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Ram Murti Saran Vs. State of U.P. and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy;Civil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Writ No. 3755 of 1967
Judge
Reported inAIR1971All54
ActsUttar Pradesh (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act, 1947 - Sections 3 and 7F
AppellantRam Murti Saran
RespondentState of U.P. and ors.
Appellant AdvocateKamta Nath and ;R.D. Gupta, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateShambhu Pd., ;Krishna Murari Srivastava, Advs. and ;Standing Counsel
Excerpt:
tenancy - eviction of the tenant - sections 7-f and 3 of u.p. (temporary) control of rent and eviction act, 1947 - state government has the quasi-judicial power to decide a case - regarding the grant of permission to the landlord - for filing a suit for the eviction of the tenant - reason for giving the permission also required to be mentioned as per section 7-f of u.p. (temporary) control of rent and eviction act,1947. - cantonments act[c.a. no. 41/2006]. section 346 & cantonment fund (servants rules, 1937, rules 13, 14 & 15: [h.l. gokhale, ag. cj, p.v. hardas, naresh h. patil, r.m. borde & r.m. savant, jj] jurisdiction of school tribunal constituted under maharashtra employees of private schools (conditions of service) regulations act, (3 of 1978) held, school run by the.....s.n. katju, j. 1. the two questions which has been referred to us for our opinion are as follows:-- 1. whether the state government acts as a quash-judicial authority when deciding a case relating to the grant of permission under section 3 of the u.p. (temporary) control of rent and eviction act for filing a suit in the civil court against a tenant for his eviction from any accommodation? whether the state government is bound to give reasons for its orders under section 7-f of the u.p (temporary) control of rent and eviction act in proceedings arising out of an application under section 3 of the u.p. (temporary) control of rent and eviction act for permission to file a suit in a civil court for the eviction of a tenant from an accommodation? 2. i have had the advantage of perusing the.....
Judgment:

S.N. Katju, J.

1. The two questions which has been referred to us for our opinion are as follows:--

1. Whether the State Government acts as a quash-judicial authority when deciding a case relating to the grant of permission under Section 3 of the U.P. (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act for filing a suit in the civil court against a tenant for his eviction from any accommodation? Whether the State Government is bound to give reasons for its orders under Section 7-F of the U.P (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act in proceedings arising out of an application under Section 3 of the U.P. (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act for permission to file a suit in a civil court for the eviction of a tenant from an accommodation?

2. I have had the advantage of perusing the judgments of my brothers Khare and Mathur and I am inclined to agree with my brother Khare. The Majority view of our Full Bench in Haji Manzoor Ahmad v. State of U.P.. 1968 All LJ 809 = (AIR 1970 All 467 (FB)) in which it was held that proceedings under Section 7-F of U.P. (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act) are quasi judicial in character, was affirmed by the Supreme Court in Lala Shri Bhagwan v. Ram Chand, 1965 All LJ 353 = (AIR 1965 SC 1767). The Supreme Court further re-affirmed the aforesaid view in Vasudeo Chaube v. Vaidya Nand Kishore, 1968 All LJ 1021. My answer to the first question, therefore, is in the affirmative.

3. The answer to the second question is not free from difficulty. The Supreme Court in Bhagat Raja v. Union of India, AIR 1967 SC 1606 overruled its earlier decision in Madhya Pradesh Industries Ltd. v Union of India, AIR 1966 SC 671. On an appeal under Article 136 of the Constitution of India from an order of the Central Government it was held that the Central Government should have passed a speaking order. The same view was expressed in the subsequent decisions of the Supreme Court in Prag Das Umar Vaishya v. Union of India, Civil Appeal No. 657 of 1967, D/-17-8-1967 (SC); State of Madhya Pradesh v. Narsinghdas Janki Das Mehta, Civil Appeal No. 681 of 1966, D/- 29-4-1969 = (reported in AIR 1969 NSC 115); Travaneore Rayon Ltd. v. Union of India, Civil Appeal No. 2252 of 1966, D/-28-10-1969 (SC) and State of Gujarat v. Patel Raghav Natha, AIR 1969 SC 1297. The following observations were made by Subba Rao, J. in his minority judgment in AIR 1966 SC 671 (supra).

'There is no essential distinction between a Court and an administrative tribunal. A Judge is trained to look at things objectively, uninfluenced by considerations of policy or expediency, but, an executive officer generally looks at things from the standpoint of policy and expediency. The habit of mind of an executive officer so formed cannot be expected to change from function to function or from act to act. So it is essential that some restrictions shall be imposed on tribunals in the matter of passing orders affecting the rights of parties; and the least they should do is to give reasons for their orders.'

