Land recorded as agriculture land in revenue record – Not entitled to compensation at rate of agriculture land. : Allahabad High Court

It has been rightly modified that the award and directed for payment of compensation treating the land to be commercial land so the compensation is also entitled at the rate of commercial land, said: “Justice Saral Srivastava” of the Allahabad High Court in the matter of Bhartiya Rashtriya Rajmarg v. Smt. Manju Dixit and others [APPEAL UNDER SECTION 37 OF ARBITRATION AND CONCILIATION ACT 1996 No. – 8 of 2021]

The order was issued over the facts that on circle rates applicable to agriculture land and declared the award under Section 3-G of the Act, 1956. The brief facts of the case are that the appellant issued notification dated 16.11.2009 in the exercise of power under Section 3-A (1) of the National Highway Act, 1956 (hereinafter referred to as) with respect to the lands located in a number of villages for the widening of NH-24 to four lanes. Respondent no.1’s Gata No.193 area 0.1260 hectare (hereinafter referred to as the ‘land in question’) in village Maujampur, Tehsil Sadar, district Shahjahanpur was also acquired by the said notification.

The learned counsel further said “He further submits that it is established from the evidence on record that land in question is recorded as agriculture land on the date of notification under Section 3-A of the Act, 1956, therefore, merely because land in question was being used for commercial purposes, it would not become commercial land. Provided that an award shall not be set aside merely on the ground of an erroneous application of the law or by re-appreciation of evidence”

According to the evidence, respondent no.1 filed an arbitration dispute under Section 3-G(5) of the Act of 1956 because he was dissatisfied with the compensation awarded by the competent authority. Respondent no.1 filed the aforementioned pieces of evidence before the Arbitrator, but the Arbitrator did not consider any of the evidence adduced by respondent no.1 and rejected respondent no.1’s claim on the grounds that respondent no.1 could not produce any evidence that the land in question was outside the limits of the U.P. Roadside Land Control Act, 1942.

In light of the foregoing, this Court concludes that the District Judge of Shahjahapur did not commit any error or illegality in concluding that the present case falls within the purview of Section 34 of the Act of 1996 and has correctly interfered with the award. As a result, it can be concluded that the competent authority or arbitrator must only consider the market value of the land on the date of notification under Section 3A of the Act of 1956, and the nature of land recorded in the revenue record is irrelevant for determining compensation. As a result, the court concludes that the District Judge correctly issued a direction to pay compensation for the land, assuming it to be commercial land. As a result, the appellant’s counsel’s contention that the District Judge acted illegally and beyond its jurisdiction in ordering the appellant to pay compensation at the commercial rate is devoid of substance and rejected.

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