Singh Vs. State of Punjab & Ors.  INSC 1540 (4 September 2009)
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO.6409 OF
2009 (@ SLP(C) No.5678 of 2007) RANDHIR SINGH ....APPELLANT VERSUS C.A.NO.6471
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of 2008 O R D E R Delay condoned.
learned counsel for the parties.
appeals by special leave arise out of land acquisition proceedings by which
large area of land, namely, in 4 villages Gopalpur, Nusi, Nangli Viran and
Lidhran was sought to be acquired in Jalandhar in the State of Punjab by a
Notification dated 20th of May, 1983 under Section 4 of the Land 3 Acquisition
Act, 1894 (hereinafter referred to as "the Act") for the public
purpose of setting up of a Government Engineering College. The Land Acquisition
Collector, by an award dated 7th of March, 1986, assessed the market value of
the acquired land at the rate of Rs. 53,560/- per acre in respect of the Chahi
land, Barani land at the rate of Rs. 28,500/- per acre and Banjar kadim at the
rate of Rs. 14,250/- per acre. The appellants, who are the land
owners/claimants, were dissatisfied with the award and filed reference cases
under Section 18 of the Act. The Reference Court determined the market value of
the acquired land up to a depth of 100 karams situated on the G.T. Road at the
rate of Rs. 1,60,000/- per acre and the market value of the remaining land was
determined at the rate of Rs. 1,10,000/- per acre. With this determination, the
Reference Court also held that the land owners/claimants were also entitled to
other statutory benefits as admissible to them in law.
aggrieved by this determination of the Reference Court made under Section 18 of
the Act, appeals were filed before the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, which,
by the impugned Judgment, were allowed in part, holding that the market value
of the entire acquired land must be assessed at the rate of Rs. 1,60,000/- per
acre inter alia on a finding that when the acquired land was having such
potential, then adopting of Belting System and classifying the land into two
categories i.e. one, upto the depth of 100 karams on the G.T. Road and the
remaining land beyond that depth, was not at all justified.
aggrieved and dissatisfied with the Judgment and order of the High Court, these
Special Leave Petitions have been filed by the land owners/claimants, and on
the other hand, the State of Punjab were aggrieved by the order passed by the
High Court also filed Special Leave Petitions, which on grant of leave, were
heard in presence of the learned counsel for the parties.
heard the learned counsel for the claimants/appellants and the learned counsel
for the 5 Respondent/State of Punjab. We have also examined the Judgment of the
High Court as well as the order of the Reference Court and other materials on
record, including the oral and documentary evidence. The only question that was
agitated before us by the learned counsel for the claimants/appellants was in
respect of the rejection of the application for acceptance of additional
evidence filed by the claimants/appellants. It appears that the application for
acceptance of additional evidence was filed by the claimants/appellants to
admit the Aks Shajra by way of additional evidence. While dealing with the
application for acceptance of additional evidence, the learned counsel
appearing on behalf of the claimants/appellants had sought to produce Aks Shajra
as an additional evidence in the said appeal. While dealing with this aspect of
the matter, the High Court observed as follows :- "Dealing with the
question of additional evidence, at the first instance, it must be noticed that
the perusal of the aforesaid Aks Shajra clearly shows that the land of Chara
Mandi is at quite distance from the present acquired land. There are two canals
intervening in between the land acquired for the Chara Mandi and the present
acquired land. The land of Chara Mandi is also shown to 6 be on an intersection
of G.T. Road and Jalandhar-Hoshiarpur Road. The present acquired land is not
only at quite a distance from the land of Chara Mandi but also cannot be held
to be comparable. A perusal of Aks Shajra further shows that the adjacent area
to the acquired land of Chara Mandi was covered with factories and houses. A
74.9 acres Transport Nagar Scheme by Improvement Trust Jalandhar was in
Focal Point was also situated nearby.
perusal of the judgment rendered in Mukesh Kumar's case (supra) shows that the
aforesaid land for Chara Mandi was situated within the limits of Jalandhar
Municipal Corporation. All these factors show that the land of Chara Mandi is
neither comparable nor the assessment of the market value of the aforesaid land
is relevant for assessment of the market value in the present appeals.
Consequently, I do not find any merit in the prayer made by the appellants to
allow the present application for additional evidence. Thus, the application
filed by the appellants for additional evidence is disallowed."
impugned Judgment itself, the High Court had taken into consideration the
application for acceptance of additional evidence and also considered the case
of Mukesh Kumar vs.
[1987 (2) PLR 370] and on a comparison of the facts in Mukesh Kumar's case
(supra) and the present appeals, came to a finding that the facts of Mukesh
Kumar's case were totally 7 different from the facts involved in the present
case. After considering the facts on which Mukesh Kumar's case was based, the
High Court, in the impugned order, came to the conclusion that the land of
Chara Mandi was neither comparable nor the assessment of the market value of
the acquired lands was relevant for the assessment of the market value in the
we are of the view that neither the decision in Mukesh Kumar's case nor the
facts of the present appeals were similar to that of the same. Hence, we do not
find any reason to hold that any enhancement would be possible on the basis of
the documents produced by the parties before us.
reasons aforesaid, we are of the clear opinion that the High Court has rightly
rejected the application for acceptance of additional evidence although in its
judgment it discussed the effect of Aks Shajra and concluded that such a
document which is sought to be produced is not comparable with the facts of
submission was advanced by the learned counsel for the parties.
8 In this
view of the matter, we do not find any reason to interfere with the impugned
order in these appeals. Accordingly, these appeals are dismissed with a
direction that the compensation awarded by the High Court shall be paid to the
claimants/appellants within two months from this date.
the appeals of the claimants/appellants are dismissed. There will be no order
as to costs.
In so far
as the appeals of the State of Punjab are concerned, in view of the discussions
made hereinabove and in view of the fact that the learned counsel for the
respondents also could not satisfy us that the enhancement made by the High
Court was in any way, irregular, illegal or arbitrary, we are of the view that
the appeals filed by the State of Punjab have no merit also and accordingly,
the said appeals are also dismissed.
from the record that at the time of issuance of notice in the Special Leave
Petition Nos. 2769-2798 of 2008 preferred by the State of Punjab, the State of
Punjab was directed to deposit a sum of Rs. 20,000/- as costs and such cost is
now lying with the 9 Registry of this Court. Since we have condoned the delay
in filing the appeals of the State of Punjab, we direct that the
claimants/respondents should be allowed to withdraw the costs deposited with the
Registry of this Court.
aforesaid directions, these appeals stand dismissed.
will be no order as to costs.
order, if any, shall stand vacated.
...........................J. [Tarun Chatterjee]