THE HON'BLE MR JUSTICE L.NARASIMHA REDDY WRIT PETITION No.23604 OF 201.17.08.2012 Madhura Krishnarjuna Rao Collector and District Magistrate, Khammam, and others.
Counsel for petitioner: Sri Nimmagadda Satyanarayana Counsel for Respondents : GP for Revenue HEAD NOTE: ?Cases referred ORDER: The petitioner is an Ex-serviceman.
He was assigned an extent of 5 acres of land in Sy.No.1228 of Aswaraopet Village and Mandal, Khammam District, through proceedings dated 30-12-2011 by the Tahsildar, Aswaraopet, the 3rd respondent herein.
A news item was published in the District Edition of a Telugu Daily, on 01-01-2012, alleging that the Government land worth Rs.50 lakhs was assigned to the petitioners by the 3rd resondent in collusion with the Village Revenue Officer and Mandal Revenue Inspector.
The Revenue Divisional Officer, Palvancha, the 2nd respondent visited the place, and is said to have verified the record.
He submitted a report to the District Collector, Khammam, the 1st respondent, pointing out certain irregularities.
The 1st respondent issued a show cause notice dated 20-04-2012 to the petitioner, repeating the allegations contained in the report of the 2nd respondent.
The petitioner submitted his explanation on 20-05-2012.
However, the 1st respondent passed an order dated 12-07-2012, directing cancellation of the patta issued in favour of the petitioner.
He proceeded on the assumption that the petitioner did not submit his explanation, though show cause notice was issued.
The order dated 12-07-2012 is challenged in this writ petition.
The petitioner submits that the patta was issued to him on the basis of the endorsements made by the respondents 1 and 2, after verification from the revenue officials of the Village and Mandal.
He contends that though a detailed explanation was submitted on 20-05- 2012, through registered post, the impugned order was passed on the assumption that no explanation was submitted.
The petitioner contends that he developed the land by spending huge amount and has dug bore-well, etc.
This Court noticed that the 1st respondent acted in similar manner in more than one case, for cancellation of the pattas issued in favour of Ex-servicemen, and directed his appearance.
The 1st respondent filed W.P.M.P.No.30935 of 2012 to dispense with his presence.
In the affidavit filed in support of the application, the 1st respondent stated that the explanation submitted by the petitioner was received by the inward section of his office, long before the order was passed, but in view of the fact that the same was not put up, the explanation was not taken into account.
Heard the learned counsel for the petitioner and learned Government Pleader for Revenue.
In the recent past, it has become a question of survival for the daily newspapers, particularly of Telugu language in the State, and in their effort to increase their circulation, news items are published without even verification of facts.
In certain cases, the local stingers are using their newspapers as a devise to blackmail the gullible persons.
They are feeling encouraged on account of the knee-jerk reaction exhibited by the officials of various departments.
There are instances, where the officials are also blackmailed, alleging acts of corruption and dishonesty.
A tendeny has also developed for the officials to be in good looks of the local press reporters.
The case on hand presents an example.
In case there exists any irregularity or illegality in the assignment of the land in favour of the petitioner, the 2nd respondent ought to have verified the matter, first with the Tahsildar, the 3rd respondent, and thereafter, with the petitioner, before he arrived at any conclusions.
It appears that the 2nd respondent wanted to settle his scores with the 3rd respondent, or that he was not satisfied or happy with the assignment made in favour of the petitioner.
Though scores of matters are awaiting his attention in the office, he became over active and submitted a report, pointing out several alleged irregularities.
The action of the 2nd respondent is reprehensible; and he deserves to be cautioned, to be careful hereafter.
The 1st respondent, no doubt, issued a show cause notice to the petitioner.
However, he ought to have verified the matter with the 3rd respondent, before taking any further steps.
The record so far placed before this Court discloses that the patta was issued to the petitioner on the basis of an application made, way back in the year 2006, to the Chief Commissioner of Land Administration, and endorsements made by the respondents 1 and 2.
The nature of functioning of the office of the 1st respondent is evident from the fact that though the explanation submitted by the petitioner was received by them, on 22-05-2012, the same was not put up with the file, and instead, the explanation was forwarded to the Tahsildar, Aswaraopet, the 3rd respondent, for his remarks.
In fact, the official who took such steps; deserves to be proceeded against.
It is just ununderstandable as to how an explanation submitted in response to a show cause notice, issued by the District Collector can be forwarded to the Tahsildar of the Mandal.
Unfortunately, this is the method of functioning in the office of the District Collector, and the result cannot be different.
The impugned order was passed in patent violation of principles of natural justice.
The writ petition is allowed, and the impugned order is set aside.
The 1st respondent is directed to pass fresh orders, duly taking into account, the explanation submitted by the petitioner.
It is directed that, in case any orders adverse to the interests of the petitioner are passed, further action shall not be taken for a period of thirty days from the date of its service.
The miscellaneous petitions filed in this writ petition also shall stand disposed of.
There shall be no order as costs.
NARASIMHA REDDY, J.