PATEL MAGANBHI CHATURBHAI Vs. COLLECTOR MEHSANA DISTRICT
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
PATEL MAGANBHI CHATURBHAI
COLLECTOR, MEHSANA DISTRICT
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Shealt, J. -
(1.) These two appeals arise out of the judgment passed on 31st December 1959 of by Mr. H. M. Kaddri, Civil judge (Senior Division), Meshing, in Land Acquisition Reference No.1 of 1954, from which these two appeals Nos. 821 of 1960 and 822 of 1962 arise, were heard together and a common judgment was recorded.
(2.) Land Acquisition Reference No. 2 was in respect of compensation claimed for the land admeasuring I bigha 6 vasas out of S. No. 12 situated within the limits of Visnagar, District Mehasana, Land Acquisition Reference No. 3 of 1954 was in respect of land admeasureing 2 bighas 14 vasas of S. No. 8 situated in Visnagar. Both the lands were notified for acquisition under section 4, sub-section (1) of the Land Acquisition Act, on 30th April 1949. The possession thereof was obtained on 16-5-1949. The Land Acquisition Officer allowed compensation in respect of both the lands at the rate of Rs. 3,000 per bigha of land and solatium at the rate of 15 per cent thereon as contemplated under the Section 23(2) of the Act. The total amount that way came to Rs. 4,458 in respect of land comprised in Land acquisition Reference No. 2 of 1954 and Rs. 9,315 in respect of land composed in Land acquisition Reference No. 3 of 1954. The references were made to the District court of Mehsana at the instance of the claimants under section 18 of the act. On a consideration of the effect of the evidence, the learned Judge awarded compensation for those lands at the rate of Rs 4,500 per bigha of land. Adding solatuim of the amount of additional compensation, the total amount that came to was Rs. 6,725-55 nP . in the Land acquisition Reference No. 2/54 and Rs 13,79250 nP in Land acquisition Reference No. 3/54. Thus, the excess amount awarded to the claimant came to Rs. 2,342-50 nP. In the first case and Rs. 4,657-50 nP in the other. While awarding additional compensation, the learned Judge has not passed any order with regard to the interest on the mount of solatium awarded to the claimants. It is in respect of that claim that the claimant in both the cases have come in appeal the appellants have also claimed interest at the rate of 6 per cent instead of 4 per cent awarded by the trial Court in the amount of compensation awarded to them.
(3.) Two questions arise for determination in these two appeals: The first is as to whether the claimants are entitled to get interest on the amount awarded to them by way of solatium at the rate of 15 per cent on the amount of compensation awarded for the lands under acquisition. Section 23, sub-section (1) of the Land acquisition Act provides a mode for determining the amount of compensation to be awarded for the land acquired under the act. While determining the amount of compensation the Court has to take into consideration some of the factors set out therein- the first being on the basis of the market value of the land at the date of publication of the notification under Section 4, sub-section (1) of the Act. Then sub-section (2) of Section 23 says that 'In addition to the market value of the land as above provided, the Court shall in every case award a sum of fifteen per centum on such market value in consideration of the compulsory nature of the acquisition." In other words, by reason of sub-section (2) of Section 23 of the act , on the market value arrived at by the Court it has to award a sum of fifteen per cent on such market value. Such a statutory liability is created in consideration of compulsory nature of the acquisition of the property of any person Section 34 of the Act relates to the payment of interest on the amount of compensation awarded for the land acquired under the provisions of the Act. It says "When the amount of compensation is not paid of deposited on or before taking possession of the land and Collector shall pay the amount awarded with interest thereon at the rate of six per centum per annum from the time of so taking possession until it shall have been so paid or deposited." Thus, the liability of the Collector to pay the interest on the compensation awarded arises in cases the amount of such compensation is not paid or deposited in Court. The interest has to be awarded on the amount of such compensation and the term "such compensation" would obviously relate to the words " amount of compensation" referred to in S. 23 of the Act. Again the words 'the amount awarded with interest thereon" make it abundantly clear that what is required to be paid by way of compensation is not only the market value of the land but also the amount by way of solatium contemplated in sub-section (2) of Section 23 of the Act. It is the combination of both that make the compensation to be awarded to the claimants in respect of the lands acquired and, therefore, the interest to be paid would be on the entire amount awarded though no doubt from the date when the possession was taken over till the amount is paid or deposited. In a case of Nilkanth Ganesh Naik v. Collector of Thana, (1898) ILR 22 Bom 802 (FB) the expression "amount awarded" has been referred to as meaning the amount of compensation awarded for the land along with he statutory allowances as provided in Section 23(2) and that it is on the aggregate amount that interest will have to be paid. It is, therefore obvious that the claimants would been entitled to interest on the amount awarded by way of solatium at the rate of 15 per cent over the market value of the property. The learned Judge was therefore, not correct in not having awarded any interest on that amount which obviously was a part of the compensation as provided in the Act.;
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