State Of Orissa Represented By The … vs Bhabagrahi Samal on 11 December, 2002

Orissa High Court
State Of Orissa Represented By The … vs Bhabagrahi Samal on 11 December, 2002
Equivalent citations: 95 (2003) CLT 138
Author: P Mohanty
Bench: P Mohanty

JUDGMENT

Pradip Mohanty, J.

1. This appeal is directed against the order dated 27.10.98 passed by the learned Civil Judge (Sr. Divn.), Deogarh, in L. A. Case No. 20 of 1997.

2. The case of the appellant is that the Government acquired the irrigation channel and the culvert standing over hold No. 51 under plot Nos. 1202, 1203 and 1301 of village Taleisar in the district of Sambalpur which belonged to the respondent-claimant by Notification No. 37942 dated 12.6.85 published in E.O.G. No, 755 dated 17.6.85 for the purpose of construction of Bengali Dam Project. The Land Acquisition Zone Officer, Dam Site, Rengali, after assessing the claim of compensation, awarded Rs. 31,863.00 which the claimant-respondent received on protest.

The case of the claimant-respondent is that he invested Rs. 1,50,000/- for construction of the canal and the culvert on the said land. In the objection-petition the claimant-respondent also stated that several representations before the Land Acquisition Zone Officer were made and in the said objection he had stated about the detailed measurement of the canal and the culvert and the payment of compensation at the rate fixed by the Land Acquisition Zone Officer was quite low. Therefore, on the objection of the claimant-respondent, the Land Acquisition Officer referred the matter under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act to the learned Civil Judge (Sr. Divn,)-cum-claims Tribunal, Deogarh, for adjudication.

3. The learned trial Judge after assessing the evidence, on both sides arrived at the conclusion that the award of Rs. 31,863/-awarded by the Land Acquisition zone Officer was very low. Accordingly, the learned trial Judge directed that the claimant is entitled to get compensation of Rs. 1,50,000/- for construction of the canal and the culvert at market price along with all statutory benefits.

4. During hearing of the appeal, Mrs. Kasturi, learned Additional Standing Counsel, argues that the Court below has failed to appreciate the evidence on record. The higher compensation awarded by the learned Court below is exorbitant and, therefore, the impugned judgment ought to be set aside.

Mr. B. Mohanty (3), learned counsel appearing for the respondent-claimant, on the other hand, contended that the learned Court below has rightly passed the order after considering the evidence of both parties relating to the market value. Therefore, there is no illegality committed by the learned trial judge on determining the compensation amount.

5. This is a reference under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act for determining the market value for acquisition of the land of the claimant-respondent. The issue involved in this appeal relates to higher valuation. The acquisition of the land was made for construction of the Rengali Dam Project. The acquired land includes the canal and the culvert which the claimant had constructed. In order to prove his case, the claimant-respondent has examined his son as P.W. 1 and the local Engineer who prepared the estimate of expenditure for construction of the canal and the culvert as P.W. 2. the claimant-respondent in his evidence has stated that he had constructed the culvert and the canal in the year 1981. The local Engineer who prepared the estimate in his evidence proves the estimate prepared by him, but nothing has been elicited in the cross-examination of the witnesses (P.Ws. 1 and 2) to discard their evidence. On the other hand, the State has not examined a single witness to substantiate their award of compensation nor a single scarp of paper has been produced to rebut the evidence of the P.Ws. 1 and 2.

Considering the evidence, both oral and the documentary adduced from the side of the claimant, this Court is not inclined to disturb the findings arrived at by the learned trial judge. Moreover, in the meantime six years have been lapsed and the cost of land everywhere has gone up.

6. For the reasons stated above, the impugned judgment of the learned trial judge is affirmed. The first appeal, therefore, fails and is dismissed, but without any cost.

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