doyat Aabi' purported to be having regard to the nature thereof as also
the extent of fertility.
the Collector, a large number of sale deeds in respect of the lands situated in
the said village and/or neighbouring village were produced.
number of sale deeds were kept outside the purview of consideration by the Land
Acquisition Collector for the purpose of making the award on the premise that
the consideration therefor had been paid in terms of square yards of land and,
thus, the rate would be on higher side.
The Collector took into consideration 29 deeds of sale in respect
of the areas which were within the Murad Nagar Municipality on the premise 4
that they were more useful and the rate being on the higher side, the same
should also be kept out of consideration.
into consideration only five deeds of sale being No.34, 254, 480, 629 and 635.
Out of the said five sale deeds, three deeds of sale being No.480, 629 and 635
were again kept outside the purview of consideration having regard to the
distance factor as also the fact that the lands under the said deeds were
situated on the other side of the village. So far as sale deed No.34 is
concerned, the Collector was of the opinion that the amount of consideration
stated therein was deliberately kept low to avoid stamp duty.
He took into consideration a deed of sale which was executed on
27.7.1982, i.e., two years prior to the issuance of notification under Section
4 of the Act being sale deed No.254 in respect of Khasra No.1354 and 1355.
Yet again, on the premise that the lands were very close to the
area of municipality and it was sold at a very low rate, the same also had not
been taken into consideration. The only deed of sale which was, thus,
considered for the purpose of determination of the amount of compensation was
sale deed No.423. It was executed on 2.6.1983. The land transferred by reason
thereof admeasured 1 Biswas, 9 Biswansi and 15 Kachhwansi pertaining to Khasra
No.1054 and 1064. The amount of consideration for the said lands 5 was shown as
Rs.13,500/-, wrongly stated in the award as Rs.1,35,000/-.
alia, on the premise that the deed of sale was executed in respect of a piece
of land which was situated outside the municipal area, the market value
therefor was calculated at Rs.1,81,512.60 per bigha, the circle rate wherefor
was to be Rs.9.62 p. Although it was held that the lands under the said deed
were similar to the acquired lands but according to the Collector, the circle
rate should be determined for `Dakar Doyat Khaki lands at Rs.3.19p. and for
`Dakar Doyat Aabi' lands at Rs.4.37 p., the amount of compensation on the said
basis was determined as Rs.60,189.72 p. per bigha for the former category and
Rs.82,454.20 p. per bigha for the latter.
amount of compensation for the land in question was determined at
Rs.64,59,429.63 p. on that basis.
above the said amount of compensation, other sums as were admissible in law
were also granted which is in the following term :
Amount of Compensation Rs.64,59,429.63
tree etc. Rs. 21,005.00
additional from 8.9.84 i.e. from the date of notification till the date of
possession i.e. on 16.11.84 Rs. 1,46,531.69 6
of Interest Rs. 4,10,740.06 Total : Rs.89,81,836.77"
Appellants filed applications before the Collector for reference
to the District Judge in terms of Section 18 of the Act. Reference Cases were
considered by the Reference Court in two bunches, i.e., (1) Baljit's Bunch;
In the first group consisting of 22 cases, compensation at the
rate of Rs.115/- per square yards was awarded as market value of the acquired
land irrespective of quality of land recorded in the revenue record. In the
second group of references consisting of 25 cases, however, the amount of
compensation was determined at the rate of Rs.155/- per square yard.
In the first award upon consideration of the oral evidence adduced
by the parties, it was opined :
from this statement it is clear that village Sarna and town Murad Nagar are not
furthermore held that in view of the fact that Muradnagar is situated on one
side of the road and village Sarna is situated on the other, the administrative
distinction that whereas village Sarna was administratively 7 being controlled
by Gaon Sabha and Muradnagar was being administratively controlled by Nagar
Palika (Municipalty) was held to be not a relevant factor. With regard to the
categorization of land, it was held :
this situation in mind, the belting system even on the basis of quality of land
will be relevant. In Indra Singh & Ors. V. Union of India [JT 1993 SC page
653], D.B. Belting system under these circumstances has been proper. But in the
present case there is no such evidence from the side of the State or NTPC that
some land is likely to be used as commercial complex on the best quality."
learned Judge, having regard to the Khasra records and maps opined that
Sarna-Muradnagar is a composite name written on all the revenue papers and,
thus, the acquired land must be treated to be an adjoining land covered by the
sale deed dated 31.5.1983 in terms whereof the market rate was worked out to be
Rs.155/- per square yard. For determining the amount of compensation, however,
although, the reference court referred to a decision of this Court in Hindustan
Oil Mills Ltd. v.
