Mirza Nausherwan Khan & ANR Vs.
The Collector (Land Acquisition), Hyderabad  INSC 188 (26 September 1974)
KHANNA, HANS RAJ BEG, M. HAMEEDULLAH
CITATION: 1974 AIR 2247 1975 SCR (2) 184 1975
SCC (1) 238
F 1977 SC 580 (5) R 1988 SC 943 (6)
Hyderabad Land Acquisition Act (9 of 1309
Fasli)Compensation for large area of land and buildings acquiredPrinciples.
The State Government acquired a large area
with some buildings thereon in the city of Hyderabad, belonging to the
appellant and the Collector awarded compensation under the Hyderabad Land
Acquisition Act. The compensation was made up of sums awarded for buildings,
for standing trees, for a belt of land 50 ft. deep adjoining the road at a
particular rate, and for the remaining area at a lesser rate. On reference, the
City Civil Court increased the value of the buildings on the basis of by a
multiple of 25 times the rent fetched. On appeal, the High Court further
enhanced the value of the buildings by using a multiple of 27 instead of 25, in
fixing the compensation for the buildings.
In appeal to this Court, it was contended (1)
that there was a potential value of the land which was not taken into account
by the High Court; (2) that the land and buildings should have been taken
together; and that the land should not have been sub-divided on the principle
of belting; and (3) that the multiple for capitalisation of the value of
buildings should have been 33-1/3 and not 27.
Dismissing the appeal,
HELD : There is no substantial question of
law of general importance meriting consideration by this Court. [185H] (1)The
potential value of the land was taken into account by the High Court. On a
consideration of the totality of factors, the physical feature of the terrain,
and the evidence placed on record, the High Court was justified in holding that
the appellant had not substantiated the big potential value claimed by him on
the basis of any unique features of the land. [186 D-F] (2)The higher value for
a strip of 50 feet adjoining the land was given by the courts below on the
principles of belting. This Principle was adopted at the instance of the
appellant himself and such an approach had operated to his benefit and not
detriment. The Court had also taken note of the fact that the value of a tiny
plot is not a proper measure when a large area is acquired. [187 A-C] Mohini;
Mohan v. Province of Bengal A.I.R. 1951 Cal. 246;
Kunjukrishna V. State A.I.R. 1953 T.C 177;
(3)The rate of interest allowed on government
securities at the relevant time (1957) ranged between 3-3/4% and 4% and the
High Court, when accepting the multiple of 27, accepted 3-3/4%. There is no
warrant for the appellant's contention that the interest on government bonds at
the relevant time was only 3%. [187 D-E]
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal
No. 2025 of 1968.
Appeal from the judgment and decree dated the
18th October,1967 of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in C. C. C.
Appeal No. 46 of 1963.
R. V. Pillai and P. M. Pillai, for the
appellant 185 P. Ram Reddy and P. P. Rao, for the respondent.
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
KRISHNA IYER, J.-This appeal, by certificate, arises out of land acquisition
proceedings under the Hyderabad Land Acquisition Act (Hyderabad Act IX of 1309
Fasli) (hereinafter called the Act, for short) which substantially resembles
the provisions of the Central Land Acquisition Act.
The Government of Andhra Pradesh acquired a
large open area with some buildings thereon by Notification, dated January 3,
1957 with a view to construct Income-tax add Central Excise Offices at
Hyderabad. The contest before us is confined to the quantum of compensation
and, although Shri Vasudeva Pillai, counsel for the appellants' has pressed his
points with persistence, we are unable to disturb the High Court's award.
The land, vast in extent, had a building with
a plinth area of 3,300 sq. yds. The area in which the acquired plot is situate
is perhaps an important one in the City. After getting expert valuation made of
the buildings by the Central Public Works Department engineers, the Collector
awarded a sum of Rs. 41,674/for the buildings, Rs. 1,440/for the standing trees
and a sum of Rs. 30,630/for a belt of land 50 ft. deep at Rs. 15/per square
yard and Rs.
99,435/for the remaining area of 13,258 sq.
yds. The, total figure together with statutory solarium granted by the
Collector was Rs. 1,99,155.85. This figure fell far short of the ambitious
claim of the appellant and, when the case came before the City Civil Court on a
reference, there was an enhancement of compensation. Although the learned
Additional Chief Judge held that the area was a little less than had been
determined by the Collector, the market value of the building was increased nearly
fourfold on the basis of a multiple of 25 times the rent fetched. On the other
items also some changes were made and, consequentially, the total amount was
raised to Rs. 3,31,092/-. The appellant arrived in the High Court asking for
more (and the State also appears to have appealed, but its appeal was dismissed
and we are not therefore concerned with it).
Some measure of good fortune attended the
appeal since the High Court altered the multiple from 25 to 27 in fixing the
compensation for the building. Otherwise, it substantially affirmed the
findings of the trial Court, except that to the advantage of the appellant it
restored the area acquired.
