M/S Acquainted Realtors Llp vs The State Of Haryana on 8 April, 2021


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Supreme Court of India

M/S Acquainted Realtors Llp vs The State Of Haryana on 8 April, 2021

Author: Uday Umesh Lalit

Bench: Uday Umesh Lalit, Hon’Ble Ms. Banerjee, K.M. Joseph

                                                                                               1
                                                                                   REPORTABLE

                                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                                            CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                                        CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1330-1332 of 2021
                                 (@ Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.28052-28054 of 2018)


                         M/s Acquainted Realtors LLP etc. etc.                      …Appellant(s)

                                                          VERSUS

                         State of Haryana & Others                                  …Respondents

                                                           WITH

                                         CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1333-1335 of 2021
                                 (@ Special Leave Petition (Civil) Nos. 30125-30127 of 2018
                                                            WITH
                                         CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1336-1341 of 2021
                                (@ Special Leave Petition (Civil) Nos.30478-30483 of 2018)
                                                            WITH
                                         CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1342-1346 of 2021
                                (@ Special Leave Petition (Civil) Nos.28643-28647 of 2018)
                                                            WITH
                                         CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1347-1355 of 2021
                                (@ Special Leave Petition (Civil) Nos.30207-30215 of 2018)
                                                            WITH
                                         CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1356-1362 of 2021
                                (@ Special Leave Petition (Civil) Nos.30223-30229 of 2018)
Signature Not Verified
                                                            WITH
Digitally signed by
Nidhi Ahuja
Date: 2021.04.08
18:38:33 IST
                                         CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1363-1364 of 2021
Reason:
                                 (@ Special Leave Petition (Civil) Nos.3213-3214 of 2019)

                                                           WITH
                                                                       2
              CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1365-1366 of 2021
     ( @ Special Leave Petition (Civil) Nos.3264-3265 of 2019)
                                 WITH
              CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1367-1372 of 2021
(@ Special Leave Petition (Civil) No SLP(C) Nos.30217-30222 of 2018)
                                  WITH
              CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1373-1375 of 2021
     (@ Special Leave Petition (Civil) Nos.30231-30233 of 2018
                                  WITH
              CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1376-1388 of 2021
      (@ Special Leave Petition (Civil) Nos.3791-3803 of 2019
                                  WITH
              CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1389-1392 of 2021
      (@ Special Leave Petition (Civil) Nos.3476-3479 of 2019
                                  WITH
              CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1393-1400 of 2021
      (@ Special Leave Petition (Civil) Nos.3481-3488 of 2019
                                  WITH
                 CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1401 of 2021
          (@ Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.5763 of 2019
                                  WITH
                 CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1402 of 2021
        (@ Special Leave Petition (Civil) No(s) 5846 of 2021)
                      (@ Diary No.6357 of 2019)
                                  WITH
                 CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1403 of 2021
        (@ Special Leave Petition (Civil) No(s) 5847 of 2021)
                     (@ Diary No.15684 of 2019)
                                  WITH
                 CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1404 of 2021
         (@ Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 5848 of 2021)
                     (@ Diary No.15686 of 2019)
                                  WITH
                 CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1405 of 2021
         (@ Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 5849 of 2021)
                     (@ Diary No.15693 of 2019)
                                  WITH
                                                                    3
                 CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1406 of 2021
          (@ Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 5850 of 2021)
                     (@ Diary No.15695 of 2019)
                                 WITH
                 CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1407 of 2021
          (@ Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 5851 of 2021)
                     (@ Diary No.15698 of 2019)
                                 WITH
                 CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1408 of 2021
          (@ Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 5852 of 2021)
                     (@ Diary No.15712 of 2019)

                                  WITH
               CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1409-1436 of 2021
       (@ Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.30821-30848 of 2018)

                                  WITH
               CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1501-1502 of 2021
       (@ Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.18975-18976 of 2019)

                                 WITH
               CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1503-1507 of 2021
      (@ Special Leave Petition (Civil) Nos.17860-17864 of 2019)

                                 WITH
               CIVIL APPEAL No(s). 1437-1500 of 2021
      (@ Special Leave Petition (Civil) No(s). 5853-5916 of 2021)
                    (@ Diary No.45577 of 2018)

                           JUDGMENT

Uday Umesh Lalit, J.

