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Gujarat Water Supply And Sewage Board & 2 vs Champabhai Harsurbhai &Defendants

High Court Of Gujarat|26 September, 2013
IN THE HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT AT AHMEDABAD FIRST APPEAL NO. 3840 of 2008 With FIRST APPEAL NO. 3841 of 2008 TO FIRST APPEAL NO. 3846 of 2008 FOR APPROVAL AND SIGNATURE:
HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE JAYANT PATEL and HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE Z.K.SAIYED ================================================================
1 Whether Reporters of Local Papers may be allowed to see the judgment ?
2 To be referred to the Reporter or not ?
3 Whether their Lordships wish to see the fair copy of the judgment ?
4 Whether this case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution of India, 1950 or any order made thereunder ?
5 Whether it is to be circulated to the civil judge ?
================================================================ GUJARAT WATER SUPPLY AND SEWAGE BOARD & 2 Appellant(s) Versus CHAMPABHAI HARSURBHAI & 1 Defendant(s) ================================================================ Appearance:
MR HS MUNSHAW, ADVOCATE for the Appellant(s) No. 1 MR NITIN AMIN, ADVOCATE for the Respondents – original claimants MR DHAWAN JAYSWAL, AGP for Special Land Acqui. Officer ================================================================ CORAM: HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE JAYANT PATEL and
HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE Z.K.SAIYED
Date : 26/09/2013 ORAL JUDGMENT (PER : HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE JAYANT PATEL)
1. As all appeals arise from the common judgement and award passed by the Reference Court, they are being considered simultaneously.
2. All appeals are directed against the common judgement and award passed by the Reference Court in Land Reference Case Nos.265/1998 to 271/1998, whereby the Reference Court has awarded gross compensation of Rs.30/- per sq. mtrs.
3. The short facts of the case are that for the project on “Khobhda Juth Pani Puravtha Yojna”, the lands at Village Khambhda were to be acquired under under the Land Acquisition Act (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act' for short). The Notification under Section 4 of the Act was published on 21.4.1994 and thereafter Notification under Section 6 of the Act was published. Thereafter, the award was passed, whereby the Special Land Acquisition Officer awarded the compensation at the rate of Rs.1.37/- per sq. mtrs. As the claimants were not satisfied with the compensation, they raised the disputes under Section 18 of the Act and demanded compensation at Rs.100/- per sq. mtrs. Such disputes were referred to the Reference Court for adjudication being Land Reference Case Nos.265/1998 to 271/1998. The Reference Court, at the conclusion of the references, passed the above referred judgement and award. Under these circumstances, the present appeals before this Court.
4. We have heard Mr.Munshaw, learned Counsel for the appellant, Mr.Nitin Amin, learned Counsel for the original claimants and Mr.Jayswal, learned AGP for the Special Land Acquisition Officer. We have considered the reasons recorded by the Reference Court and the learned Counsel for both the sides have produced relevant decisions of this Court, whereby compensation in respect of the land located at Village Gunda was fixed.
5. The perusal of the reasons recorded by the Reference Court shows that the Reference Court has considered two decisions for awarding compensation in respect of the acquisition of the land at Village Khambhda; which was pertaining to a case where the notification under Section 4 of the Act was published on 11.2.1993 and this Court ultimately in First Appeal No.1884 of 2001 to 1887 of 2001 confirmed the compensation at Rs.28/- per sq. mtrs., and another is for the compensation awarded in Land Reference Case No.838/1988 and other matters, wherein the notification under Section 4 of the Act was published on 6.9.1983 and the compensation was fixed at Rs.9/- per sq. mtrs., and thereafter, has assessed market value at Rs.30/- per sq. mtrs.
6. It is by now well settled that when there are two decision of the Reference Court for awarding compensation of the same village or for adjacent village, the Court would consider the recent decision, because the awarding of compensation for much remote past period of ten years or more may be unreliable, more particularly, when one is having the recent decision of the Reference Court for acquisition of the land of the same village or of the adjoining village. If the matter is considered in that light, it appears that in respect of adjoining village, there is already a decision of this Court in First Appeal Nos.1884 of 2001 to 1887 of 2001, whereby the compensation is awarded of Rs.28/- per sq. mtrs., for acquisition of the land, wherein notification under Section 4 of the Act was published on 11.2.1993. If the said basis is considered and thereafter, appreciation is considered at the rate of 10% per annum, such amount would come to Rs.30.80. As against the same, the Reference Court has awarded compensation at Rs.30/- per sq. mtrs.
