Decided on August 28,1970



- (1.) THESE ten appeals arise out of an Award passed by the learned Land Acquisition Judge at Suri in the district of Birbhum. Different plots of c. s. plots Nos. 271, 272 and 256 of Mouza Shyambati were acquired under West Bengal Act II of 1948 and the notification was published on the 22nd of Oct. , 1953. At the time of this notification the lands were already in the possession of the State having been under requisition and so possession on the basis of acquisition had also been taken on the 22nd of October, 1953. All the ten cases out of which these ten appeals arise are covered by the same Award of the learned land Acquisition Judge and all these appeals have been heard together as common questions of law and facts are involved. The appellants who are the landlords, are entitled to get the entire compensation by virtue of the agreements with their tenants. The Collector's Award was on the basis of Rs. 425/- per acre for puratan patit and Rs. 30 per acre for Dahart kandar lands. The owners were not satisfied with the same and prayed for references which were made. The learned Land Acquisition judge accepted the contention of the owners that all these three plots of lands were utilised for all practical purposes as building sites and they should be valued as building sites and not as dahar or puratan patit lands. He, however, held that the compensation is to be paid on the basis of the price of land prevailing on the 31st of December, 1946 and found that Rs. 2,940/- per acre would be the rate prevalent on that date and directed the payment of compensation on that basis. He overruled the contentions raised on behalf of the owners that the valuation is to be made on the basis of the prevalent price on the date of the notification as also that they are entitled to get the statutory allowance referred to in Section 23 of the Land Acquisition Act. Against this the owners have come up in appeal.
(2.) THE first point that is pressed by Mr. Amarendra Nath Gupta, learned Advocate appearing on behalf of the appellants is to the effect that the learned Judge erred in valuing the plots at the rate of Rs. 2,940|- per acre and that too as on the basis of 31st of December, 1946. Mr. Gupta's contention is that it must be with reference to the date of the publication of the notice, which, in this particular case, is the 22nd of October, 1953. On that date, prima facie, the second proviso to sub-section (1) to Section 7 of the Act under which the valuation was to be determined with reference to the 31st day of December, 1946 would govern. But it would appear that this proviso was struck down as void abinitio by this Court in (1) State of West Bengal v. Murari Mohan Biswas and ors. 64 CWN 714 and in (2) State of Wesi Bengal v bon Behari Mondal 64 CWN 722 as also in the (3)Midnapur Zemindary Co. Ltd. v. State of West Bengal ILR 1960 (1) Cal. 228. It may further be noted in this connection that this second proviso was deleted from this Act by West Bengal Act VIII of 1954 which came into effect on the 31st of March, 1954. The appellants, prima facie, are not entitled to get the benefit of this amendment inasmuch as the notification was published before that date. But when that proviso had been struck down by this Court ab initio, their rights would be governed under the first proviso to sub-section (1) of Section 7 and under that proviso the market value is to be determined as on the date of the publication of the notice or, in other words, with effect from 21st of October, 1953.
(3.) NOW, as to the valuation of the lands on that date it would appear that the owners had filed a kobala which would show that the price in 1953 would be near about Rs. 10,000/- per acre. On the other hand there is Ext. 4 which is a judgment in another Land Acquisition case relating to this mouza which would show that an Award was passed at the rate of Rs. 1,200/- per acre or Rs. 3,600/- per bigha on the date of the notification which was 1950. The acquired lands are contiguous to Santi Niketan separated byroad and these three plots are situated side toy side and have also been held to be fit for building purposes. In F. A. No. 212 of 1961 which we have disposed of in July last, we have valued 10. 67 acres of lands in this mouza at the rate of Rs. 4,000/- per acre and that date of notification is also 22nd of October 1953. We have also to take into account the fact that the larger the area the lesser would be the total value thereof. Keeping in mind all these facts and circumstances, we are of opinion that the compensation for the value of these lands as on the 22nd day of October, 1953 should be worked out at the rate of Rs, 4,500/- per acre.;

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