LAND ACQUISITION OFFICER, PWD(CELL), ALTINHO, PANAJI - GOA Vs. RAJARAM A BANDODKAR
LAWS(BOM)-2017-9-208
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
Decided on September 28,2017

Land Acquisition Officer, Pwd(Cell), Altinho, Panaji - Goa Appellant
VERSUS
Rajaram A Bandodkar Respondents

JUDGEMENT

Nutan D. Sardessai, J. - (1.) This is a State appeal under Section 54 of the Land Acquisition Act,1894 (L.A. Act, for short) challenging the Judgment and Award dated 12/03/2007 passed by the Ad-hoc District Judge-3 (FTC), Mapusa-Goa pursuant to which the Reference Court had partly allowed the reference fixing the market value of the acquired land admeasuring 238 sq.mts. beneath the structures to Rs. 120/-per sq.mt. and had awarded an additional compensation of Rs. 12,000/- for the structure in the acquired land apart from granting statutory benefits in favour of the respondents.
(2.) The Government had acquired 3800 sq.mts. of the property bearing Survey No.210/1 in the Village of Dhargalim, Pernem Taluka and a compensation was awarded @ Rs. 15/-per sq.mt. The respondent/original applicant claimed the compensation at the enhanced rate of Rs. 300/- per sq.mt. and which was ultimately decided by the Reference Court partly enhancing the compensation to Rs. 120/- per sq.mt. restricting to an area of 238 sq.mt. beneath the structures and granting an additional compensation of Rs. 12,000/- towards the structure in the acquired land. The State challenged the impugned Judgment on the ground that the approach of the learned Reference Court was contrary to the settled principles governing the fixing of the market value of the acquired land. The learned Reference Court committed an error in relying upon the Sale Deed dated 19/05/1999 for the purpose of ascertaining the market value of the acquired land without considering the similarity. The learned Reference Court erred in granting additional sum towards the structure without any supporting evidence and failed to appreciate that the acquired land was not identical to that of the plot under Exhibit-9. The impugned Judgment and Award was therefore liable to be interfered with in appeal.
(3.) The original applicant as the present respondent had filed the cross-objection being aggrieved by the Judgment under challenge on the premise that the learned Reference Court partly rejected the reference. The impugned Award was unsustainable to the extent it did not award the compensation at least @ Rs. 200/-per sq.mt. for the entire land admeasuring 3800 sq.mts. The learned Reference Court had failed to appreciate that the major part of the acquired land stood converted for non-agricultural purposes by the existence of structures like residential house, the cow-shed, the fire storage shed, laterite stone boundary wall,etc. long before the coming into force of the Agricultural Tenancy Act and the Goa Land Users Act, 1990. Therefore, the market value of the acquired land could not be assessed on the basis that it was a tenanted, agricultural land. The learned Reference Court erred in holding that the land had ceased to be anagricultural land only to the extent of the portion which was beneath the structures and, therefore, erred consequently in restricting the Award of compensation to the extent of only 238 sq.mts.;


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