Enhancement of Compensation in Land Acquisition Case: Veerapur Villagers v. Hirehalla Project Authorities

In a significant judgment, the Supreme Court of India ruled in favor of Veerapur villagers in the case against the Hirehalla Project Authorities regarding land acquisition. The court emphasized the importance of awarding just compensation to the claimants, ensuring fairness and equity in the process.


  • The land was notified for acquisition on 16.10.2003 for the purpose of rehabilitating Veerapur villagers due to the Hirehalla project.
  • The Land Acquisition Officer fixed the value of the land at Rs.24,500/- per acre in the award dated 08.03.2006.
  • The High Court considered the market value determined in a previous Notification from 24.11.1994, granting a 5% escalation for the gap of about nine years between the two notifications.
  • As a result, the High Court arrived at a market value of Rs.1,56,000/- per acre for the land in question.

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  • SLP(C)No.22784 of 2016 was filed by another land owner arising out of the same project.
  • Counsel for the appellants-claimants referred to the judgment in Imrat Lal and Others v. Land Acquisition Collector and Others, (2014) 14 SCC 133.
  • Point made that in land acquisition matters, judicial notice must be taken that villagers in India are generally poor.
  • Emphasis on not denying just and fair compensation to claimants due to delay in filing special leave petition.

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  • Delay in legal matters should not result in a meritorious case being dismissed at the outset, as justice should prevail over technical considerations.
  • The courts have the power to condone delay in order to ensure substantial justice is done for the parties involved.
  • The expression ‘sufficient cause’ in legislation allows courts to interpret the law in a manner that serves justice.
  • A pragmatic and liberal approach should be taken in land acquisition cases, especially in awarding just compensation.
  • Equities can be balanced by considering the circumstances of illiterate individuals who may not be well-versed in legal proceedings and rely on others for guidance in filing affidavits for condonation of delay.
  • Delay in filing and refiling the S.L.P. should not be a reason to deny consideration of the matter on merits regarding the claim of the appellant for just and fair compensation.
  • Even if the delay is condoned and the consideration is made on merits, the determination of market value will relate back to the date of preliminary notification, ensuring no prejudice to the acquisition authority or added advantage to the land loser.
  • The potential for development of agricultural land acquired for rehabilitation justifies an increase in compensation.
  • The increase in market value of lands in urban/semi-urban areas is higher than in rural areas.
  • In the absence of specific evidence, a general increase rate of 10% to 15% per annum in urban/semi-urban areas and 5% to 7.5% in rural areas can be applied.
  • Consideration of the potential for development led to an annual escalation of 10% in the present case.

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  • The compensation awarded to the appellants-claimants is enhanced to Rs.2,35,795/- per acre.
  • The High Court granted 5% escalation for the gap of about nine years between 24.11.1994 and 16.10.2003.
  • The acquisition of the land was for rehabilitating the Veerapur villagers due to the implementation of the Hirehalla Project.
  • The impugned judgment(s) of the High Court is modified as indicated above.
  • The appeals are partly allowed with no order as to costs.
  • By awarding a 10% increase, the appellants-claimants are entitled to Rs.2,35,795/- per acre.


Case Number: C.A. No.-005976-005976 / 2019

Click here to read/download original judgement

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