Land Acquisition = fixation of compensation = relying on earlier judgment and sale deed of side village - valid = Escalation of price at 10% per annum is valid = Lower court enhanced the compensation amount from 15,000/- to Rs.49,600/- per acre for the acquired lands of the claimants with all statutory benefits - valid = Advance possession - collector directed to fix damages = SPECIAL DEPUTY COLLECTOR VS G.BAL REDDY & 2 OTHERS = Published in http://hc.ap.nic.in/csis/MainInfo.jsp?mtype=LAAS&mno=201&year=2013

Land Acquisition = fixation of compensation = relying on earlier judgment and sale deed of side village - valid = Escalation of price at 10% per annum is valid = Lower court enhanced the compensation amount from 15,000/- to Rs.49,600/- per acre for the acquired lands of the claimants with all statutory benefits - valid  = Advance possession - collector directed to fix damages =

10% Esclation of price per annum is valid =
in Valluri Veerabhadra Rao Vs. LAO, East Godawari[2]wherein it was held that the Court can grant escalation at 10% per annum on the market value.
for fixing market value considering already decided case is not wrong =
Bhim Singh and Ors. etc., Vs. State of Haryana and Anr.,[1], wherein it was held that in similar cases, no fault can be found with the Court for determination of Market Value on the basis of earlier judgments.
Near by villages sale deed can be considered to fix compensation =
in The State of Maharashtra Vs. Nana Bal Patil @ Rane[3], wherein it was held that when there were no sale transactions in village at relevant time, then Reference Court could always take into consideration of a sale instance of the land which was situated in adjacent village, provided sale instance was of a comparable land
Therefore, in the light of admissions made by R.W.1 about the nature and fertility of the lands being similar, Ex.P.1 can be the basis for arriving at the Market Value of the land under acquisition. =
Advance possession taken - Collector directed to fix damage =
as per record, advance possession was taken on 30.03.1995 prior to issuance of Section 4(1) Notification, dated 16.05.1998.  Hence, the claimants are entitled to be compensated for their deprivation of possession from the date of their dispossession till the date of issuance of Section 4(1) Notification.  Therefore, the District Collector, Mahaboobnagar District is hereby directed to take necessary steps by appointing a competent Officer to assess the amount of compensation payable for the period, as mentioned above, to the claimants and, considering the fact that the acquisition is of the year 1995 and already about 28 years has been elapsed till now, the process should be completed within a period of 12 weeks from the date of receipt of the Judgment in this appeal.

LAAS 201 / 2013
LAASSR 4413 / 2013
PETITIONERRESPONDENT
SPECIAL DEPUTY COLLECTOR  VSG.BAL REDDY & 2 OTHERS
PET.ADV. : GP FOR APPEALSRESP.ADV. : VENKATESWARA REDDY
SUBJECT: AS01.00DISTRICT:  MAHABUBNAGAR

HON’BLE Ms. JUSTICE G. ROHINI
AND
HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE CHALLA KODANDA RAM
L.A.A.S. No.201 of 2013

 

JUDGMENT:- (per Hon’ble Sri Justice Challa Kodanda Ram)

         
This Appeal has been filed by the Referring Officer challenging the Order dated 04.12.2012 in O.P. No.126 of 2003 passed by the learned Senior Civil Judge, Wanaparthy.  The impugned Order was passed on a reference to the Court under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, (for short “the Act”).

2)                     The Government issued land acquisition proceedings dated 16.05.1998, under Section 4(1) of the Act, proposing to acquire an extent of Ac.1-35 gts., land situated in Sy.No.155/2/4 of Pamapur village of Kothakota Mandal for the purpose of excavation of Priyadarshini Jurala Project, Gadwal (PJP Canal).  After enquiry, the Land Acquisition Officer had determined the market value at the rate of Rs.15,000/- per acre for the lands of the claimants and accordingly passed an Award No.28/99, dated 28.05.1999.  Not being satisfied with the compensation awarded by the Land Acquisition Officer, on claimants’ applications matters were referred to the Senior Civil Judge Court, Wanaparthy, and the same was numbered as O.P. No.126 of 2003. 

3)                     The learned Judge of the trial Court after an elaborate enquiry had enhanced the compensation amount from 15,000/- to Rs.49,600/- per acre for the acquired lands of the claimants with all statutory benefits.  Aggrieved by the same the present appeal was filed by the Referring Officer.
4)                     On behalf of the claimants, the claimant No.1 was examined as P.W.1 and one Basi Reddy, who was one of the claimants in O.P. No.241 of 1995, was examined as P.W.2 and got marked Exs.P.1 and P.2, which are certified copies of Judgments in O.P.No.241/1995 and A.S.No.3449/2000 & Batch respectively.  On behalf of the Referring Officer, the Land Acquisition Officer was examined as R.W.1 and got marked Ex.R.1-Award proceedings No.28/99, dt.28.05.1999.

5)                     The Learned Government Pleader for appeals, appearing on behalf of the appellant-Referring Officer, contended that the Court below ought not to have considered the Ex.P.1-Judgment in O.P. No.241/1995 & Batch, dated 20.04.2000, whereunder the lands of different villages were acquired and the compensation granted in that Order was reduced from Rs.40,000/- to Rs.33,000/- per acre for wet lands and from Rs.34,000/- to Rs.31,000/- per acre for dry lands; that the potentiality and fertility of the acquired lands are different from the lands covered under Ex.P.1.  He further contended that there is no evidence to apply 10% of escalation every year for a period of 6 years 4 months to enhance the compensation to Rs.49,600/- per acre and it is also not automatic in all the cases. 

