Pradeep Kumar Singh Baghel, J.
1. The aforesaid modification/ clarification applications have been filed on behalf of the claimants-appellants in the respective first appeals to modify the judgment and order of this Court dated 05th November, 2014, which was passed in a batch of first appeals including the aforesaid appeals, led by First Appeal No. 702 of 2001 (NOIDA v. Bahadur and others), arising out of the order passed by the Xth Additional District & Sessions Judge, Ghaziabad in the land acquisition references under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act, 18941.
The appellants-claimants are residents of Village Gijhore, Pargana and Tehsil Dadri, District Gautam Budh Nagar (the then district Ghaziabad). A notification under Section 4 of the Act read with Section 17 of the Act was issued on 28th February, 1990 for acquiring the land of the claimants and a corrigendum was published on 26th July, 1990. The declaration under Section 6 of the Act read with Section 17 of the Act was published in the official gazette on 12th June, 1990 and a corrigendum was published on 14th September, 1990. The Special Land Acquisition Officer vide his award dated 30th July, 1992 determined the market value of the land for the purpose of payment of compensation at the rate of Rs.50/- per square yard. The appellants-claimants filed their references under Section 18 of the Act claiming compensation at the rate of Rs.500/- per square yard. The Xth Additional District and Sessions Judge, Ghaziabad, the Referen
Please Login To View The Full Judgment!
ce Court, after having clubbed all the references, by a common judgment dated 16th August, 2000 enhanced the compensation from Rs.50/- per square yard to Rs.126/- per square yard with interest, additional interest and solatium as provided under the provisions of the Act.
Dissatisfied with the order of the Reference Court the claimants-appellants preferred separate first appeals for enhancement of compensation. In this Court the appellants claimed enhancement of compensation from Rs.126/- per square yard to Rs.176/- per square yard and have paid the court fees accordingly.
The NOIDA authorities also filed separate appeals challenging the order of the Reference Court.
This Court found that another Division Bench of this Court in First Appeal No. 564 of 1997 (Khazan and others v. State of U.P. and others) in the matter of four adjoining and nearby villages, namely, Bhangel Begumpur, Nagla Charan Das, Geha Tilapatabagh and Chhalera Banger has awarded compensation at the rate of Rs.297/- per square yard vide judgment and order dated 11th October, 2012. In those cases in respect of Village Bhangel Begumpur the notifications were issued much before the notifications in the present case i.e. in the years 1983, 1986 and 1988. Similarly, in respect of other villages also the notifications were issued in the years 1983, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1992 and the possession was taken in the years 1987, 1990, 1992 and 1995.
Against the judgment and order passed in Raghuraj Singh (supra) special leave petitions were preferred by the NOIDA authorities, led by Petition for Special Leave to Appeal (Civil) No. 18331 of 2008, NOIDA v. Pooran Singh. The said special leave petitions have been dismissed by the Supreme Court vide judgment and order dated 05th February, 2014. However, the said judgment was not followed by this Court in the instant appeals on the ground that since the appellants have paid the court fees only at the rate of their enhanced demand of Rs.176/- per square yard, they are not entitled for higher compensation at the rate of Rs.297/- per square yard as awarded by the co-ordinate Bench for the adjoining villages.
The grievance of the claimants-appellants in the present modification applications is that this Court has granted compensation at the rate of Rs.297/- per square yard to the claimants-tenure holders of all adjoining villages like Bhangel Begumpur, Nagla Charan Das, Salarpur, Chhalera Banger, Mamoora, Makanpur, Gejha Tilaptabad, therefore, the same rate of compensation may be granted to the claimants-appellants herein also as they are ready to pay deficit court fees. To demonstrate the nearby and adjoining position of the aforesaid villages the appellants have brought on the record the map of the spot also.
It is stated that in First Appeal No. 744 of 2001 (Jagdish Chandra & others v. New Okhla Industrial Development Authority, NOIDA and another) in respect of acquisition of land in Village Chhalera Banger, the notification under Section 4 of the Act was published on 30th October, 1987, declaration under Section 6 of the Act was made on 24th June, 1989 of the Act by dispensing with the provisions of Section 5 of the Act and the Special Land Acquisition Officer had awarded compensation at the rate of Rs.43.64 per square yard, which was enhanced by the Reference Court to the rate of Rs.297.50 per square yard and by making a deduction of 50 per cent awarded compensation at the rate of Rs.148.75 per square yard. In the first appeal this Court had awarded compensation at the rate of Rs.297.50 per square yard by setting aside 50% deduction done by the Reference Court. A copy of the judgment and order dated 14th December, 2007 passed in First Appeal No. 744 of 2001 is on the record as annexure-2 to the modification application filed in the lead first appeal.
