Supreme Court of India
Bhupendra Ramdhan Pawar vs Vidarbha Irrigation Development … on 9 September, 2021Author: Ajay Rastogi
Bench: Ajay Rastogi, Abhay S. Oka
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO(S). 56115612 OF 2021
(Arising out of SLP(Civil) No(s). 3624736248 of 2016)
BHUPENDRA RAMDHAN PAWAR ….APPELLANT(S)
VIDARBHA IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT
CORPORATION, NAGPUR AND ORS. ETC. ….RESPONDENT(S)
CIVIL APPEAL NO(S). 5613 OF 2021
(Arising out of SLP(Civil) No(s). 13859 of 2019)
CIVIL APPEAL NO(S). 5614 OF 2021
(Arising out of SLP(Civil) No(s). 13874 of 2019)
Civil Appeals @ SLP(Civil) Nos. 3624736248 of 2016
Signature Not Verified
Digitally signed by
1. Leave granted.
2. The appellant has challenged the judgment and order dated
23rd October, 2015 passed by the High Court of Bombay
determining the compensation payable to the appellant in reference
to the acquisition proceedings which were initiated pursuant to a
notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act,
1894(hereinafter being referred to as the ‘Act”) dated 14 th August,
3. The total land admeasuring 9 hectares and 98 ares situated at
Mouza Khandala, Tq. Manora, District Washim came to be acquired
by the respondents pursuant to the acquisition proceedings
initiated under Section 4 of the Act published in the Gazette dated
14th August, 1997. In furtherance thereof, declaration was made
under Section 6 of the Act which was published in the Government
Gazette on 20th August, 1998. The land acquisition officer pursuant
thereto passed an award dated 20th August, 1999 in respect of the
acquired land and valued the land under field Gat No. 1/1 and 1/ 2
at the rate of Rs. 35,000/ per hectare for dry crop land and under
Gat No. 11 at the rate of Rs. 46,600/ per hectare on the basis of
revenue assessment with standing trees. On appeal being preferred
at the instance of the present appellant under Section 54 of the Act
read with Section 96 of Civil Procedure Code, 1908, the High Court
under the impugned judgment, after hearing the parties, granted
him the following reliefs:
(i) The claimant Bhupendra Ramdhan Pawar is entitled to
compensation at the rate of Rs. 1,00,000/ per hectare for
land admeasuring 7 H 98 Ares, out of the acquired land
admeasuring 9 Hectares 98 Ares deducting land admeasuring 2
H on which orange trees were cultivated.
(ii) Claimant is held entitled to compensation at the rate of Rs. 3000/
per tree for 554 orange trees in Gat no. 1/1 and 1/ 2.
(iii) Claimant is held entitled to Rs. 91,305/ as compensation for well
in Gat No. 1/1 and for well in Gat No. 1 /2 to Rs. 26,000/.
(iv) Claimant is held entitled to compensation for 327 firewood trees at
the rate of Rs. 300/ per tree.
(v) Claimant is held entitled to compensation at the rate of Rs. 500/
per tree for 400 Sindhi trees.
(vi) Claimant is held entitled to compensation at the rate of Rs. 250/
per tree for 30 berry trees.
(vii) The claim in respect of 100 mango trees at the rate of Rs.
1000/ per tree, as has been awarded by the reference Court,
(viii) Rest of the statutory entitlements of the claimant including
solatium under Section 23(2) of the Act, interest under
Section 28 of the Act and component under Section 23A of
the Act of 1894 be calculated accordingly along with future
interest at the rate of 15 % per annum till full realization.
(ix) The judgment and order dated 17th of April, 2008 passed by
reference Court in LAC No. 170 of 1999 stands modified
(x) The reference Court is directed to calculate the compensation
payable to the claimant after giving notice to both sides within four
months from the date of receipt of writ and certified copy of the
(xi) If any amount is withdrawn by the claimant, same shall be taken
into consideration while making ultimate payment of dues to the
(xii) The amount deposited by the appellant in Appeal No. 1265 of 2013
if found to be in excess, the same shall be refunded to the
(xiii) In the circumstances, there shall be no order as to costs.”
