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Gulabbhai Bapubhai Gawandi Vs. Sonubai Bapurao Katkar (Smt.) and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSpecial Civil Application No. 1021 of 1975
Judge
Reported in1983(1)BomCR187
ActsBombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948 - Sections 32G and 32P
AppellantGulabbhai Bapubhai Gawandi
RespondentSonubai Bapurao Katkar (Smt.) and ors.
Advocates:V.M. Kanade, Adv. for ;K.M. Kanade, Adv.
Excerpt:
.....i am satisfied that the authorities below were justified in holding that the petitioner has not shown sufficient cause for condoning the delay in the filing of the appeal, being tenancy appeal no. in the result ,this petition must fail......under section 32-g were held, the petitioner was absent and, therefore, the agricultural lands tribunal declared the purchase ineffective. no grievance was made by the petitioner against this order.3. thereafter, on 24th of december, 1962, an order under section 32-p of the bombay tenancy act was passed. by this order the possession of all the land was directed to be restored to the respective landlords. no grievance was made by the petitioner against this order also. in the year 1965, in execution of the aforesaid order, lands bearing survey nos. 40/1, 40/3 and 40/6 were handed over into the possession of respondent no. 3. it must, therefore, necessarily follow that at least on this date on which the petitioner of the said lands was handed over to respondent no. 3, the.....
Judgment:

R.A. Jahagirdar, J.

1. This petition arises out of proceedings under the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948, hereinafter referred to as 'the Bombay Tenancy Act'. Five lands were the subject-matter of the tenancy of the petitioner. Those lands are situated in Village Wathar in Phaltan Taluka of Satara Distirct. The lands bearing Survey Nos. 40/1, 40/3 and 40/6 originally belonged to one Krishna Maruti Parit after whose death respondent No. 3 succeeded to the lands as the owner. Respondent No. 3, therefore, became the landlord of the petitioner in respect of these three lands. Two other lands, namely lands bearing Survey Nos. 40/2 and 40/5 originally belonged to one Ranu Keru Parit and the first respondent in this petition is the heir of the said Ranu Keru Parit. She is now the landlady of the petitioner in respect of the said two lands.

2. Proceedings under section 32-G of the Bombay Tenancy Act were held and as the courts below have found, notice of these proceedings was admittedly served upon the petitioner. On 5th of October, 1960, on which day the proceedings under section 32-G were held, the petitioner was absent and, therefore, the Agricultural Lands Tribunal declared the purchase ineffective. No grievance was made by the petitioner against this order.

3. Thereafter, on 24th of December, 1962, an order under section 32-P of the Bombay Tenancy Act was passed. By this order the possession of all the land was directed to be restored to the respective landlords. No grievance was made by the petitioner against this order also. In the year 1965, in execution of the aforesaid order, lands bearing Survey Nos. 40/1, 40/3 and 40/6 were handed over into the possession of respondent No. 3. It must, therefore, necessarily follow that at least on this date on which the petitioner of the said lands was handed over to respondent No. 3, the petitioner must have come to know that an order under section 32-P to his prejudice has been passed. Despite this, the petitioner did not take any step against the order passed on 24th of December, 1962 nor against the order passed on 5th of October, 1960.

4. Respondent No. 1 filed a suit being Regular Civil Suit No. 60 of 1969 in the Court of the Civil Judge, (Junior Division) at Phaltan for a declaration that she is the owner of the lands bearing Survey Nos. 40/2 and 40/5 and for possession of the same. Summons of this suit was served upon the petitioner on 5th of October, 1969. It is only thereafter that the petitioner filed an appeal, being Tenancy Appeal No. 31 of 1970, which was heard and dismissed by the Special Deputy Collector of Tenancy Appeals, Satara by his judgment and order dated 28th of July, 1970. The Deputy Collector dismissed the appeal upon holding that the petitioner has failed to show sufficient cause for condoning the delay in filing the appeal against the orders passed on 5th October, 1960 and 24th December, 1962. The Deputy Collector also noticed that the petitioner must have come to know of the orders passed at least on 14th of August, 1965 when the possession of three lands was handed over to respondent No. 3. He was also satisfied that intimation of the order passed on 5th October, 1960 must have been given to the petitioner, despite his statement to the contrary.

