Land acquisition Act- In the matter on hand, none of the parties have led oral evidence in support of their respective cases. However, certified copies of the two Sale Deeds are available on record which came to be produced by the parties before the Reference Court. The Sale Deed dated 24.01.1974 relied upon by the appellants depicts the price of one bigha of the property sold through the said sale deed was at Rs. 7,000/-, whereas the respondents relied upon the certified copy of Sale Deed dated 19.03.1971 which shows that the land therein was sold at the rate of Rs. 2,000/- per bigha under the said Sale Deed.-Though the Reference Court as well as the High Court have assigned valid reasons for not relying upon the Sale Deed dated 24.01.1974 relied upon by the claimants, have erred in ignoring to consider the Sale Deed dated 19.03.1971 produced by the respondents. The Reference Court as well as the High Court have merely observed, in the course of the judgment, that certified copy of such Sale Deed is produced by the respondents, but no further discussion was made as to why the said Sale Deed was not considered.- we do not find any reason to ignore the Sale Deed produced by the respondents in support of their case. As mentioned supra, the Sale Deed dated 19.03.1971 is in respect of 11 bighas and 10 biswas of land situated in the village Roshan Pura. As per the said Sale Deed, the price per bigha of the land involved therein would be about Rs. 2000/-. Prima facie, the land in question as well as the land covered under the Sale Deed dated 19.03.1971 are approximately having the similar dimension and are situated in the same village i.e. Roshan Pura. The respondents being the beneficiaries under the acquisition have themselves relied upon the Sale Deed dated 19.03.1971 as the sole basis to oppose the prayer of the claimants. Some sort of guess work is necessary while determining compensation for the land acquired. One has to perceive from the view point of the prudent purchaser. As the acquisition is of the year 1973, we do not wish to remit the matter to Reference Court. Having regard to the totality of the facts and circumstances of the matter, in our considered opinion, the compensation may be determined relying upon the Sale Deed dated 19.03.1971 particularly when there is no other reliable material on record. Since the land under the said Sale Deed dated 19.03.1971 was valued at a sum of Rs. 2,000/- per bigha, and as the land in question was acquired in the year 1973, the compensation can be determined by adding 15% of the value of the sale consideration per year keeping in mind the escalation in price of the lands day by day. Normally 15% escalation is taken, per year by this Court in recent times while quantifying compensation. Thus, the claimants would be entitled to Rs. 2,600/- per bigha.

NON-REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5630 of 2017
(Arising out of S.L.P. (Civil) No.14272 of 2015)

Jage Ram (D) Thr. Lrs. ….Appellant(s)

Versus

Union of India & Anr.
…..Respondent(s)

WITH

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5631 of 2017
(Arising out of S.L.P. (Civil) No.14277 of 2015)

J U D G M E N T

MOHAN M. SHANTANAGOUDAR, J.
The appellants are owners of the land to an extent of ½ share in
Khasra No. 46 (4-08), 462 (4-16), 463 (4-14), totally measuring 13 bighas
18 biswas situated in revenue estate of Village Roshan Pura, New Delhi.
The land was acquired for the public purpose of construction of Sub-
Divisional Office. The Land Acquisition Collector passed the Award bearing
no. 45/78-79, awarding compensation at the rate of Rs. 2,200/- per bigha
along with statutory benefits such as solatium, interest etc. as provided
under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.

1. The appellants, being dissatisfied with the quantum of compensation
awarded by the Land Acquisition Collector, filed petition under Section 18
of the Land Acquisition Act. The said petition came to be dismissed by the
Reference Court/Additional District Judge, Delhi on 04.10.2005 in LA Case
No. 896 of 1993. The appellants further approached the High Court of Delhi
by filing LA.A.No.34/2006 and L.A.A.No.35-54/2006 which also came to be
dismissed. The appellants are aggrieved by the award of the Land
Acquisition Collector, Award passed by the Reference Court as well as by
the judgment of the High Court.

2. Mr. Arvind K. Sharma, the learned counsel for the
claimants/appellants submitted that the Reference Court as well as the High
Court were not justified in ignoring the Sale Deed dated 24.01.1974
produced by the claimants in respect of the land measuring 4 bighas and 16
biswas situated adjoining Chhawla Gurgaon Road in village Roshan Pura,
Delhi which depicts that the price per bigha was about Rs.7,000/-.
According to him, though no relevant evidence is adduced by the parties
including the claimants, the aforementioned certified copy of the sale deed
could be sufficient evidence in support of the case of the claimants for
getting higher compensation.

3. Per contra, Ms. Garima Prashad, learned counsel for the respondents
argued that the Land Acquisition Collector has sufficiently compensated the
claimants in respect of the acquired land therefore, the Reference Court as
well as the High Court were justified in dismissing the contention of the
claimants for enhanced compensation.

4. In the matter on hand, none of the parties have led oral evidence in
support of their respective cases. However, certified copies of the two
Sale Deeds are available on record which came to be produced by the parties
before the Reference Court. The Sale Deed dated 24.01.1974 relied upon by
the appellants depicts the price of one bigha of the property sold through
the said sale deed was at Rs. 7,000/-, whereas the respondents relied upon
the certified copy of Sale Deed dated 19.03.1971 which shows that the land
therein was sold at the rate of Rs. 2,000/- per bigha under the said Sale
Deed.

