At, In the High Court of Bombay at Goa
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE DAMA SESHADRI NAIDU & THE HONOURABLE MRS. JUSTICE M.S. JAWALKAR
For the Appellants: R.G. Ramani, Senior Advocate with Pranav Kakodkar, Advocate. For the Respondents R1, H.D. Naik, Sudesh Usgaonkar, A. Pereira, Advocates, R2, Sapna Mordekar, Additional Government Advocate.
1. This is an appeal by the Goa Industrial Development Corporation against the enhanced award of compensation passed by the Reference Court. We may set out the facts of the case to appreciate the controversy.2. It all began over two decades. On 02.04.1998, the Special Land Acquisition Officer issued Section 4 notification proposing to acquire the lands to set up an industrial estate at Xelpem and Cotarlim village. Then, followed by Section 6 declaration, the Government eventually acquired 1,16,83 square metres in Survey No.5. Then, the Land Acquisition Officer passed the award on 14.08.2001 fixing the rate of compensation at Rs.7.00 per square metre for cashew garden, Rs.8.00 per square metre for coconut garden and Rs.6.00 per square metre for bharad land. Aggrieved, the respondent land owner went in appeal by invoking Section 18. Through its award dated 05.06.2004, the Reference Court enhanced it to Rs.28.00 per square metre. This time the Goa Industrial Development Corporation was aggrieved. Therefore it has filed this first appeal.3. Under similar circumstances, the Government has filed the other First Appeals : 332/2003 and 246/2004. Though the facts are slightly different in these appeals it arises out of the same notification under similar statutory background. Therefore, we do not think that the second appeal requires any separate adjudication. It suffices if we dispose of both the appeals by common judgment.4. Heard the learned counsel for the appellants and the learned counsel for the respondents in both the appeals. Indeed, the respective counsel on both sides have advanced elaborate arguments and they have contended in support of their rival contentions. According to the appellants, the enhancement has been on the higher side. On the other hand, the respondent in First Appeal No.233/2003 has insisted that the award is inadequate and needs to be revised at a higher side.5. In this context, Shri Naik, the learned counsel, for the Goa Industrial Development Corporation has brought to our notice a judgment dated 15.09.2004, rendered by the Division Bench of this Court, that judgment too concerns the same notification. Though the lands are situated in a neighbouring survey number, we reckon, the reasoning of that judgment squarely applies to the facts of these cases. In that case, the Reference Court revised the Land Acquisition Officer's award and fixed the compensation at Rs.23.40 paise per square metre. On appeal this Court has raised that to Rs.23.40 paise.6. Given the slight variation, in the nature of the land acquired, under proximity in Survey No.5, 16/2 (part) and 17/2 (part) the revisional Court has fixed the compensation at Rs.28.00 per square metre. After perusing the record, we find that the enhancement as effected by the Reference Court does not seem to b
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e excessive. On the contrary, it is just and proper compensation calling for no interference. Therefore, on the same premise, we must also held that the cross appeal filed by one of the land owners also should fail.7. We, accordingly, dispose of both the appeals confirming the award passed by the Reference Court.