of Haryana Vs. Ram Singh  Insc 339 (25 July 2001)
Khare & Ruma Pal Ruma Pal, J.
Appeal Nos.6017-6032 of 1999)
issue involved in all these appeals relates to the compensation awarded in
respect of land acquired under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (referred to
briefly as the Act).
acquisition was made by the State of Haryana for constructing the Shahbad feeder. The area acquired covered about
180 acres and cut through villages Garhi Banjaran, Telipura, Udhampur and Bhukri.
For the purposes of the acquisition, a series of notifications under Section 4
followed by declarations under Section 6 of the Act were issued between 1986 to
1987. The Land Acquisition Collector awarded the same rate for all the four
villages having regard to the nature of the land, namely, Rs.29,000/- for Chahi
or irrigated land, Rs.20,000/- for Barani or non-irrigated land and Rs.5,000/-
per acre for Gairmumkin or non-cultivable land. The References under Section 18
were disposed of by the District Judges by passing widely differing awards.
awards were subsequently challenged by the land owners from villages Telipura
and Garhi Banjaran before the High Court of Punjab and Haryana. The Single
Judge of the High Court adopting a uniform rate for all types of land in all
the villages directed the State Government to pay each of the claimants
compensation of Rs.1,72,000/- plus Rs.30,000/- per acre, the latter sum being
on account of potential value of the acquired land. The Division Bench of the
High Court dismissed the States appeals without giving separate reasons for
upholding the decision of the learned Single Judge.
appeals before us have been preferred both by the State of Haryana and the claimants challenging the
compensation granted by the High Court.
Kumar Jain appearing for the State of Haryana has contended that the High Court was wrong in determining the value of
the acquired land at Rs.1,72,000/- per acre. The State had produced two sale
deeds Exhibits R/2 and R/3 pertaining to a total area of 23 kanals and 4 marlas.
The two deeds showed that the rate of land similar to the acquired land was
Rs.29,000/- and Rs.37,000/- per acre.
contended that the learned Single Judge had relying upon the decision of this
Court in Baldev Singh and Others V. State of Punjab through Collector AIR 1996
SC 3498 excluded Exhibits R/2 and R/3 produced by the State from consideration
on the ground that neither the vendor nor the purchaser had been examined. It
is pointed out that Baldev Singhs case is no longer good law in view of the
subsequent decision of this Court in Land Acquisition Officer & Mandal
Revenue Officer V. V. Narasaiah 2001 (3) SCC 530. Secondly, it was submitted by
Mr. Jain that the learned Judge erred in relying upon Exhibit PC produced by
the claimants which was a sale deed pertaining to an area of one kanal and
6-1/2 marlas only which was contiguous to a main road. It was argued that
Exhibit PC could not be an exemplar relevant to the lands which had been
acquired which not only covered a much larger area but were situated at some
distance from any habitation or road.
also submitted that in any event having determined the market value, the
learned Judge erred in adding any further sum on account of the alleged
potential value of the land and that the rate of Rs.30,000/- per acre fixed by
the learned Judge for determining such potential value was entirely
Kumar Garg, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the claimants, submitted
that although the learned Judge may have rejected Exhibits R/2 and R/3 on a
principle which was unsustainable, no prejudice was caused to the State as both
Exhibits were photostat copies of sale deeds and could never have been admitted
in evidence. It was further submitted that the High Court had taken into
consideration the fact that Exhibit PC relied upon by the claimants related to
a small piece of land and that is why as against the stated price of over Rs.2,40,000/-
per acre in Exhibit PC, the learned Judge had deducted 30% from the stated
price and determined the value for the acquired land at Rs.1,72,000/- per acre.
It was emphasised that Exhibit PC was executed prior to the date of the
notification under Section 4 of the Act and correctly reflected the market
value of the acquired land as it pertained to land of similar nature. Our
attention was drawn to one of the proceedings before the District Judge under
Section 18 where evidence had been led to the effect that the land acquired in
village Telipura was within the municipal limits of Jagadhri, next to Bilaspur-Jagadhri
road and as far as the land acquired in Garhi Bajaran was concerned, the
evidence showed that the acquired land was about 1 K.M. from Jagadhri and that
there were a poultry farm, petrol pump, octroi post, industries, hospital and
banks near the land. The learned counsel then relied upon the decisions of this
Court in Hasanali Walimchand (Dead) by Lrs. V. State of Maharashtra 1998 (2)
SCC 388 as well as The Collector, Raigarh V. Dr. Harsingh Thakur and another
and vice versa 1979 (1) SCC 236 to sustain his argument that the High Court was
correct in awarding an amount on account of potential value over and above the
market value of the acquired land.
for the State was right when he submitted that the High Court erred in
rejecting Exhibits R/2 and R/3 as inadmissible only on the ground that the
parties to the documents had not been examined by the State. It is not the law
that a certified copy of a registered agreement for sale is inadmissible in evidence
unless the parties to the document are examined to prove it. That would be
contrary to what Sections 77 read with Sections 74(2) and 76 of the Evidence
Act, 1872 and more specifically Section 51A of the Act provide. As far as the
provisions of the Evidence Act are concerned, a certified copy of the
registered sale deed is admissible in evidence and does not need to be proved
by calling a witness. (See Ramappa V. Bojappa AIR 1963 SC 1633, 1637).
