Bhupendra Ramdhan Pawar vs Vidarbha Irrigation Development … on 9 September, 2021


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Supreme Court of India

Bhupendra Ramdhan Pawar vs Vidarbha Irrigation Development … on 9 September, 2021

Author: Ajay Rastogi

Bench: Ajay Rastogi, Abhay S. Oka

                                                                 NON­REPORTABLE
                                  IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                                  CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
                              CIVIL APPEAL NO(S). 5611­5612 OF 2021
                           (Arising out of SLP(Civil) No(s). 36247­36248 of 2016)

         BHUPENDRA RAMDHAN PAWAR                                    ….APPELLANT(S)


                                   VERSUS


         VIDARBHA IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT
         CORPORATION, NAGPUR AND ORS. ETC.                        ….RESPONDENT(S)


                                                  WITH
                                 CIVIL APPEAL NO(S).       5613    OF 2021
                              (Arising out of SLP(Civil) No(s). 13859 of 2019)

                                  CIVIL APPEAL NO(S).      5614      OF 2021
                              (Arising out of SLP(Civil) No(s). 13874 of 2019)



                                             JUDGMENT

Rastogi, J.

Civil Appeals @ SLP(Civil) Nos. 36247­36248 of 2016
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by
NEETU KHAJURIA
Date: 2021.09.09
17:33:24 IST
Reason:

1. Leave granted.

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2. The appellant has challenged the judgment and order dated

23rd October, 2015 passed by the High Court of Bombay

determining the compensation payable to the appellant in reference

to the acquisition proceedings which were initiated pursuant to a

notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act,

1894(hereinafter being referred to as the ‘Act”) dated 14 th August,

1997.

3. The total land admeasuring 9 hectares and 98 ares situated at

Mouza Khandala, Tq. Manora, District Washim came to be acquired

by the respondents pursuant to the acquisition proceedings

initiated under Section 4 of the Act published in the Gazette dated

14th August, 1997. In furtherance thereof, declaration was made

under Section 6 of the Act which was published in the Government

Gazette on 20th August, 1998. The land acquisition officer pursuant

thereto passed an award dated 20th August, 1999 in respect of the

acquired land and valued the land under field Gat No. 1/1 and 1/ 2

at the rate of Rs. 35,000/­ per hectare for dry crop land and under

Gat No. 11 at the rate of Rs. 46,600/­ per hectare on the basis of

revenue assessment with standing trees. On appeal being preferred

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at the instance of the present appellant under Section 54 of the Act

read with Section 96 of Civil Procedure Code, 1908, the High Court

under the impugned judgment, after hearing the parties, granted

him the following reliefs:­

(i) The claimant Bhupendra Ramdhan Pawar is entitled to
compensation at the rate of Rs. 1,00,000/­ per hectare for
land admeasuring 7 H 98 Ares, out of the acquired land
admeasuring 9 Hectares 98 Ares deducting land admeasuring 2
H on which orange trees were cultivated.

(ii) Claimant is held entitled to compensation at the rate of Rs. 3000/­
per tree for 554 orange trees in Gat no. 1/1 and 1/ 2.

(iii) Claimant is held entitled to Rs. 91,305/­ as compensation for well
in Gat No. 1/1 and for well in Gat No. 1 /2 to Rs. 26,000/­.

(iv) Claimant is held entitled to compensation for 327 firewood trees at
the rate of Rs. 300/­ per tree.

(v) Claimant is held entitled to compensation at the rate of Rs. 500/­
per tree for 400 Sindhi trees.

(vi) Claimant is held entitled to compensation at the rate of Rs. 250/­
per tree for 30 berry trees.

(vii) The claim in respect of 100 mango trees at the rate of Rs.

1000/­ per tree, as has been awarded by the reference Court,
is rejected.

(viii) Rest of the statutory entitlements of the claimant including
solatium under Section 23(2) of the Act, interest under
Section 28 of the Act and component under Section 23­A of
the Act
of 1894 be calculated accordingly along with future
interest at the rate of 15 % per annum till full realization.

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(ix) The judgment and order dated 17th of April, 2008 passed by
reference Court in LAC No. 170 of 1999 stands modified
accordingly.

(x) The reference Court is directed to calculate the compensation
payable to the claimant after giving notice to both sides within four
months from the date of receipt of writ and certified copy of the
judgment.

