Sanjay Kumar Singh vs The State Of Jharkhand on 10 March, 2022


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Supreme Court of India

Sanjay Kumar Singh vs The State Of Jharkhand on 10 March, 2022

Author: M.R. Shah

Bench: M.R. Shah, B.V. Nagarathna

                                                              NON-REPORTABLE
                                   IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                                   CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
                                   CIVIL APPEAL NO. 1760 OF 2022


          Sanjay Kumar Singh                                            …Appellant


                                              Versus


          The State of Jharkhand                                        …Respondent




                                              JUDGMENT

M.R. SHAH, J.

1. Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned judgment

and order dated 28.03.2019 passed by the High Court of Jharkhand at

Ranchi in First Appeal No. 44/2007, by which the High Court has

dismissed the said First Appeal preferred by the appellant herein –

original claimant, the original claimant has preferred the present appeal.
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by
DEEPAK SINGH
Date: 2022.03.10
17:15:00 IST
Reason:

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2. Notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (for

short, ‘1894 Act’) was issued proposing to acquire the land of the original

land owner vide notification dated 01.10.1980 for public purpose. The

Land Acquisition Officer awarded a total compensation of Rs.92,121/- for

the entire acquired land. A reference under Section 18 of the 1894 Act

at the instance of the land owner being Reference Case No. 36/1989

came to be rejected.

2.1 Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the judgment and award

passed by the Reference Court in Reference Case No. 36/1989 refusing

to enhance the amount of compensation, the appellant herein – original

claimant – land owner preferred an appeal before the High Court being

First Appeal No. 44/2007. Before the High Court, the appellant herein

filed an application for additional evidence under Order 41 Rule 27 of the

Code of Civil Procedure (for short, ‘CPC’) and proposed to bring on

record certain sale deeds and the certified copy of the judgment and

award dated 23.08.2006 and 21.09.2006 passed in Land Acquisition

Case Nos. 12/1989; 27/1989; 32/1989 and 52/1989, which, according to

the appellant, were relevant for the purpose of determining the fair

market value. The said application under Order 41 Rule 27 CPC being IA

No. 1384/2019 has been dismissed by the High Court while deciding the

appeal, by the impugned judgment and order after rejecting IA No.

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1384/2019, thus by the impugned judgment and order, the High Court

has dismissed the First Appeal.

2.2 Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned judgment

and order passed by the High Court dismissing the First Appeal as well

as rejecting IA No. 1384/2019, the appellant herein – original claimant

has preferred the present appeal.

3. We have heard the learned counsel for the respective parties at

length.

3.1 At the outset, it is required to be noted that before the Reference

Court as well as before the High Court, the only evidence produced on

record was the sale deed dated 29.12.1987 which was rejected from

being considered. Hence, as such, there was no other

evidence/material on record to arrive at a fair market value for the

acquired land. Therefore, before the High Court, the appellant filed an

application under Order 41 Rule 27 CPC for additional evidence to bring

on record the sale deeds and certified copy of the judgment and award

passed by the Reference Court which, according to the appellant, would

have a direct bearing on the determination of the fair market value of the

acquired land. The High Court has rejected the said application by

observing that the application does not satisfy the requirement of Order

41 Rule 27 read with Section 96 of the CPC. The High Court has also

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observed that the appellant has failed to establish that notwithstanding

exercise of due diligence, such additional evidence was not within his

knowledge and could not after exercise of due diligence be produced

before the courts below. However, the High Court while considering the

application for additional evidence has not appreciated the fact that the

documents which were sought to be produced as additional evidence

might have a bearing on determination of the fair market value of the

acquired land. It is to be noted that except the sale deed dated

29.12.1987, which was rejected by the courts below, no further evidence

was on record to determine the fair market value of the acquired land. It

was a case of awarding of fair compensation to the land owner whose

land has been acquired for public purpose. It cannot be disputed that

the claimant whose land is acquired is entitled to the fair market value of

his land.