4. It may be desirable that a Tribunal while passing its order in a case referred to it in revision, as it was in the cases before us, should give its reasons for the decision arrived at by it. Such an order passed by a Tribunal may be questioned before the Supreme Court on appeal under Article 136(1) of the Constitution or it may be challenged before the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution and it may be proper that the Supreme Court or the High-Court should have the benefit of examining the reasons on the basis of which the Tribunal had arrived at its decision. But there appears to be no provision under Section 7-F of the Act which can compel, as a matter of law, the State Government to record its reasons while passing an order under Section 7-F of the Act. It may be desirable for the State Government to record its reasons while giving its decision in proceedings under Section 7-F of the Act. But as long as there is no specific provision directing the State Government to make a speaking order while giving its decision under Section 7-F of the Act, an order passed by it on an application in revision cannot be struck down merely on the ground that it has not given any reason for its decision. The observations of the Supreme Court in the aforesaid cases were made with particular reference to the provisions of the enactments under which the orders in question before the Supreme Court were passed and they can only be considered as directory in nature so far as they relate to an order passed by the State Government under Section 7-F of the Act. My brother Khare has considered the decisions of the Supreme Court which followed Bhagat Raja's case, AIR 1967 SC 1606 and I fully agree with his reasons that the decisions in the aforesaid cases have to be read in the context of the provisions of the particular enactments with which those cases were concerned.

5. One decision of the Supreme Court which could be said to be directly on the point as it relates to the Act is Mohammad Ismail v. Nanhey Lal, 1969 All WR 281 = (AIR 1970 SC 1919). It was observed therein:

'Neither the District Magistrate nor the Commissioner nor the State Government is obliged to disclose any reason which may influence such authorities in coming to their decision.'

If the State Government is not obliged to disclose any reason while coming to its decision it naturally follows that an order passed by it under S. 7-F of the Act cannot be struck down merely on the ground that no reasons have been stated in the order of the State Government. Again in Som Datt v. Union of India, AIR 1969 SC 414 it was observed by the Supreme Court:--

'......... Apart from any requirements imposed by the statute or statutory rules expressly or by necessary implication we are unable to accept the contention of Mr. Datta that there is any general principle of any rule of natural justice that a statutory tribunal should always and in every case give reasons in support of its decision.

In English law there is no general rule apart from the statutory requirement that the statutory tribunal should, give reasons for its decision in every case. In Rex v. Northumberland Compensation Appeal Tribunal, 1952-1 KB 338 it was decided for the first time by the Court of Appeal that if there was a ''speaking order' a writ of certiorari could be granted to quash the decision of an inferior Court or a statutory tribunal on the ground of error on the face of record ... ... ...

It was observed that if the tribunal did state its reasons and those reasons were wrong in law a writ of a certiorari might be granted by the High Court for quashing the decision ............

But the decision in this case led to an anomalous result, for it meant that the opportunity for certiorari depended on whether or not the statutory tribunal chose to give reasons for its decision, in Other words, to make a 'speaking order'. Not all tribunals, by any means, were prepared to do so, and a superior Court had no power to compel them to give reasons except when the statute required it. This incongruity was remedied by the Tribunals and Inquiries Act, 1958 (Section 12) (6 and 7 Elizabeth 2 C. 66), which provides that on request a subordinate authority must supply to a party genuinely interested the reasons for its decision. Section 12 of the Act states that when a tribunal mentioned in the First Schedule of the Act gives a decision it must give a written or oral statement of the reasons for the decision, if required to do so on or before the giving or notification of the decision. The statement may be refused or the specification of reasons restricted on grounds of national security, and the tribunal may refuse to give the statement to a person not principally concerned with the decision if it thinks that to give it would be against the interests of any person primarily concerned. Tribunals may also be exempted by the Lord Chancellor from the duty to give reasons but the council on Tribunals must be consulted on any proposal to do so...............'

6. As mentioned above, there is nothing in Section 7-F of the Act which can compel the State Government to give its reasons while passing its order. On the other hand, the exercise of the power of the State Government under Section 7-F of the Act appears to be discretionary and it can 'make such orders as appears to it necessary for the ends of justice.'

