Singh Saini Vs. State of Haryana & Anr  INSC 41 (16 February 1990)
B.C. (J) Ray, B.C. (J) Ramaswamy, K.
1990 AIR 1219 1990 SCR (1) 417 1990 SCC (3) 276 JT 1990 (1) 232 1990 SCALE
'Acquisition Act, 1894: S. 23--Nursery plants existing on land at time of
acquisition--Whether entitled to compensation--Valuation of mother trees as
appellants' land was acquired under the Land Acqui- sition Act on March 24, 1971 for planned development as
residential area. They were then running a plant nursery on the said land. A
large number of potted plants, mother plants and trees also existed there. They
demanded compensa- tion for the land at the rate of Rs.35 per sq. yd. They also
claimed compensation for nursery plants, potted plants mother plants and trees.
Land Acquisition Collector awarded compensation in respect of the land at the
rate of Rs.900 per Biswa. He held that the mother plants and trees were
irremovable and as such assessed the value thereof at Rs.2,41,576. He also
awarded charges for the shifting of potted plants. In re- spect of the nursery
plants he took the view that the appel- lants were not entitled to any
compensation as these could be removed from the land and sold.
District Judge enhanced the rate of compensation for the acquired land at the
rate of Rs. 10 per sq. yd. and also doubled the compensation for trees and
High Court considering the potentiality of the acquired land fixed its value at
the rate of Rs. 16 per sq. yd. It took the view that the court below was in
error in doubling the value of the trees as no case was made out in the
evidence recorded and therefore set aside the enhance- ment.
these appeals by special leave it was contended for the appellants that the
nursery plants if taken out of the land would die after two-three days and the
appellants had got no other land where they could plant them and keep them
alive. It was further contended that the compensation with regard to mother
trees had been awarded with- 418 out reference to their market price and that
the High Court had arbitrarily rejected the enhancement in the said compen- sation
granted by the District Court.
the appeals, the Court,
finding of the Land Acquisition Collector that the nursery plants could be
taken out of the land and sold to the customers like potted plants and as such
no compensation could be awarded was quite in accordance with law. Sufficient
time had been granted by the State by per- mitting the appellants to remove
these plants from the acquired land. Their claim was, therefore, rightly
rejected by the High Court. [422G-H, D-E]
land acquired though agricultural land was taken. for assessment of its market
value @ Rs. 16 per sq. yd. not as agricultural laud but as laud with high
potentialities i.e. as urban laud. The appellants did not at all dispute this
value. On the other hand they withdrew the entire compensation award for the
value of these lands. In these circumstances, it could not be said that the
value of mother trees has been wrongly assessed as wood. The appellants were,
therefore, not entitled to enhancement In the value of trees. [422F-G]
APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal Nos. 1274 to 1278 of 1984.
the Judgment and Order dated 27.5.81 of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in R.F.A. Nos. 688 to 692 of 1979.
Sachar and K.C. Dua for the Appellants.
Rana Ranjit Singh and Mahabir Singh for the Respondents.
Judgment of the Court was delivered by RAY, J. These appeals on special leave
are directed against the judgment .and order dated May 27, 1981 passed in R.F.A. Nos. 688 to 592 of 1979 and 1112 of 1979
by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh. The short ques- tion raised in these appeals is whether the appellants
are entitled to any compensation 'for nursery plants existing on the land at
the time of acquisition as well as at the-time of notification published under
Section 4 of the Land Acqui- sition Act, 419 1894. Secondly, whether the
valuation made in respect of the mother plants is low and the same needs to be
increased in accordance with the report of the Horticulture Expert.
facts of these appeals in short, are as follows.
notification under section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 was published on
March 24, 1971 for acquisition of the lands in
question in village Faridabad, Hadbust No. 123, Tehsil Ballabgarh,
District Gurgaon for a public purpose viz. for planned development of residential
sector No. 19 by the Haryana Government. Thereafter, a declaration under
Section 6 of the said Act was published vide Notification No. LAC-71/NTLA/376
dated January 18, 1972 in Haryana Gov- ernment
Extraordinary Gazette. The Government declared that the Government was
satisfied that the said land was needed at public expenses for a public purpose
namely for the planned development in the area of this village Faridabad.
a notice under Section 9 and 10 was issued call- ing upon the owners and other
interested persons to file their claims in respect of the interest in the land
and also other particulars as regards their claims for compensation for such
interest. The owners of the land and other inter- ested persons filed their
claims demanding compensation for the land @ Rs.35 per sq. yd. and also claimed
compensation for the nursery plants and potted plants in the land ac- quired.
