Ajai Pal Singh vs State Of Uttar Pradesh on 23 September, 2021


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Supreme Court of India

Ajai Pal Singh vs State Of Uttar Pradesh on 23 September, 2021

Author: M.R. Shah

Bench: M.R. Shah, A.S. Bopanna

                                                                      REPORTABLE


                                   IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                                    CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                                 CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 5738-5739 OF 2021


         Ajai Pal Singh & Ors.                                   …Appellant(s)

                                                Versus


         State of Uttar Pradesh & Anr.                            …Respondent(s)
                                                 WITH

                                    CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5740 OF 2021

         Smt. Barfi Devi (Dead) through L.R.s. & Ors.            …Appellant(s)


                                                Versus

         State of Uttar Pradesh & Anr.                            …Respondent(s)


                                             JUDGMENT

M.R. SHAH, J.

1. Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned common

judgment and order dated 15.12.2016 passed by the High Court of

judicature at Allahabad in First Appeal Nos. 195 of 1983 and 487 of 1984

by which the High Court has dismissed the said appeals and has
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by R
Natarajan
Date: 2021.09.23
16:33:10 IST
Reason:

confirmed the judgment and the order passed by the Reference Court

awarding the compensation of the lands acquired @ Rs.4.628 per
1
square yard, original landowners have preferred the present appeals

being Civil Appeal Nos. 5738-5739 of 2021. The appellants have also

challenged the common order dated 02.11.2016 in Civil Misc. Application

No.167571 of 2016 in First Appeal No. 487 of 1984 by which the High

Court has dismissed the application for bringing on record certain

additional documents filed under Order XLI Rule 27 of the Civil

Procedure Code.

2. Civil Appeal No. 5740 of 2021 has arisen out of the impugned

judgment and order passed by the High Court by which the High Court

has dismissed the First Appeal No. 203 of 1983 and has confirmed the

judgment and order passed by the learned Reference Court awarding

the compensation for the lands acquired @ Rs.6/- per square yard.

Civil Appeal Nos. 5738-5739 of 2021

3. A notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act

(hereinafter referred to as “Act”) was issued on 30.04.1976 proposing to

acquire 589 bigha, 6 biswa and 14 biswansi land. The land was to be

acquired for New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (hereinafter

referred to as “NOIDA”) constituted under the provisions of U.P.

Industrial Development Act, 1976 for the purpose of planned

development of industries in the area within the jurisdiction of NOIDA.
2
Declaration under Section 6 was published on 01.05.1976. Possession

of land was taken by the Collector on 31.07.1977. The Special Land

Acquisition Officer declared the award for compensation on 28.03.1977

offering compensation @ Rs.10,200/- per bigha, i.e., Rs.2.38 per square

yard. At the instance of the landowners, a Reference was made to the

Reference Court under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act to

enhance the amount of compensation. Before the Reference Court,

landowners claimed compensation at the rate of Rs.10/- per square

yard. However, after considering the material on record, the Reference

Court enhanced the compensation to Rs.14,000/- per bigha (Rs.4.628

per square yard).

4. Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the judgment and order

passed by the Reference Court enhancing the compensation to

Rs.14,000/- per bigha only (Rs.4.628 per square yard), the landowners

preferred the First Appeal Nos. 195 of 1983 and 487 of 1984 before the

High Court of judicature at Allahabad and by the impugned common

judgment and order, the High Court has dismissed the said appeals.

Before the High Court, an application under Order XLI Rule 27 was

preferred to bring on record certain documents as additional evidence,

which was also dismissed by the High Court by order dated 02.11.2016.

3

5. Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned common

judgment and order passed by the High Court dismissing the appeals

and confirming the order passed by the Reference Court enhancing the

compensation to Rs.4.628 per square yard, the claimants – original

landowners have preferred the present appeals.

Civil Appeal No. 5740 of 2021

6. So far as Civil Appeal No. 5740 of 2021 is concerned, a notification

under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act was issued to acquire 154

bigha 9 biswa and 11 biswansi of land at Village Baraula, Pargana &

District Ghaziabad also for the development of the NOIDA and for the

said purpose, the notification under Section 4 was issued on 16.09.1976.

Declaration under Section 6 was issued on 16.09.1976. At the instance

of the original landowners, reference was made before the District Court

under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act. The Reference Court – the

learned Additional District Judge, Ghaziabad enhanced the

compensation to Rs.18,150/- per bigha (Rs.6 per square yard). The

High Court by the impugned judgment and order in First Appeal No.203

of 1983 has dismissed the said appeal for enhancing the compensation

and confirmed the judgment and order passed by the Reference Court.

