SHaradamma Vs. Special Land Acquisition Officer &Amp; Anr  Insc 117 (9 February 2007)
C.K. THAKKER & LOKESHWAR SINGH PANTA
C.K. THAKKER, J.
The present appeals arise out of a common judgment and order passed by the
High Court of Karnataka at Bangalore on October 12, 1998 in MFA Nos. 1387 of
1994 and 1376 of 1994. By the said order, the High Court confirmed the order
passed by the Reference Court on May 31, 1993 in LAC Nos. 33 of 1980 and 76 of
To appreciate the grievance of the appellant, it is necessary to state few
The appellant Smt. Sharadamma, widow of B.M.
Venkataswamappa is the owner of land bearing Survey Nos. 112 and 113 situate
at village Byappanahalli.
Survey No. 112 admesures 2 acres while Survey No. 113 admeasures 1 acre and 1
gunta. The land was sought to be acquired for expansion of New Government
Electric Factory ('NGEF' for short), Bangalore. A preliminary notification
under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereinafter referred to as
'the Act') was issued on March 26, 1965. The claimant demanded an amount of
Rs.20.00 per square yard for the land. The Land Acquisition Officer, by an
award dated October 25, 1965 awarded compensation of Rs.8,000 per acre. It is
not in dispute that possession of land was taken over on November 16, 1965. Since the claimant was not satisfied with the amount offered by the Land
Acquisition Officer vide his award referred to above, she sought Reference
under Section 18 of the Act and the Principal Civil Judge, Bangalore District
vide his order dated May 31, 1972 enhanced the compensation and awarded
Rs.20.00 per square yard less Rs.3,000 per acre in view of the fact that though
the land was having potentiality to conversion for non agricultural use, no
such order of conversion had been passed and it had come in evidence that
conversion charge was Rs.3,000 per acre. Thus the claimant's contention was
upheld and the compensation was awarded. The authorities, however, were
aggrieved by the enhancement and approached the High Court by filing appeals.
The High Court noted that the Reference Court relied upon earlier award but it
was challenged and the case was before this Court (Supreme Court). The matter
was thus in a 'fluid situation'. The High Court, therefore, thought it proper
to set aside the order passed by the Reference Court and to remand the matter
for fresh adjudication in accordance with law. It accordingly set aside the
order passed by the Reference Court granting liberty to the parties to adduce
further evidence and directed the Reference Court to decide it afresh in
accordance with law. After the remand, the Reference Court once again
considered the matter on merits. By that time, the matter had already been
decided by this Court in Special Land Acquisition Officer, Bangalore v. B.M.
Krishnamurthy, (1985) 1 SCC 469. The Reference Court, relying on B.M.
Krishnamurthy held that the claimant was entitled to compensation at the rate
of Rs.18,000 per acre and the order was passed accordingly. The said order was
confirmed by the High Court which has been challenged in the present appeals.
Leave was granted by this Court on November 17, 2000 and the matter has been
placed for final hearing.
We have heard learned counsel for the parties.
The learned counsel for the appellant contended that the Reference Court had
committed an error in not awarding compensation at the rate of Rs.20 per square
yard which had been done earlier by an order dated July 31, 1972. It was submitted that no doubt the High Court set aside the said order passed by the Reference
Court and remitted the matter with a direction to decide it afresh, keeping
in view the fact that a similar order was challenged by the State Authorities
and the matter was pending in this Court. But it was submitted that the matter
was decided by this Court on January 22, 1985 in B.M. Krishnamurthy and the
said decision clearly helps the claimant. The Reference Court was, therefore,
not justified in awarding compensation of Rs.18,000 per acre. The High Court
also committed similar error and hence the order passed by Reference Court and
confirmed by the High Court deserves to be set aside by allowing the appeals.
The learned counsel for the respondents, however, supported the order of the
Reference Court and of the High Court. According to him, the earlier order
passed by the Reference Court in 1972 could not be taken into consideration
since it was set aside by the High Court.
There is no error in the impugned order which deserves interference by this
Having heard learned counsel for the parties, in our opinion, the appeals
deserve to be allowed.
It is no doubt true that the order passed by the Reference Court on July 31, 1972 awarding compensation to the claimant at the rate of Rs.20 per square yard
was set aside by the High Court in the light of subsequent development and
challenge to a similar award before this Court. But it cannot be overlooked
that while dealing with the matter and considering the claim of the claimant,
the Reference Court considered the situation and location of the land.
In paragraph 10, the Court observed:
"10. The only controversial question is about the market value of the
To find out this aspect, the location of the land has to be borne in mind.
The lands involved in these cases are in S.No. 112, 113 and 26 of
Byappanahalli. Of them, it is admitted that S.No.26 is behind NGEF and S.No.
112 and 113 are in front of NGEF. The evidence shows that NGEF had been built
sometime prior to the acquisition of these lands. S.No. 112 and 113 are
abutting National High Way namely Bangalore-Madras Road and on one side these
two S.Nos. they have another road leading from Bangalore- Madras road to
N.G.E.F. and some other villages. The evidence shows that just opposite to
S.No.112 and 113 is the Aero Engine Factory. Its location is made clear from
the village map Ex.P-24 and Ex.P-25.
The evidence placed before this Court also shows that these lands are near
the Corporation limits. There is a Isolation Hospital near the acquired land.
It is also in evidence that on the northern side of S.No.112 and 113 is the
Bangalore-Madras Railway line. It is also in evidence that there are railway
quarters near the acquired land.
