S.K. Desai, J.
1. Both the Special Civil Applications can be disposed of by a common judgment as in our opinion, detailed statement of facts is unnecessary. The petitioners in both the matters are displaced persons having migrated to India as a result of the partition of the country. They had abandoned moveable and immoveable properties including agricultural land at West Pakisthan. They filed a claim application and after due formalities were observed their entitlements were determined by the duly constituted authorities and it is in respect of the land awarded to them that the petitioners have filed the respective petitions claiming reliefs.
The difficulty faced by the two petitioners has not occurred for the first time, but has been the subject matter of two decisions, one at Bombay and the other one at Nagpur. The difficulties arose by reason of the fact that there were erstwhile tenants, in our case Adivasis, on these lands. The short question that arises for consideration was whether the rights of these tenants as tenants simplicitor or as deemed purchaser or in any other capacity would survive after the allotment of the said lands tot he petitioners
2. In Application No. 829 of 1977 all the persons occupying have been made party respondents. Similar is the position in Application No. 830 of 1977. In the first application, we appointed Advocate Mr. Tipnis as Amicus Curies on behalf of the occupants of the said lands. However, it is now ascertained that Advocate Mr. Limaye has filed appearance for some of the respondents in the matters.
3. On the previous occasion our attention was drawn to a judgment given by a Division Bench of this Court Special Civil Application No. 1218 of 1971, decided by Deshpande and Savant, JJ. on 12 April, 1976, This decision came to be cited before and followed in a decision of the Nagpur Bench of this Court in Special Civil Application No. 369 of 1970, etc. Shriram U. Patil v. Regional Settlement Commissioner & Custodian and others, decided by Masodkar and Kambli, JJ., on 31st December, 1976.
4. It has been held by the Division Bench in Special Civil Application No. 1218 of 1971 that after vesting of the lands by operation of law under section 12 of the Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act, 1954, the land becomes the property of the Government and the Tenancy Act would have no application to the said land. Reference was made to section 24 of the Tenancy Act. It has been observed further that the land would seems to vest in the Government absolutely and free from all encumbrances including the rights of the tenant thereunder. Even on the basis of an assumption that there were tenants in the said land, the Division Bench opined that, that would seem to make no difference to legal position and the tenants rights would be extinguished. This view has been referred to and reiterated in Sp.C.A. No. 368 of 1970.
5. In view of the clear enunciation of the legal position the letter dated 14th December, 1976 (part of Ex. 'N' (colly) intimating refusal to hand over vacant possession of the land to the petitioner (in Sp. C.A. No. 829 of 1977) and a similar latter also dated 14th December, 1976 in the second Sp. C.A. No. 830 of 1977, addressed, by the Section Officer, Revenue & Forest Department, would be clearly untenable. If that be so, the petitioners would be entitled to the orders sought in the matters for quashing such decisions or letters and further directing the respondents Nos. 1 to 4 to carry out their duties under the law as decided by this Court in the aforesaid two decisions. Accordingly in both the matters rules are made absolute in terms of prayers (a), (a)(1) and (b). Parties to bear their own costs.
6. We may add that on behalf of the petitioners our attention has been drawn to certain Supreme Court judgment in which also there are incidental observations to the same effect as decided by our Division Bench. However, we have not referred to these decisions since the point was not directly in issue in the Supreme Court as it was in this Court.
7. We may also ask the State Government to consider whether under existing policy decision there could be any worthwhile proposal to settle the Adivasis at the time of giving effect to the Writ of Mandamus given by us in this judgment. We further direct the State to comply with our orders and carry out the directives given within six months from today at the latest.