7. The decision in respect of the acquisition of the land at village Khambhda, wherein notification under Section 4 of the Act was published on 6.9.1983, i.e. 11 years back may not be of much help for the assessment of the market value. At this stage, we may also refer to the decision of this Court in the case of Special Land Acquisition Officer Vs. Rupa Mala in First Appeal No.1803 of 2010 and allied matters decided on 10.7.2003, wherein in respect of the acquisition of the land at village Gunda, wherein the notification under Section 4 of the Act was published in 1999, this Court found that the compensation awarded at Rs.45.75 per sq. mtrs., as reasonable. We need to keep in mind that there is a time gap of about five years of the notification in the present matter, inasmuch as for the acquisition of the land in question the notification under Section 4 of the Act was published in the year 1994, whereas in the decision of this Court in First Appeal No.1803 of 2010, notification under Section 4 of the Act was published in 1999. Therefore, if reverse depreciation is considered, then also the value of the land would roughly come to the same position. It may also be stated that in the said decision, this Court, at paragraph 8, observed thus:-
“8. The perusal of the reasons recorded by the Reference Court shows that before the Reference Court, the compensations awarded for different lands located in different villages of the nearby vicinity were produced. The Reference Court ultimately has found that the comparable lands could be as that of the lands located at village Sarangpur and at village Khamda. So far as the village Sarangpur is concerned, the acquisition of the land had taken place much earlier, inasmuch as on 21.11.1986, whereas for the land at village Khamda is concerned, the notification under Section 4 of the Act was published in the year 1994. Taking into consideration the date of the notification under Section 4 of the Act in the aforesaid both the lands and the award passed by the Reference Court for compensation in respect of both the lands, the Reference Court has found that the compensation awarded for the lands at village Sarangpur, since it is of much prior in time cannot be said as comparable and the Reference Court has found it proper to rely upon the compensation awarded by the Reference Court in the other matter for village Khamda, since the notification under Section 4 of the Act for the said lands was published in the year 1994, whereas the notification under Section 4 of the Act in the present case is in the year 1999. In our view, it is by now well settled that if there are more than one previous decisions in respect of acquisition of the adjoining lands, it would be required for the Reference Court to consider the aspect for relying upon the earlier decision after taking into consideration the nearby proximity in the location as well as in time for acquisition of the lands. If the Reference Court has not relied upon the compensation awarded for the acquisition of the lands at village Sarangpur on the ground that the acquisition was of the year 1986 and has relied upon the compensation awarded for the lands at village Khamda, since the acquisition was in the year 1994, such an approach on the part of the Reference Court cannot be said as erroneous, inasmuch as the compensation awarded of the adjoining lands or the lands located at the adjoining village, wherein the acquisition is of the nearest area, which is prior to the acquisition in the present case can be said as more reliable and appropriate for the purpose of assessing the market value. After considering the compensation awarded for the land at village Khamda in a case where the notification under Section 4 of the Act was in the year 1994, the Reference Court has considered the appreciation at the rate of 10% per annum for the time gap between notification under Section 4 of the Act in case of the acquisition of the lands at village Khamda and the notification under Section 4 of the Act of the present case, which is of the year 1999, which also, in our view cannot be said as erroneous, since it is by now well settled that the appreciation normally is to be considered at the rate of 10% every year for the assessment of the market value of the land.”
1. Taking into consideration the aforesaid aspect, we do not find that the compensation awarded by the Reference Court based on the market value is on higher side.
2. The other benefits conferred by the Reference Court are all statutory in nature, to which we are not inclined to interfere.
3. In view of the aforesaid observations and discussion, we find that the appeals are meritless. Hence, dismissed.
(JAYANT PATEL, J.) vinod (Z.K.SAIYED, J.)
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Judges
  • Jayant Patel
  • Z K Saiyed
Advocates
  • Mr Hs Munshaw