1. At the request of the learned counsel for both the parties, the matter has come up for hearing.
2. Unnecessarily the Civil Rule is pending for so many years when it could have been disposed of within a matter of minutes. Eviction from Government land for public purpose and public convenience is the need of the hour. However, it should not be done in breach of any fundamental right or other legal rights of the occupants.
3. We have heard Mr. S. C. Das, learned counsel for the petitioner and Mr. A. Sarma, learned Government Advocate, Meghalaya. We have perused the writ petition and also orders passed in Civil Rules 157/77 to 161/77, Nalini Kanta Sen v. Deputy Commissioner, East Khasi Hills decided on 7-11-83 Civil Rule 165/77 Ramesh Chandra Deb v. The Deputy Commissioner, Khasi Hills District, Shillong decided on 1-2-84 and Civil Rule No. 222 of 1977, Shri Jawharlal Bahirwani v. The Deputy Commissioner, Khasi Hills District, Shillong decided on 9-8-1984. Relying on an order of their Lordships in the Supreme Court passed in Civil Appeal No. 509 of 1983, Kuteswar Biswas v. State of Assam wherein their Lordships passed the following order :
'We are of the view that in this particular case having regard to the peculiar facts and circumstances it will meet ends of justice if the appellants are allowed an opportunity to file their respective applications for settlement of land as also their objections, if any against the notices for eviction, before the end of February 1983 if any such applications or objections have already been filed or are filed within the time granted by this order, the Deputy Commissioner or any other appropriate authority will dispose of such applications and objections in accordance with law as early as possible and preferably before 16th April 1983. If a request is made by any of the appellants in the objections filed by them against the notices of eviction that they should be personally heard, the Deputy Commissioner or other appropriate authority will give personal hearing to the appellants concerned before disposing of their objections. The appeal is disposed of accordingly. There will be no order as to costs.
New Delhi Sd/- P. N. Bhagwati,
January 24, 1983 Sd/- E. S. Venkataramiah
We dispose of the Civil Rules in the light of the observations and directions contained therein.
4. Upon hearing learned counsel for the parties and on perusal of the records, we feel that similar order need be passed in the instant case as it will meet ends of justice if the petitioner is given an opportunity to file application establishing his right in the land in question as also his other objections against
the notice of eviction issued against him. Accordingly, we grant the said opportunity, but the petitioner must file the application/ objection by the end of September, 1984, On receipt of the application and upon hearing the objection, the Deputy Commissioner, Khasi Hills, Shillong should dispose of the proceedings as expeditiously as possible in the light of our observations made in Civil Rule 165 of 1977 (supra).
5. In the result, the petition is accepted to the extent indicated above. However, there will be no order as to costs.