H. N. G. FERNANDO, C. J.—The Public Trustee v. Rajaratnam
1971 Present: H. N. G. Fernando, C.J., and Samerawieferame, J.
THE PUBLIC TRUSTEE, Appellant, and
RAJARATNAM (District Land Officer), Respondent
S. C. Ij70—Board of Review of LandAcquisition No. BRI2664ICL/7J5
Land Acquisition Act—Claim Jot compensation thereunder—Mode of assessment.
Whore, in a claim for compensation made under the Land Acquisition Act,the Board of Review excluded relevant evidence from consideration, and actedsomewhat arbitrarily in assessing the value of two portions of the land soughtto be acquired—
Held, that the claimant was entitled to be granted relief. In such a casethe prior sale price of a similar land in the vicinity should be taken into account.
.ApPEAL under the Land Acquisition Act.
H. W. Jayewardene, Q.C., with Mark Fernando and D. C. AmerasingJte,far the appellant.
8. Sivarasa, Crown Counsel, for the respondent.
. Cur. adv. vuU.
November 6, 1971. H. N. 6. Fernando, C.J.—
This is an appeal from an order of the Board of Review—LandAcquisition—awarding compensation in respect of a land of about42 acres acquired by the Crown under the Land Acquisition Act. Thecontention of the appellant, the former owner of the land, was that theamount of compensation should have been the sum of Rs. 145,600 whichwas olaimed by him. –
H. N. O. FERNANDO, C.J.—The Public Trustee v. Hajaratnam
The Acquiring Officer had awarded a Bum of Rs. 55,000 calculatedat a flat rate of Rs. 1,300 per acre. On appeal to the Board of Review,the Board reached a determination that two portions of the land, inextent about one acre and about 3$ acres respectively, were morevaluable than the remaining part of the land, for the reason that in onecase a portion of one acre on the North abutted a P. W. D. road, andin the other case, a portion of 3£ acres on the South abutted a V. C. road.These two portions, in the opinion of the Board, should have been valuedas building sites and not merely as agricultural land.
In reaching this conclusion, the Board considered a fair volume ofevidence relating to the sales of other lands in the area which had beenpurchased as building sites, and was satisfied on that evidence that thevaluation at the rate of Rs. 1,300 per acre was quite inappropriate inthe case of these two portions of land. Having reached this conclusion,the Board in the concluding paragraph of its order made only the followingstatement: —
“ We would value the one acre fronting the P. W. D. road atRs. 4,000 per acre. Our valuation of the 3| acres fronting the V. C. roadis Rs. 3,000 per acre, subject to a deduction of 10% as quantityallowance.’'
There were proved at the inquiry particulars relating to the sale ofa land of about $ an acre, abutting the same V. C. road which cuts acrossthe Southern portion of the appellant’s land. That land of about $ anacre had been sold for a price representing a value of Rs. 7,500 per acre;allowing for the value of a hut which had stood on that land, the Valuerof the Valuation Department stated that the sale price represented arate of Rs. 6,400 per acre for the land itself. The Board of 'Review tookthe sale of that land into account, together with the sales of certain otherlands in the area, in reaching its conclusion that two portions of theappellant’s land should be valued as building sites. But it does notappear from the order that the Board also took the sale of the $ acreinto account in assessing the value of the two portions of the appellant’sland. While both parties had referred to several sales in the area, theonly sale which was strictly comparable was this sale of about $ anacre, because that was the only sale of a land in the vicinity which directlyabutted the V. C. road; accordingly this sale afforded the best standardof comparison for the valuation of that portion of the appellant’s landwhich abutted the same road. The Board, in its valuation of this portionat the rate of Rs. 3,000 per acre, makes no referencb to any groundsupon which the valuation of Rs. 6,400 per acre should not also attachto this portion. It thus appears that the Board did not in fact take the
H. N. O. FERNANDO, C.J.—The Public Trustee v. Rajaratnam
Bale of the f acre into account in assessing the value of the portion of3$ acres which abuts the V. C. road. Accordingly in our opinion theBoard excluded relevant evidence from consideration, and acted somewhatarbitrarily, when it assessed the value of this portion at the rate ofBa. 3,000 per acre.
There was some evidence that as agricultural land the } acre wassuperior to the appellant’s portion of land, but there was nothing inthe evidence to show that there is any substantial difference between thetwo lands when valued as building sites. We hold therefore that, uponthe available evidence, the portion of land which abuts the. V. C. roadshould properly have been valued at the rate of Rs. 6,400 per acre.
In regard to the portion of about one acre which abuts the P. W. D.road, the Board valued this portion at Rs. 1,000 more per acre than theportion abutting the V. C. road. Since no reasons were Btated for thisdistinction, we do not feel able to maintain the same distinction inconsidering the valuation which Bhould attach to the portion abuttingthe P. W. D. road. At the same time we see no reason why both theseportions should not be assessed at the same value. Accordingly we holdthat the portion of about one acre abutting the P. W. D. road shouldalso be valued at Bs. 6,400.
For these reasons the valuation set out in the order of the Board isamended as follows :—
Re. *.la. 0b. 6r. (fronting P. W. D. road)
3a. 2a. Of. (fronting V. C. rood)
1a. 3b. Op. (Cabook pita and footpaths)0a. 1b. 20p. (Deniya land)
35a. 2b. Up. (Balanoo land)
42a. Ob. 31p.
Ra. 0,400 par acre..0,4000
Rs. 0,400 per acreless20,1000
10% quantity allowance
Rs. 400 per aero..8500
Rs. 1,300 per acre..40,23937
Accordingly, the total amount of compensation payable to theappellant is fixed at Rii 73,649*37. We make no order as to costs.SauMRAWioraAifS, J.—I agree.Amount of compensation taercoacd.31 – Volume LXXV