Read Judgment: Sanjay Kumar Singh V. The State of Jharkhand

Pankaj Bajpai

New Delhi, March 11, 2022: While hearing a case for awarding a fair compensation to the land owner whose land was acquired for public purpose and who had filed an application for adducing additional evidence in pursuance of his claim, the Supreme Court has said that the claimant whose land is acquired, is entitled to the fair market value of his land. 

A Division Bench of Justice M.R Shah and Justice B.V Nagarathna observed that as per Order 41 Rule 27 CPC, where the additional evidence sought to be adduced removes the cloud of doubt over the case and the evidence has a direct and important bearing on the main issue in the suit and interest of justice clearly renders it imperative that it may be allowed to be permitted on record, such application may be allowed.

Going by the background of the case, a notification u/s 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 was issued proposing to acquire the land of the original land owner vide notification dated October 1, 1980 for public purpose. Accordingly, the Land Acquisition Officer awarded a total compensation of Rs.92,121/- for the entire acquired land. Challenging the same, a reference u/s 18 of the 1894 Act at the instance of the land owner for enhancement of compensation came to be rejected. 

Sanjay Singh (Appellant-land owner) therefore approached the High Court and filed an application for additional evidence under Order 41 Rule 27 of CPC proposing to bring on record certain sale deeds and the certified copy of the judgment and award passed in Land Acquisition Case, which, according to the appellant, were relevant for the purpose of determining the fair market value. The said application was, however, dismissed. Hence, present appeal. 

After considering the submissions, the Top Court noted that before the Reference Court as well as before the High Court, the only evidence produced on record was the sale deed which was rejected from being considered, and hence, as such, there was no other evidence/material on record to arrive at a fair market value for the acquired land. 

Therefore, before the High Court, the appellant filed an application under Order 41 Rule 27 CPC for additional evidence to bring on record the sale deeds and certified copy of the judgment and award passed by the Reference Court which, according to the appellant, would have a direct bearing on the determination of the fair market value of the acquired land, added the Court. 

Speaking for the Bench, Justice Shah noted that the High Court had rejected the said application by observing that the application does not satisfy the requirement of Order 41 Rule 27 read with Section 96 of the CPC, however, failed to appreciate the fact that the documents which were sought to be produced as additional evidence might have a bearing on determination of the fair market value of the acquired land.

However, at the same time, even after permitting to adduce the additional evidence, the applicant had to prove the existence, authenticity and genuineness of the documents including contents thereof, in accordance with law and for the said purpose, the matter was to be remanded to the Reference Court, added the Bench. 

The Apex Court therefore, remanded the matter to the Reference Court and permitted the appellant to file the additional evidence. 

0 CommentsClose Comments

Leave a comment