1. Delay condoned. Leave granted in all matters.

4

2. These appeals challenge the judgment and order date 01.06.2018

passed by the High Court1 in RFA No.384 of 2013 (O&M) [Tej Singh and

another v. State of Haryana and others], based on which the individual appeals

were disposed of.

3. The facts leading to the instant appeals, in brief, are as under:-
A) The proceedings for acquisition of lands were initiated vide

Notification dated 27.09.2005 issued under Section 4 of the Act2 for the

purpose of setting up Industrial Model Township, Phase-VI, Manesar,

Gurgaon for the development of an integrated complex for industrial,

commercial, recreational and other public utilities.
B) The aforesaid Notification was followed by Declaration dated

02.06.2006 issued under Section 6 of the Act. The lands sought to be

acquired, admeasured 465 acres 5 Kanals 7 Marlas, the details of which as

tabulated by the High Court were:-

                   “Scheme           Villages                Area
                                                         Kanal Marla
                  Transport Hub  Bas Khusla              427    15
                                 Bas Huria               177    8
                                 Dhana                   961    13
                                 Kasan                   458    10
                                 Bas Lambi               829    18
                  Transport Hub- Dhana                   509    7
                  II             Kasan                   360    16”




1

The High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh
2
The Land Acquisition Act, 1894
5
C) By Awards dated 24.01.2007, the Land Acquisition Collector assessed

the market value of the lands at the rate of Rs.12.50 lakhs per acre.

D) References initiated at the instance of land-holders were discussed by

the High Court in its decision under challenge as follows:

“Different reference courts at Gurugram dealt with the matter at
different points of time and the first award in question was dated
18.12.2010, pertaining to Village Dhana, wherein a sum of
Rs.46,07,890/- per acre was awarded as market value of the land
while deciding 2 reference petitions, which is subject matter of
RFA No.2453 of 2011 titled HSIIDC v. Ram Niwas and others.
Similarly, on 04.09.2012, 26 reference petitions were decided for
the said village, awarding the same amount of compensation,
which is subject matter of RFA No.384 of 2013 titled Tej Singh
v. State of Haryana and others
. On 04.12.2012, another award
was passed for the said village, wherein also, same amount of
compensation was given, which is subject matter of RFA
No.2874 of 2013 titled Marwan and others v. State of Haryana
and others
and which was followed by another award dated
22.03.2013, which is subject matter in RFA No.402 of 2016
titled Sunita Devi v. State of Haryana and others. On
09.05.2013, another award was passed wherein also, same
amount of compensation was granted, which is subject matter of
RFA No.6369 of 2013 titled Ranbir Singh v. State of Haryana.

However, vide award dated 07.10.2013, Reference Court
granted a sum of Rs.50,70,359/- which is subject matter of RFA
No.7913 of 2013 titled M/s Asylum Estate Pvt. Ltd. v. State of
Haryana and others
, whereas vide award dated 23.11.2013,
which is subject matter of RFA No.2091 of 2014 titled Siri
Chand and others v. State of Haryana and others
, a sum of
Rs.46,07,890/- which had been granted earlier, was maintained.
Another award was passed on 17.03.2015, which is subject
matter in RFA No.3743 of 2015 titled Udey Singh and others v.
State of Haryana and others
for village Dhana wherein also
Rs.46,07,890/- was awarded.

For Village Kasan, vide award dated 03.10.2012, which is
subject matter of RFA No.2086 of 2013 titled Lal Singh v. State
6
of Haryana and others
, a sum of Rs.50,70,359/- was awarded
while deciding 24 reference petitions.

