Pathak, C.J. (Acting)
1. This batch of petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution of India are directed against the orders passed by the Administrative Officer, Tuipuibari Group Centre in the District of Aizawl. These impugned orders read as follows :
'No. TPB. 9/79-80/40 dated Tuipuibari, the 13th October, 1980.
Village Council, Tuipuibari I/ Tuipuibari II.
Sub : Eviction of villagers within the Dampa Wild Life Sanctuary.
As per the Deputy Commissioner, Aizawl's letter No. AAM.20/79-80/249 of 26-9-80 it is hereby ordered that (it is) time for shifting of the villages named below falling within the Dampa Wild Life Sanctuary, to the villages named against each of them.
It is ordered that no villagers will be allowed to cut and cultivate jum within the Damoa Wild Life Sanctuary and anybody violating the order will be fined.Sl. No.
Villages to be shifted
Places of shifting1.
Sd/. Lebaw Solo,
Tuipulbari Memo No. TPB. 9/79-80/40, dated Tuipuibari, 13th Oct/80 Copy to : The Deputy Commissioner, Aizawl for favour of information.
This has a reference to his letter cited above.
Notice Board, Tuipuibari.
Sd/- Lebaw Solo,
'No. TPB.9/79-80/57 Dt. Tuipuibari
the 15th December, 1980.
Lampachhora, Persang, Chikhatlang
The Kharbari, Pansury.
Sub: Eviction of villagers from Dampa
Wild Life Sanctuary Area.
As per Deputy Commissioner, Aizawl's letter No. AAM.20/77/188 of 25-2-80 and Divisional Forest Officer's Office Order No. 269 of 1980. conveyed under Memo. No. FDA-64 (do) 80-81/8001-8010 of 25-11-80, it is hereby noticed that the inhabitants of Dampa Wild Life Sanctuary Area are not allowed to remain in your present villages. You should, therefore, move out from your old villages to outside the Sanctuary area as shown against your villages as follows after completion of your harvesting of this year. Failing which, strict action and forced eviction will be taken against you.Grade No.
Village to be shifted
Place of shifting
They should be settled immediately.
They should move out and settle at Tulpuibari immediately
Sd/- H. Zothanpul S/KFor AdministTrative Officer,Tuipuibari Centre. Memo No. TPB.9/79/80/57 Dt. Tuipuibari the 15th Dec./80,
Copy to : (1) The Deputy Commissioner (A) for favour of information with ref-erence to his letter No. cited above.
(2) Divisional Forest Officer. Aizawl, Forest Division, For favour of information and necessary action with reference to his letter no. cited above.
3. S. D. O. Mamit, for favour of information and necessary action.
4. The Secretary, Village Council, Tuipuibari I & II for information and vide circulation within his villages.
Sd/-H. Zothanpuia S/K
For Administrative Officer, Tuipuibari Centre.'
2. The petitioners have been staying within the area described in the impugned notices before passing of the impugned orders with their hearths and home and also having cultivable lands. The impugned orders were purported to have been made under the provisions of the Wild Life Sanctuary (Protection) Act 1972 (for short 'the Act') under which there may be a declaration of Sanctuary by virtue of the provision of Section 18 of the Act It is found out from the records that under Section 18 of the Act a notification has been issued on 20th Jan. 1976 by the Development Commissioner. Ex-Officio Secretary to the Govt. of Mizoram declaring the area given in that notification as Dampa Wild Life Sanctuary. Section 18 requires that such a declaration is to be made by a notification. Notification has been defined under Sub-section (22) of Section 2 which reads :
'Notification means a notification to be published in the official Gazette.' On perusal of Annexure V to the affidavit-in-opposition which is the notification dated 20th Jan. 76 it is found that the said notification was endorsed to the Director, Information, Public Relation and Tourism Mizoram, Aizawl, with three copies for publication in the next issue of the Mizoram Gazette,
3. It is the case of the petitioners that there is no publication of the aforesaid notification in the Mizoram Official Gazette, although Annexure V noted above indicates the endorsement for publication in the official Gazette. It is submitted by the learned counsel for the petitioners that in view of the fact that the notification under Section 18 has not been published in the Official Gazette, action sought to be taken under the said Act by the impugned notices cannot be sustained. Mr. Bezbarua, the learned counsel appearing for the respondents submits that he has not been able to find the publication of the notification under Section 18 of the Act in the official Gazette. This shows that the notification is not found to be published
in the Official Gazette. It is contended on behalf of the petitioners that as there is no publication of the Notification under Section 18 of the Act, the purported declaration is non est.
4. Further it has been pointed out by the learned counsel for the petitioners that the aforesaid Act came into force on 1-10-1974 as can be seen from Annexure IV t0 the affidavit filed by the respondents. But the officer who made the declaration under Section 18 of the Act was authorised by a notification dated 14-8-1974, that is before coming into force of the Act in Mizoram.
Chapter IV of the Act contains provisions for declaration of a Sanctuary as well as for taking actions when such declaration is made. Section 19 enjoins the Collector to inquire into, and determine the existence, nature and extent of the rights of any person in or over the land comprised within the limits of the sanctuary under Section 21 the Collector is to give proclamation after issue of the notification under Section 18 in the regional language in every town and village in or in the neighbourhood of the area comprised therein :
(a) specifying, as nearly as possible the situation and the limits of the Sanctuary; and
(b) requiring any person claiming any right mentioned in Section 19 to prefer before the Collector, within two months from the date of such proclamation, a written claim in the prescribed form, specifying the nature and extent of such right with necessary details and the amount and particulars of compensation, if any, claimed in respect thereof, Section 22 enjoins the Collector to make inquiry into (1) the claim preferred by him under Clause (b) of Section 21 and (2) the existence of any right mentioned in Section 19 and not claimed under Clause (b) of Section 21.
5. After going through the records of the cases we find that the respondents have not followed any of the provisions of Chapter IV of the Act. It is true that the respondents are entitled to declare any area under Section 18 of the Act but that can be done only after following the provisions contained in the Act. The respondents can take follow up actions for evicting persons from the area falling within the declared Sanctuary in accordance with the provisions as contained in Chapter IV of the Act, None of these things have
been found to be followed by the respondents in passing the impugned orders prejudicially affecting the petitioners. Therefore, we find that the impugned orders are not sustainable in law and accordingly they deserve to be quashed.
6. Mr. K. K. Bezbarua, senior standing counsel, Mizoram, submits that so far Civil Rule No. 147/81 is concerned, the petitioners are not in any way affected by the impugned orders. This submission has been further supported by the affidavit filed on behalf of the respondents, if that is the factual situation the petitioners in Civil Rule No. 147/81 are not affected by the impugned notices as mentioned above.
7. On the overall considerations and for the reasons, stated above we find that the impugned orders contained in Annexures 1 and 2 are without jurisdiction and they are to be set aside which we accordingly do.
8. In the result for the reasons stated above, the petitions are allowed. The Rules are made absolute However, we make no order as to costs.