(xi) If any amount is withdrawn by the claimant, same shall be taken
into consideration while making ultimate payment of dues to the
claimant.

(xii) The amount deposited by the appellant in Appeal No. 1265 of 2013
if found to be in excess, the same shall be refunded to the
appellant.

(xiii) In the circumstances, there shall be no order as to costs.”

4. Learned counsel for the appellant submits that the

compensation @ Rs. 1,00,000/­ per hectare awarded by the High

Court is not adequate and under the two sale deeds dated 28 th

December, 1994 and 12th March, 1996, the market price comes to

Rs. 50,000/­ per hectare in the year 1994 and on the basis of

second sale deed of March, 1996, the market price came to Rs.

75,000/­ per hectare and the present acquisition being of the year

1997, adequate appreciation has not been made while computing

compensation and it deserves further enhancement.

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5. Learned counsel submits that the compensation of

Rs. 1,00,000/­ has been determined with reference to sales

statistics and that being so, trees will have to be valued separately

and this what has been held by this Court in Ambya Kalya

Mhatre(Dead) through LRs and Others Vs. State of Maharashtra1

and submits that the finding recorded by the High Court depriving

the appellant of computing compensation in reference to 2 hectares

of acquired land needs to be interfered by this Court.

6. Learned counsel further submits that the findings which have

been recorded by the High Court rejecting the claim in respect of

100 mango trees awarded by the reference court needs to be

interfered by this Court.

7. Per contra, learned counsel for the respondents, while

supporting the order passed by the High Court, submits that

compensation which has been determined by the High Court of Rs.

1,00,000/­ per hectare for the acquired land is based on the factual

matrix and appellant has relied upon two sale instances, (i) sale

deed dated 28th December, 1994 of 39 ares land consideration was

1 2011(9) SCC 325
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Rs. 20,000/­(thus market value of 1 Hectare = Rs. 50,000/­) (ii) sale

deed dated 12th March, 1996 about 2 hectare 1 Are land for the

consideration of Rs. 1,50,000/­(thus market value of 1 Hectare =

Rs. 75,000/­). It can be noticed that the sale instance of 12 th

March, 1996 is one year prior to Section 4 notification, even by

adding 10% increase in the value, market value of 1 hectare would

be Rs. 82,500/­.

8. Learned counsel further submits that compensation of Rs.

1,00,000/­ per hectare granted for the whole land is a fair

compensation and it needs no further indulgence by this Court.

9. Learned counsel further submits that so far as the claim in

respect of mango trees which has been rejected by the High Court is

concerned, reliance was placed by the reference court on survey

report at Annexure P­1(page 41 of the paper book) which was

prepared on 23rd November, 1994 and the finding has been

recorded that for the period 1990­91 to 1993­94, there is reference

to 277 orange trees and 100 mango trees while in 7/12 extracts

Exhibit­46 for the period from 1994­95 to 1998­99, there is no

mention of mango trees from 1994­95 onwards, though there is a

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reference of 277 orange trees. Since, there was no evidence on

record establishing existence of 100 mango trees as claimed on the

date when the acquisition proceedings were initiated in August

1997, the claim was rightly rejected by the High Court.

10. Learned counsel further submits that the valuation of orange

trees has been made at the rate of Rs. 3000/­ per tree and 2

hectares of land for which compensation has not been computed

may be considered in the light of judgment in Ambya Kalya

Mhatre(Dead) through LRs and Others(supra).

11. After we have heard learned counsel appearing for the parties,

we are of the view that the compensation of Rs. 1,00,000/­ per

hectare as awarded by the High Court in the impugned judgment is

a fair compensation duly supported by the material on record and

that needs no interference from this Court.

12. So far as the claim in respect of 100 mango trees is concerned,

it was awarded by the reference Court at the rate of Rs. 1000/­ per

tree. The High Court after appreciation of the evidence has rejected

the claim based on the following findings:­

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“Having considering the above aspect and on considering 7/12
extracts of the acquired land, we further find that as per 7/12
extract Exh. 47 and Exh. 44 for the period from 1990­91 to 1993­
94 there is reference to 277 orange trees in each of Gat No. 1/1
and1/ 2 and 100 mango trees while in the 7/12 extracts Exh. 46
for the period from 1994­95 to 1998­99 there is no mention of
mango trees from 1994­95 onwards, though there is reference of
277 orange trees each in above Gat numbers, 400 Sindhi trees and
30 berry trees during above period. As such, we find that claimant
has failed to produce satisfactory evidence establishing existence of
100 mango trees as claimed and in fact from his evidence we find
that claimant is even not aware as to in which field there were
mango trees.”