Hence the present appeal.

4

7. Shri Harshvir Pratap Sharma, learned senior counsel has

appeared on behalf of the appellants in Civil Appeal Nos. 5738-5739 of

2021 and Dr. Rajeev Sharma, learned counsel has appeared on behalf

of the appellants in Civil Appeal No.5740 of 2021. Shri Rachit Mittal,

learned counsel has appeared on behalf of the respondent – NOIDA.

8. Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respective appellants

have prayed to enhance the compensation to Rs.297/- per square yard

relying upon the judgment and order passed by the High Court in First

Appeal No. 1100 of 2004 titled Mangu and Ors. Vs. State of U.P. It is

submitted that while disposing of First Appeal No.1100 of 2004 by which

the High Court enhanced the compensation to Rs.297/- per square yard,

the High Court also disposed of the First Appeal (D) Nos. 21 of 1987; 52

of 1987; 162 of 1987 and 17 of 1987 with respect to the lands acquired

in the year 1977. It is submitted that aforesaid four appeals were with

regard to the acquisition held in the year 1977 and while passing a

common judgment and order in First Appeal No. 1100 of 2004, i.e., in the

case of Mangu and Ors. (supra), the compensation was enhanced to

Rs.297/- per square yard. It is submitted that therefore as the High

Court enhanced the compensation to Rs.297/- per square yard in

aforesaid First Appeal (D) Nos. 21 of 1987; 52 of 1987; 162 of 1987 and

17 of 1987 with regard to the land acquired in the year 1977, in the

present case also, the claimants pray to enhance the compensation to
5
Rs.297/- per square yard, as in the present case, the lands had been

acquired in the year 1976. It is submitted that this Hon’ble Court also

vide order dated 27.01.2016 has dismissed the special leave petition

challenging the judgment dated 03.12.2014 in the case of Mangu and

Ors. (supra).

8.1 It is further submitted by learned counsel appearing on behalf of

the appellants – original claimants relying upon the map of District

Gautam Budh Nagar that village Baraula (land acquired in the present

case) and village Kakrala Khaspur (land acquired in the case of Mangu

and Ors. (supra)) are adjoining to each other. It is submitted that

appellants’ land being similarly situated, the present appellants are also

entitled to the compensation @ Rs.297/- per square yard on the basis of

the principle of parity and equality.

8.2 Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellants of Civil

Appeal No. 5740 of 2021 has submitted that alternatively the appellants

are also claiming the enhanced compensation considering the

compensation in the case of Khazan and Ors. Vs. State of U.P. (First

Appeal No.564 of 1997), where the acquisition proceedings

commenced in the year 1983 and the compensation was enhanced to

Rs.297/- per square yard. It is submitted that the appellants, whose land

6
was acquired in the year 1976 can be held entitled for the compensation

by adopting the formula of deducting 10% depreciation each year and

after deducting 10% depreciation for 07 years, the appellants can be

provided with the enhanced compensation accordingly.

8.3 Dr. Rajeev Sharma, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the

appellants in Civil Appeal No. 5740 of 2021 has also relied upon the

decision of this Court in the case of Savitri Devi Vs. State of Uttar

Pradesh and Ors., (2015) 7 SCC 21, a case related with acquisition of

65 villages of NOIDA, in which case, this Hon’ble Court not only granted

enhanced compensation of 64.7% but also provided 105 developed

abadi plot of the land acquired of each of the landowners to balance the

equity between the landowners / farmers and the State. It is further

submitted by the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellants

that first appeals before the High Court have been pending for 34 years

and the appellants – original landowners are struggling for enhanced

compensation for last 45 years after losing their only source of livelihood,

i.e., their agriculture land in above acquisition proceedings held in the

year 1976. It is submitted, therefore, that the issue of enhancement of

compensation may also be considered from that angle and considering

the suffering of the land losers and the farmers.

7

9. All these appeals are vehemently opposed by Shri Mittal, learned

counsel appearing on behalf of NOIDA.

9.1 Shri Mittal, learned counsel appearing on behalf of NOIDA has

vehemently submitted that the judgment and order passed by the High

Court in the case of Mangu and Ors. (supra) shall not be applicable to

the present acquisition and the same cannot be said to be comparable

at all. It is submitted that it is true that First Appeal (D) Nos. 21 of 1987;

52 of 1987; 162 of 1987 and 17 of 1987 with regard to the acquisition of

the year 1977 also came to be disposed of alongwith First Appeal No.