6)                     On the other hand the learned counsel for the respondents-claimants would submit that the trial Court has properly appreciated the evidence, hence no need for any interference with the orders of the trial Court. 

7)                     As seen from the evidence on record, the 2nd claimant was examined as P.W.1 and by reiterating their contentions he deposed that the Land Acquisition Officer had acquired some of the lands situated in adjacent village i.e. Shakapur (V) for the same purpose, and on a reference made by the claimants, the trial Court had enhanced the market value at Rs.40,000/- per acre for wet lands and Rs.34,000/- per acre for dry lands under Ex.P.1.  He further deposed that the High Court has reduced the said enhancement to Rs.33,000/- and Rs.31,000/- per acre for wet and dry lands respectively under Ex.P.2.  He further deposed that since the lands covered under Ex.P.1 and the acquired lands are similar in nature they are entitled to get more compensation basing on Ex.P.2. 

8)                     P.W.2-Basi Reddy, who was one of the claimant in O.P.No.241/1995 & batch, deposed that his land and the lands of the claimants herein are quite adjacent to each other and having equal fertility and they fetch equal market value on par with his lands covered under Exs.P.1 and P.2. During the cross-examination he denied the suggestion that the acquired lands are less in fertile than his lands and that the award passed by the Land Acquisition Officer is just and proper and that the claimants herein are not entitled to claim compensation on par with his lands.

9)                     R.W.1, Smt. Seshi Devi, the Land Acquisition Officer has reiterated her version as mentioned in the Award.  However, in the cross-examination she admitted that the lands of claimants are adjacent to the lands covered under Exs.P.1 and P.2 and there is continuous canal in the lands of claimants and lands covered under Exs.P.1 and P.2; that she has deposited the compensation amount awarded under Ex.P.2.

10)                As seen from the evidence on record, it is an admitted fact that the compensation enhanced under Ex.P.1-Order in O.P.No.241 of 1995, dt.20.04.2000, was reduced by this Court from Rs.34,000/- to Rs.31,000/- per acre for dry lands under Ex.P.2-Judgment in A.S. No.3449 of 2000 & Batch, dated 14.09.2006, and in pursuant to the same the Land Acquisition Officer had deposited the compensation amount accordingly.  Further, for enhancing the compensation from Rs.15,000/- to Rs.49,600/-, the learned Judge of the trial Court had relied on the judgment reported in Bhim Singh and Ors. etc., Vs. State of Haryana and Anr.,[1], wherein it was held that in similar cases, no fault can be found with the Court for determination of Market Value on the basis of earlier judgments.  Further, in order to grant escalation at 10% per annum, the learned Judge of the trial Court had relied on the judgment reported in Valluri Veerabhadra Rao Vs. LAO, East Godawari[2]wherein it was held that the Court can grant escalation at 10% per annum on the market value.  Further as seen from the judgment reported in The State of Maharashtra Vs. Nana Bal Patil @ Rane[3], wherein it was held that when there were no sale transactions in village at relevant time, then Reference Court could always take into consideration of a sale instance of the land which was situated in adjacent village, provided sale instance was of a comparable land. Therefore, in the light of admissions made by R.W.1 about the nature and fertility of the lands being similar, Ex.P.1 can be the basis for arriving at the Market Value of the land under acquisition. 

11)                In view of the ratio laid down in the above judgments, placing reliance on Ex.P.2 by the trial Court for fixing the market value at Rs.49,600/- per acre, by applying the escalation of prices of the land at the rate of 10% per annum from the date of Notification under Ex.P.1 i.e. 21.01.1992 to the date of Notification in the present case i.e. 16.05.1998, is cogent and reasonable.

12)                Therefore, we are of the opinion that there is no need to interfere with the impugned orders passed by the learned Judge of the trial Court.   However, in the present case, as per record, advance possession was taken on 30.03.1995 prior to issuance of Section 4(1) Notification, dated 16.05.1998.  Hence, the claimants are entitled to be compensated for their deprivation of possession from the date of their dispossession till the date of issuance of Section 4(1) Notification.  
Therefore, the District Collector, Mahaboobnagar District is hereby directed to take necessary steps by appointing a competent Officer to assess the amount of compensation payable for the period, as mentioned above, to the claimants and, considering the fact that the acquisition is of the year 1995 and already about 28 years has been elapsed till now, the process should be completed within a period of 12 weeks from the date of receipt of the Judgment in this appeal.

13)                Accordingly, the appeal is disposed of with the above direction.  No order as to costs.  Miscellaneous Petitions, if any, pending in this appeal, shall stand closed.


______________

G. ROHINI, J






____________________________
CHALLA KODANDA RAM, J
Date:06.09.2013.
Ssv


HON’BLE Ms. JUSTICE G. ROHINI
AND
HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE CHALLA KODANDA RAM



































L.A.A.S. No.201 of 2013


Date:6th September, 2013.

Ssv


[1] 2003(1) 10 Supreme Court Cases 529
[2] 1998 (3) ALD 123
[3] 2013(2)ALLMR379

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