Deputy Collector (Land Acquisition) [AIR 1990 SC 731] stating that the value of
the land doubles in five years but opined that increase at the rate of 10% per
year only should be allowed. The rate, therefore, according to the learned
Judge, could be calculated at the rate of Rs.170/- per square yard.
However, having regard to the fact that the said sale deed related to a small
area, a deduction of 30% was made therefrom in terms whereof the amount of
compensation came to Rs.119/- per square yard. It is on that basis that the
compensation at the rate of Rs.115/- per square yard was arrived at.
In the second reference, however, the learned Judge placed
reliance on a sale deed dated 3.9.1984 involving 50 square yards of land which
was sold for a consideration of Rs.10,327/-. The said deed of sale was executed
on the basis of an agreement of sale entered into by and between the parties in
the year 1981. 10% increase was added thereto so as to hold that the market value
of the land was Rs.228/- per square yard. However, therefrom 30% was deducted
keeping in view that the area was small as a result whereof the calculation of
the market value was determined at Rs.160/- per square yard and on that basis,
according to the learned Judge, compensation at the rate of Rs.155/- per square
yard would be sufficient.
Aggrieved by and dissatisfied with the said judgment, only NTPC
preferred appeals before the High Court. The landholders did not. The High
Court, however, opined that the Collector rightly placed reliance on the deed
of sale dated 2.6.1983 as the other sale deeds were executed in respect of the
lands which were measured in terms of square yards only. It was held that if 9
an increase of 10% per year is added to the rate at which the land was sold,
the net rate shall be Rs.63.92 per square yard, i.e., Rs.64 per square yard (in
the round figure).
Appellants are, thus, before us.
We may place on record that although the NTPC had also preferred
appeals, its contention only is that the compensation payable should have been
calculated at the rate of Rs.60 per square yard. However, the said appeals were
not pressed before us.
Mr. Ranjeet Kumar, learned senior counsel appearing in CA
Nos.6230-6321 of 2002 and Mr. Kailash Vasdev, learned senior counsel appearing
on behalf of the appellant in CA Nos.6301-6321 of 2002 would contend :
High Court committed a serious error in passing the impugned judgment in so far
as it failed to take into consideration that even the sale deed dated 2.6.1983
was in respect of 1 Bigha, 9 biswansi and 15 Kachhwansi of land which would
come to Rs.331/- per square yard and there is no reason as to why the sale deed
in respect of 190 square 10 yards of land could not have been taken into
consideration as both the said deeds involved transfer of small portions of
amount of compensation must be determined on the concept of a value which a
free seller would receive from a free buyer and in that view of the matter as
some of the land owners have small holdings, there was absolutely no reason as
to why both the deeds of sale could not have been taken into consideration for
the purpose of arriving at a correct amount of compensation.
fact that the High Court itself granted compensation in respect of the lands on
square yards basis, it could not have upheld the awards of the Collector as it
had rejected the said method.
High Court could not have refused to consider the deed of sale only relying on
or on the basis of the decision of this Court in A.P. State Road Transport
Corporation, Hyderabad, represented by Managing Director v. P. Venkaiah &
Ors. [(1997) 10 SCC 128] as the said judgment was overruled by this Court in
Land Acquisition Officer & Mandal Revenue Officer v. V. Narasaiah [(2001) 3
SCC 530] which view was reiterated in Cement Corporation of India Ltd. v. Purya
& Ors. [(2004) 8 SCC 270]. Refusal on the part of the courts 11 below to
consider the deeds of sale produced before the Collector and consequentially
before the High Court cannot be held to be correct in view of Section 51A of
the Land Acquisition Act and Section 90A of the Indian Evidence Act as amended
by the State of Uttar Pradesh.
directives issued by the State of Uttar Pradesh that the sale deed involving
the highest consideration should be taken into consideration having not been
followed by the Collector, he must be held to be guilty of administrative
discipline. The sale deed of the year 1983 having admittedly been executed in
terms of an agreement for sale executed in the year 1981, the amount of
consideration should have been enhanced keeping in view the development of land
which was expected in three years and not one year.