For land falling in Village Bas Huria, vide award dated
09.11.2011, which is subject matter of RFA No.3426 of 2014
titled Sarup and another v. State of Haryana and others, a sum of
Rs.46,07,890/- was granted. Reference Court vide award dated
10.11.2012, in RFA No.1971 of 2013 titled Sohan Lal and others
v. State of Haryana and others
, has also granted same
compensation. Vide another award dated 29.04.2013, for Village
Bas Huria, which is subject matter of RFA No.7119 of 2013
titled HSIIDC and others v. Chunni Lal and others, same amount
of compensation was assessed. Thereafter, vide award passed on
01.09.2015, Reference Court, which is subject matter in RFA
No.16 of 2016 titled Jai Pal Singh and others v. State of Haryana
and others
, fixed the compensation at the same amount.

Another Reference Court on 10.11.2012, while deciding 32
reference petitions, for Village Bas Lambi, which is subject
matter of RFA No.958 of 2013 titlted Balbir v. State of Haryana
and others
, granted compensation of Rs.46,07,890/- whereby 829
kanals, 18 marlas of land was acquired.

For village Bas Khusla, while deciding 54 reference
petitions on 28.09.2013, a sum of Rs.68,32,893/- was granted by
applying the cumulative method, which is subject matter of RFA
No.4004 of 2014 titled HSIIDC v. Amar Pal and others.
Similarly, RFA No.4424 of 2015 titled Ishwar @ State of
Haryana and others, deals with award dated 01.10.2014 wherein
also, Rs.68,32,893/- was granted.

While assessing the market value, vide award dated
18.12.20110, for village Dhana, for the first time, the Reference
Court kept in mind compensation awarded in HSIIDC v. Pran
Sukh (2010) 11 SCC 175 whereby a sum of Rs.20 lacs has been
awarded as compensation for the notification dated 15.11.1994,
for setting up the Industrial Model Township, Phase-I, Manesar.
It was further noticed that for notification dated 07.03.2002 of
Village Dhana, besides land of Village Kasan, Bas Kusla, Bas
Huria, which was also for the development of Phase-III, one
Reference Court had awarded a sum of Rs.28,15,849/- by giving
increase of 12% on Rs.15 lacs, as had been assessed by this
Court. Since the Apex Court had enhanced the value @ Rs.20
7
lacs in Pran Sukh’s case (supra), the same was relied upon by
granting 12% increase for the time-gap of 10 years, 10 months
and 12 days between the 2 notifications dated 15.11.1994 and the
one in question dated 27.09.2005, to assess the market value of
Rs.46,07,890/-. The apportionment claimed, as such, was also
decided in favour of the claimants and the claim of Gram
Panchayat was denied.

However, for the same Village Dhana, vide award dated
07.10.2013, another Reference Court relied upon the award
dated 03.10.2012 for Village Kasan, which is subject matter of
RFA No.2086 of 2013, to grant higher compensation of
Rs.50,70,359/-, on the ground that it was pertaining to the same
notification and the public purpose was the same, i.e., for
completing the infrastructural facilities and other public utilities
such as roads, water supply, sewerage, electrification etc.

Thus, it is apparent that for the same acquisition,
Rs.46,07,890/- and Rs.50,70,359/- have been awarded for
Village Dhana and similarly, for Village Kasan also,
Rs.50,70,359/- has been awarded. However, Village Bas Khusla,
Rs.68,32,893/- was awarded, without the Reference Court
having, in any manner, recorded a finding, as such, that the lands
situated in those villages were superior or were better placed and
without making any reference to the site-plans in question.”