7. The scope of the revisional powers of the State of Maharasthra as provided for under Section 154 of Maharasthra Co-operative Societies Act, 1960 (No. XXIV of 1961) was considered in E. A. Co.-op. Housing Society v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1966 SC 1449. Section 154 of the aforesaid Act is as follows :--

'154. Power of State Government and Registrar to call for proceedings of subordinate officer and to pass orders thereon.

The State Government and the Registrar may call for and examine the record of any inquiry or the proceedings of any other matter of any officer subordinate to them, except those referred to in Sub-section (9) of Section 149 for the purpose of satisfying themselves as to the legality or propriety of any decision or order passed and as to the regularity of the proceedings of such officer. If in any case, it appears to the State Govt. or the Registrar, that any decision or order or proceedings so called for should be modified, annulled or reversed, the State Government or the Registrar, as the case may be, may after giving persons affected thereby an opportunity of being heard pass such order thereon as to it or him may seem just.' The Supreme Court observed as follows:

'There is no doubt that Section 154 is potential but not compulsive. Power is reposed in Government to intervene to do justice when occasion demands it and of the occasion for its exercise. Government is made the sole Judge.

There remains the question whether a party has a right to move Government. The Tribune Trust case is distinguishable and cannot help the submission that Government cannot be moved at all. The words of the two enactments are not materially equal. The Income-tax Act used the words 'suo motu' which do not figure here. It is, of course, true that the words 'on an application of a party' which occur in Section 150 of the Act and in similar enactments in other Acts, are also not to be found. But that does not mean that a party is prohibited from moving Government. As Government is not compelled to take action, unless it thinks fit, the party who moves Government cannot claim that he has a right of appeal or revision. On the other hand. Government should welcome such applications because they draw the attention of Government to cases in some of which Government may be interested to intervene. In many statutes, as for example the two major procedural Codes, such language has not only not inhibited the making of applications to the High Court, but has been considered to give a right to obtain intervention, although the mere making of the application has not clothed a party with any rights beyond bringing a matter to the notice of the Court. After this is done, it is for the Court to consider whether to act or not. The extreme position does not obtain here because there is no right to interference in the same way as in a judicial proceeding. Government may act or may not act; the choice is of Government. There is no right to relief as in an appeal or revision under the two Codes.'

8. The power given to the State Government under Section 7-F of the Act is not much different than the power Oven under Section 154 of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act. By the same process of reasoning it would follow that the State Government is not compelled to take action when an application in revision is presented to it under Section 7-F of the Act. Further if it passes an order it cannot be compelled to record its reasons for coming to its decision.

9. It was observed by the Supreme Court in Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation v. Balwant Regular Motor Service, Amravati, AIR 1969 SC 329 at p. 338:

'Apart from any requirement imposed by the statute or statutory rules either expressly or by necessary implication we are unable to accept the contention of Mr. Phadke that there is any general principle that a statutory tribunal should always give its judgment in writing and should always give reasons thereof immediately with the pronouncement of the judgment.'

10. My answer to the second question, therefore, is in the negative.

S.D. Khare, J.

11. The following two questions have been referred to this Full Bench for opinion:--

(1) Whether the State Government acts as a quasi-judicial authority when deciding the case relating to the grant of permission under Section 3 of the U.P. (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act for filing a suit in the Civil Court against a tenant for his eviction from any accommodation.

(2) Whether the State Govt. is bound to give reasons for its orders under Section 7-F of the U.P. (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act in proceedings arising out of an application under Section 3 of the U.P. (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act for permission to file a suit in a Civil Court for the eviction of a tenant from an accommodation.

12. I have had the advantage of going through the draft of the judgment prepared by my brother G. C. Mathur, J. With great respect I agree that for the reasons given by my brother Mathur, J. the answer to the first question should be in the affirmative, but with regard to the second question I am of the opinion that its answer should be in the negative.

13. Ours is a welfare State. The State Government which ordinarily performs administrative functions has sometimes to act in the discharge of its duties in a quasi-judicial manner. The line dividing the purely administrative functions and the quasi-judicial functions performed by the State Government is a thin one. Sometimes the State Government or the Central Government discharges some of the judicial functions of the Government, and in such cases it acts as a Tribunal. An appeal from the decision of a Tribunal lies, by special leave, to the Supreme Court under Article 136(1) of the Constitution.