Mr. Rakesh Dwivedi, learned senior counsel appearing on behalf of
the respondent, on the other hand, supported the judgment of the High Court
High Court has rightly relied upon the sale deed dated 3.5.1984 in view of the
fact that the consideration mentioned therein took into consideration all
relevant criterias including its building potentiality as 12 has been held by
this Court in Rao Narain Singh (Dead) by LRs. V. Union of India [(1993) 3 SCC
Reference Court having committed a serious error in relying upon the deeds of
sale which had been rejected by the Collector as no reason in support thereof
was assigned, the High Court has rightly placed reliance on the said deed of
sale, particularly, where some amount of guess work in fixing the quantum of
compensation is legally permissible as has been held by this Court in Viluben
Jhalejar Contractor (Dead) by LRs. V. State of Gujarat [(2005) 4 SCC 789].
land under acquisition being within the administrative jurisdiction of Gaon
Sabha, the same could not have been considered to be similarly situated as the
lands within a municipal area for the purpose of arriving at the market value
of the acquired lands.
administrative circular issued by the State of Uttar Pradesh would be
applicable only when the reliance is placed on a sale deed which is comparable
with the lands under acquisition and not otherwise.
judgment of the reference court must be held to be suffering from a legal
infirmity as in two different awards, two different yardsticks 13 for
calculating the amount of compensation, namely, Rs.115/- per square yard and
Rs.155/- per square yard respectively had been taken in two different bunch of
At the outset, it must be noticed that the learned Reference Judge
as also the High Court refused to take into consideration a large number of
deeds of sale relying on or on the basis of a decision of this Court in P. Venkaiah
51A of the Land Acquisition Act construction of which fell for consideration
before this Court therein reads as under :
Acceptance of certified copy as evidence.
proceeding under this Act, a certified copy of a document registered under the
Registration Act, 1908 (16 of 1908), including a copy given under section 57 of
that Act, may be accepted as evidence of the transaction recorded in such
Court in P. Venkaiah (supra) opined that in absence of any evidence adduced on
behalf of the claimants that the amount of consideration mentioned in respect
of deeds of sale are correct either by examining the vendor or the vendee, the
documents per se cannot be relied upon.
said ratio was reiterated by this Court in State of Bihar v.
Prasad [(1996) 6 SCC 197] and A.P. State Road Trnsport Corporation, Hyderabad,
represented by Managing Director v. P. Venkaiah & Ors. [(1997) 10 SCC 128].
of the aforementioned proposition of law, however, was doubted.
different view was taken in Land Acquisition Officer & Mandal v. V.
Narsaiah [(2001) 3 SCC 530]. Noticing the conflict between two three Judge
Benches' decision of this Court, the matter was referred to a Constitution
A Constitution Bench of this Court in Cement Corporation of India
v. Purya & Ors. [(2004) 8 SCC 270] opined that by reason of the insertion
of Section 51A, the Parliament merely enabled a party to get over the problem,
namely calling for the original from the vendor or the vendee and proving the
same and, thus, the decision of this Court in Special Deputy Collector & Anr.
v. Kurra Sambasiva Rao & Ors. [(1997) 6 SCC 41] was held to be not laying
down the correct proposition of law, holding :
From the above, it is seen that till the judgment of the three Judge Bench in
Narasaiah's 15 case (supra), the consensus of judicial opinion was that Section
51A was enacted for the limited purpose of enabling a party to produce
certified copy of a registered sale transaction in evidence only and for
proving the contents of the said document the parties had to lead oral evidence
as contemplated in the Evidence Act.