4. Learned counsel for the appellant submits that the
compensation @ Rs. 1,00,000/ per hectare awarded by the High
Court is not adequate and under the two sale deeds dated 28 th
December, 1994 and 12th March, 1996, the market price comes to
Rs. 50,000/ per hectare in the year 1994 and on the basis of
second sale deed of March, 1996, the market price came to Rs.
75,000/ per hectare and the present acquisition being of the year
1997, adequate appreciation has not been made while computing
compensation and it deserves further enhancement.
5. Learned counsel submits that the compensation of
Rs. 1,00,000/ has been determined with reference to sales
statistics and that being so, trees will have to be valued separately
and this what has been held by this Court in Ambya Kalya
Mhatre(Dead) through LRs and Others Vs. State of Maharashtra1
and submits that the finding recorded by the High Court depriving
the appellant of computing compensation in reference to 2 hectares
of acquired land needs to be interfered by this Court.
6. Learned counsel further submits that the findings which have
been recorded by the High Court rejecting the claim in respect of
100 mango trees awarded by the reference court needs to be
interfered by this Court.
7. Per contra, learned counsel for the respondents, while
supporting the order passed by the High Court, submits that
compensation which has been determined by the High Court of Rs.
1,00,000/ per hectare for the acquired land is based on the factual
matrix and appellant has relied upon two sale instances, (i) sale
deed dated 28th December, 1994 of 39 ares land consideration was
1 2011(9) SCC 325
Rs. 20,000/(thus market value of 1 Hectare = Rs. 50,000/) (ii) sale
deed dated 12th March, 1996 about 2 hectare 1 Are land for the
consideration of Rs. 1,50,000/(thus market value of 1 Hectare =
Rs. 75,000/). It can be noticed that the sale instance of 12 th
March, 1996 is one year prior to Section 4 notification, even by
adding 10% increase in the value, market value of 1 hectare would
be Rs. 82,500/.
8. Learned counsel further submits that compensation of Rs.
1,00,000/ per hectare granted for the whole land is a fair
compensation and it needs no further indulgence by this Court.
9. Learned counsel further submits that so far as the claim in
respect of mango trees which has been rejected by the High Court is
concerned, reliance was placed by the reference court on survey
report at Annexure P1(page 41 of the paper book) which was
prepared on 23rd November, 1994 and the finding has been
recorded that for the period 199091 to 199394, there is reference
to 277 orange trees and 100 mango trees while in 7/12 extracts
Exhibit46 for the period from 199495 to 199899, there is no
mention of mango trees from 199495 onwards, though there is a
reference of 277 orange trees. Since, there was no evidence on
record establishing existence of 100 mango trees as claimed on the
date when the acquisition proceedings were initiated in August
1997, the claim was rightly rejected by the High Court.
10. Learned counsel further submits that the valuation of orange
trees has been made at the rate of Rs. 3000/ per tree and 2
hectares of land for which compensation has not been computed
may be considered in the light of judgment in Ambya Kalya
Mhatre(Dead) through LRs and Others(supra).
11. After we have heard learned counsel appearing for the parties,
we are of the view that the compensation of Rs. 1,00,000/ per
hectare as awarded by the High Court in the impugned judgment is
a fair compensation duly supported by the material on record and
that needs no interference from this Court.
12. So far as the claim in respect of 100 mango trees is concerned,
it was awarded by the reference Court at the rate of Rs. 1000/ per
tree. The High Court after appreciation of the evidence has rejected
the claim based on the following findings:
“Having considering the above aspect and on considering 7/12
extracts of the acquired land, we further find that as per 7/12
extract Exh. 47 and Exh. 44 for the period from 199091 to 1993
94 there is reference to 277 orange trees in each of Gat No. 1/1
and1/ 2 and 100 mango trees while in the 7/12 extracts Exh. 46
for the period from 199495 to 199899 there is no mention of
mango trees from 199495 onwards, though there is reference of
277 orange trees each in above Gat numbers, 400 Sindhi trees and
30 berry trees during above period. As such, we find that claimant
has failed to produce satisfactory evidence establishing existence of
100 mango trees as claimed and in fact from his evidence we find
that claimant is even not aware as to in which field there were
13. After going through the finding of fact recorded by the High
Court, we find no reason to interfere.
