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For jak tree addFor mi tree addFor coooanut trees addFor imbul trees add '
He approves of the Government Agent’s award for severance and forremoval to other residence and for the piece of wall, and finds no additionnecessary. After consideration of the items in the two estimates of thevalue of the buildings Mr. Jayasekera is of opinion that Rs. 1,674*75should be allowed, being an increase of Rs. 164* 75 on GovernmentAgent’s award. Total to be added to award Rs. 273* 75.
Mr. Erskiae is of opinion that the award is sufficient, considering asregards the land and plantation the evidence of recent sales in thevioinity, and considering the ideal value which should be set onMr. Senanayaka’s quantities. Mr. Erskine estimates the cost of buildingthe houses as described at Rs. 1,499* 75.
And then the District Judge gave judgment as follows :—
Having fully considered the case, and having spent two hours with theassessors over the two estimates of the value of the houses, I find that theGovernment Agent’s award is sufficient. The assessors agreed as to allthe items in Mr. Senanayaka’s estimate except one, viz., the value of theroughly-shaped lumps of clay, earth, and sand, which are here calledsun-dried bricks. Mr. Jayasekera values them at Rs. 40 per 1,000 andMr. Erskine at Rs. 10, so that for Mr. Senanayaka’s 25 cubes of what hecalls dry brick walling Mr. Jayasekara would give Rs. 425, whileMr. Erskine would give only Rs. 250. Now, considering that dry brickscan be bought for Rs. 7* 50 a thousand and half-round burnt tiles forRs. 6 a thousand, I feel sure that these sun-dried bricks are not worthmore than Rs. 10. It is true they are much larger, but the skill andlabour expended on them are very much less. I therefore agree withMr. Erskine as regards the value of soil and plantation. I am ofopinion that the best way of ascertaining the value of a garden is tofind out what other gardens in the vicinity have recently been sold for.Now the claimants give us two instances. Witness Sudatapala boughtquarter of an acre for Rs. 350, whioh is equivalent to Rs. 1,400 an acre,and witness Matbes says, Tegris six months ago bought two-thirds of anacre for Rs. 450, which is equivalent to Rs. 678 an acre. The mean isRs. 1,037* 50 an acre. The Government Agent has given Rs. 1,370 anacre.
It is true that Sudatapala says he had to buy out certain other peopleat a cost of Rs. 1,500, but what is in the deed is Rs. 350 ; and as he sayshe has been cheated by the people be bought out, and yet has not takensteps to eject them, I cannot credit this statement.
Mr. Senanayaka’s estimate is clearly a Public Works Departmentestimate. I have no doubt his quantities are right, but his rates arenecessarily not in any way adapted to work done by and for villagers intheir village. As regards the very large item Rs. 612 for cutting andlevelling, we have preferred to adopt the estimate of Mr. Church, theRailway Engineer, who must be presumed to know the ground andwhat it has cost him to make his cuttings. We therefore disallowedRs. 612 and substituted Rs. 70.
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Mr. Senanayaka stated that he valued the buildings as they stood,but I am unable to give credit to the statement for two reasons : (1)He has, as in all Public Works Department estimates for new work,added 10 per cent, contingencies; and (2) he palpably in his evidenceshuffled out of a difficulty into which the Court had put him about hisrates for roofing, at first saying that he stated from Public WorksDepartment rates for cocoanut rafters and jak reapers Rs. 36 anddeducted Rs. 6 for veraniya reepers, and then making a quite differentstatement in order to bring in Rs. 4 for depreciation. He is evidentlyvery ready at mental arithmetic-
On the other items we are all agreed. I find that the sum awardedby the Government Agent is sufficient and proper compensation for theproperty aoquired in this case, and I award that sum accordingly.
The claimants (first and second) will pay all costs, including Rs. '50, toeach assessor.
The defendants appealed.
Seneviratne and Wendt, for appellants.
Chitty, C.C., for the respondent.
19th August, 1898. Bonser, C.J.—
I see no reason to interfere with this assessment. At the sametime I should like to say that it is a mistake to imagine that themarket value of a house depends upon the expenditure on it.I see that one of the witnesses who valued the house added thesum of Rs. 40-75 for levelling the ground for the foundation, asthough the market value was increased by reason of the diffi-culties which had to be overcome in the course of building. Thatprinciple seems to have been accepted on both sides withoutdemur. I should also wish to call attention to the fact that theDistrict Judge did not follow the provisions of the Ordinance ashe ought to have done.
Section 24 is quite clear that each assessor is to give his opinionorally. That is to be recorded in writing by the District Judge.In the present case the District Judge appears to have writtena long opinion, in which one of the assessors concurred and whichhe signed. The other assessor was allowed to put in a writtenstatement. I do not see why the provisions of the Ordinanceshould not be complied with. The Appeal Court wishes to knowthe independent opinion of the assessors. At present we havebefore us only the opinion of one assessor and the opinion of theDistrict Judge. There is not the independent opinion of the otherassessor.
Withers, J.—
I have heard nothing to satisfy me that the amount awardedby way of compensation for the land acquired by Government isnot fair and just. Indeed, I have heard so little of the kind of
August 19.
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August 19.Withers, J.
evidence which one expects to be given in an inquiry about themarket value of a piece of land, that I venture to repeat some ofthe observations which I made in a judgment in a cause of thekind which came up in appeal from the District Court of Badullain October, 1896.
The value of a piece of land cannot be determined so easily asthat of a commodity like rice, for instance, which has a recognizedmarket price. The value of any given land depends on- its extent,situation, relative position, and its adaptability for any particularuse. This value may again be affected by the use made of theproperty immediately adjoining it. Given all the surroundingcircumstances, What is the best use to which the land can be put.?is I think a fair question to be asked in a case of the kind.
Then, what are the tests of the market value of a piece, of land ?One that naturally suggests itself is the price which any onewould give for it at a public auction. Another test is the pricegiven at recent sales for pieces of land similarly situated, butthe value of this test altogether depends on the circumstancesattending such sales.
The rent and the rate of interest obtaining in the district arealso material for computing the market value.
These rules are not of course exhaustive, but I think that theyindicate the line of inquiry to be taken in similar cases.