In respect of another acquisition of the same adjoining village Chhalera Banger, which was subject matter of challenge in First Appeal No. 716 of 2005 (Subhash v. State of U.P. and others), the notification under Section 4 of the Act was made on 22nd March, 1983 and Section 6 declaration was done on 27th September, 1983. The Special Land Acquisition Officer had awarded a compensation which after working out came at the rate of Rs.10/- per square yard, which was enhanced to Rs.21/- per square yard by the Reference Court. In the first appeal this Court vide its judgment and order dated 27th May, 2014 has awarded compensation at the rate of Rs.297/- per square yard. In that case also the claimants did not pray for the said compensation.
In respect of yet another adjoining Village Bhangel Begumpur the land was acquired pursuant to the notification under Section 4 of the Act which was published on 24th March, 1988 and declaration under Section 6 of Act made on 16th June, 1988, this Court in First Appeal No. 1056 of 1999 (Raghuraj Singh and others v. State of U.P. and another) and other connected first appeals followed the judgments of Jagdish Chandra (supra) and First Appeal No. 34 of 2007 (Ganeshi Singh and others v. New Okhla Industrial Development Authority and another) and vide its judgment and order dated 19th May, 2010 has awarded compensation at the rate of Rs.297/- per square yard and directed to pay the said compensation along with other statutory benefits. In that case also there was a deficiency of the court fees. In respect of the said defect the Court has held as under:
"So far as the defects in the aforesaid appeals with respect to the Court fee is concerned, if the same is found to be deficient, it is hereby ordered to recover the same in accordance with the statute and rules, at the time of final payment."
Another co-ordinate Bench of this Court in First Appeal No. 385 of 2006 (Mangat Ram v. The Chairman, Industrial Development Authorities & others) in respect of acquisition of the adjoining Village Nagla Charan Das has affirmed the rate of Rs.297/- per square yard along with other statutory dues vide its judgment and order dated 13th March, 2014. In respect of another acquisition of the same village i.e. Nagla Charan Das in another first appeal, being First Appeal Defective No. 773 of 2000 (Mahaveer v. The Chairman, Industrial Development Authorities and others) and a connected first appeal, this Court has followed the earlier judgment of the Division Bench in the case of Raghuraj Singh (supra) and allowed the compensation at the rate of Rs.297/- per square yard along with 30% solatium, interest and other statutory benefits.
Learned counsel for the appellants has also drawn our attention to the similar orders passed by this Court in First Appeal No. 738 of 2013, Mansha Ram v. The Chairman, Industrial Development Authority, decided on 17th December, 2013, in respect of Village Bhangel Begumpur; First Appeal No. 564 of 1997, Khazan and others v. State of U.P., decided on 11th October, 2012 in respect of Village Bhangel Begumpur; First Appeal No. 202 of 2009, Govind v. State of U.P. and others, & other connected appeals decided on 25th February, 2014 in respect of Village Geha Tilapatabagh; First Appeal No. 910 of 2000, Ghaziabad Development Authority v. Kashi Ram and others, decided on 13th November, 2014 in respect of Village Makanpur; and First Appeal No. 196 of 2011, Kundan Singh and others v. State of U.P. and others, and other connected appeals, decided on 19th September, 2014 in respect of Village Mamoora.
In all the aforesaid appeals the compensation has been uniformly awarded at the rate of Rs.297/- per square yard in respect of the adjoining villages where the notifications were published between 1983 to 2010.
Learned Senior Counsel appearing for the applicants-appellants urged that in all the aforesaid cases the compensation has been granted at the rate of Rs.297/- per square yard but in the cases of the appellants herein the said benefit has not been extended only on the ground of deficit court fees. He submits that in similar facts the Supreme Court has allowed the claimants to make the deficiency good. He has placed reliance on the following cases:
(1) Bhag Singh and others v. Union Territory of Chandigarh2;
(2) Chandrashekhar and others v. Additional Special Land Acquisition Officer3;
(3) Bhimasha v. Special Land Acquisition Officer and another4;
(4) Maharunnisa and another v. Assistant Commissioner and Land Acquisition Officer, Bijapur5;
(5) Ashok Kumar and another v. State of Haryana6.