E) For facility, the brief details of the orders in References and the

amounts awarded as compensation are tabulated:-

             “Sr.         Date         Amount as compensation
             No.                          per acre (in Lacs)
                             Re: Village Dhana
         1            18.12.2010                 46.07
         2            04.09.2012                 46.07
         3            04.12.2012                 46.07
         4            22.03.2013                 46.07
         5            09.05.2013                 46.07
         6            07.10.2013                 50.70
         7            23.11.2013                 46.07
         8            17.03.2015                 46.07
                                                                               8
                                  Re: Village Kasan
             9             03.10.2012               50.70
                                  Re: Village Bas Huria
             10             09.11.2011               46.07
             11             10.11.2012               46.07
             12             29.04.2013               46.07
             13             01.09.2015               46.07
                                  Re: Vilage Bas Lambi
             14             10.11.2012                46.07
                                  Re: Village Bas Kusla
             15             28.09.2013                68.32
             16             01.10.2014               68.32”

Thus, except for cases at serial Nos.6,9,15 and 16, the market value

was consistently fixed at Rs.46.07 lakhs per acre.

F) The acquiring body, namely, HSIIDC3 as well as land-holders

approached the High Court by filing 114 Appeals and 19 cross Objections.

The High Court framed the following questions for consideration:

“(i) Whether cumulative increase was liable to be granted on the basis
of an Award for the notification dated 15.11.1994 for the acquisition
dated 27.09.2005 where there was a gap of 10 years and 10 months
between two notifications and whether the Awards are sustainable on
that account;

(i) Whether the sale deed dated 16.08.2004 in favour of M/s
Conway Developers Ltd., which was subject matter of consideration
in a bunch of appeals lead case in which was RFA No.3381 of 2013
‘HSIIDC v. Roshan Lal and others’ decided on 25.05.2018 are liable
to be taken into consideration pertaining to village Naurangpur which
was for Phase-V of the IMT Manesar, whereas the present acquisition
is for the Transport Hub, which is Phase-IV of the IMT Manesar.

3

Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation
9

(ii) What is the relevant market value of the land situated in
Villages Dhana, Kasan, Bas Huria, Bas Khulsa and Bas Lambi as on
the date of Section 4 notification dated 27.09.2005.”

Relying on the decision in General Manager, Oil and Natural Gas

Corporation Limited v. Rameshbhai Jivanbhai Patel and another4 the High

Court answered the first question against the land-holders. While dealing

with the evidence on record the High Court relied upon its decision rendered

on 25.05.2018 in HSIIDC v. Roshan Lal and others. It was found in that

case that sale deed dated 17.08.2003 [Ext.P-13] was the most appropriate sale

instance, based on which valuation at Rs.48,46,000/- per acre was arrived at

for lands from Villages Naurangpur and Lakhnoula falling on the National

Highway whereas the lands falling inside and away from the Highway were

subjected to a cut of 10% and the market value for lands falling in the villages

Shikohpur, Nawada Fatehpur and Naharpur Kasan was arrived at

Rs.43,61,400/- per acre.

Finding that the lands in the instant case were comparable with the

lands from Villages Shikohpur, Nawada Fatehpur and Naharpur Kasan, the

High Court fixed market value in respect of the lands concerning present

acquisition at Rs.43,61,400/-. The relevant discussion was as under:-

“50. The argument raised by Mr. Shailender Jain, Sr. Advocate
that the sale deed dated 16.08.2004, in favour of M/s Conway

4
(2008) 14 SCC 745
10
Developers Pvt. Ltd. which fall in Village Naurangpur, wherein
land was sold for Rs.57,60,000/- per acre should be the relevant
sale exemplar and should be taken into consideration to fix the
market value of the present 5 villages, though attractive at the
first blush, but is not liable to be accepted. While deciding the
cases of adjoining village, i.e. Naurangpur, Shikohpur, Nawada
Fatehpur, Naharpur Kasan and Lakhnoula, wherein land had
been acquired for Phase-II of the Industrial Model township, for
industrial, commercial, recreational and other public utilities, the
said sale deed had been taken into consideration for the
notification dated 17.09.2004 in RFA No.3381 of 2013 – HSIDC
now HSIIDC v. Roshan Lal and others, decided on 25.05.2018.