51A of the Act is to the same effect. In Land Acquisition Officer & Mandal
Revenue Officer V. V. Narasaiah (supra), it was held that by virtue of Section
51- A, a certified copy of a document registered under the Registration Act,
1908 including a copy under Section 57 of the Act may be accepted as evidence
of the transaction recorded in such documents. It is open to the Court to
accept the certified copy as reliable evidence and without examining parties to
the documents. This does not however preclude the Court from rejecting the
transaction itself as being malafide or sham provided such a challenge is laid
before the Court.
Singh V. State of Punjab (supra), the sale deeds produced by the claimants were
challenged as collusive. It was alleged that the sale transactions had been
entered into only for the purpose of inflating the market value in anticipation
of acquisition proceedings. It was in this context that the learned Judges of
this Court held:
is no proof of passing of the consideration thereunder or the circumstances in
which the documents came to be executed. Under these circumstances, all the
documents are inadmissible in evidence and cannot be looked into.
decision is not an authority for the proposition that the certified copy of a
registered sale deed is inadmissible in evidence without proof of the execution
of the documents by the vendor/purchaser or any other witness.
present case, there was no allegation by the claimants that Exhibits R/2 and
R/3 did not represent genuine transactions and the High Court was in error in
refusing to consider the transactions evidenced therein merely because the
parties to the documents were not examined.
submission of the learned counsel for the claimants that Exhibits R/2 and R/3
were in any event inadmissible because they were merely photostat copies of
sale deeds was not a ground of appeal raised by the claimants in any of the
appeals preferred by them from the decision of the District Judge. The original
records are not before us and it is not possible to state with any certainty
whether the original certified copies of Exhibits R/2 and R/3 had or had not
been produced by the State in any of the proceedings under Section 18. Although
the references under Section 18 had been decided on the basis of Exhibits R/2
and R/3, in the absence of any challenge on this score before the High Court by
the claimants, the High Court did not address itself to this aspect of the
matter at all. Therefore, the matter will have to be remanded to the High Court
to take a decision on the market value of the acquired land taking into
consideration Exhibits R/2 and R/3 unless the claimants are permitted by the
High Court to establish their inadmissibility.
left with the question whether the High Court could have granted a further
amount on account of potential value over and above the market value by way of
compensation. Under Section 23(1) of the Act, in determining the amount of
compensation to be awarded for land acquired under the Act, the Court shall
take into consideration the market value of the land at the date of publication
of the notification under Section 4, sub-section (1). The statute does not
allow for payment of any further amount on account of potential value over and
above the market value. Besides market value means exactly what it says viz.
the price which the asset would or could be expected to fetch in the open
market. Where a property has the potentiality of more profitable use, it will
command a better price than property without such potential. In other words,
potentiality forms part of the market value and may be a factor to be taken
into account for the purpose of determining the market value. But once the
market value is determined, there is no question of awarding any further amount
in addition thereto by reason of any further future potential. The decision
relied upon by the claimants do not hold to the contrary.
Collector, Raigarh V. Dr. Harisingh Thakur (supra), agricultural land had been
acquired. There was evidence to show that the lands were potentially building
sites. The finding was supported by the fact that the acquired land had in fact
been used for construction of staff quarters.
Court held that it would be wrong to assess the market value only on the basis
of its use at the time of acquisition and that the market value should be
determined not only with reference to the actual condition of the property at
the time of acquisition but also on its future potentiality.
in Hasanali Walimchand V. State of Maharashtra (supra) when the High Court had
calculated the market value of the land only on its existing use without taking
into consideration its future potential, this Court set aside the judgment of
the High Court. Neither of the decisions cited held that the Court could award
any amount on account of potential value over and above the market value. The
High Court, therefore, erred in granting an additional sum on account of
potential value in addition to the market value.
the aforesaid reasons, we set aside the decision of the High Court and remand
the issue as to the market value of the land to be re-determined by the High
Court in the light of the observations in this judgment.
the appeals preferred by the claimants are accordingly dismissed and the
appeals preferred by the State are disposed of accordingly. There will be no
order as to costs.