14. A Tribunal has to perform its functions within the limits of the provisions of the Act and the rules constituting that Tribunal. Very often the provisions of the Act and the rules limit the scope of the functioning of the Tribunal. The Act or the rules may provide that the Tribunal has got to decide a particular matter taking into consideration certain matters enumerated in the Act or the rules. The law may also provide that it would be incumbent on the Tribunal, exercising its quasi-judicial functions, to give reasons for its decisions. The question, however, that arises is that, where the law is silent on the point and does not specifically require the Tribunal to give reasons, whether it is incumbent on the Tribunal to give reasons for its decisions. Another question that would arise is whether authorities other than the Tribunals, exercising quasi-judicial functions, are also required to give reasons for their decisions.

15. Whenever any authority, in the discharge of its functions, has to act in a quasi-judicial manner, it is always desirable that it should give reasons for its decisions so as to indicate the working of its mind. We are, however, not concerned about the desirability of its act: what we have to consider is whether it would be illegal if it fails to give reasons for its decisions, and whether its decision can be quashed by the High Court in its supervisory jurisdiction under Article 227 of the Constitution or by the Supreme Court in its appellate jurisdiction under Article 136(1) of the Constitution only on this ground that the authority has failed to give reasons for its decision.

16. I have not come across any decision of the Supreme Court wherein it might have been held that in a case where an authority exercising quasi-judicial powers fails to give reasons for its decisions, its decision must be quashed only on that ground. The Supreme Court has carefully refrained from expressing any such categorical opinion. On the other hand, it is clear from the observations made in some of the cases that as a general proposition it is not correct to say that the State Government or the Central Government exercising quasi-judicial functions must give reasons for its decisions in all cases where it functions in a quasi-judicial manner. The giving of reasons may be desirable, but on that ground alone it may not be possible to say that the decision is illegal or void. Everything may depend on the facts and circumstances of each case.

17. In the case of Vinod Chandra Maheshwari v. State of U.P., 1965 All LJ 740 it was observed by a Division Bench of this Court that it was not necessary for a quasi-judicial authority to always give full reasons for every order made. The same question was again considered by another Division Bench of this Court in the case of Bhagwat Prasad v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 1965 All LJ 961 and the same view was reiterated. This view of our High Court found support from the case of AIR 1966 SC 671. In that case the application for a mining lease given by the appellant had been rejected by the State Government, and a revision against that order had been dismissed by the Central Government under Rule 55 of the Mines and Minerals Concession Rules, 1960 (hereinafter referred to as the rules). The Central Government gave no reasons for its decision. but merely observed that there was no ground for interference. The order of the Central Government was challenged before the Supreme Court in an appeal under Article 136(1) of the Constitution, and it was urged that the order was bad as it did not contain the reasons on which it was based. Two out of the three learned Judges rejected the plea and observed as follows:--

'Mr. Pathak contended that the effect of Article 136 of the Constitution is that every order appealable under that Article must be a speaking order and the omission to give reasons for the decision is of itself a sufficient ground for quashing it. We are unable to accept this broad contention. For the purposes of an appeal under Article 136, orders of Courts and tribunals stand on the same footing. An order of a Court dismissing a revision application often gives no reasons but this is not a sufficient ground for quashing it.'

18. The minority view (of Subba Rao. J. as he then was), however, was that reasons should be given to enable the Supreme Court to judge the appeal in a proper manner and to restrain the tribunal from acting in an arbitrary manner.

19. The matter was reconsidered by the Supreme Court in the case of AIR 1967 SC 1606. The Supreme Court first proceeded to consider the provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act (hereinafter referred to as the Central Act) and the rules framed thereunder. The preamble to the Central Act revealed that its object was to provide for the regulation of mines and the development of minerals under the control of the Union of India. Under Section 4(1) of the Central Act no person could undertake any prospecting or mining operation in an area except under, and in accordance with, the terms and conditions of a prospecting licence or a mining lease granted under the Central Act and the rules. Under Sub-section (2) of that section no prospecting licence or mining lease could be granted otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of the Central Act and the rules made thereunder. Section 5 of the Central Act laid down certain conditions which a person desiring to have a mining lease must fulfil. Section 8 of the Central Act provided for the period for which a mining lease may be granted. An application for a mining lease under Section 10 of the Central Act had to be made to the State Government concerned in the prescribed form. Sub-section (3) of Section 10 of the Central Act provides as follows:--

'On receipt of an application under this section the State Government may, having regard to the provisions of this Act and any rules made thereunder, grant or refuse to grant the licence or lease.'

A preferential right for the grant of a licence is given to a person whose application for licence is received first: vide Section 11(2) of the Central Act. Sub- Clause (3) of Section 11 of the Central Act specified the matters which the State Government had to consider before the grant of lease. They are as follows:--

(a) Any special knowledge or experience in prospecting operations or mining operations, as the case may be, possessed by the applicant.