The market value of the 2 villages, namely, Lakhnoula and
Naurangpur has been assessed at Rs.48,46,000/- since they were
falling on the Highway for the notification dated 17.09.2004.
The land falling in the interior and away from the Highway, in
Villages Naharpur Kasan, Nawada Fatehpur and Shikohpur were
given Rs.43,61,400/- per acre. Even in the said case, it was
noticed that the location of the said sale deed had not been
brought on record on the siteplans and from the evidence, it
would be clear that it was falling on the main road on the
National Highway No.8 and abutting the same and was in favour
of a Developer. Accordingly, the sale deed was taken into
consideration for assessing the market value of the said villges,
especially Naurangpur and Lakhnoula, as such, which were
abutting the main highway also, as per the site-plan in question.
The market value, as such was found that it was hovering around
Rs.57 lacs, as such. However on the basis of sake deed dated
17.08.2003 (Ext.P13), in the said set of cases, whereby land
measuring 8 kanals 8 marlas wa sold in favour of M/s Reliance
Industries Ltd. in Village Lakhnoula with the frontage of 75.8
meters on the National Highway No.8 on its southern side, as
per the description given in the site plan, the value was , thus,
worked out at Rs.50,90,238/- per acre by granting 12%
enhancement Rs.6,10,828/-, keeping in view the development
which was taking place in the said area. The per acre value had
thus worked out at Rs.57,01,066/- and thereafter, 15% cut had
been applied to assess the market value at Rs.48,45,907/-
(rounded of to Rs.48,46,000/-) for the land falling on the
highway for Village Naurangpur and Lakhnoula. The lands
falling inside and away from the Highway were assessed by
granting another 10% cut and accordingly, for land falling in
11
Village Shikohpur, Nawada Fatehpur and Naharpur Kasan, the
amount was further reduced to Rs.43,61,400/-.

51. The pleadings and evidence have already been discussed in
detail in the above paras and it is amply clear that the land in
question is located at a considerable distance ranging from 7 to
10 kms from National Highway aNo.8 and therefore, cannot be
granted the benefits of the land which is abutting the Highway
and closure to the main town of Gurgaon since Naurangpur is
situated ahead of Manesar towards Gurgaon. The argument that
the market value of the land adjoining villages could also be
taken into consideration while assessing the market value, would
not apply in the present case, as a perusal of the site plans would
go on to show that there are several revenue estates between the
lands which have been acquired of he 5 villages and village
Naurangpur. The site plan (Ext.P222 and Ext.R1, in RFA
No.384 of 2013 – Tej Singh’s case) would show that the land is
on the fag end of the development which is taking place on the
Highway and away from the National Highway. Village
Naharpur Kasan, Lakhnoula and Maneswar’s revenue estates
would come in between the lands of the acquired villags. The
distance though pleaded in several cases that it was close to the
National Highway No.8, has been clarified time and again by the
appellant-Corporation that it is ranging between 7-10 kms from
the National Highway. In such circumstances the sale deed in
favour of M/s Conway Developers

Pvt. Ltd. could not be safe exemplar for fixing the market value
and, therefore, the said judgment is rejected.

52. The issue of assessing the market value would, thus,
necessarily have to be on the basis of a closer sale deeds of the
villages in question or of the adjoining villages. As noticed
earlier, in RFA No.3381 of 2013 titled HSIDC now HSIIDC v.
Roshan Lal and others
, the sale deed in favour of M/s Reliance
Industries was kept in mind for assessing the market value which
fell in the revenue estate of Village Lakhnoula. The land
acquired in Village Naharpur Kasan, market value was
accordingly, fixed at Rs.43,61,400/- after giving the necessary
cut. The said award, as such, can be treated as relevant piece of
evidence to assess the market value of he acquired land also
since Naharpur Kasan is the adjoining village. The difference
between the two notifications in question was for a period of one
12
year as the earlier notification was dated 17.09.2004 whereas the
present notification is dated 27.09.2005. It has already been
noticed on an earlier occasion in Maqdan Pal-III (supra) that
major developments was taking place in the area in the form of
industry being encouraged and the big names had already come
in like Maruti Suzuki Ltd. The 10% increase, thus, can be
safely granted which would enhance the market value to
Rs.47,96,540/- per acre. However, the said benefit, as such, is
also not liable to be granted, keeping in view the location of the
land which is deeper inside and would not fetch the same value
though a period of one year might have gone by which the
subsequent Section 4 notification had been issued. Accordingly,
this Court is of the opinion that the market value for the lands of
the 5 villages in question, namely, Dhana, Kasan, Bas Huria, Bas
Lambi and Bas Khusla is liable to be assessed at the same
amount as what was granted to Naharpur Kasan, @
Rs.43,61,400/- per acre along with situatory benefits.”