The net result was the appellant obtained a
total sum of Rs. 3,52,326.65 as compensation.
It is thus clear that from the Collector to
the Civil Court and on, to the High Court. there has been an escalation in the
amount of compensation and, hopefully, the owner has reached this Court with
his appeal, under a certificate which he secured under Art. 133(1)(a) before
the recent amendment. We mention this because we are unable to discern any
substantial question of law of general importance in counsel's submissions or
the points outlined in the memorandum of appeal which merits the consideration
of this Court.
186 Merely because the claim is large the
judgment need not be long :and, although the appellant tried to spread the,
canvas wide, we regard the points deserving of consideration-as falling within
a narrow compass. The burden of the song has been that Hyderabad has, for historical
reasons, become a great city and that the land acquired has precious potential
value which has not entered the judicial computation at the lesser levels. (By
way of aside one, may say that society economic development of a Citymay
enhance the value of space without any the littlest contribution by its owner
and it is, in one sense, unfair that society should pay to an individual a
higher price not because he has-earned it but because of other developmental
factors. Of course, we are concerned with the Land Acquisition Act as it is and
this thought therefore need not be pursued). Counsel has also urged that the
land and the building taken together had a personality of its own and therefore
a special value, missed by the courts below, should be ascribed and the
methodology of breaking up the totality into buildings and lands separately and
subdividing the land into two portions on the principle of.
belting was all wrong. It was also urged
before us that the multiple of 27 for purposes of capitalisation, adopted by
the High Court, was inadequate and that the owner was entitled to
capitalisation by multiplication 33-1/2 times.
We find that the High Court has carefully
considered ill available points, indeed stretching them in favour of the
appellant, where that was warranted by the facts. The potential value of the
land was quite within the keen of the Judge who heard the appeal and weighed
with the Court in the assessment made. However, the High Court noted that no
evidence whatever was placed on record in substantiation of any big potential
value based on the unique features of the land. On the other hand, the totality
of factors was duly considered by the High Court when it observed :
"Having regard to the physical features
of the property, its situation in an important locality and the price paid for
a small extent of level ground acquired for the Telephone Exchange which is at
a distance of about half a mile from the property acquired, we hold that the
compensation awarded by the Court below at Rs. 20/per square yard for the 2042
square yards constituting the 50 wide belt and at Rs. 10/per square yard for
the rest is fair and reasonable." We see no error in this evaluation.
It is true that the Court has adopted a
higher value for a strip 50 feet wide adjoining the road, based on the
principle of belting. There is no doubt that when we deal with value of an
extensive plot of land in a City the strip that adjoins an important road will
have a higher value than what is in the rear. for obvious reasons of potential
user or commercial exploitation. While no general principle can be laid down in
these matters, local circumstances guide the Courts. The ruling in Mohini Mohan
v. Province of Bengal(1) and the principle, (1) A. I. R. 1951 Cal. 246.
187 with its limitations, set out in
Kunjukrishna v. State(1) are sufficient to bring out our point. Indeed, the
objection to divide the plot for purposes of differential valuation has not
been taken at the proper level. On the contrary, it has been adopted originally
at the instance of the appellant himself, before the Collector and we are
satisfied that such an approach has operated to his benefit and not detriment.
The Court has taken note of the well established distinction between the value
of a tiny plot as being no measure when a large area is acquired. The terrain,
in this case, appears to have been uneven with difference in levels to the
extent of 27 feet and boulders here and there making building operations
expensive in the initial preparation of the site. We conclude by saying that
practically every relevant factor placed on record has received fair
consideration before the High Court.
The next question is whether the multiple
adopted for capitalisation has been prejudicially low, Exhibit A-7, the
notification produced by the appellant, itself shows that around the middle of
1957 the rate of interest allowed on Government Securities at the relevant time
ranged between 31 and 4%. The Curt accepted 3-3/4 % as interest on giltedged
securities instead of 4%, thus giving Some advantage to the appellant and there
is no warrant for the contention that the interest on Government bonds was 3%
at the relevant time. The appellant apparently has sought to misread Ex.A 7. We
are satisfied with the valuation of the rented portion of the house adopted by
the High Court is correct.
Shri Pillai argued in vain for an
augmentation of the value on the potential user of the plot for a Cinema House.
This story has been factually disbelieved by the Courts below and we cannot
reopen the matter. We must also remember that the Court below has been
indulgent enough to adopt a multiple of 27 despite the fact that the buildings
acquired are over 30 years old. Nor does it come with grace from the appellant
to contend against the belting method since he himself had asked for its
application before the Collector and the trial Court.
We are thus satisfied that there is no law,
no fact, which comes to the rescue of the appellant and his appeal, virtually
against concurrent findings of fact, therefore deserves to be, and is hereby,
dismissed with costs.
(1) A. I. R. 1953 P.C. 177 Appeal dismissed.