TENNEKOON, C.J.—De Silva v. Nuwara Eliya
Tea Estates Co., Ltd.
1974 Present: Tennekoon, C.J., Udalagama, J. and
SOMASIRI DE SILVA, Appellant, and THE NUWARA ELIYATEA ESTATES CO. LTD., Respondent
S. C. 1/73—Land Acquisition, N.E. 56
Land Acquisition Act—Award of compensation by Board of Review—Right of appeal therefrom—Scope.
The Supreme Court will not interfere with a decision of the LandAcquisition" Board of Review awarding compensation except upona question of law.
ApPEAL from a decision of the Land Acquisition Board ofReview.
S. Sivarasa, State Counsel, with C. Sithambarapillai, StateCounsel, for the appellant.
W. Jayewardene, with J. C. Ratwatte, for the respondent.
May 15, 1974. Tennekoon, C.J.—
This is an appeal from a decision of the Land Acquisition Boardof Review awarding compensation in respect of five lots of landwhich are depicted as lots 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 in preliminary planNo. 180 marked A2 containing an extent of 68 acres 1 rood and33.4 perches.
In regard to the Board’s decision regarding compensation inrespect of lots 5 and 6, both situated within the Nuwara EliyaMunicipal area, it was strongly urged by Counsel for theappellant that the Board had failed to have regard to certainsales which the expert witness for the acquiring officer Mr.Seniveralne had said were comparable sales. The Board in itsorder has regarded as comparable only the sales in regard totwo pieces of land referred to in the proceedings as sale B inlocation sketch A2 and sale 2 in location sketch A2.
Counsel for the appellant relied on the judgment of H. N. G.Fernando, C.J. in the case of Public Trustee v. Rajaratnam1 75N.L.R. 391 in which the Supreme Court set aside the decisionof the Land Acquisition Board of Review on the ground that it
1 75N.L.R. 391.
1* A 09508—8,000 (74/09)
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had ignored the one sale which afforded the best standard ofcomparison for the valuation for that portion of the appellant’sland that was being acquired.
We do not find in this case that the Board has made any errorof that kind. No doubt the Government Valuer had testified thatthere were certain other sales which were comparable viz. salesNos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 in location sketch R2. We do not think that theBoard of Review erred in law in deciding to adopt the two salesmentioned earlier viz. sale B and sale 2 in location sketch A2 asgiving better guidance on valuation for lots 5 and 6. Sale Brelates to a land situated in the heart of lots 5 and 6 and sale 2to a land in close proximity to these two lots.
A further point made by Counsel for the appellant was thatin valuing lots 5 and 6 the Board had accepted as a basis forvaluation a Scheme of Development which had been testified toby the valuer Mr. Nadarajah called by the claimants. We cannotfind any question of law arising on this point. There was evidencebefore the Board on the basis of which it could reasonablyconclude that having regard to circumstances prevailing at therelevant date the land could be put to profitable use in themanner contemplated in the Scheme of development and that ahigher value on that account was a reasonable probability. It can-not be said that the Board was indulging in “ idle speculation ”or “ impractical imagination ”.
In regard to valuation of lot 1 there was a great disparitybetween the valuation placed on this lot by the GovernmentValuer on the one hand and the claimant’s valuer on the other.The Board of Review rejected the valuation placed on this lotby the claimant’s valuer as being “ fantastic ” and “ totallyunrealistic ”. The Board also found that it was unable to acceptthe valuation placed by the Government Valuer as the latterhad paid no regard to its possible uses. The Government Valuerhad applied only the test of comparable sales and the only saleshe utilised were certain sales of land 30-40 miles away fromwhere the land acquired is situated.
There was, however, evidence before the Board that althoughthe land was Patna and Deniya and therefore not as fertile asother land, its soil was as good as any in the Kandapola area forthe cultivation of vegetables. The Board accordingly valued theland at Rs. 1,250 per acre in respect of Patna land and Rs. 750per acre in respect of the Deniya land.
Pp.iris v. Ellepotct
We are unable to agree with the submission that any questionof law arises on this appeal. The appeal must be accordinglydismissed.
We confirm the valuation placed on the land by the Board ofReview. The respondent will be entitled to costs of appeal.
Udalagama, J.—I agree.
Weeraratne, J.—-I agree.
B. SOMASIRI DE SILVA, Appellant, and THE NUWARA ELIYA TEA ESTATES CO. LTD., Resp