Going by the location, the High Court found that the lands involved in

the instant acquisition were identical to the lands from Villages Shikohpur,

Nawada Fatehabad and Naharpur Kasan. It relied on site plan Ext.P22. It

also considered the difference of about a year between two notifications i.e. to

say the notification dated 17.09.2004 under Section 4 of the Act in the earlier

case and notification dated 27.09.2005 in the present case. It was observed

that logically 10% increase could safely be granted. However, considering

the location of the lands and being satisfied that there would not be any

difference in the value despite lapse of a year, it assessed the market value for

the lands in question at Rs.43,61,400/- per acre.

13
3

The appeals preferred by HSIIDC were thus allowed while the

challenge raised by the landholders was rejected.

4. Being aggrieved, these appeals have been preferred by the

landholders. No appeal has been preferred by the State or the Acquiring Body

and thus, the scope of instant appeals is limited to consider whether the

landholders are entitled to any enhancement in compensation.

5. It was submitted on behalf of the land holders: –

(a) The lands in the instant appeals abutted the Kundli-Manesar-

Palwal Expressway, in respect of which notification under Section 4

of the Act was issued on 11.01.2005 i.e. even prior to the initiation of

acquisition in the instant case. The lands in the instant case, therefore,

had huge potential;

(b) Sale deed dated 28.04.2004 (Ext.P27 in the instant case) was

wrongly rejected by the High Court. This sale deed pertained to an

extent of 12 acres of land which was sold at the rate of Rs.1.13 crores

per acre;

(c) Even post acquisition sale deeds, namely, Ext.P11 to P14 and

P28 to P30 were erroneously rejected by the High Court and the

compensation for the lands in the instant case could easily have been
14
arrived at by applying de-escalation on the post-acquisition sale

deeds; and

(d) Going by the valuation arrived at by this Court in Wazir and

another v. State of Haryana5, cumulative annual increase at 12% per

annum could appropriately have been granted.

6. It was submitted on behalf of the State inter alia that the High Court

was right in relying upon Sale Deed dated 17.08.2003 to arrive at the

valuation in respect of villages Shikohpur, Nawada Fatehpur and Naharpur

Kasan and thereafter adopting same valuation for the lands involved in the

instant case.

7. It must be stated here at the outset that in respect of Phases II, III and

IV of the Industrial Model Township, Manesar, Gurgaon, acquisition

proceedings were initiated with regard to lands falling in villages Naharpur

Kasan, Kasan, Bas Kusla, Bas Haria, Dhana and Manesar by issuing

Notifications dated 06.03.2002, 07.03.2002 and 26.02.2002 under Section 4

of the Act. The High Court vide its decision dated 09.03.2018 in Madan Pal

III vs. State of Haryana6 assessed the market value in respect of lands from

villages Naharpur Kasan, Kasan, Bas Kusla, Bas Haria, and Dhana (covered
5
(2019) 13 SCC 101
6
2018 SCC Online P & H 2871
15
by Phases II and III) at Rs.41.40 lakhs per acre; while compensation for lands

from village Manesar (covered by Phase IV) was assessed at Rs.62.10 lakhs

per acre. The appeals arising therefrom were decided by this Court vide its

Judgment dated 11.01.20197 as modified by Order dated 08.02.20198 in Civil

Appeal Nos.264-270 of 2019 and other connected matters (Wazir and

Another vs. State of Haryana5) i.e., after the decision of the High Court

which is presently under appeal. The relevant operative directions issued by

this Court were:-

“32. In the circumstances, we direct:

32.1 In respect of lands under acquisition from Villages
Naharpur Kasan and Kasan the market value shall be
Rs.39,54,666 per acre. Additionally, all statutory benefits
would be payable.

