Special Land Acquisition Officer vs Chandramma(Dead) By Lrs on 13 February, 2009

Supreme Court of India
Special Land Acquisition Officer vs Chandramma(Dead) By Lrs on 13 February, 2009
Author: . A Pasayat
Bench: Arijit Pasayat, Mukundakam Sharma

                   IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA


               CIVIL APPEAL NO. 1006            OF 2009
               (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 21490 of 2004)

Special Land Acquisition Officer                      ...Appellant


Chandramma (dead) by Lrs.                             ...Respondents


Civil Appeal No.   1007 of 2009 @ SLP (C) No.21739/2004
Civil Appeal No.    1008 of 2009 @ SLP (C) No.21738/2004
Civil Appeal No.     1009 of 2009 @ SLP (C) No.21753/2004
Civil Appeal No.      1010 of 2009 @ SLP (C) No.21797/2004
Civil Appeal No.      1011 of 2009 @ SLP (C) No.22973/2004
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Civil Appeal No.         1017 of 2009 @ SLP (C) No.23014/2004
Civil Appeal No.     1018 of 2009 @ SLP (C) No.23018/2004
Civil Appeal No.     1019 of 2009 @ SLP (C) No.23019/2004
Civil Appeal No.      1020 of 2009 @ SLP (C) No.23021/2004
Civil Appeal No.       1021 of 2009 @ SLP (C) No.23022/2004
Civil Appeal No.      1022    of 2009 @ SLP (C) No.23023/2004
Civil Appeal No.       1023 of 2009 @ SLP (C) No.23025/2004
Civil Appeal No.      1024 of 2009 @ SLP (C) No.23026/2004
Civil Appeal No.    1025     of 2009 @ SLP (C) No.23027/2004
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Civil Appeal No.    1027     of 2009 @ SLP (C) No.23030/2004
Civil Appeal No.    1028     of 2009 @ SLP (C) No.23031/2004
Civil Appeal No.     1029     of 2009 @ SLP (C) No.23033/2004
Civil Appeal No.    1030     of 2009 @ SLP (C) No.23035/2004
Civil Appeal No.    1031    of 2009 @ SLP (C) No.23036/2004
Civil Appeal No.    1032     of 2009 @ SLP (C) No.23037/2004
Civil Appeal No.    1033     of 2009 @ SLP (C) No. 638/2005
Civil Appeal No.    1034     of 2009 @ SLP (C) No. 464/2005
Civil Appeal No.     1035     of 2009 @ SLP (C) No. 1694/2007



1. Leave granted.

2. Challenge in these appeals is to the judgment of a learned Single

Judge of the Karnataka High Court dismissing the appeals filed by the

appellant under Section 54(1) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (in short

the `Act’). In all these cases the judgment and award passed in the

concerned land acquisition case by learned Principal Civil Judge (Senior

Division), Gulbarga, was questioned. The Reference Petition for enhanced

compensation was partly accepted. Before the High Court the stand was that

while evaluating the value of the structures no basis was indicated and by

roughly exorbitant estimation amount of compensation was fixed. The High

Court did not find any substance in the plea and dismissed the appeals.

3. Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that though some amount

of guesswork may be involved there has to be a rational basis indicated for

fixing the quantum. Therefore, when without any discussion and justifiable

data the Reference Court had fixed the amount of compensation in respect

of the structures the High Court should have interfered and, therefore, the

judgment is clearly unsustainable.

4. Learned counsel for the respondent in each case however submitted

that in some cases involving similar dispute the appellant has not filed any

appeal and therefore these appeal deserve to be dismissed. Additionally, it is

submitted that there was no material before the Reference Court and

therefore estimation has to be made.

5. Learned counsel for the appellant has referred to the Schedule of

Rates of Gulbarga specifically referring to various items and the units and

the rates in respect of particular items described in the Schedule. According

to learned counsel for the appellant, the same provides a foundation for

making a valuation. The Engineer who was examined had in fact referred to

such documents but the Reference Court without any basis or reasons

discarded the same.

6. Learned counsel for the respondent in each case however submitted

that they may provide for a foundation, but the valuation done by the

Reference Court cannot be called to be arbitrary. When data is available

from some sources, for example, Schedule of Rates adopted by PWD of a

particular survey, that certainly provides a foundation for making the

valuation. In the instant case that does not appear to have been noticed. In

the circumstances, we set aside the impugned judgments of the High Court

and remit the matter to the Reference Court to make the valuation on the

basis of Schedule of Rates of PWD, Gulbarga Circle for the relevant period.

Since the matter is pending since long, the Reference Court would do well

to make the valuation and make fresh award within four months from the

receipt of this order. The amount of interest payable would be consequential

to the determination of the award.


7. The appeals are allowed to the aforesaid extent.


New Delhi,
February 13, 2009


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