The evidence of P.W.2 shows that he had formed a lay out in S.No. 10 of
Byappanahalli which is also shown to be very close to the acquired land. There
is also evidence that Byappanahalli railway station and Marshalling yard are
very near the acquired land, particularly near S.No.26. The evidence shows that
lot of building activity has taken place in and around about the acquired land.
This would show that the lands acquired had good transport facilities. The
fact that number of quarters are also found nearby would also indicate that the
lands acquired were also suited for building purposes".
Keeping in view the site of the land, the Court observed that it would
clearly prove that having regard to the location of the lands, they were suited
for industrial purpose. It was also observed that the fact that the lands were
ideally situated for industries was 'practically conceded' by Syed Abdul
Khader, witness examined by the respondents as RW1the Land Acquisition Officer,
who made the position clear in his General Valuation Memorandum. The Reference
Court also noticed that Survey Nos. 112 and 113 had a frontage to the main
road. The claimant had placed material to show that some lands which were very
near to the acquired lands had been requisitioned for the Military and the
market price of such land was Rs.27 per square yard. The Court also considered
the location of land bearing Survey No.
14 of Benniganahalli (which was the subject-matter of challenge in B.M.
Krishnamurthy). It was in interior part and did not have a frontage unlike the
land of Survey No.
112 or 113. The land of Survey No.112 and 113 had a better situation and
must get better compensation.
Regarding conversion of land, the Court in the earlier order observed:
"I have fixed the minimum that could be given for converted lands at
Rs.20/- per sq. yard.
This would mean that this Court has to find out whether the lands are all
converted or not. I feel that only in respect of S.No.112 there is evidence
that it is converted land.
P.W.4 has told the court that he had asked her relative PW5 to apply for
conversion of S.No.112. PW4 and PW5 have a joint interest in S.No.112. PW4 is
entitled to 2 acres in it while the remaining 2-30 guntas belong to PW5. PW5
has stated that he had applied to the Deputy Commissioner to convert this land
for non-agricultural purpose. Ex.P-8, issued by the Deputy Commissioner,
Bangalore District, shows that the Deputy Commissioner had intimated him that
action is being taken to consider his application for conversion of this land.
The Deputy Commissioner has requested PW5 not to put this land to non-
agricultural use till the Deputy Commissioner takes a final decision in the
matter. No evidence has been placed before me to show that the Deputy
Commissioner has neither accorded sanction nor refused to accord sanction for
the conversion of this land. The evidence of PW5 that the Deputy Commissioner
did not send any intimation in this connection stands unrebutted. Therefore,
under law, the sanction of conversion of the land for non-agricultural purpose
is deemed to have been granted. Hence S.No.112 has to be held as a converted
land on the date of the preliminary notification".
In the present proceedings, however, the Reference Court, relying on B.M.
Krishnamurthy, awarded Rs.18,000/- per acre. The High Court, in the impugned
order, inter alia, stated that large number of lands situated in Benniganahalli
and Byappanahalli were acquired for the NGEF under the Land Acquisition Act
which are abutting the lands in question and since in respect of other lands
compensation was awarded at the rate of Rs.17,500 or Rs.18,000 per acre, award
of Rs.18,000 per acre to the claimants in the instant cases could not be said
to be inadequate or insufficient. The High Court also observed that the Supreme
Court awarded an amount of Rs.12.50 paise per sq. yard to the claimants and
hence the claimants were not entitled to anything more and the award of
Rs.18,000 per acre could not be interfered with.
In our view, the learned counsel for the claimant is right in submitting
that both the Courts were not correct in not awarding compensation as claimed by
the appellant. The counsel is also right in referring to B.M.
Krishnamurthy, particularly as to location of the land in question for
claiming enhanced compensation vis-`-vis land bearing Survey No. 14. For the
said purpose, he relied upon paragraph 6 of B.M. Krishnamurthy. The counsel
also drew our attention to map which is on record. It clearly shows that the
land of Survey Nos. 112 and 113 is better located than the land of Survey No.
14 in B.N. Krishnamurthy. He also referred to deposition of Syed Abdul Khader,
the then Special Land Acquisition Officer, Bangalore from 1964 to 1967. The
witness admitted that Kissan Factory was located at the distance of 3/4th mile
from the acquired land. He further stated that the Corporation limits were
about two furlongs from the acquired land. There was industrial potentiality of
the lands though the acquired lands were not converted.
He stated that Survey No. 112 was situated adjoining Bangalore-Madras
Highway and was in between old Madras road and Madras-Bangalore Railway line.
According to him, New Aero Engine Factory was very much in existence at the
time of acquisition and it was opposite Survey No.112 on the other side of the
old Madras road. Near about the acquired land, there were other factories also.
Corporation limit was within a distance of 50-60 yards from Aero Engine Factory
He further stated that approach road from NGEF to old Madras road was
adjacent to Survey No. 112.
Byappanahalli Railway Station was 1 or 1-= furlongs form Survey No. 112. He
admitted that Survey No. 113 was abutting Survey No.112 and what was stated
about Survey No.112 held good as regards Survey No.113 also.
He admitted that Bangalore-Madras road was a National Highway.
In view of the location of land being situated on National Highway of
Bangalore-Madras, near Railway line and situated in Industrial Area, in our
opinion, the claimant is entitled to compensation at the rate of Rs.20 per
square yard as claimed by her. Of course, it is admitted that the land was not
converted to non- agricultural use for which the owner was required to pay an
amount of Rs.3,000 per acre and to that extent the amount deserves to be
reduced. Accordingly, both the appeals are allowed and the claimant is held
entitled to compensation at the rate of Rs.20 per square yard less Rs.3,000 per
acre. The appeals are accordingly allowed with costs to the said extent.