Reached Daily Limit?

Explore a new way of legal research!

Click Here
Indian Case Summary

Union Of India & Anr vs Raghubir Singh (Dead) By Lrs. Etc on 16 May, 1989 – Case Summary

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In the case of Union of India & Anr vs Raghubir Singh (Dead) By Lrs. Etc on 16 May, 1989, the Supreme Court of India was presented with a significant legal question concerning the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, as amended by the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act, 1984. The case was presided over by a bench consisting of R.S. Pathak (CJ), E.S. Venkataramiah (J), Sabyasachi Mukharji (J), Misra Rangnath, and S. Natrajan (J).

Facts of the Case

The case revolved around the compulsory acquisition of land belonging to the respondents in the village of Dhaka. The acquisition was initiated by a notification under section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, issued on 13 November 1959. The award for compensation was made by the Collector on 30 March 1963. A reference under section 18 of the Act was disposed of by the Additional District Judge on 10 June 1968, who enhanced the compensation. The respondents appealed to the High Court for further compensation. During the pendency of the appeal, the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill 1982 was introduced in Parliament on 30 April 1982 and became law as the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act, 1984 when it received the assent of the President on 24 September 1984. The High Court disposed of the appeal by its Judgment and Order dated 6 December 1984. While it raised the rate of compensation, it also raised the rate of interest payable on the compensation, and taking into account the change in the law effected by the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act, 1984 (referred to hereinafter as “the Amendment Act”) it awarded solatium at 30 per cent of the market value.

Issues Raised

The primary issue before the Supreme Court was whether, under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 as amended by the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act, 1984, the claimants were entitled to solatium at 30 per cent of the market value irrespective of the dates on which the acquisition proceedings were initiated or the dates on which the award had been passed.

Court’s Observations and Decision

The Court observed that solatium is awarded under sub-section (2) of section 23 of the Land Acquisition Act. Before the Amendment Act was enacted, the sub-section provided for solatium at 15 per cent of the market value. By the change introduced by the Amendment Act, the amount was raised to 30 per cent of the market value. Sub-section (2) of section 30 of the Amendment Act specifies the category of cases to which the amended rate of solatium is attracted.

The Court held that the benefit of the enhanced solatium is intended by Section 30(2) in respect of an award made by the Collector between 30th April 1982 and 24th September 1984. Likewise, the benefit of the enhanced solatium is extended by Section 30(2) to the case of an award made by the Court between April 30, 1982, and September 24, 1984, even though it be upon reference from an award made before April 30, 1982.

The Court overruled the statement of the law laid down in the cases of State of Punjab v. Mohinder Singh & Anr. and Bhag Singh and Others v. Union Territory of Chandigarh and preferred the interpretation of Section 30(2) of the Amendment Act rendered in K. Kamalajammanniavaru

& Ors. v. Special Deputy Collector, Land Acquisition, Bangalore & Anr. The Court held that the Amendment Act, 1984, applies to all awards made by the Collector or the Court during the period between 30th April 1982 and 24th September 1984, irrespective of the date of initiation of the acquisition proceedings or the date of the award by the Collector.

The Court also observed that the Amendment Act, 1984, was enacted to provide for the enhancement of compensation in cases of compulsory acquisition of land and for the payment of interest and solatium. The Court noted that the Amendment Act, 1984, was intended to benefit landowners whose lands were compulsorily acquired and who were dissatisfied with the amount of compensation awarded to them.

In conclusion, the Supreme Court held that the respondents were entitled to solatium at the rate of 30 per cent of the market value under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, as amended by the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act, 1984, irrespective of the dates on which the acquisition proceedings were initiated or the dates on which the award had been passed. The Court also held that the respondents were entitled to interest on the enhanced compensation and solatium from the date of taking possession of the land until the date of payment of such compensation and solatium.

This case is significant as it clarified the applicability of the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act, 1984, and ensured that landowners whose lands were compulsorily acquired received fair compensation. It also highlighted the importance of solatium as a component of compensation in land acquisition cases, thereby affirming the rights of landowners in the face of compulsory acquisition of their lands.