(b) The financial resources of the applicant.

(c) The nature and quality of the technical staff employed or to be employed by the applicant.

(d) Such other matters as may be prescribed.

20. The powers of revision of the order of the State Government is given to the Central Government in the following terms:--

'The Central Government may, of its own motion or on application made within the prescribed time by the aggrieved party, revise any order made by State Government or other authority in exercise of the powers conferred on it by or under this Act.' Under Rule 26 of the rules framed under the Central Act the State Government is obliged to give reasons for refusal to grant a mining lease. The persons aggrieved by an order of the State Government may prefer a revision under Rule 54. The amended Rule 55 provides as follows:--

'(1) On receipt of an application for revision under, Rule 54 copies thereof shall be sent to the State Government and to all the impleaded parties calling upon them to make such comments as they may like to make within three months of the date of issue of the communication and if no comments are received within that period it is to be presumed that the party omitting to make such comments has none to make.

(2) On receipt of the comments from any party under Sub-rule (1) copies thereof have to be sent to the other parties calling upon them to make further comments as they may like to make within one month from the date of the issue of the communication.

(3) The revision application, the communications containing comments and counter comments referred to in Sub-rules (1) and (2) shall constitute the record of the case.

(4) After considering the records referred to in Sub-rule (3) the Central Government may confirm, modify or set aside the order or pass such other order in relation thereto as the Central Government may deem just and proper.'

21. After referring to the above provisions of the Central Act and the rules the Supreme Court observed that the Central Government in exercise of its powers of revision under Rule 55 must take into consideration not only the material which was before the State Government but the comments and counter-comments, if any, which the parties may make regarding the order of the State Government. It further observed that under Section 11(3) of the Central Act the matters which the State Government was to consider before selecting one out of the numerous applicants were specified and unless reasons were given the possibility of the State Government being misled in its consideration of the matters could not be ruled out. Thereafter the question was posed whether in such cases the order of the Central Government without considering the reasons would be sufficient 'specially in view of the fact that the correctness thereof maybe tested in appeal to this Court', and the Supreme Court came to the conclusion that in such circumstances what is known as a 'speaking order' is called for.

22. From what has been stated above it is clear that the observations of the Supreme Court that in such cases what is known as a 'speaking order' is called for were made only after the consideration of the provisions of the Central Act and the rules framed thereunder 'specially in view of the fact that the correctness thereof may be tested in appeal ...........' (para 7 of the judgment). I am, therefore, of the view that apart from the general observations which were made regarding the desirability of giving reasons by authorities performing quasi-judicial functions which may be applicable to all the authorities exercising quasi-judicial functions, the observations of the Supreme Court that it was incumbent to give reasons for decision applied only to a decision given by the Central Government in a revision under Rule 55 of the Mines and Minerals Concession Rules, 1960. Each Act has got its separate provisions and what could be said in regard to the revision preferred under one Act need not necessarily apply to the revision preferred under another Act. In the case of a revision decided under Rule 55 of the rules it was held that, apart from general considerations, reasons had to be given because-

(a) it was the decision of a Tribunal from which an appeal lay to the Supreme Court,

(b) certain matters which had been brought to the notice of the Central Government after the decision of the State Government had also to be considered.

(c) the State Government as well as the Central Government had to work under certain limitations, to wit, after examining certain matters which had to be taken into consideration at the time of the grant of the lease -- vide the provisions of the Central Act and the rules. It was observed that 'the possibility of the State Government being misled in its consideration of the matters cannot be ruled out.

23. The scheme of the relevant provisions of the U.P. (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act) is very much different.

24. Section 3 of the Act is headed as 'Restriction on eviction' and provides that no suit shall, without the permission of the District Magistrate, be filed in any civil court against a tenant for his eviction from any accommodation except on one or more of the grounds contained in Clauses (a) to (g) of that section. It is, therefore, clear that if the cause of action for the suit is founded on any of the grounds contained in Clauses (a) to (g) of Section 3 of the Act no permission of the District Magistrate is necessary and the landlord can go to the Civil Court without the permission of the District Magistrate, but if the proposed suit is based on any other ground the landlord must first obtain the permission of the District Magistrate. The order of the District Magistrate is revisable by the Commissioner, and the order of the Commissioner is final subject to an order passed by the State Government under Section 7-F of the Act, which provides for a revision to the State Government. The relevant provisions of the Act are contained in Sub-sections (2) to (4) of Section 3 and Section 7-F, which read as follows:--

'3. ..........