1100 of 2004 in the case of Mangu and Ors. (supra) and the High Court

enhanced the compensation to Rs.297/- per square yard, it is submitted

that inadvertently and because of the fact that the High Court disposed

of the batch of appeals alongwith First Appeal No. 1100 of 2004 with

regard to the acquisition of the year 1991, neither it was noticed by the

High Court nor it was noticed by the learned counsel for the NOIDA and

of the State that First Appeal (D) Nos. 21 of 1987; 52 of 1987; 162 of

1987 and 17 of 1987 were with respect to the acquisition in the year

1977 and nothing was brought to the notice of the High Court that

aforesaid four first appeals were related to the acquisition of 1977. It is

submitted that without noticing that the aforesaid four first appeals were

with regard to the acquisition of the year 1977, the aforesaid four first

appeals came to be disposed of alongwith First Appeal No.1100 of 2004
8
in the case of Mangu and Ors. (supra) mechanically and without

noticing the difference between the dates of acquisition and inadvertently

the compensation was enhanced to Rs.297/- per square yard alongwith

First Appeal No. 1100 of 2004 in the case of Mangu and Ors. (supra).

It is submitted that having realized the aforesaid mistake immediately the

review applications have been preferred before the High Court and the

same are pending.

9.2 However, Shri Mittal, learned counsel appearing on behalf of

NOIDA has fairly considered that in view of the decision of the High

Court subsequently confirmed by this Court in the case of co-owner of

the same piece of land as of the appellants by which the High Court

awarded the compensation of Rs.28.12 paisa per square yard, to that

extent, the appeals can be allowed and the impugned judgment and

order passed by the High Court can be modified enhancing the

compensation to Rs.28.12 paisa per square yard.

9.3 Shri Mittal, learned counsel appearing on behalf of NOIDA has

also further pointed out that so far as the reliance placed on the

judgment of the High Court in the case of Jagmal Vs. State of U.P. –

First Appeal No. 458 of 1984 dated 11.03.2015 is concerned, it is

submitted that the said order has been subsequently reviewed by the

High Court by order dated 27.05.2016 and the compensation has been
9
fixed at Rs.28.12 paisa per square yard. It is submitted that the order

passed by the High Court in review determining the compensation @

Rs.28.12 paisa per square yard has been confirmed by this Court by

order dated 30.09.2016.

9.4 Learned counsel appearing on behalf of NOIDA has also relied

upon the following judgments and order passed by the High Court

determining the compensation @ Rs.28.12 paisa per square yard with

regard to the acquisition pertaining to the year 1976:-

S.No.       Particulars                            Remarks
  1.  Madan Lal Sharma Vs.            Hon’ble High Court fixed the
      State                           compensation @ Rs.28.12 paisa
                                      per sq. yard vide order dated
                                      08.09.2009
   2.     Bhola Vs. State of U.P.     Hon’ble High Court fixed the
                                      compensation @ Rs.28.12 paisa
                                      per sq. yard vide order dated
                                      04.11.2016
   3.     Gyan Chand Vs. State of     Hon’ble High Court fixed the
          U.P.                        compensation @ Rs.28.12 paisa
                                      per sq. yard vide order dated
                                      14.12.2016.
   4.     Daal Chand Vs. State of     Hon’ble High Court fixed the
          U.P.                        compensation @ Rs.28.12 paisa
                                      per sq. yard vide order dated
                                      03.11.2016
   5.     Jagdish Chand Vs. State     Hon’ble High Court fixed the
          of U.P.                     compensation @ Rs.28.12 paisa
                                      per sq. yard vide order dated
                                      21.12.2016 the said order was
                                      challenged before this Hon’ble
                                      Court and the SLP was withdrawn
                                      vide order dated 19.01.2018


                                    10

It is submitted therefore that consistently with regard to the

acquisition pertaining to the year 1976-1977, the compensation has

been fixed at Rs.28.12 paisa per square yard.

9.5 Now, so far as the alternative submission made by Dr. Rajeev

Sharma, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the original landowners

in Civil Appeal No. 5740 of 2021 to determine the compensation

considering the decision in the case of Khazan and Ors. Vs. State of

U.P. (supra) where the acquisition proceedings commenced in the year

1983 and the compensation was fixed at Rs.297/- per square yard and

to determine the compensation by adopting a formula of deducting 10%

depreciation each year and after deducting 10% depreciation for 07

years to determine the compensation accordingly, it is vehemently

submitted that the decision in the judgment and order in the case of

Khazan and Ors. Vs. State of U.P. (supra) cannot be relied upon firstly

on the ground that the acquisition in the said case was of the year 1983,

i.e., after approximately 07 years from the date of acquisition in the

present case and secondly on the ground that there has been much

development after 1980 with respect to the NOIDA area and the

development plan was also sanctioned in the year 1983.