14. Admittedly, for 2 hectares of land, compensation has not been
awarded and it is not disputed that the land value has been
determined with reference to sales statistics and this Court in
Ambya Kalya Mhatre(Dead) through LRs and Others(supra) held
that in a case where the land value has been determined with
reference to the sales statistics, the trees will have to be valued
separately. The relevant paras as referred hereunder:
34. The High Court has also held that once the compensation is
awarded for the land, there cannot be additional or separate
compensation for the trees. For this purpose, the High Court has
relied upon the following observations of this Court in State of
Haryana v. Gurcharan Singh [1995 Supp (2) SCC 637])
“3. … It is settled law that the Collector or the court
who determines the compensation for the land as well
as fruitbearing trees cannot determine them
separately. The compensation is to the value of the
acquired land. The market value is determined on the
basis of the yield. Then necessarily applying suitable
multiplier, the compensation needs to be awarded.
Under no circumstances the court should allow the
compensation on the basis of the nature of the land as
well as fruitbearing trees. In other words, market
value of the land is determined twice over; once on the
basis of the value of the land and again on the basis of
the yield got from the fruitbearing trees. The
definition of land includes the benefits which accrue
from the land as defined in Section 3(a) of the Act.
After compensation is determined on the basis of the
value of the land as distinct from the income applying
suitable multiplier, then the trees would be valued
only as firewood and necessary compensation would
35. We are afraid that the High Court has misread the said
decision in regard to valuing the land and trees separately. If the
land value had been determined with reference to the sale
statistics or compensation awarded for a nearby vacant land, then
necessarily, the trees will have to be valued separately. But if the
value of the land has been determined on the basis of the sale
statistics or compensation awarded for an orchard, that is land
with fruitbearing trees, then there is no question of again adding
the value of the trees. Further, if the market value has been
determined by capitalising the income with reference to yield, then
also the question of making any addition either for the land or for
the trees separately does not arise. In this case, the determination
of market value was not with reference to the yield. Nor was the
determination of market value in regard to the land with reference
to the value of any orchard but was with reference to vacant
agricultural land. In the circumstances, the value of the trees
could be added to the value of the land.
15. Admittedly, in the instant case, the land value has been
determined with reference to the sales statistics by the High Court
in the impugned judgment. That being the factual position, in our
considered view, the appellant is entitled for compensation for
2 hectares of land in reference to which compensation has not been
awarded under the impugned judgment at the rate of Rs.
1,00,000/ per hectare along with statutory entitlement to the
claimant/appellant as referred to by the High Court in para (viii) till
realization under the impugned judgment.
16. Consequently, the appeals partly succeed and accordingly
allowed. The appellant shall be entitled to compensation @ Rs.
1,00,000/ per hectare for the land admeasuring 2 hectares
situated at Mouza Khandala, Tq. Manora, District Washim along
with statutory entitlement as referred to by the High Court in para
(viii) of the impugned judgment dated 23 rd October, 2015 till
realization. The compliance be made within three months. No
17. Pending application(s), if any, stand disposed of.
Civil Appeal @ SLP(Civil) No. 13859 of 2019
Civil Appeal @ SLP(Civil) No. 13874 of 2019
18. Learned counsel for the appellant(s) submits that the
compensation of Rs. 1,00,000/ per hectare awarded by the High
Court in the impugned judgment is inadequate and deserves
enhancement in the given facts and circumstances.
19. We have declined the claim for enhancement of compensation
in our judgment in the connected appeals being Civil Appeals @
SLP(Civil) Nos. 3624736248 of 2016.
20. Consequently, the appeals are without substance and
accordingly dismissed. No costs.
21. Pending application(s), if any, stand disposed of.
(ABHAY S. OKA)
SEPTEMBER 09, 2021