The Land Acquisition Collector awarded compensation in respect of the land
acquired @ Rs.900 per Biswa. The Land Acquisition Collector held that the
mother plants and trees were irremovable and as such he assessed the value
thereof at Rs.2,41,576. He also awarded the shifting charges for the shifting
of potted plants amounting to Rs. 1,773.20 paise together with compulsory
charges @ 15% of the amount award- ed. This award was made by the Land
Acquisition Collector on February
22, 1975. The
possession of the acquired land was taken by the Government. The Land
Acquisition Collector also granted six months' time or any such further period
as extended by the Government to enable the appellants to remove the nursery
plants as well as the potted plants from the acquired land. The Collector
further stated in the award that the nursery plants can be removed from the
land and the same be sold by the owners to the customers. So no compensa- tion
was awarded in respect of these plants as well as in respect of the potted
appellants filed five claim petitions being Petition Nos. 191/85 to 195/85 of
1973/78 in the Court of the Addi- tional District Judge, Gurgaon. The 2nd
Additional District Judge, Gurgaon after hearing 420 the parties and also
considering the evidences enhanced the rate of compensation of the acquired
land (C) Rs. 10 per sq. yd. It has also been held that the appellants will be enti-
tled to double the compensation for trees and plants as given by the Land
Acquisition Collector. He also ordered that the appellants shall be entitled to
solatium at the rate of 15% on the enhanced amount of compensation on these two
items. In all other respects the impugned order made by the Land Acquisition
Collector was upheld. He further or- dered that the appellants will be entitled
to recover inter- est @ 6% from the date of compensation to the date of reali- zation
of the enhanced amount to be paid to them and the appellants shall also be
entitled to recover the proportion- ate costs of the petitions from the
appellants filed R.F.A. Nos. 688 to 692 of 1979 in the High Court of Punjab and
Haryana. The High Court fixed the value of the acquired land considering the
potentiality of the land @ Rs. 16 per sq. yd. The total area of the land
acquired in these appeals being 11.38 acres, at the rate of Rs. 16 per sq. yd.
the value of the land acquired comes to Rs.8.8 lakhs. The Land Acquisition
Collector awarded a sum of Rs.2,41,576 for the trees, which value had been
doubled by the Court below. The High Court held that no case was made out for
doubling the value of the trees in the evidence recorded before remand. It has
been further observed by the High Court that the appellants' own case was that
most of their income was from potted plants, flowers and nursery plants, the
potted plants gave the maximum income, as was shown by the vouchers produced by
the appellants on record.
potted plants had been taken away by the appellants after acquisition. Similar
was the position of nursery plants. The High Court, therefore, held that the
value awarded by the Land Acquisition Collector would be for the trees and
since no justification was made, the Court below was in error in doubling the
value of the trees. The High Court, therefore, valued the acquired land at the
enhanced rate of Rs. 16 per sq. yd., for the trees the compensation awarded by
the Land Acquisition Collector was directed to be paid to the appellants and
the enhancement awarded in re- spect of trees by the Court below was set aside.
It was further ordered that the appellants would be entitled to solatium at the
rate of 15 per cent and interest at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of
taking of possession till payment thereof. The appeals were thus disposed of.
this judgment and decree passed in R.F.A. Nos. 688 to 692 of 1979, the
appellants filed five Special Leave Petitions before this Court. On February
27, 1984 this Court granted Special Leave 421 confined only to the compensation
for mother plants and nursery plants.