A careful perusal of the judgment in Kurra Sambasiva Rao's case
and other cases which fall in line with the said view discloses that they
proceeded on the basis that prior to the insertion of Section 51A in the LA
Act, the Evidence Act did not permit the production of a certified copy of the
registered sale transaction in evidence. Therefore, by the insertion of Section
51A the legislature merely enabled a party to get over that problem.
according to the said judgments, the party concerned had to prove the contents
of the document by adducing oral evidence separately to prove the contents of
The above view of the Court in Kurra Sambasiva Rao's case, in our
opinion, is not the correct position in law. Even prior to the insertion of
Section 51A of the Act the provisions of the Evidence Act and the Registration Act did permit the production of a certified copy in evidence.
This has been clearly noticed in the judgment in Narsaiah's case wherein the
court relying on Sections 64 and 65(f) of the Evidence Act read with Section
57(5) of the Registration Act held that
production of a certified copy of a registered sale document in evidence was
permissible in law even prior to insertion of Section 51A in the LA Act.
We are in
agreement with the said view expressed by this Court in Narasaiah's case."
Constitution Bench, thus, laid down the law that for praying a certified copy
of a registered deed of sale, the vendor and vendee thereof need not be examined.
the aforementioned backdrop, the Court opined that Section 51A of the Act seeks
to make an exception to proof of document through primary and secondary
evidence stating that in the acquisition proceedings, sale deeds are required
to be brought on record for the purpose of determining market value payable to
the owner of the land when it is sought to be acquired. It was held :
A registered document in terms of Section 51A of the Act may carry therewith a
presumption of genuineness. Such a presumption, therefore, is rebuttable.
Raising a presumption, therefore, does not amount to proof; it only shifts the
burden of proof against whom the presumption operates for disproving it. Only
if the presumption is not rebutted by discharging the burden, the court may act
on the basis of such presumption. Even when in terms of the Evidence Act a
provision has been made that the court shall presume a fact, the same by itself
would not be irrebuttable or conclusive.
genuineness of a transaction can always fall for adjudication, if any question
is raised in this behalf."
Constitution Bench held that a presumption as to the genuineness of the
contents of the document has to be raised and, thus, reliance can be placed
thereon unless it is rebutted by other evidence.
from Section 51A of the Act, we may notice that State of Uttar Pradesh, inter
alia, has inserted Section 90A in the Evidence Act which reads as under :
Where any registered document or a duly certified copy thereof or any certified
copy of a document which is part of the record of a Court of justice, is
produced from any custody which the Court in the particular case considers
proper, the Court may presume that the original was executed by the person by
whom it purports to have been executed.
presumption shall not be made in respect of any document which is the basis of
a suit or of defence or is relied upon in the plaint or written statement."
This legal position, thus, being neither in doubt nor dispute, all
the deeds of sale which have been brought on record subject to the
applicability thereof, therefore, in our opinion should have been taken into
`State' in acquiring land of another State or a private person exercises its
power of Eminent Domain which envisages that expropriation 18 of one's property
is permissible if it is in public interest and a reasonable amount of
compensation as provided for in a statute is paid to the owner thereof.
in view the aforementioned principle in mind, the provisions of Section 23 of
the Land Acquisition Act laying down the factors enumerated therein must be
taken into consideration. The first factor which the Parliament mandates to be
relevant therefor is the market value of the land at the date of publication of
the notification under Section 4 sub-section (1). Market value of a land would,
inter alia, mean a free seller of a land would transfer his right in the property
to a free buyer. It is only for the aforementioned purposes, deeds of sale or
other transfers made in respect of similar types of land in the surrounding
areas assume significance.
For determination of the amount of compensation in terms of
Section 23 of the Act, the methods of valuation which can be adopted for
ascertaining market value are - (1) opinion of experts; (2) the price paid
within a reasonable time in bona fide transactions of purchase of the lands
acquired or the lands adjacent to the lands acquired and possessing similar
advantages; and (3) number of years purchase of the actual or immediately
prospective profits of the lands acquired.
While adopting the second method, the transactions which are
relevant, thus, are required to be taken into consideration. The Collector, the
Reference Judge or the High Court without assigning appropriate reasons would
not be entitled to discard one deed of sale and rely upon the other. It must be
done on some legal principle, rationality and cogent reasons.
