Decided on February 10,2016

KUNJAMMA Appellant


- (1.) In all these appeals the appellants are claiming enhanced compensation in respect their lands which were acquired under the Land Acquisition Act,1894 (hereinafter referred to as "the Act"). The Notification by which the lands were acquired are the same and the lands are also situated in the same vicinity. The Notification was published on 19.12.2003. After inviting the objections under Section 5A of the Act and considering the same, the declaration under Section 6 also came to be passed thereafter. The Land Acquisition Officer categorised the lands in four different categories and awarded the compensation at the rate of Rs. 4600/ - per Are for Category No.1, Rs. 4400/ - per Are for Category No. 2, Rs.4200/ - per Are for Category No. 3 and Rs.4000/ - per Are for Category No. 4. The appellants sought Reference under Section 18 of the Act as they were not satisfied with the aforesaid compensation. In fact, they have claimed the compensation at the rate of Rs. 20,000/ - per Are. The Reference Court maintained the aforesaid categories of lands and enhanced the compensation to Rs.10,000/ - per Are, Rs.8,000/ - per Are, Rs.7,000/ - per Are and Rs.6,000/ - per Are for Category Nos. 1,2,3 & 4 respectively. Still not satisfied, the appellants approached the High Court by filing the appeals against the order of the Reference Court. In those appeals, the High Court fixed the compensation on the following rates: Category ­ 1 Rs. 11,000/ - per Are Category ­ 2 Rs. 8,800/ - per Are Category ­ 3 Rs. 7,500/ - per Are Category -4 Rs. 6,400/ - per Are
(2.) After fixing the compensation in the aforesaid manner, the High Court also added the value of improvements and enhanced the aforesaid compensation by 30% as it found that there were substantial improvements on the lands carried out by the land owners by planting rubber trees etc. However, thereafter the High Court reduced the compensation by 10% on the ground that in these cases the acquisition was of more than one hectare of land.
(3.) It is argued by the learned senior counsel for the appellants that there was no reason to reduce the compensation by 10% on the aforesaid ground when the High Court had fixed the rates of compensation, as mentioned above, not on the basis of awards passed in other cases where the acquisition was of lessor quantum of land. However, it may not be necessary to go into this issue having regard to some other developments which have taken place and re -produced by the appellants by way of additional documents. It so happened that in the very next year i.e. in the year 2004, some more lands in the same area were acquired by the State. In those cases, the Reference Court has fixed the market value of land at Rs. 30,000/ - per Are. It is also stated on affidavit that the State has accepted the aforesaid value and paid the compensation to the land owners in those cases accordingly. The learned senior counsel appearing for the appellants, thus, submitted that when for the same kind of land the compensation is fixed at Rs. 30,000/ - per Are, which acquisition was within the close proximity of acquisition of lands of the appellants, there is no reason not to pay the compensation to the appellants at the same rate.;

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