SPECIAL LAND ACQUISITION OFFICER Vs. PACHANBHAI PARAMABHAI
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
SPECIAL LAND ACQUISITION OFFICER
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(1.) BY filing these appeals under Section 54 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 ["the Act" for short] read with Section 96 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, the appellants have challenged the legality of common judgment and award dated 30.11.2004 rendered by the learned 2nd Extra Assistant Judge & Special Judge (L.A.R.), Ahmedabad (Rural) at Ahmedabad, in Land Acquisition Case Nos.433 of 1996 and 434 of 1996 whereby the claimants have been awarded additional amount of compensation at the rate of Rs.12.32 paise per square metre for their acquired lands over and above the compensation offered to them by the Special Land Acquisition Officer at the rate of Rs.1.87 paise per square metre by his award dated 29.11.1994.
(2.) THE Executive Engineer, Narmada Yojana, Division No.4/4, Mehsana proposed to the State Government to acquire the lands of Village: Nana Ubhada, Taluka: Viramgam, District: Ahmedabad for the public purpose of construction of Narmada Canal. On perusal of the said proposal, the State Government was satisfied that the lands mentioned in the said proposal were likely to be needed for the public purpose. Therefore, a notification under Section 4(1) of the Act was issued, which was published in the official gazette on 27.11.1992 followed by notification under Section 6 of the Act. The interested persons were thereafter served with the notices for determination of compensation payable to them. The claimants appeared before the Special Land Acquisition Officer and claimed additional compensation at the rate of Rs.20/ - per square metre. However, the Special Land Acquisition Officer, by his award dated 29.11.1994, offered compensation to the claimants at the rate of Rs.1.87 paise per square metre. The claimants were of the opinion that the offer of compensation made by the Special Land Acquisition Officer was totally inadequate. Therefore, the claimants submitted applications under Section 18 of the Act requiring the Land Acquisition Officer to refer their cases to the Court for the purpose of determination of just amount of compensation payable to them. Accordingly, the references were made to the District Court, Ahmedabad, where they were registered as Land Acquisition Cases.
(3.) ON behalf of the claimants, it appears that the claimant of Land Acquisition Case No.433 of 1996 was examined. The witness has deposed that the lands in question were acquired for the purpose of Narmada Project. It is also stated by this witness that the Village has milk society, cooperative societies, post office, primary school, pucca road, telephone facilities, etc. The witness has also deposed that the claimants are taking three crops and earning profit of Rs.30,000/ - to Rs.35,000/ - per vigha. Though this witness was cross -examined by the other side, nothing substantial could be brought on record. The claimants have also relied upon the previous award of the Reference Court in respect of lands acquired from Village: Ribadi rendered in Land Acquisition Case Nos.201 to 209 of 1996. Therein the lands were acquired pursuant to notification issued under Section 4 of the Act on 19.11.1992. In the said references, the Reference Court, by its common judgment and award dated 28.04.2003, awarded an additional amount of Rs.11.22 paise per square metre over and above the amount offered by the Land Acquisition Officer. Therefore, the Reference Court by giving rise of 10% rightly awarded the amount in the present case.
On the basis of the evidence adduced by the parties, the Reference Court was of the opinion that previous award of the Reference Court relating to the lands of village Ribadi was a relevant piece of evidence for the purpose of determining the market value of the lands acquired in the present case. Considering the time gap between the two notifications, the claimants were entitled to reasonable rise in price of lands at the rate of 10% per annum. In the ultimate analysis, the Reference Court has awarded additional amount of compensation at the rate of Rs.12.32 paise per square metre to the claimants by the impugned award, which has given rise to the present appeals.;
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