Some other factors which are relevant for determination of the
amount of compensation are - the nature and quality of land, whether irrigated
or unirrigated, facilities for irrigation, presence of fruit bearing trees,
location of the land, closeness to any road or highway, evenness of the land,
existence of any building or structure and a host of other factors bearing on
the valuation of the land.
The claimant made a claim of Rs.160/- per square yard in one bunch
of cases and Rs.200/- per square yards in the other bunch. Before the learned
District Judge, the first bunch of cases, as many as 22 deeds of sale were
taken into consideration. The question is as to whether the acquired land had
any building potentiality. Upon consideration of various deeds of sale
including the one dated 31.5.1983 involving 192= square yards, it was opined
that the valuation thereof would be Rs.155/- per square yard. For arriving at
the aforementioned figure, the learned Reference Judge took into 20 consideration
a circular letter issued by the State of Uttar Pradesh itself directing that
the Land Acquisition Officers "that the highest sale deed should be made
as the basis for determination of the market value".
was also placed on a decision of this Court in Hindustan Oil Mills Ltd. &
Anr. v. Special Deputy Collector (Land Acquisition) [AIR 1990 SC 731] wherein
it has been held that the value of the land doubles in five years to opine that
the increase of 20% per year is a normal phenomenon.
the Land Acquisition Judge give only 10% increase per year for the
However, in the second bunch of cases while taking into
consideration 25 deeds of sale, the learned Land Acquisition Judge took into
consideration the deed of sale dated 3.9.1984 involving 50 yards of land
wherefor the amount of compensation fixed was Rs.10,327/-, i.e., Rs.206.50 p.
per square yard. The Court, however, notice that in respect of the said sale
deed an agreement was entered into by and between the parties in the year 1981
and not in 1983 as noticed by the High Court at 10% increase per year for a
period of three years, the learned Reference Judge held that the flat rate
would come to Rs.128 per square yard. From the said amount, however, 30% was deducted
as the lands in question were agricultural lands and on 21 that bases the
market value at the rate of Rs.55/- per square yard was found to be sufficient.
The High Court relied upon a deed of sale dated 27.7.1983 involving Khasra
No.1354 and 1355 rejected the deed of sale deed 27.7.1982. Relying on a deed of
sale dated 2.6.1983 in terms whereof 1 Biswas 9 Biswasin and 15 Kachhwansi land
pertaining to Khasra No.1054 and 1064 was sold for a sum of Rs.1,35,000/-, the
Land Acquisition Collector opined that the market value of the land would come
to Rs.1,81,512.60 p. per bigha, i.e., at the rate of 9.62 p. circle rate. It
only sale deed No.423 remained. This sale deed is executed on 2.6.83. From this
1 Biswa, 9, Biswasi, 15 Kachwasi land of Khasra No.1054 and 1064 was sale for
135000. This sale deed is outside the area of municipality and it is sell in
bigha, biswa and biswasi which comes to 1,81,512.60 paise per bigha at the rate
of 9.62 paise circle. This sale deed is similar to the acquired land. But the
circle rate of this land is suitable to amend according to the circle rate of
the acquired land which is suitable and justified to select this. The acquired
land is of two types i.e.
Dayam Khakhi whose circle rate is 3.19 paise and dakan doyam Awi whose circle
rate is 4.37 paise. On the basis of selected sale deed at the rate of Rs.3.19
circle rate it comes to 60,189.72 and at the rate of Rs.4.37 it comes to
82,454.26 which is right and justified. The compensation of the acquired and estimated
to 64,59,429.63 which is payable to the land owner."
The High Court, however, while rejecting all the other deeds of
sale opined that reliance should be placed on the deed of sale dated 2.6.1983
in terms whereof the value of the land was determined at Rs.58.11 p. per square
yard. Opining, however, that the Special Land Acquisition Officer was not
justified in reducing the compensation on the basis of fertility of the soil
and the circle rate, the High Court upon adding 10% increase to the said road
held that the net rate would come to Rs.63.92 p. per square yard, i.e., Rs.64/-
per square yard.
It was furthermore held that the building potentiality would not
be a relevant factor for calculating the market value of the land. Building potentiality
of land, in our opinion, is a relevant factor. National Thermal Power
Corporation intended to set up an industry. For the said purpose, they have
built up a large number of offices quarters.