11

10. Making above submissions, it is prayed to reject the claim of the

landowners to claim compensation @ Rs.297/- per square yard.

11. Learned counsel for the appellants have submitted that so far as

filing of the review applications by the NOIDA authority in the aforesaid

four First Appeal (D) Nos. 21 of 1987; 52 of 1987; 162 of 1987 and 17 of

1987 are concerned, it is submitted that these review applications have

been filed only on 17.02.2019 and they are still defective and not yet

listed before the High Court. It is submitted that these review

applications have been filed by the NOIDA authority only when the

appellants referred the aforesaid four first appeals in the additional

documents. It is, therefore, requested not to consider the subsequent

events after the filing of the review applications in the present appeals.

12. Heard the learned counsel appearing for the respective parties at

length.

12.1 The only point for determination in these appeals is whether the

present appellants – landowners/claimants are justified in claiming

compensation @ Rs.297/- per square yard claiming parity of judgment

dated 03.12.2014 passed in First Appeal No. 1100 of 2004 – Mangu and

Ors. (supra) and the common judgment and order disposing of the First

Appeal (D) Nos. 21 of 1987; 52 of 1987; 162 of 1987 and 17 of 1987

alongwith the First Appeal No. 1100 of 2004 – Mangu and Ors. (supra)
12
determining the compensation @ Rs.297/- per square yard?

13. Having heard the learned counsel for the respective parties and

having perused the decision of the High Court in the case of Mangu and

Ors. (supra), which has been heavily relied upon by the claimants-

landowners, it emerges that as such in the case of Mangu and Ors.

(supra), notification under Section 4 of the Act was issued in the year

1991, but in the present case the notification under Section 4 of the Act

had been issued on 01.06.1976. Even the possession of the land in the

case of Mangu and Ors. (supra) was taken over in 1992 and in the

present case the possession of the land had been taken over in 1976.

In the present case, the award was declared by the Special Land

Acquisition Officer on 25.02.1978 whereas in the case of Mangu and

Ors. (supra), the award was declared by the Special Land Acquisition

Officer on 20.09.1993 and, therefore, the said judgment and order

passed by the High Court in the case of Mangu and Ors. (supra)

cannot be said to be comparable at all because of the time gap of

approximately 15 years between the dates of acquisition. However, it is

the case on behalf of the appellants that while disposing of the First

Appeal No.1100 of 2004 in the case of Mangu and Ors. (supra), the

High Court also disposed of the First Appeal (D) Nos. 21 of 1987; 52 of

1987; 162 of 1987 and 17 of 1987 with regard to the acquisition of the

year 1977 and the High Court also enhanced the compensation to
13
Rs.297/- per square yard in the said first appeals with regard to the

acquisition in the year 1977 and therefore on the ground of parity and

equality, the claimants with regard to the acquisition of the year 1976 are

entitled to the enhanced compensation of Rs.297/- per square yard.

The aforesaid seems to be very attractive but cannot be accepted

for the following reasons:-

(i) That High Court decided the batch of appeals alongwith First

Appeal No. 1100 of 2004 in the case of Mangu and Ors.

(supra);

(ii) It appears that inadvertently and without noticing that so far

as the First Appeal (D) Nos. 21 of 1987; 52 of 1987; 162 of

1987 and 17 of 1987 are concerned, they were with regard to

the acquisition of the year 1977, inadvertently and by

mistake they were tagged alongwith First Appeal No. 1100 of

2004;

(iii) Nobody specifically pointed out that First Appeal (D) Nos. 21

of 1987; 52 of 1987; 162 of 1987 and 17 of 1987 were with

regard to the acquisition of 1977. Therefore, without noticing

the aforesaid reference mechanically First Appeal (D) Nos.

21 of 1987; 52 of 1987; 162 of 1987 and 17 of 1987 with

regard to the acquisition of year 1977 came to be disposed

of along with First Appeal No.1100 of 2004 and mechanically

14
the compensation with regard to the acquisition of 1977

came to be enhanced to Rs.297/- per square yard;

(iv) That as such it was a mistake on the part of the High Court in

not noticing the difference with regard to the acquisition of

the years 1977 and 1991;

(v) Nobody can be permitted to take the benefit of the mistake

either of the Court or of any party, which mistake has

occurred inadvertently and without noticing the peculiar facts.

