THE KACHARIGAON TEA CO. LTD. Vs. THE COLLECTOR OF DARRANG
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
The Kacharigaon Tea Co. Ltd.
The Collector Of Darrang
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B.N. Sarma, J. -
(1.) THIS appeal is directed against the judgment and order dated 18 -9 -1967 of the Subordinate Judge, L.A.D. at Tezpur in Misc. L.A. Case No. 59 of 1966 by which he dismissed the application under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act, filed by the appellant and affirmed the award of the Collector.
(2.) THE Collector of Darrang, by notification No. RLA.167/64/4 dated 20 -6 -1964 under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereinafter called the Act) acquired 131 bighas of land belonging to the appellant, viz. The Kacharigaon Tea Co. Ltd. for construction of a Railway Hospital. By his award dated 30 -9 -1966 the Collector awarded compensation for 109 bighas of high land @ Rs. 1,700/ - per bigha and for 22 bighas of low laying land @ Rs. 700/ - per bigha. A sum of Rs. 1,95,619.46 paise was awarded as compensation for the trees, tea bushes and houses standing on the high land and a sum of Rs. 59,447.91 P. was awarded as additional compensation under Section 23(2) of the Act. Total compensation awarded was Rs. 4,56,422.57 P. Out of this amount a sum of Rs. 2,25,617.58 P. was paid in advance on 19 -4 -1965 at the time of taking advance possession. No interest for the balance amount was given under Section 34 of the Act. Being dissatisfied with the award of the Collector in regard to the compensation awarded for the land, the appellant filed an application under Section 18 of the Act. In this application, the appellant claimed compensation for the land @ Rs. 2,600/ - per bigha relying on an award in a previous L.A. case viz. L.A. Case No. 6 of 1961 -62 in which 42 bighas of land of the same garden, adjacent to the land of the present case, was acquired and compensation was awarded @ Rs. 2,600/ - per bigha. The appellant further claimed interest under Section 34 of the Act. The application under Section 18 of the Act was forwarded by the Collector to the Judge who in his turn transferred the same to the Subordinate Judge for disposal.
(3.) THE appellant examined two witnesses viz. (1) Surjit Singh, who was the Manager of the garden at the relevant time and (2) Rameswar Bhuyan, Head Clerk of the garden. A certified copy of the Award in L.A. Case No. 6 of 1961 -62 was filed to prove the rate at which compensation was awarded in that case. The above two witnesses simply proved that the land acquired in the instant case is adjacent to the land acquired in L.A. Case No. 6 of 1961 -62 and that the lands are similar. No sale transaction in regard to any neighboring land could be proved by the appellant to show the market price. The Collector did not adduce any evidence. On a consideration of the evidence adduced by the appellant the learned Subordinate Judge found that the land of the present case is not comparable to the land acquired in the previous case and so no reliance could be placed on the Award in the said case for determining the market value of the land at the time of the preliminary notification. He found that compensation was awarded by the Collector after due consideration of all facts and there was no ground to interfere with his award. The question as to whether the appellant was entitled to get interest under Section 34 of the Act was not considered by him at all. In the above view of the case he affirmed the Collector's award and dismissed the application under Sec. 18. Hence the present appeal.;
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