High Court Of Madras
Mrs. N. Santhiyavalli & Ors. vs. Union Of India & Anr.
R. Jayasimha Babu, J.
Writ Petn. Nos. 19383 & 20541 of 1993
13th November, 1998
M. Venkatachalapathy, for the Petitioners : S.V. Subramaniyan, for the Respondents
R. JAYASIMHA BABU, J. :
The Appropriate Authority has by the impugned order rejected the petitionerâs contention that the property with which it was sought to be compared was not comparable as the extent of the other property is 26.08 cents while the extent of the property which is the subject-matter of the agreement between the petitioners is 63 cents and 320 sq. ft. such rejection according to the petitioner is erroneous. Petitioner also contends that the Authority has failed to take note of the non-availability of the title deed with the vendors and the possibility of the minors filing a suit questioning the validity of the release deed in favour of the vendors and effect of those circumstances on assess the value of the property.
The Authority has elaborately discussed the documents such as mortgage deed, release, deed etc., that were available with the vendors and reached the conclusion that they make out a marketable title. That the document of title under which the deceased Narayanaswamy had acquired title to the property was not available was doubted by the authority. The Authority has also noticed the fact of the filing of a suit for a declaration of title to the property by the petitioners and its pendency. The Authority also did not doubt the fact that the release deed purported to have been executed on behalf of the minors could be questioned by the minors on the ground of inadequacy of consideration, though the Authority felt that consideration was there for the release and such consideration was adequate. The Authority held in the light of its conclusions that the value of the property cannot be said to be depressed by reason of the cloud on title or the absence of the title deeds. The Authority has also held that the property was comparable with the other property on the same road, even though that property was smaller in extent.
This approach of the Authority cannot be said to be in consonance with the law laid down by the Supreme Court when it is found that the title deed is not available, it is a factor of significance to the prospective purchasers as also to all other persons from whom that purchaser may seek to raise credit on the security of the property. No declaratory decree had been obtained by the petitioners at the time when the Authority passed the order, and it could not be said that the absence of title deed was not of any consequence on account of the declaratory decree which operated as a judgment in rem. It was submitted at the Bar that after the Authority passed the order, the minors have in fact filed a suit and the suit is pending.
The Authority has not chosen to discount any part of the rate at which the smaller plot had been sold for the purpose of determining the market value of this plot. This approach of the Authority is again one which cannot be regarded as in consonance with the law declared by the Supreme Court with regard to the valuation of the property. Plots which are similar in size may fetch higher value and it cannot be assumed that larger plots though in the same vicinity will also fetch the same price. Some adjustment has to be made in the price by reason of the size of the plot being larger.
As the Authority has failed to apply its mind to all the relevant aspects, the order of the authority cannot be sustained and the same is set aside. The matter is remanded to the Authority for passing a fresh order in accordance with law and in the light of the observations made in this order, after hearing the parties.
Writ petitions are allowed. No costs.
[Citation : 247 ITR 430]