award the compensation at the rate of Rs.2,50,000/- per acre together with all statutory benefits. = the valuation of the lands of Suraram village as reflected from Exs.A.3 to A.5, particularly in view of the fact that the Land Acquisition Officer had fixed the market value at the rate of Rs.1.30,000/- per acre in respect of the land belonging to some of the claimants, who gave consent for acquisition, the reference Court held that the market value fixed by the Land Acquisition Officer at the rate of Rs.46,500/- per acre was absolutely low and inadequate and accordingly thought it fit to award the compensation at the rate of Rs.2,50,000/- per acre together with all statutory benefits.
THE HONOURABLE Ms. JUSTICE
THE HONOURABLE SRI JUSTICE
LAAS Nos.161/2011 & cross objections
LAAS Nos.162/2011 & cross objections
LAAS Nos.213/2011 & cross objections
LAAS Nos.323/2011 & cross objections
(per the Honourable Ms. Justice G. ROHINI)
These four appeals are filed by the A.P. Power Generation Corporation Ltd., represented by its Authorized Signatory, Hyderabad, under Section 54 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (for short “the Act”) aggrieved by the common order dated 26.03.2010 passed by the Court of the Principal Senior Civil Judge at Kothagudem (herein after referred to as the ‘reference Court’) in LAOP.Nos.1 to 4 of 2010 contending that the enhanced compensation awarded by the reference Court at the rate of Rs.2,50,000/- per acre is excessive and not based on the evidence available on record.
On the other hand, the respondents/claimants in all the OPs filed cross objections with a prayer to grant further enhancement as per the claim made by them i.e. at the rate of Rs.5,00,000/- per acre.
We have heard Sri C.Raghu, the learned counsel for the appellants and Sri Hari Sreedhar, the learned counsel appearing for the respondents/cross objectors.
As could be seen from the material available on record, the land belonging to the respondents-claimants situated in Suraramvillage of Paloncha Mandal was acquired for the purpose of construction of Northern ash pond of Kothagudem Thermal Power Station O & M (V Stage) by notification dated 02.05.2006 published under Section 4(1) of the Act. After due enquiry, the Land Acquisition Officer passed an award on 23-6-2009 being award No.1/2009 fixing the market value at the rate of Rs.46,500/- per acre. Not being satisfied with the quantum of compensation awarded, the claimants sought reference under Section 18 of the Act and thus OP Nos.1, 2, 3 and 4 of 2010 have been taken up by the reference Court.
On behalf of the claimants, P.Ws.1 to 7 were examined before the reference court and Exs.A-1 to A-9 documents were marked to substantiate their claim. None was examined on behalf of the Referring Officer, however, Ex.B-1-award dated 23.06.2009 was marked.
On appreciation of the said evidence, the reference Court enhanced the compensation for the land acquired from Rs.46,500/- per acre to Rs.2,50,000/- per acre together with 30% solatium on the enhanced market value and 12% additional market value from the date of taking possession. The reference Court also awarded interest at 9% per annum on the enhanced market value for the first oneyear and at 15% per annum thereafter. So far as the fruit bearing trees are concerned, the reference Court declined to grant any enhancement and whatever compensation was awarded by the Land Acquisition Officer was confirmed.
Aggrieved by the said order of the reference Court dated 26.03.2010, A.P. Power Generation Company Ltd., preferred the present four appeals contending that the enhancement granted is exorbitant and without any basis. On behalf of the claimants-respondents, cross-objections have been filed claiming enhancement of compensation at the rate of Rs.5 lakhs per acre.
Out of the documents marked before the reference Court, the reference Court relied upon Ex.A.3, which is the market value certificate issued by the Sub-Registrar (Registrations), Kothagudem showing the market value of the land in Sy.No.68/1 and 69/1 ofSuraram village as well as Exs.A.4 and A.5-valuation certificates showing the market value of the land during the years 2004 and 2006. It is relevant to note that Suraram village being an agency area, no registered sale deeds were available with regard to the sale transactions in the said village. However, the claimants produced Exs.A-6-certified copy of registered sale deed dated 31.03.2005 and Ex.A-7-certified copy of registered sale deed dated 21.08.2006 related to the land situated in a different village, namely, Paloncha, stating that the land covered by the Exs.A.6 and A.7 sale deeds is situated only one kilo meter away from the acquired land.
In the light of the valuation of the lands of Suraram village as reflected from Exs.A.3 to A.5, particularly in view of the fact that the Land Acquisition Officer had fixed the market value at the rate of Rs.1.30,000/- per acre in respect of the land belonging to some of the claimants, who gave consent for acquisition, the reference Court held that the market value fixed by the Land Acquisition Officer at the rate of Rs.46,500/- per acre was absolutely low and inadequate and accordingly thought it fit to award the compensation at the rate of Rs.2,50,000/- per acre together with all statutory benefits.
However, it is contended by the respondents/cross objectors that though Exs.A.6 and A.7 sale transactions related to the land situated in a different village, namely Paloncha since it is situated only one kilo meter away from the acquired land, the reference Court ought to have taken the consideration under the said sale deeds as the basis for fixing the compensation.
It is to be noticed that under Ex.A.6 sale deed, a house plot admeasuring 365 square yards was sold for a consideration of Rs.1,50,000/- on 31.03.2005 whereas, under Ex.A.7 sale deed, an extent of 260.66 square yards of house site was sold for Rs.2,67,000/- on 21.08.2006.
The learned counsel for the respondents submits that on conversion of the said consideration into acreage basis, the market value would come to Rs.409.83 per square yard i.e. Rs. 19,83,577/- per acre and therefore the reference Court ought to have granted atleast Rs.5,00,000/- per acre after giving the necessary deductions towards developmental charges.
In the light of the evidence available on record and reasons assigned by the reference Court, we are of the opinion that the compensation awarded by the reference Court at Rs.2,50,000/- per acre is just and reasonable.
Though in the cross objections filed by them the respondents claimed the compensation at the rate of Rs.5,00,000/- per acre on the basis of Exs.A.6 and A.7, in view of the fact that the said house sites are situated in a different village, Paloncha, which is an industrial area, whereas the acquired land is situated in a tribal area, we are not inclined to rely upon the same for granting further enhancement. In our considered opinion, the reference Court was justified in awarding the compensation at the rate of Rs.2,50,000/- per acre and the same is based on proper appreciation of the evidence available on record. Therefore, the interference by us is not warranted on any ground whatsoever.
For the aforesaid reasons both the appeals and the cross-objections are dismissed confirming the order under appeal passed bythe reference Court. No order as to costs.
______________ G. ROHINI,J.
C. PRAVEEN KUMAR, J.