Shiv Ram Vs. State of
H.P. & Ors.  INSC 2228 (18 December 2008)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 1585 OF 2001 Shri Shiv
Ram .....Appellant The State of Himachal Pradesh & Ors. ......Respondents
HARJIT SINGH BEDI,J.
appeal arises out of the following facts:
11.9 bighas of land situated in two villages, Kasumpati-Junga and Patii-Rihana
was notified for acquisition under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894
(hereinafter called the "Act") in the official Gazette 2 on 2nd
April 1988, 23rd July 1988 and 28th September 1988. The Collector by his Award
dated 28th July 1988 granted a sum of Rs.43,330/- per bigha for the acquired
land. The claimant thereafter filed a reference before the District Judge,
Shimla, who vide his order dated 11th June 1992 determined the market value at
Rs.70,000/- per bigha rejecting the claimant's plea for the award of
Rs.1,75,000/- per bigha. The matter was taken to the Division Bench of the High
Court in First Appeal and the Bench vide its judgment dated 30th December 1999
confirmed the compensation awarded by the District Judge on reference but
granted enhanced interest and solatium as per the entitlement of the claimant.
The first appeal filed by the State Government seeking a reduction in the
compensation granted by the District Judge was, however, dismissed. The present
appeal at the instance of the claimant is before us against the judgment and
order of the Division Bench aforementioned.
Agrawala, the learned counsel for the claimant- appellant has argued that as
per Notification of the year 1980 the adjoining land in the same villages had
been acquired for the same purpose and compensation at Rs.1.75 lakh per bigha
minus 30% towards development charges had been awarded by the High Court by its
judgment Ext.PY. He has, accordingly, pleaded that as the present matter
pertained to an acquisition of the year 1988, that is almost 8 years after the
earlier acquisition, a minimum of Rs.1.75 lakh was payable to the appellant.
Mr. Sharma, the
learned counsel for the respondents has, however, pointed out that this matter
had been dealt with by the Division Bench and the plea had been rejected by
observing that there was no evidence to show that the land acquired in the year
1980 and the land acquired by the impugned Notification was similar, of the
same quality, classification or potential for development and in the absence of
any such evidence merely because some adjoining pieces of land had been granted
a higher 4 compensation, there was no justification in granting anything more
in the present case.
have heard the learned counsel for the parties and gone through the record. We
are of the opinion that the observations of the Division Bench with regard to
the quality and the situation of the land acquired in the year 1980 and the
present acquisition are not quite accurate.
In this connection,
we may refer to the evidence of the land owner Lalit Kishore, who deposed that
both these lands fell in the municipal area and adjoined Chhota Shimla Bazar
and new colonies and flats made by the Shimla Development Authority were close
by and that the land in question was level and was served with facilities like
electricity, water, and sewerage etc. Even assuming for a moment that this
statement could said to be self-serving, we have chosen to consider the
evidence produced by the respondent State itself. We refer in particular to the
statements of Mangat Ram Patwari RW1 and Pratap Singh Kanoongo PW-2. Mangat Ram
stated that the lands acquired by the two Notifications were 5 situated side
by side and that the land in all 4 villages which were under acquisition were
of similar quality.
Pratap Singh Kanoongo
RW2 was even more forthcoming when he stated:
"I was posted in
Shimla from 1986 to June 1990. I have seen all the villages of the acquired
lands. It is correct that Khalini falls by the side of Moza Patiyog. Thereafter
Patii Rehan Rural and then urban. By its side village Kasumpati Jhunga falls.
The quality of all these land is the same and were acquired for the same
purpose. It is correct that in the past 15 to 20 years in these villages
private and Govt. colonies have come up in large scale. The boundary of Moza
Kasumpati Jhunga goes up to Pari Mahal.
Govt. colonies have
been constructed right up to Pari Mahal. In these villages land was acquired
even for SDA. In all these villages modern facilities are available. I have not
brought that record on the basis of which Exhibit-RC, RE and RG have been
The acquired land is
by the side of BCS school in Patiyog. The land of Patti Rehana falls by the
side of Brook Hurst. The land of Kusumpati Jhunga falls by the side of
statements of the State's witnesses clearly fortify Mr. Agrawala's submission
that the land subject to the two acquisition i.e. in 1980, and 1988 were of the
same quality and situation and potential for use and were situated adjacent to
each other and belonged to the same villages. We are, therefore, of the opinion
that the observations of the Division Bench that no evidence had come on record
to justify the payment of compensation at Rs.1.75 lakh per bigha minus 30 per
cent are not justified.
have also gone through the claim made by the land- owner/appellant before the High
Court. We notice that the claimant had sought compensation at Rs.1.30 lakh per
bigha and paid court fee on this figure. We are, therefore, of the opinion
notwithstanding the fact that Mr. Agrawala is hesitatingly asking for
Rs.5,00,000/- per bigha or atleast Rs.1.75 lakh per bigha nothing more than the
amount claimed in the first appeal before the High Court is admissible. As
already mentioned above, the land acquired by the Notification of 1980, 7
compensation at Rs.1.75 lakh per bigha had been awarded with 30% cut towards
development charges etc.
In view of the fact
that the present acquisition was made some 8 years later and a claim of Rs.1.30
lakh per bigha has been made, we allow this appeal and direct that compensation
at Rs.1.30 lakh per bigha shall be payable to the appellant. In addition to the
enhanced compensation, the claimant-appellant shall also be entitled to
solatium and interest on the enhanced amount. We, further, direct that the
entire sum payable to the appellant under this judgment will be defrayed to him
within a period of 4 months from the date of the supply of a certified copy of
this judgment to the respondent. There will, however, be no order as to costs.