[Case Brief] Surender Singh v/s State of Haryana, 2018

CaseSurender Singh v/s State of Haryana
Case NumberCriminal Appeal Number 885 of 2018
CourtSupreme Court of India
BenchJustice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice RK Agrawal
Author of the judgmentJustice Abhay Manohar Sapre
Decided On January 25, 2018
Relevant Act/SectionsLand Acquisition Act, 1894- Section 6 and section 9
Author of the CaseBriefLavanya Gupta

Brief Facts and Procedural History:

By virtue of powers granted by Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, State of Haryana issued notification for acquisition of land in some villages for a public purpose. This was followed by two declarations published by the State under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. Then, proceedings were initiated for determination of payable compensation by the State to the landowners whose land was acquired, for which notices were sent to such landowners under Section 9 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. The Land Acquisition Officer held the required inquiry and determined the uniform rate of Rs. 12,50,000/-, applicable to the entire acquired land. Dissatisfied landowners filed objections and prayed for making reference to Civil Court for a fresh determination of the compensation. Land references were made again to the Reference Court, which enhanced the rate to Rs. 43,17,841/- per acre. To this, the State, as well as the landowners, appealed to the High Court of Punjab & Haryana. The High Court further enhanced the rate to Rs. 62,11,700/- per acre. By way of special leave, State as well the landowners filed appeals in the Supreme Court.

Issues before the Court of Law:

Whether the High Court was correct in enhancing the compensation from Rs 43, 17, 841/- per acre to Rs 62, 11, 700/- per acre? 

The ratio of the Court:

No, the High Court was not correct in raising the compensation. the High Court while deciding the rate of compensation took into consideration several precedents but the High Court failed to relate imperative issues and facts which influenced the price determination. The High Court plainly applied the flat market rate to the acquired land based on the previous precedent which was not correct. It is not only the fault of the High Court but also the fault of the landowners and the state as they failed to produce enough evidence because of which certain issues got ignored. 

Decision Held:

Determination of the fair price of the land has to be done by taking into consideration various factors. In the present case, as the procedural history reveals, the High Court had committed errors in determining the compensation by not taking into consideration some very important points. It is noticed that the present trial was not conducted fairly because of the fault of the parties as well as the state. Considering all these points, the Supreme Court set aside the judgment delivered by the High Court and referred the matter back to the reference court to be decided afresh in view of the observations made above. 

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