4. It is true that the general principle is that the appellate court should

not travel outside the record of the lower court and cannot take any

evidence in appeal. However, as an exception, Order 41 Rule 27 CPC

enables the appellate court to take additional evidence in exceptional

circumstances. It may also be true that the appellate court may permit

additional evidence if the conditions laid down in this Rule are found to

exist and the parties are not entitled, as of right, to the admission of such

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evidence. However, at the same time, where the additional evidence

sought to be adduced removes the cloud of doubt over the case and the

evidence has a direct and important bearing on the main issue in the suit

and interest of justice clearly renders it imperative that it may be allowed

to be permitted on record, such application may be allowed. Even, one

of the circumstances in which the production of additional evidence

under Order 41 Rule 27 CPC by the appellate court is to be considered

is, whether or not the appellate court requires the additional evidence so

as to enable it to pronouncement judgment or for any other substantial

cause of like nature. As observed and held by this Court in the case of

A. Andisamy Chettiar v. A. Subburaj Chettiar, reported in (2015) 17 SCC

713, the admissibility of additional evidence does not depend upon the

relevancy to the issue on hand, or on the fact, whether the applicant had

an opportunity for adducing such evidence at an earlier stage or not, but

it depends upon whether or not the appellate court requires the evidence

sought to be adduced to enable it to pronounce judgment or for any

other substantial cause. It is further observed that the true test,

therefore is, whether the appellate court is able to pronounce judgment

on the materials before it without taking into consideration the additional

evidence sought to be adduced.

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5. Applying the law laid down by this Court in the aforesaid decision

to the facts of the case on hand, we are of the opinion that while

considering the application for additional evidence, the High Court has

not at all adverted to the aforesaid relevant consideration, i.e., whether

the additional evidence sought to be adduced would have a direct

bearing on pronouncing the judgment or for any other substantial cause.

As observed hereinabove, except sale deed 29.12.1987, which as such

was rejected, there was no other material available on record to arrive at

a fair market value of the acquired land. Therefore, in the facts and

circumstances of the case, the High Court ought to have allowed the

application for additional evidence. However, at the same time, even

after permitting to adduce the additional evidence, the applicant has to

prove the existence, authenticity and genuineness of the documents

including contents thereof, in accordance with law and for the aforesaid

purpose, the matter is to be remanded to the Reference Court.

6. In view of the above discussion and for the reasons stated above,

the present appeal is partly allowed. Order passed by the High Court

rejecting IA No. 1384/2019 for adducing additional evidence to bring on

record the documents mentioned in the said application is hereby

quashed and set aside. IA No. 1384/2019 filed before the High Court for

adducing additional evidence under Order 41 Rule 27 CPC is hereby

6
allowed. The appellant herein is permitted to bring on record the

documents mentioned in IA No. 1384/2019 as additional evidence.

However, as observed and held by this Court in the case of Uttaradi Mutt

v. Raghavendra Swamy Mutt, (2018) 10 SCC 484, allowing the

application filed under Order 41 Rule 27 CPC does not lead to the result

that the additional documents/additional evidence can be straightway

exhibited rather, the applicant would have to not only prove the

existence, authenticity and genuineness of the said documents but also

the contents thereof, in accordance with law. It is observed that thus the

documents which are permitted to be brought on record as additional

evidence have to be proved by the appellant before the Reference

Court, in accordance with law and only thereafter and after proving the

existence, authenticity and genuineness of the said documents including

contents thereof, the same can be taken into consideration by the

Reference Court.

For the aforesaid purpose, the matter is remanded to the

Reference Court. Land Acquisition Case No. 36/1989 is ordered to be

restored on the file of the learned Reference Court – Subordinate Judge-

II, Daltonganj. Consequently, the impugned judgment and order passed

by the High Court dismissing the appeal is also hereby quashed and set

aside. However, it is observed and held that we have not expressed

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anything on merits of the documents permitted to be brought on record

as additional evidence and it would be for the Reference Court to deal

with the same in accordance with law and on its own merits and after the

same are proved by the appellant, as observed hereinabove. The

Reference Court is directed to decide the reference case No. 36/1989

afresh, in accordance with law.

7. The present appeal is partly allowed to the aforesaid extent.

However, in the facts and circumstances of the case, there shall be no

order as to costs.

……………………………………..J.

                                  [M.R. SHAH]


NEW DELHI;                        ……………………………………..J.
MARCH 10, 2022.                   [B.V. NAGARATHNA]




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