Decided on December 06,1963



Narasimham, J. - (1.) These appeals relate to the compensation payable for the acquisition of certain sites in Guntur town Municipality for the extension of the Government Head-Quarters Hospital, Guntur. There was a notification for the acquisition of these sites under Section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act on 22-4-1953. The subject-matter of these appeals, are 3 sites bearing Town Survey No. 317/1 admeasuring 1136 sq. yards, 1124 sq. yards and 1253 sq. yards. One Pamulapati Venkata Krishnayya Chowdary, Guntur, was the owner of the first site and his son, Pamulapati Lalithendranath Chowdari is the owner of the other two sites. One Khambhampati Gopalakrislinayya was interested in the site admeasuring 1253 sq. yarcis, as a lessee who was carrying on a business in motors under the name and style of Bedford Co. The said Gopalakrishnayya had obtained a lease of the site for 20 years from 1-1-1948 to 31-12-1968. The rental for the first 10 ysars was Rs. 150.00 per month and for the later 10 years Rs. 160.00 per mensem. The lessae had himself put up a building on the site for the purpose of his business. It was stipulate that at the end of the lease period he should surrender the site with the structures thereon to the lessor, Pamulapati Lalithendranadha Chowdari. The Revenue Divisional Officer by his proceedings dated 28-2-1955 awarded Rs. 33,810.00, Rs. 40,942-9-5 and Rs. 64,198-12-0 for the three items of property respectively. In this context, it may be noted that the Revenue Divisional Officer valued the sites at, Rs. 25.00 a square yard, valued the structures and the other items separately and added 15% solatium to the said property values in arriving at the said amounts.
(2.) Inasmuch as Khambhampati Gopalkrishnaian presented a separate claim for compensation as a lessee and there was a dispute between the owner of the site and the lessee with regard to the compensation for the building, the Revenue Divisional Officer made a reference to the court under Sections 30 and 31(2) of the Land Acquisition Act, hereinafter to be referred to as the Act. The owners and the lessee were dissatisfied with the amount of compensation offered by the Revenue Divisional Officer and so applied for reference to the Court under Section 18 of the Act claiming enhanced amounts of compensation, and in particular the owners claiming Rs. 50.00 a square yard as the market value of the sites acquired. These references were enquired into by the Additional Subordinate Judge, Guntur, as 0. Ps. 14 and 15 of 1956. 0. P. 14 of 1956 related to the site admeasuring 1136 sq. yards. 0. P. 15 of 1956 related to the sites admeasuring 1124 sq. yards. They claimed enhanced compensation for all the items. 2. The learned Additional Subordinate Judge accepted the claim put forward for the sites. He made a few modifications with regard to certain other items. In 0. P. 14 of 1956 he made the following order : Enhancement of Rs. 25.00 per sq. yard plus Rs. 500.00 as the value of the barbed wire and R. C. Posts. These amounts are to carry additional solatium of 15% and the aggregate sum to bear 6% interest from 9-4-1955 the date of taking possession. In 0. P. 15 of 1956 he ordsred an enhancement of Rs. 25.00 a square yard plus Rs. 500.00towards the value of the barbed wire and R. C. Posts. 15% solatium is to be added to the said values and the amounts will carry interest at 6% from 94-1955. The second claimant in 0. P. No. 15 of 1956, Gopalkrishnaiah, the lessee, was granted Rs. 1,000.00 for shifting charges and interest on the said amount at 6% per annum from 94-1955. The Revenue Divisional Officer has preferred appeals against the enhanced amounts granted: A. S. 427 of 1957 relates to 0. P. 14 of 1956. A. S. 428 of 1957 relates to 0. P. 15 of 1956. A. S. 512 of 1957 is filed by Gopaiakrishnaiah, the lessee of the site admeasuring 1253 sq. yards, (item 12).
(3.) The learned Government Pleader contended that the Additional Subordinate Judge was not justified in granting Rs. 50.00 per square yard for the sites in question. He would say that it was for the claimants to show that similar sites in the neighbourhood fetched as much as Rs. 50.00 a square yard recently and that in the absence of such evi-dence the enhancement of the site value by Rs. 25.00 by the learned Subordinate Judge cannot be sustained. Ex. B-4 dated 29-3-1949 is the only sale deed which was exhibited for the Referring Officer before the learned Sub-ordinate Judge which partains to a site continuous to the sites in question. Under the said sale deed one Dr. Nage-swara Rao C. W. 2, sold 977 sq. yards of site at Rs. 25.00per square yard. The said vendor gave evidence before the Land Acquisition Court. He said that he and others including the claimants in these cases purchased sites behind the Government Hospital. Subsequently they all divided the sites as per the partition deed Ex. A-2 dated 29-10-1946. His site was to the south of the sites of the claimants. He said that he had sold the plot to the Proprietors of the Saraswathi Picture Palace at Rs. 25.00per square yard. The vendees later built a cinema on the site. At the time he sold this plot, there were some equatters upon the plot whom he could not evict. There were also same pits in his plot here and there. In cross-examination he said that he had given evidence at the re-quest of one of the claimants whom he referred to as a man of status and influence. Whatever may be the proclivities of this witness, the fact remains that he had sold a similar site in 1949 at Rs. 25.00 per square yard. The claimants would have it that between 1949 and 1953 the market values of the sites in Guntur town have shot up and the value at Rs. 50.00 per square yard was a proper market value on the material date, the date of notification under Section 4(1) of the Act. This plea for enhancement appears to have weighed with the learned Subordinate Judge. We have, however, to notice that apart from the arguments for and against, no evidence of recent sales as such was adduced by either party after 1949 and nearer to the material date. This is indeed surprising.;

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