In Bhag Singh (supra) the Supreme Court has allowed the claimant to make the deficiency of the court fees good. The Court observed as under:
"9. We must therefore allow the present appeal and set aside the order passed by the Division Bench insofar as it refused to grant enhanced compensation to the appellants on account of non-payment of deficit court fee and direct that the appellants shall be paid enhanced compensation at the rate determined by the Division Bench, according as the land belonging to them fell within one or the other belt, and they shall also receive solatium calculated at the rate of 30 per cent on the amount to enhanced compensation under the amended Section 23 sub-section (2) as also interest at the rate of 9 per cent per annum on the enhanced amount of compensation from the date on which possession of their land was taken up to the date of payment of such enhanced compensation. The appellants will pay up the deficit amount of court fee within two months from today and a final order in the above terms will be drawn up in favour of the appellants only after payment of the deficit court fee is made within the time stipulated by us. We think that the fair order of costs in the present case would be that each party shall bear and pay its own costs throughout."
In Chandrashekhar (supra) the Supreme Court followed the judgment of Bhag Singh (supra). The relevant part of the judgment reads as under:
"29. Moreover, the appellants are also entitled to interest @ 9% on the enhanced compensation amount from the date of taking possession or award for a period of one year and thereafter @ 15% till the amount is deposited. The compensation already paid by LAO shall be deducted. It is made clear that the enhanced compensation which has now been directed to be paid to the appellants shall be paid if the appellants shall deposit the requisite court fees on the aforesaid enhanced amount within four months from the date of supply of a copy of this order to the courts below."
Reference may also be made to the other judgments of the Supreme Court in the cases of Bhimasha (supra), Maharunnisa (supra) and Ashok Kumar (supra), wherein similar view has been taken.
Recently, the Supreme Court in Petitions for Special Leave to Appeal (C) Nos. 1734-1737 of 2018, Mangu Singh & ors. etc. v. The State of Uttar Pradesh & ors., arising out of the judgment and order dated 22nd July, 2015 passed by this Court in First Appeal No. 42-45 of 2005, has awarded compensation at the same rate of Rs.297/- per square yard. In the said matter, the High Court has decided the First Appeal Nos. 42, 43, 44 and 45 of 2005 on 22nd July, 2015 along with First Appeal No. 41 of 2005. Aggrieved by the said order passed in First Appeal No. 41 of 2005, Civil Appeal No. 16960 of 2017 was filed, which was allowed by the Supreme Court vide order dated 24th October, 2017 and the respondents were directed to pay compensation at the rate of Rs.297/- per square yard within a period of six months. However, no special leave petition was preferred against the judgment and order passed in First Appeal Nos. 42, 43, 44 and 45 of 2005 at that time. Later on, special leave petitions, being Petitions for Special Leave to Appeal (C) No. 1734-1737 of 2018, were filed with a delay of 757 days against the judgment and order of the High Court passed in First Appeal No. 42, 43, 44 and 45 of 2005 and those special leave petitions were converted to Civil Appeal Nos. 9208-9211 of 2018. The said civil appeals have been allowed by the Supreme Court vide its judgment and order dated 10th September, 2018 by granting the same benefit which was granted in Civil Appeal No. 16960 of 2017 [SLP (C) No. 13802 of 2016]. The relevant part of the judgment dated 10th September, 2018 reads thus:
"7. Accordingly, the present appellants are entitled for compensation @ Rs.297/- per square yard to be paid by the respondent(s) within a period of six months from today. The appellants shall not be entitled for interest, if they have already received the compensation.
8. The appeals are allowed accordingly."
Applying the aforesaid law in the present case, we find that the appellants are entitled for a compensation at the rate of Rs.297/- per square yard instead and in place of Rs.176/- per square yard as in a large number of cases mentioned above the same rate of compensation has uniformly been awarded in respect of the adjoining villages. The appellants are also entitled for other statutory benefits such as interest, additional interest, solatium as provided under the provisions of the Act, on the enhanced rate of compensation as directed above. Accordingly, the appellants are granted three months' time to deposit the requisite court fees on the aforesaid enhanced amount from the date of receipt of certified copy of this order. In the event requisite deficiency of the court fees is deposited, the necessary amendment be made in the final order if it has already been drawn.
With the aforesaid observations and directions, the aforesaid modification/ clarification applications are allowed. No order as to costs.