Sacbar, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellants has made two-fold
submissions before this Court. His first submission is that the Land
Acquisition Collector as well as the Courts below were wrong in not granting
any compensation for the nursery plants. Nursery plants were grown in the
nursery on the acquired land for the purpose of rearing them for a certain
period and there- after selling those plants to the customers on taking out the
same from the nursery. There has been an inspection and a list was prepared of
the various varieties of fruits and flower plants existing on the acquired land
at the time of acquisition. He further submitted that the value of these
various plants has been assessed by Shri Som Dutta Diwan, Deputy Director,
Horticulture/Vegetable, Haryana, Chandi- garh, who was requested to assess the
value of all sorts of trees. Copies of the assessment made by him had been
filed before the Land Acquisition Collector and it will be evident from the
said assessment lists that each variety of trees has been assessed separately
with reference to the total number of those trees. It has been submitted by Mr.
Sachar in this connection that these nursery plants if taken out of the land
will die after two-three days. The appellants have got no other land where they
could plant these plants and keep them alive. It has, therefore, been submitted
by him that the High Court was wrong in refusing to assess the value of the
nursery plants and to award compensation in respect of the same. Mr. Sachar
next submitted that the compensation awarded with regard to the mother trees by
the Land Acquisition Collector has been made arbitrarily without reference to
the market price of these trees. It has been further submitted by referring to
the judgment and order of the 2nd Additional District Judge, Gurgaon that the
2nd Additional District Judge held that the. appellants were entitled to double
the compensation under the head 'value of trees and plants' as assessed by the
Land Acquisition Col- lector. The High Court arbitrarily and wrongly rejected
this on the mere ground that there was no justification for doubling the
compensation as awarded by the Land Acquisition Collector in respect of the
mother trees and plants. It has, therefore, been submitted by Mr. Sachar that
the amount of compensation awarded by the Land Acquisition Collector in respect
of the mother trees should be doubled and the com- pensation for the nursery
plants should also be assessed on the basis of the value of the plants as
assessed by the Deputy Director of Horticulture.
Mr. S.P. Goel appearing for the respondent State has submitted that the land
acquired was not treated as an agriculture land in assessing the market value
of the same.
been taken as urban land and considering its potenti- alities, the High Court
assessed the value of the land @ Rs. 16 per sq. yd. In such circumstances, the
value of the land being assessed on considering its potentiality, the question
of valuation of the mother trees as well as of the nursery plants does not at
all arise. The valuation of the mother trees can at best be assessed at the
value assessed by the Land Acquisition Collector. There is, therefore, no
ground for interference with the amount of compensation awarded by the Land
Acquisition Collector and upheld by the High Court.
been next submitted by the learned counsel for the State that the nursery
plants are planted and grown for the purpose of selling the same to the
customers after taking them out from the land. These nursery plants are never
planted for the purpose of growing them into big trees or mother plants. The
High Court has rightly held that like the potted plants these nursery plants
can easily be removed from the nursery as the purpose of growing these plants
is to sell the same to the customers. These plants can be removed and
sufficient time had been granted by the State by permitting the appellants to
remove these plants from the acquired land. It has, therefore, been submitted
that the High Court has rightly rejected the claim of the appellants for
compensation in respect of the nursery plants.
have considered in depth the arguments advanced by the learned counsel for both
the parties and we have also considered very carefully the weighty reasonings
given by the High Court as well as by the Land Acquisition Collector.
obvious that the land acquired though agriculture land was taken for assessment
of its market value not as agricul- ture land but as land with high
potentialities i.e. as urban land and, therefore, the market value of these
lands has been fixed after considering its potential value @ Rs. 16 per sq. yd.
The appellants did not at all dispute this value and on the other hand they
withdrew the entire compensation award for the value of these lands. In these
circumstances, we find that there is much substance in the submissions made on
behalf of the State that the mother trees should be valued as wood and the
value has been rightly assessed as such by the Land Acquisition Collector in
his award and the same has been upheld by the High Court. Moreover, the find- ings
of the Collector that the nursery plants can be taken out of the land and sold
to the customers like potted plants and as such no compensation can be awarded
is in our consid- ered opinion quite in accordance with law. In these cir- 423 cumstances,
we do not find any infirmity or arbitrariness in the findings arrived at by the
High Court and as such there is no merit in the contentions made on behalf of
the appel- lants in these appeals. We, therefore, uphold the findings of the
High Court and dismiss the appeals without any costs.
Appeals dis- missed.