KOPPATHI VENKATI Vs. LAND ACQUISITION OFFICER
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: ANDHRA PRADESH)
LAND ACQUISITION OFFICER
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Santosh Hegde, J. -
(2.)The appellants in these appeals challenge the judgment of the High Court of Judicature of Andhra Pradesh at Hyderabad, dated 23-11-1999 whereby their appeals filed against the judgment of the Subordinate Judge, Asifabad, made in O.P. No. 53 of 1991 dated 15-2-1996 came to be rejected. It is the case of the appellants that they are the owners of various survey numbers which came to be acquired under Section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act by Notification dated 16-3-1984. It is stated that as per this acquisition notification, large areas of land measuring approximately 140 acres came to be acquired for the benefit of Singareni Collieries. The Land Acquisition Officer had granted a compensation of Rs. 26,680/- per acre as the market value out of which after deducting one-third of the said value towards development, fixed the net market value of the land at Rs. 17,787/- per acre. It is the case of the appellants that one of the claimants owning Survey No. 85 out of the group of lands acquired was awarded a sum of Rs. 1, 14,000/- per acre by the Reference Court which after deducting 31 per cent of the said value towards developmental charges, awarded him Rs. 78,880/- per acre. When the said matter was taken up in appeal before the High Court in A.S. No. 1180 of 1994, the High Court fixed the compensation at the net value of Rs. 68,000/- per acre, and that judgment was challenged by the State of Andhra Pradesh by way of an S.L.P. which came to be dismissed. It was also contended that the Singareni Collieries also filed an SLP with the permission of this Court which permission was granted but the SLP came to be dismissed on merit, confirming the award of Rs. 68,000/- per acre.
(3.)It was thereafter contended that in this case of the appellants, the Reference Court granted Rs. 75,000/- per acre as net value following its award in O.P. No. 2/90 which, as stated above, was confirmed by the High Court. Against the said award of the Reference Court in the case of these appellants, the respondents herein preferred appeal before the High Court and the High Court without agreeing to rely upon its own finding in O.P. No. 2/90 held that fixation of a price in some other connected land acquisition matter cannot be treated as res judicata and binding upon the parties. It is further contended that the High Court without even referring to Section 28-A of the Land Acquisition Act, proceeded to allow the appeal of the respondents and remanded the matter to the Reference Court for fresh consideration in the light of the observations made in the said judgment.
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