5. This order of 28th July, 1970 dismissing the Tenancy Appeal No. 31 of 1970 was challenged by the petitioner in a revision application being Tenancy Application No. 551 of 1970, which was heard and allowed by the Maharashtra Revenue Tribunal at Kolhapur by its judgment and order dated 27th of March, 1972. While so allowing the appeal, the Tribunal took the view that intimation of the order passed on 5th of October, 1960 declaring the purchase ineffective does not seem to have been given to the petitioner. It may be stated at this stage that respondent No. 1 was not present before the Maharashtra Revenue Tribunal when this revision application was disposed of.

6. Respondent No. 1 thereafter filed an application, bearing No. NS/TRF/76 of 1972, for setting aside the ex parte order passed in the tenancy revision application. This application for setting aside the ex parte order was allowed by the Maharashtra Revenue Tribunal at Pune by its judgment and order dated 7th February, 1973. This order setting aside the ex parte order in the tenancy revision application was not challenged by the petitioner by approaching any higher authority. In these circumstances, the original revision application, namely Tenancy Application No. 551 of 1970, was re-heard by another member of the Maharashtra Revenue Tribunal at Bombay and was dismissed by his judgment and order dated 17th of July, 1973. In the said judgment, the Member of the Maharashtra Revenue Tribunal has noted that the notice of the proceedings under section 32-G was duly served upon the petitioner. This fact was seen to have been established by the record. The member of the Tribunal also noticed that there is on record a copy of the intimation of the order of 5th October, 1960 and this copy bore the signature of the Agricultural Lands Tribunal which passed the aforesaid order. Since there is a presumption that all official acts are done regularly it was accepted by the Member of the Tribunal that the intimation of the order passed on 5th October, 1960 must have been received by the petitioner.

I have already mentioned above that this was the view also of the Deputy Collector who had proceeded to dismiss the appeal on the ground that it was barred by time. It is this order passed on 17th of July, 1973 that is the subject matter of challenge in this petition under Article 227 of the Constitution.

7. Mr. V.M. Kanade, the learned Advocate appearing in support of the petition, has taken me through the judgments of the authorities below and has contended that the Maharashtra Revenue Tribunal was in error in holding that the intimation of the order dated 5th of October, 1960 had been received by the petitioner. Since, according to Mr. Kanade, the admitted position is that there is no acknowledgment receipt indicating receipt of the intimation of the order of 5th October, 1960, it is not open to the authority to conclude that the intimation of the order was received by the petitioner. I am reluctant to accept this contention of Mr. Kanade. A fact may be proved in more than one way. If it is found, as it has been found by the two authorities below, that there is a copy of the intimation duly endorsed by the Presiding Officer of the Tribunal, then it can be safely assumed that the order was communicated to the petitioner.

8. Apart from this, the petitioner has miserably failed to show cause, let alone sufficient cause, as to why no appeal was filed against the order passed under section 32-G and section 32-P of the Bombay Tenancy Act for nearly five years after 1965 when admittedly he got intimation of the orders passed against him. When the orders were executed, it cannot be pretended by the petitioner that he did not know, at least after that date, that he did not have knowledge of the orders passed against him. It was Mr. Kanade's contention that the orders passed on 5th of October, 1960 and 24th December, 1962 must be deemed to be orders which are void ab initio and in such circumstances the delay in filing the appeal should have been condoned. It is difficult to accept this contention. If an order is non est that order does not give a right to appeal. If it is the contention of the petitioner that the impugned order is null and void he should adopt such proceedings as he may be advised to do. A Court which is a creature of the Tenancy Act cannot sit in judgment over the validity of the order passed by another authority which is also a creature of the Tenancy Act. I am satisfied that the authorities below were justified in holding that the petitioner has not shown sufficient cause for condoning the delay in the filing of the appeal, being Tenancy Appeal No. 31 of 1970. The said appeal was, therefore, rightly dismissed by the Special Deputy Collector by his order which was rightly confirmed by the Maharashtra Revenue Tribunal.

In the result , this petition must fail. Rule is discharged with no order as to costs.


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