Decided on December 19,1979

COLLECTOR Respondents


- (1.)Both these appeals which are in the nature of cross appeals, arise out of the judgment and award, made under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act by the Second Additional Judicial Commissioner of Chotanagpur, Ranchi. First Appeal No. 14 of 1965 is by the claimants and First Appeal No. 18 of 1965 is by the State, Order 275 acres equivalent to 11979 sq. fit of land appertaining to Municipal Survey Plot No. 1784 bearing municipal holding No. 275-A, having some structures on a part thereon, was acquired by the State of Bihar for construction of a building for Handicraft Sale-curn-Procurement Depot at Ranchi, This land was situate on the "Main Road" of Ranchi town and was classified as homestead and Makan. The relevant notification under Section 4 of the Act was issued on 29-9-1961. The awardees had claimed a sum of Rs. 5,00,000/- as compensation but the Land Acquisition Officer awarded Rs. 25,561, 25 for the land and Rs. 13,000/- for the structures. He also awarded an additional compensation under Section 23 (2) on the market value amounting to Rs. 5,874.19 and Rs. 3,834.19 as damages under the various clauses of Section 23 of the Act. In this way he awarded a total compensation of Rs. 48,179.63. The above award was prepared only in the name of Smt. Tribeni Devi Sarawgi, but her son Harakchand Sarawgi claimed that he was the owner of the structures and accordingly he claimed the compensation awarded for the structures. However, both of them applied for referring the matter to the Court and accordingly the case was referred.
Before the Court below, both of them agreed that compensation to the extent of 10 annas in a rupee would go to Smt. Tribeni Devi Sarawgi and to the extent of 6 annas in a rupee to Harakhohand Sarawgi. The Court below accepted this agreement and has ordered appointment accordingly. It also raised the amount of compensation for land from Rs. 25,561/- to Rs. 97,500/-but refused to make an increase with respect to the compensation for the house. The learned Additional Judicial Commissioner has determined the compensation of the land by adopting the method of capitalisation of the returns actually received from the land and building.

(2.)Learned Counsel for the State of Bihar argued that the learned Additional Judicial Commissioner has adopted a wrong method of determining the compensation. According to him, he should have done that on the basis of the documents of sale of lands in the locality.
The principles to be followed and matters to be considered in determining the compensation of the land have been indicated in Section 23 of the Act and the first principle of that rule is that the market value of the land should be determined with reference to the date of the publication of the notification under Section 4. In other words, the market rate must be determined with reference to the price which willing vendor might reasonably expect to obtain from a willing purchaser and for ascertaining the market rate, the Court can rely on such transactions which would afford guide to fix the price. Then the transactions must be with respect to comparable lands or sites and must be in a close proximity of the land under acquisition. By 'comparable land' is meant land possessing advantages similar to those of the land acquired in or about the time of the notification. It is no doubt true that the relevant data as indicated above are not always available, and even then it is not possible to reach to a conclusion with mathematical accuracy and the Court is bound to adopt the rule of speculation.

(3.)In the case before us, however, no sale deed of such a transaction of land was filed, and as it appears from the report of the Land Acquisition Officer (Ext. D) he could find only one transaction of sale with respect to Municipal Plot No. 1786 which was executed on 25-7-1961 at the rate of Rs. 71,500/-per acre. This plot, as has been verified from the plan was not situated on the "Main Road" but was at some distance on a much narrower road. A few other sale-deeds which are exhibited were of lands situated still further and neither the Court below nor counsel for the State placed any reliance on those documents.

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