13. After going through the finding of fact recorded by the High

Court, we find no reason to interfere.

14. Admittedly, for 2 hectares of land, compensation has not been

awarded and it is not disputed that the land value has been

determined with reference to sales statistics and this Court in

Ambya Kalya Mhatre(Dead) through LRs and Others(supra) held

that in a case where the land value has been determined with

reference to the sales statistics, the trees will have to be valued

separately. The relevant paras as referred hereunder:­

34. The High Court has also held that once the compensation is
awarded for the land, there cannot be additional or separate
compensation for the trees. For this purpose, the High Court has
relied upon the following observations of this Court in State of
Haryana v. Gurcharan Singh
[1995 Supp (2) SCC 637])

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“3. … It is settled law that the Collector or the court
who determines the compensation for the land as well
as fruit­bearing trees cannot determine them
separately. The compensation is to the value of the
acquired land. The market value is determined on the
basis of the yield. Then necessarily applying suitable
multiplier, the compensation needs to be awarded.
Under no circumstances the court should allow the
compensation on the basis of the nature of the land as
well as fruit­bearing trees. In other words, market
value of the land is determined twice over; once on the
basis of the value of the land and again on the basis of
the yield got from the fruit­bearing trees. The
definition of land includes the benefits which accrue
from the land as defined in Section 3(a) of the Act.
After compensation is determined on the basis of the
value of the land as distinct from the income applying
suitable multiplier, then the trees would be valued
only as firewood and necessary compensation would
be given.”

35. We are afraid that the High Court has misread the said
decision in regard to valuing the land and trees separately. If the
land value had been determined with reference to the sale
statistics or compensation awarded for a nearby vacant land, then
necessarily, the trees will have to be valued separately. But if the
value of the land has been determined on the basis of the sale
statistics or compensation awarded for an orchard, that is land
with fruit­bearing trees, then there is no question of again adding
the value of the trees. Further, if the market value has been
determined by capitalising the income with reference to yield, then
also the question of making any addition either for the land or for
the trees separately does not arise. In this case, the determination
of market value was not with reference to the yield. Nor was the
determination of market value in regard to the land with reference
to the value of any orchard but was with reference to vacant
agricultural land. In the circumstances, the value of the trees
could be added to the value of the land.

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15. Admittedly, in the instant case, the land value has been

determined with reference to the sales statistics by the High Court

in the impugned judgment. That being the factual position, in our

considered view, the appellant is entitled for compensation for

2 hectares of land in reference to which compensation has not been

awarded under the impugned judgment at the rate of Rs.

1,00,000/­ per hectare along with statutory entitlement to the

claimant/appellant as referred to by the High Court in para (viii) till

realization under the impugned judgment.

16. Consequently, the appeals partly succeed and accordingly

allowed. The appellant shall be entitled to compensation @ Rs.

1,00,000/­ per hectare for the land admeasuring 2 hectares

situated at Mouza Khandala, Tq. Manora, District Washim along

with statutory entitlement as referred to by the High Court in para

(viii) of the impugned judgment dated 23 rd October, 2015 till

realization. The compliance be made within three months. No

costs.

17. Pending application(s), if any, stand disposed of.

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Civil Appeal @ SLP(Civil) No. 13859 of 2019
Civil Appeal @ SLP(Civil) No. 13874 of 2019

18. Learned counsel for the appellant(s) submits that the

compensation of Rs. 1,00,000/­ per hectare awarded by the High

Court in the impugned judgment is inadequate and deserves

enhancement in the given facts and circumstances.

19. We have declined the claim for enhancement of compensation

in our judgment in the connected appeals being Civil Appeals @

SLP(Civil) Nos. 36247­36248 of 2016.

20. Consequently, the appeals are without substance and

accordingly dismissed. No costs.

21. Pending application(s), if any, stand disposed of.

……………………………..J.

(AJAY RASTOGI)

……………………………J.

(ABHAY S. OKA)

NEW DELHI
SEPTEMBER 09, 2021

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