MEHTABSINGH Vs. STATE OF HARYANA
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: PUNJAB & HARYANA)
STATE OF HARYANA
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Punchhi, J. -
(1.)Special leave granted in all these matters.
(2.)These appeals artificially are divided in two groups but their aim is common, as is their foundation. A large chunk of land measuring 267.91 acres abutting the Delhi Rohtak Road near the town of Bahadurgarh, District Rohtak was acquired for the public purpose of development and utilisation as industrial area. A notification under S.4 of the Land Acquisition Act for the purpose was issued on 6-1-1977. The acquisition proceeded speedily because within a matter of days, i.e., on 18-2-1977, the Land Acquisition Collector gave award fixing two rates of compensation. The land abutting Delhi-Rohtak Road up to a depth of 36 Karams (198 ft.) on either side of the road was to fetch compensation at the rate of Rs. 20,560/- and the remaining land on either side of the road at the rate of Rs. 20,000/- per acre. Approximately the compensation worked out to about Rs. 4/- per square yard. Noticeably the price difference amongst the two classification was barely Rs. Rs. 560/- per acre. The dissatisfied land-owners on reference under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act to the District Judge, Rohtak were successful in obtaining on 27-2-1982 compensation at the flat rate of Rs. 7/- per square yard, i.e. at the rate of Rs. 33,880/- per acre doing away with the classification. The acquisition was thus complete at the District Judge's level under the law as it stood prior to the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act, 1984. The Land Acquisition Collector was thus ordered to pay solatium @ 15% and interest @ 6% payable under the law then existing.
(3.)Some dissatisfied land-owners, including the appellants, moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court in first appeals claiming a higher rate of compensation. A learned single Judge of that Court on considering the evidence and material on the record viewed that since several industries had come up before the acquisition in the locality where the acquired land was situated, the price, therefore, would have to be determined on that potential. As correctly suggested, the learned single Judge placed no reliance on instances where rates related to small pieces of land. The learned single Judge relied rather upon another decision of that Court in Regular First Appeal No. 1060 of 1981, decided on February 15, 1982, where with regard to the same acquisition Rs. 10/- per square yard had been granted and thus instantly granted Rs. 10/- per square yard for the land acquired but reviving the classification gave a higher compensation of Rs. 15/- per square yard for the land abutting on both sides of the Delhi- Rohtak Road up to a depth of 200 ft, (almost equal to 36 Karams). Some of the dissatisfied land owners took their cases in Letters Patent Appeal before a Division Bench of that High Court but unsuccessfully. They stand granted special leave to appeal against the judgment and order of the Letters Patent Bench. They form one group. Some other land owners have directly obtained leave against the decision of the learned single Judge. They form the other group. Both seek enhancement of compensation.
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