5. Though the Reference Court as well as the High Court have assigned
valid reasons for not relying upon the Sale Deed dated 24.01.1974 relied
upon by the claimants, have erred in ignoring to consider the Sale Deed
dated 19.03.1971 produced by the respondents. The Reference Court as well
as the High Court have merely observed, in the course of the judgment, that
certified copy of such Sale Deed is produced by the respondents, but no
further discussion was made as to why the said Sale Deed was not
considered.

6. We do not want to burden this judgment by reiterating the reasons
assigned by the Reference Court as well as the High Court while refusing to
rely on the Sale Deed dated 24.01.1974 produced by the claimants
particularly when we find that the courts have on facts justified in doing
so. We also find that there is no evidence to show the similarity in
location/situation of the acquired land vis-à-vis the land which is the
subject matter of the Sale Deed dated 24.01.1974. Moreover, the land
involved in the Sale Deed dated 24.01.1974 is relatively very small piece
of land having dimension to the extent of 1/4th of the land in question.
While awarding the compensation for the acquired land, the Court must take
into account several factors including fertility, yield, nature of soil,
comparative sale statistics, its present use, its capacity for the higher
potential, the precise location, potentiality to use for non-agricultural
purposes, the use to which the land was put, its’ proximity to develop as
urban area etc. etc. It is also to be borne in mind the special value
which ought to be attached in respect of the special advantages, if any,
possessed by the land. In the matter on hand unfortunately, no such
evidence was let in by the claimants to show that the land covered under
Sale Deed dated 24.01.1974 is having the similar characteristics as the
land in question. Therefore, both the Courts below have rightly not relied
upon the Sale Deed dated 24.01.1974 while coming to the conclusion.

7. Learned counsel for the appellants relied upon the judgment in the
case of Suresh Prasad @ Hari Kishan & Ors. Vs. Union of India & Ors. (Civil
Appeal No. 1726 of 2015 decided on 18.3.2015) wherein this Court has fixed
compensation of Rs. 22,00,000/- (Rupees twenty two lakhs only) per acre in
respect of the land acquired under Acquisition Notification issued on
5.8.2003. The land involved in the said matter was of village Masoodabad.
The said judgment cannot be relied upon in the matter on hand, as much as,
in the present matter, the Notification issued was of the year 1973 and
whereas the Notification issued in the case of Suresh Prasad was in the
year 2003 i.e. almost 30 years later. Moreover, the land involved in the
Suresh Prasad’s case is situated in village Masoodabad which is stated to
be about 5 K.Ms. far from village Roshan Pura wherein the land to be
compensated is situated in this matter. In the case of Suresh Prasad,
the Land Acquisition Collector had determined compensation of Rs.15.70
lakhs per acre and the same was enhanced to Rs.24 lakhs by this Court. The
compensation determined in the case of Suresh Prasad was purely based on
the facts of that case and there is nothing on record to show that the land
involved in Suresh Prasad’s case was having the same characteristics as the
land in the present matter.

8. However, we do not find any reason to ignore the Sale Deed produced
by the respondents in support of their case. As mentioned supra, the Sale
Deed dated 19.03.1971 is in respect of 11 bighas and 10 biswas of land
situated in the village Roshan Pura. As per the said Sale Deed, the price
per bigha of the land involved therein would be about Rs. 2000/-. Prima
facie, the land in question as well as the land covered under the Sale Deed
dated 19.03.1971 are approximately having the similar dimension and are
situated in the same village i.e. Roshan Pura. The respondents being the
beneficiaries under the acquisition have themselves relied upon the Sale
Deed dated 19.03.1971 as the sole basis to oppose the prayer of the
claimants. Some sort of guess work is necessary while determining
compensation for the land acquired. One has to perceive from the view
point of the prudent purchaser. As the acquisition is of the year 1973, we
do not wish to remit the matter to Reference Court. Having regard to the
totality of the facts and circumstances of the matter, in our considered
opinion, the compensation may be determined relying upon the Sale Deed
dated 19.03.1971 particularly when there is no other reliable material on
record. Since the land under the said Sale Deed dated 19.03.1971 was
valued at a sum of Rs. 2,000/- per bigha, and as the land in question was
acquired in the year 1973, the compensation can be determined by adding 15%
of the value of the sale consideration per year keeping in mind the
escalation in price of the lands day by day. Normally 15% escalation is
taken, per year by this Court in recent times while quantifying
compensation. Thus, the claimants would be entitled to Rs. 2,600/- per
bigha.

9. Accordingly, these appeals are allowed. The compensation is
enhanced from Rs. 2,200/- to Rs. 2,600/- per bigha. It is needless to
state that the claimants are entitled to all the statutory benefits such as
solatium, interest etc. in accordance with law.

10. There shall be no order as to costs.
……………………….J (Dipak
Misra)
……………………………..J
(A.M. Khanwilkar)

………………………J
(Mohan M. Shantanagoudar)

New Delhi
Dated: May 04, 2017