32.2 In respect of lands under acquisition from Villages
Bas Kusla, Bas Haria and Dhana the market value shall be
Rs.29,77,333 per acre. Additionally, all statutory benefits
would be payable.

32.3 In respect of lands from Village Manesar the
market value shall be Rs.59,31,999 lakhs per acre.

Additionally, all statutory benefits would be payable.”

Pertinently, the decision of the High Court in HSIIDC v. Roshan Lal

and others, which was the basis of the decision in the present matters, had in

turn relied upon the assessment made by the High Court in its earlier decision

7
(2019) 13 SCC 101
8
(2019) 13 SCC 123
16
6
dated 09.03.2018 in Madan Pal III v. State of Haryana . Since the

assessment in Madan Pal III vs. State of Haryana6 was scaled down by this

Court in Wazir and Another vs. State of Haryana5, theoretically, the market

value arrived at by the High Court in HSIIDC v. Roshan Lal and others

would be on the higher side.

8. We, however proceed to consider the material on record to see

whether the landholders are right in their contentions and are entitled to

enhanced compensation.

9. Sale Deed dated 28.04.2004 (Exhibit P-27 in the instant case) was

considered by the High Court as under:-

“The sale deed dated 28.04.2004 by M/s Gillette India
whereby land measuring 12.08125 acres was sold in
Naharpur Kasan which is developed portion of the village
with a industrial unit running on it, which would be clear
from Schedule-II and therefore, the value of the said sale
deed in favour of Lotto Finance & Investment for a sum of
Rs.13.62 crores, would not be correct exemplar, which
could be taken into consideration to assess the market
value.”

Schedule II to the Sale Deed shows that apart from the land described

in Schedule I, constructed area, machinery including canteen, kitchen, offices,

7 air handling units, air colling units, centrifugal chillers of 400 tons each,
17
LAN networking with extensive cabling, fire fighting implements also formed

part of the price.

This document was therefore rightly ruled out.

10. Post-acquisition sale deeds have, at times, been relied upon by Courts.

But in a case where pre-acquisition sale instances are otherwise found to be

adequate and appropriate, post-acquisition instances, by themselves, cannot

outweigh and discard such pre-acquisition sale instances. The pre-acquisition

pointer in the form of Sale Deed dated 17.08.2003 in favour of Reliance

Industries Limited with adequate frontage on National Highway was rightly

found to be appropriate. No fault can be found with such exercise.

11. While answering question No.1 against the landholders, the High

Court relied upon following observations in the decision in ONGC Ltd.4

“15. Normally, recourse is taken to the mode of
determining the market value by providing appropriate
escalation over the proved market value of nearby lands in
previous years (as evidenced by sale transactions or
acquisitions), where there is no evidence of any
contemporaneous sale transactions or acquisitions of
comparable lands in the neighbourhood. The said method is
reasonably safe where the relied-on sale
transactions/acquisitions precede the subject acquisition by
only a few years, that is, up to four to five years. Beyond
that it may be unsafe, even if it relates to a neighbouring
land. What may be a reliable standard if the gap is of only a
few years, may become unsafe and unreliable standard
where the gap is larger. For example, for determining the
market value of a land acquired in 1992, adopting the
annual increase method with reference to a sale or
acquisition in 1970 or 1980 may have many pitfalls. This is
because, over the course of years, the “rate” of annual
18
increase may itself undergo drastic change apart from the
likelihood of occurrence of varying periods of stagnation in
prices or sudden spurts in prices affecting the very standard
of increase.”

Wazir and another vs. State of Haryana 5 had considered the value by

annual increase as one of the alternatives. Secondly, the rate adopted in that

case was only 8%. The valuation in Wazir and another vs. State of

Haryana5, by itself, cannot therefore be taken as the basis in preference to

what could possibly be concluded on the basis of Sale Deeds on record. The

submission therefore does not merit acceptance.

