COLLECTOR LAND ACQUISITION Vs. BHARAT SINGH
LAWS(J&K)-1982-4-7
HIGH COURT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR
Decided on April 05,1982

COLLECTOR LAND ACQUISITION Appellant
VERSUS
BHARAT SINGH Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) THESE are cross appeals arising out of land acquisition proceedings. One Bharat Singh, was the land owner in village Phungali. Tehsil Akhnoor. His land was acquired for public purposes. The Collector allowed the compensation at the rate of Rs.1OO/ - per kanal treating the land as Khushki land. According to him the area acquired was 102 kanals and 19 marlas and not only 92 kanals and 18 marlas, secondly, that the land acquired was Abi land and not Khushki land as found by the Collector Thirdly that the rate of compensation assessed by the Collector was inadequate and unreasonable and did not conform to the prevailing market price.
(2.) BEFORE the learned Additional District Judge, Jammu who heard the reference, it was conceded on behalf of the State that the area acquired from Bharat Singh measured 102 kanals and 19 marlas as claimed by him. On the other two points the parties joined issue. The learned Additional District Judge has found that the land acquired was Khushki land and not Abi land. He has further found that the rate of compensation allowed at Rs.100/ -per kanal was inadequate. He enhanced the same to Rs.242/ - per kanal. The Collector has come up in appeal to this court and challenged his decision allowing the enhanced rate of compensation at Rs.242/ -per kanal. That appeal has been registered as appeal No. 4 of 1975 Bharat Singh has filed a cross appeal and challenged the decision on both points. That appeal has been numbered as appeal No. 5 of 1975. This judgement will govern the disposal of both these appeals.
(3.) WE will first deal with the question whether the land acquired is Abi land or Khushki land. On this point the parties have examined Balwan Singh, Kewal Krishen and Vishwa Nath Patwari. Balwan Singh has appeared on behalf of Bharat Singh and deposed that the land in question is an Abi land. He happens to be Ziladar of the Irrigation Department, The Collector has examined Kewal Krishen and Vishwa Nath, one of whom is a revenue patwari and the other patwari incharge canals. They have unanimously deposed that the land in question is Khushki land not Abi land. The learned Additional District Judge preferred the testimony of the patwari over that of Balwan Singh and we think, rightly so, and came to the conclusion that the land in question was khushki land and not Abi land. The reasons given by him for showing this preference are cogent and convincing. Without repeating the same we upheld his finding on this question and hold that the land in question was Khushki land and not Abi land at the relevant time. Dealing with the other question the leaned Additional District Judge has relied upon two sale transactions of village Chakpora by virtue of which Om Prakash and Babu Ram purchased some Abi land in Chakpora at a distance of 2 Â 1/2 miles form village Phungali. The parties to these sale transaction have fixed and paid the price at the rate of Rs.424/ - per kanal in respect of Abi land . These sale transaction were proximate in time to the date of acquisition in the present case viz 1969, the date on which notification under section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act was issued. The contention of the learned counsel for the Collector is that the Price should not have exceeded Rs.100/ - per kanal and that enhancement allowed by the learned Additional District Judge is unjustified. He urged that in August, 1968 the State acquired land adjoining the land in dispute from the owners by private negotiations at the rate of Rs.100/ - per kanal and that even Bharat Singh had agreed to sell the land in question at that rate, but subsequently he backed out. In reply, learned counsel for Bharat Singh contended that Bharat Singh had never agreed to part with his land at that price and that is what drove the state to go in for acquisition proceedings. He further contended that granting that the State had acquired land at the rate of Rs.100/ - per kanal by private negotiation in August, 1969, but where is the evidence to show that the price remained steady and that the prevailing market price on or around the date of acquisition continued to be Rs.100/ - per kanal. He submitted that the learned Additional District Judge should have appropriately enhanced the rate to Rs.1000/ - per kanal. Having considered the rival Additional District Judge should be allowed to stand. The learned Judge has assumed that in August 1968 the prevailing market Price of Khushki land in the locality was Rs.100/ - per kanal and that of Abi land was Rs.175/ - per kanal and allowed the appreciation in the present case in respect of Khushki land in proportion to the appreciation of prices in respect of Abi land on the basis of the sale transactions in favour of Om Prakash and Babu Ram. The rate at which Om Prakash and Babu Ram had purchased Abi land worked out at Rs.424/ - per kanal. The sale transactions were proximate in time to the date of acquisition in the present case. There was no sale transaction in respect of Khushki land on or around the date of acquisition Consequently the learned Additional District Judge based his estimation on the sale transactions pertaining to Abi land in favour of Om Parkash and Babu Ram. He has worked out the appreciation in prices of Abi land on or around the date of acquisition, on the hypothesis that the prevailing market rate in August 1968 was Rs.175/ - per kanal and allowed the same rate of appreciation in respect of Khushki land in the present case. It is well settled that some amount of guesswork is permissible where evidence is lacking on both sides as regards sale transactions in respect of land similar to the land acquired. It is true that even there the court should act with an amount of objectivity. But it is not difficult to say that the learned Additional District Judge has brought such objectivity to bear on the estimation of fair price in the present case on the relevant date. In the circumstances we see no good ground for reducing the rate allowed by the learned Judge, Equally not for enhancing the same to Rs.1000/ - per kanal claimed by Bharat Singh. The argument to the contrary must necessarily fail.;


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