BHAN, J. -
(1.)AGGRIEVED by the judgment of the High Court of Gujarat in reducing the compensation payable under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 and claiming more, fair and equitable compensation for the acquired land the claimants have come up in these appeals.
(2.)ON 15/05/1974 State of Gujarat issued a Notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act') for acquisition of 78 hectares, 32 acres and 54 sq. meters of land in Village Gorva, which is situated within the limits of the Municipal Corporation of Baroda, Gujarat, for the Gujarat Housing Board. It was published in the Official Gazette on 8/08/1974. Notification under S. 6 of the Act was issued on 12/07/1977 and was published in the Gazette on 21/07/1977.
There were 94 claimants whose land was notified for acquisition under the aforesaid notifications. They claimed compensation @ Rs.4.00 per sq. ft. before the Land Acquisition Officer (for short 'the LAO').
The land owners entered into an agreement with Arun Land Corporation (for short 'the ALC'), 36th appellant in the instant appeals. This agreement reads, inter alia, as under :
a) By virtue of these powers, the partners of Arun Land Corporation can give suitable replies, give/cause to give writings on behalf of us and to complete this matter of acquisition and we all agree to it with our consent.
b) It is the responsibility of this Corporation to award us the price of this land at the rate of Rs.1.35 per sq. ft.
c) If Gujarat Housing Board awards any amount in excess of the above and if Arun Land Corporation receives such excess amount, we, the farmers do not have any kind of objection therein and we assign all such rights to this Corporation."
(3.)THE Land Acquisition Officer declared the award on 10/10/1980. He divided the land into four categories, viz., A, B, C, and D and determined the compensation as under:
Out of the total number of 94 claimants, 42 claimants refused to abide by the agreement. ALC filed a suit being Suit No.156 of 1980 against them in the Civil Court, Nadiad, which restrained the Land Acquisition Officer from disbursing to these 42 claimants the amounts payable under the Award. An appeal was filed by the said 42 claimants to the High Court. The High Court permitted them to withdraw only Rs. 1.35 per sq. ft. from the award amount and the amount awarded in the excess of Rs.1.35 per sq. ft. was directed not to be released till the disposal of the suit filed by the ALC. The said suit is still pending. Except for 7 claimants, the rest of the 42 claimants, who had challenged the agreement dated 16-12-1978 have settled the matter with the ALC. The pending suit is relatable to the 7 claimants only.