12. However, two aspects of the matter are quite striking and distinguish

the instant acquisition from the one that was under consideration in HSIIDC

vs. Roshan Lal and others.

A) The notification for acquiring the lands for Kondli Manesar

Palwal Expressway was issued prior in point of time. It is true that

according to the record, except for certain exits, the Expressway

would otherwise be unapproachable as stated by PW3 Ranbir Singh

Yadav, Assistant Manager, HSIIDC. However, a dimension

distinguishing the instant case certainly got added in that, even if there

was to be no direct approach to the acquired lands from the

Expressway, in terms of potential, the lands in the instant case

definitely got closer to development.

19

B) Secondly, the acquisition in the case of HSIIDC vs. Roshan

Lal and others was a year before the present acquisition. If the lands

in both cases were otherwise identical in material terms, the valuation

found with respect to the former in the year 2004, must have

undergone some upward change when the valuation of the latter set of

lands is to be considered for the year 2005.

13. The High Court was right to a certain extent that there was nothing on

record to indicate such upward movement. At this stage, we may refer to the

principles laid down by this Court in ONGC Ltd.4:-

“13. Primarily, the increase in land prices depends on four
factors: situation of the land, nature of development in
surrounding area, availability of land for development in
the area, and the demand for land in the area. In rural areas,
unless there is any prospect of development in the vicinity,
increase in prices would be slow, steady and gradual,
without any sudden spurts or jumps. On the other hand, in
urban or semi-urban areas, where the development is faster,
where the demand for land is high and where there is
construction activity all around, the escalation in market
price is at a much higher rate, as compared to rural areas. In
some pockets in big cities, due to rapid development and
high demand for land, the escalations in prices have
touched even 30% to 50% or more per year, during the
nineties.

14. On the other extreme, in remote rural areas where there
was no chance of any development and hardly any buyers,
the prices stagnated for years or rose marginally at a
nominal rate of 1% or 2% per annum. There is thus a
significant difference in increases in market value of lands
in urban/semi-urban areas and increases in market value of
20
lands in the rural areas. Therefore, if the increase in market
value in urban/semi-urban areas is about 10% to 15% per
annum, the corresponding increases in rural areas would at
best be only around half of it, that is, about 5% to 7.5% per
annum. This rule of thumb refers to the general trend in the
nineties, to be adopted in the absence of clear and specific
evidence relating to increase in prices. Where there are
special reasons for applying a higher rate of increase, or
any specific evidence relating to the actual increase in
prices, then the increase to be applied would depend upon
the same.”

14. Guided by the rule of thumb stated in said decision, and even while

considering that the lands in the instant case were agricultural in nature and

away from the Highway, in our considered view, two aspects detailed

hereinabove, definitely weigh in favour of the landholders. At the same time,

it cannot be ignored that the values arrived at in HSIIDC vs. Roshan Lal and

others (in the light of subsequent decision in Wazir and another vs. State of

Haryana5) were themselves on the higher side. Although, the decision in

HSIIDC vs. Roshan Lal and others was not challenged by the State, the fact

remains that the values assessed is that decision were theoretically on a higher

scale and the landholders, on that score, have received an advantage.

15. In the totality of circumstances, in our view, the landholders must be

held entitled to 8% flat increase over the market value assessed in HSIIDC

vs. Roshan Lal and others. in respect of lands from villages which were

found to be comparable. The landholders must therefore get enhancement to
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the tune of 8% over Rs.43,61,400 per acre that is to say Rs.47,10,312 per acre

(rounded of to Rs.47,10,500 per acre). Needless to say that they shall also be

entitled to all the statutory benefits.

16. These appeals are allowed to the extent indicated above, without any

order as to costs.

………..…..……..……J.

(Uday Umesh Lalit)

..………….……………J.

(Vineet Saran)
New Delhi;

April 08, 2021



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