Submission of Mr. Dwivedi that market value of the land should not
have been determined on square yard basis may not be entirely correct.
the landholders have very small holdings. Even the High Court, as noticed
hereinbefore, determined the valuation on that basis only. As noticed
hereinbefore, most of the deeds of sale are in respect of small 23 holdings.
Even the deed of sale dated 2.6.1983 involves land measuring 1 Biswas, 9
Biswasin and 15 Kachhwansi. One Biswa is equal to 151.25 square yards; one
Biswasi is equal to 7.5625 square yards; and one Kachwasi is equal to 0.378
square yards. Calculating in terms of square yards, it is about 224.98 square
yards. The Reference Judge relied upon a deed of sale which involved transfer
of 190 square yards. If the 1983 deed of sale is to be taken into consideration,
there is no reason as to why the deed of sale dated 2.6.1983 whereupon the
learned Reference Judge placed reliance was kept out of consideration. As
indicated hereinbefore, the High Court has without any valid and adequate
reason refused to take into consideration a large number of deeds of sale which
were relevant for the purpose of arriving at the amount of compensation upon
taking into consideration the market value of the land.
Mr. Dwivedi places strong reliance upon a decision of this Court
in Rao Narain Singh (Dead) By Lrs. v. Union of India [(1993) 3 SCC 63] wherein
it was held :
potentiality of the acquired land, claimed to be possessed by the acquired
land, can assume no significance in the instant case as `the comparable sales
method' of valuation of land is resorted to by the High Court. Such method is
resorted to, as the acquired land was found to be 24 comparable in its
essential features with land(s) respecting which evidence of certain sale
deed(s), was produced. Hence, the contention of the learned counsel for the
appellant raised to establish that the acquired land had building potentiality
at the time of its acquisition, need not engage our consideration."
No legal principle has been laid down therein. This Court had not
declared the law that building potentiality is an irrelevant consideration.
has some special features. The acquired lands although pertain to the
administrative jurisdiction of Gaon Sabha, enough evidence had been placed on
record to show that the entire area is commonly known as Murad pura area. On
the one side of the road is Gaon Sabha and on the other side of the road is the
municipality. We assume that that make some difference but then the difference
is not such which would lead us to a conclusion that the said factor should not
be taken into consideration at all.
Reliance has also been placed by Mr. Dwivedi on a decision of this
Court in Viluben Jhalenjar Contractor (Dead) by LRs. v. State of Gujarat
[(2005) 4 SCC 789]. In that case, the lands in question were acquired only
because they would remain submerged under water and, thus, would not have any
potential value. It is only in the aforementioned context this Court opined
that the purpose for which the lands were acquired would be a 25 relevant
consideration. In that case, the area was not developed at all. No facility
like internal roads, drainage, etc. was available.
not be any quarrel with the proposition that circulars of the State Government
that highest sale deed should be taken into consideration for determination of
the fair market value of the land by itself may not be decisive insofar as the
doctrine of compatibility by reason thereof would be given a complete go by.
But when comparable exemplars are brought on record, the one carrying the
highest market value amongst them may be followed. We, therefore, are of the
opinion that the determination of market value at the rate of Rs.115/- per
square yard as arrived at by the High Court cannot be held to be on a higher
We, however, are of the opinion that there was no reason for the
learned Reference Judge to determine the market value of the land in the other
bunch of cases at the rate of Rs.155/- per square yard. The market value of the
land of both the bunch of cases is determined at Rs.115/- per square yard.
Civil Appeal Nos.6230-6251, 6300, 6301-6321 of 2002 are, thus,
allowed with costs and Civil Appeal Nos. 6253-6299 of 2002 are dismissed 26 as
not pressed for. Counsel's fee assessed at Rs.50,000/- in each case payable by
National Thermal Power Corporation.
Before parting, however, we may notice that National Thermal Power
Corporation had given an undertaking before the High Court. The said amount has
not yet been paid. The amount of compensation even as determined by the High
Court has not been paid. It is, thus, expedient that the amount of compensation
would be paid to the land owners as expeditiously as possible.
.....................................J. [S.B. Sinha]
.....................................J. [Cyriac Joseph]