As such it was the duty of the Advocate for the claimants to

point out the correct facts;

(vi) Even otherwise it is to be noted that immediately after

noticing the above, the review applications have been

preferred in the aforesaid first appeals and which are

reported to be pending.

13.1 Assuming for the time being that as the review applications are

pending, this Court may not take note of the subsequent events of filing

the review applications, which are yet to be decided by the High Court, in

that case also and for the reasons stated above and considering the

obvious mistake referred to herein above, the claimants in the present

case cannot claim the compensation @ Rs.297/- per square yard relying

upon the decision in the case of Mangu and Ors. (supra) with regard to

the acquisition of the year 1991.

15

13.2 At this stage, it is also required to be noted that the claimants have

also heavily relied upon the judgment of the High Court in the case of

Jagmal Vs. State of U.P. in First Appeal No. 458 of 1984 determining

the compensation @ Rs. 297/- per square yard with respect to the lands

acquired by notification dated 16.09.1976. However, it is required to be

noted that the judgment and order dated 11.03.2015 passed in First

Appeal No.458 of 1984 in the case of Jagmal Vs. State of U.P. (supra)

came to be subsequently reviewed by the High Court allowing the Civil

Misc. Review Application No.174702 of 2015 in which the High Court

subsequently noted and determined the compensation @ Rs.28.12

paisa per square yard by observing in paragraph 31 as under:-

“31. Since in the matter of same acquisition and of the
same village and also in acquisitions of land adjoining or
nearby villages by notifications of Section 4(1) of the Act
of the years 1976 and 1977, this court determined the
compensation @ Rs.28.12 per square yard and also
since the claimants appellants or the respondents have
failed to point out any distinguishing feature in the
present set of facts and as such I have no hesitation to
hold that the claimants appellants are entitled to
compensation of their acquired land @ Rs.28.12 per
square yard.”

It is reiterated that decision in I.A. No. 116578 of 2021 reducing the

compensation to Rs.28.12 paisa per square yard for the lands acquired

in the year 1976 has been confirmed by this Court vide order dated

16
30.09.2016.

13.3 From the table reproduced hereinabove, it can also be seen that

with regard to the acquisition pertaining to the year 1976-1977

consistently the High Court has determined the compensation @

Rs.28.12 paisa per square yard. Even in one case, i.e., in the case of

Jagdish Chand Vs. State of U.P. (supra) where the High Court

determined the compensation @ Rs.28.12 paisa per square yard with

regard to the acquisition pertaining to the year 1976-1977, the special

leave petition has been dismissed as withdrawn by this Court.

Therefore, as such at the most, the claimants can be said to be entitled

to compensation @ Rs.28.12 paisa per square yard with regard to the

lands acquired in the year 1976-1977.

14. Now, so far as the alternative submission made on behalf of the

claimants in Civil Appeal No. 5740 of 2021 to determine the

compensation on the basis of the judgment of the High Court in the case

of Khazan and Ors. Vs. State of U.P. (supra) where the acquisition

proceedings commenced in the year 1983 and the compensation was

determined @ Rs.297/- per square yard is concerned, the aforesaid

cannot be accepted. The appellants are claiming that in the case of the

appellants, the land was acquired in the year 1976 and in the case of

Khazan and Ors. Vs. State of U.P. (supra) the land was acquired in the

17
year 1983, by adopting a formula of deducting 10% depreciation each

year and after deducting 10% depreciation for 07 years, the

compensation may be determined, the aforesaid cannot be accepted.

As per the settled preposition of law, the compensation determined

for the lands acquired subsequently cannot be said to be comparable at

all. Even otherwise in the facts and circumstances, the same cannot be

said to be comparable because of the fact that it has come on record

that in the year 1976 when the lands in question were acquired, there

was no development at all, however, subsequently, after 1980 the

development had taken place and even the development plan has been

sanctioned at the time when the land was acquired in the year 1983,

therefore, the aforesaid request cannot be accepted.

15. In view of the above and for the reasons stated above, the appeals

are partly allowed. It is held that the original landowners – claimants –

appellants herein are entitled to the compensation @ Rs.28.12 paisa per

square yard with respect to the lands acquired in the year 1976. The

impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court are modified to

the above extent. It goes without saying that the claimants shall be

entitled to the statutory benefits as may be available under the

provisions of the Land Acquisition Act on the enhanced amount of

compensation @ Rs.28.12 paisa per square yard.

18
All the appeals are partly allowed to the aforesaid extent, however,

there shall be no order as to costs.

………………………………….J.

                                               [M.R. SHAH]



NEW DELHI;                                  ………………………………….J.
SEPTEMBER 23, 2021.                            [A.S. BOPANNA]




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