GENERAL MANAGER Vs. DHANJIBHAI HARGOVINDDAS
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
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Akil Abdul Hamid Kureshi, J. -
(1.) THESE first appeals are filed by the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. ('ONGC' for short), the acquiring body calling in question the common judgment and award dated 12.4.2007 passed by the learned Principal Senior Civil Judge, Gandhinagar in Land Acquisition Reference No. 100 of 2002 and connected references. Being covered by a common notification for acquisition issued under section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, ('the Act' for short) these appeals would be disposed of by this common judgment. Brief facts are as under:
(2.) ONGC required land for its oil drilling purposes in village called Motera in the district and city of Ahmedabad. Notification under section 4(1) of the Act was issued on 21.6.99. Notification under section 6 of the Act was issued on 11.9.2000. The Land Acquisition Officer, passed his award under section 11 of the Act in two of the cases on 16th May 2002 and in the third case on 7th October 2002. He awarded compensation to the claimants at the rate of Rs. 68 and Rs. 70 per sq. meters in Land Reference Case Nos. 101 and 102 of 2002 and at the rate of Rs. 90 per sq. meters in Land Reference Case No. 34 of 2008. The claimants dissatisfied with such compensation, sought reference before the District under section 18 of the Act and claimed compensation at the rate of Rs. 2000/Rs. 3000 per sq. meters in such references. The case of the claimants was that the lands acquired were fertile agricultural lands yielding three crops a year from which the claimants were earning annually Rs. 75000 per vigha of net income. They also contended that the lands were situated in highly developed area. Though technically outside the limits of the Municipal Corporation of Ahmedabad, the lands were covered by non -agricultural development. Number of housing societies, commercial complexes and other infrastructural facilities were existing. The lands were abutting on a main road which leads to a cricket stadium where international cricket matches were being placed since years. The lands thus had NA potential. Inter alia on such grounds, the claimants sought higher compensation.
(3.) ON the other hand, ONGC contended that the lands were agricultural lands and the yield was highly exaggerated. A nearby land was sold for Rs. 73 per sq. meter around the same time. ONGC also relied on the acquisition of lands of Chandkheda village for which the High Court had fixed the market price at the rate of Rs. 195 per sq. meter. Even granting uniform escalation for the time gap between the two acquisitions, the compensation would not come to more than Rs. 350 per sq. meter according to the ONGC.;
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