(2) Where any application has been made to the District Magistrate for permission to sue a tenant for eviction from any accommodation and the District Magistrate grants or refuses to grant the permission the party aggrieved by his order may within 30 days from the date on which the order is communicated to him apply to the Commissioner to revise the order.

(3) The Commissioner shall hear the application made under Sub-section (2). as far as may be, within six weeks from date of making it, and he may, if he is not satisfied as to the correctness, legality or propriety of the order passed by the District Magistrate or as to the regularity of the proceedings held before him, alter or reverse his order, or make such order as may be just and proper.

(4) The order of the Commissioner under Sub-section (3) shall, subject to any order passed by the State Government under Section 7-F be final.'

'7-F. The State Government may call for the record of any case granting or refusing to grant permission for the filing of a suit for eviction referred to in Section 3 or requiring any accommodation to be let or not to be let to any person under Section 7 or directing a person to vacate any accommodation under Section 7-A and may make such order as appears to it necessary for the ends of justice.'

25. No party has got a right to file a revision application before the State Government, which may suo motu call for the record and pass necessary orders. No period of limitation is prescribed for making an application to the State Government under Section 7-F of the Act, nor is any limitation prescribed for the State Government to pass an order under that provision of law. It has, therefore, been held in the case of 1969 All WR (HC) 281 = (AIR 1970 SC 1919) that it is not necessary for the landlord to wait any longer after the Commissioner has passed an order in his favour and where after obtaining the orders of the Commissioner he institutes a suit for the ejectment of the tenant he cannot be non-suited merely because on a subsequent date the State Government chooses to set aside the order passed by the Commissioner.

26. The Act gives the widest possible powers to the State Government to revise the order passed by the Commissioner. No limitations are placed on its powers. It is not mentioned in the Act as to what considerations should weigh with the District Magistrate or the Commissioner or the State Government at the time of their passing the order. The order passed by the State Government under Section 7-F of the Act is liable to be quashed only on the ground that the rules of natural justice have been violated -- vide 1969 All WR (HC) 281 = (AIR 1970 SC 1919) (supra).

27. After the decision of the Supreme Court in Bhagat Raja's case, AIR 1967 SC 1606 (supra), the matter whether or not it was necessary for the State Government while deciding a revision under Section 7-F of the Act to give in its order the reasons which supported the order, again came up for consideration before a Full Bench of this Court of three Hon'ble Judges in the case of 1968 All LJ 809 = (AIR 1970 All 467) (FB). The majority view of two Hon'ble Judges (Asthana and Pathak, JJ.) was that detailed reasons should be given where:

(i) the State Government differs from the inferior authority, or

(ii) the inferior authority does not set out its reasons; and in other cases detailed reasons were not necessary. The minority view of Sahai, J. was that even in the above-mentioned cases the giving of reasons was by no means incumbent.

28. With great respect I am in agreement with the minority view of this limited question, and am unable to agree with the majority view taken in that case. To me it appears that the majority view had laid greater stress on the desirability, rather than the legality, of an order of this nature containing no reasons. It may be noted with great respect that if an order of the inferior authority without setting out its reasons were to be a nullity, the State Government should be required to quash it on that very ground, instead of upholding it after giving its own reasons.

29. Not giving of reasons will not be against the concept of natural justice which itself has undergone a great deal of change in recent years. In the past it included just two rules, to wit-

(1) no one shall be a Judge in his own cause,

and

(2) no decision shall be given against a party without affording him a reasonable opportunity of being heard. Now a third rule has also been added, viz., that quasi-judicial enquiries must be held in good faith, without bias and not arbitrarily.

30. It was observed by the Supreme Court in the case of A.K. Kraipak v. Union of India, AIR 1970 SC 150 relying on the case of Suresh Koshi George v. University of Kerala. AIR 1969 SC 198 that-

'......... the rules of natural justice are not embodied rules. What particular rule of natural justice should apply to a given case must depend to a great extent on the facts and circumstances of that case, the frame work of the law under which the enquiry is held and the constitution of the Tribunal or body of persons appointed for that purpose. Whenever a complaint is made before a court that some principle of natural justice had been contravened the court has to decide whether the observance of that rule was necessary for a just decision on the facts of that case.'

31. The giving of reasons cannot be considered to be a rule of natural justice. We find that certain authorities who act judicially (e.g., Judge, Small Cause Court, and the arbitrators) are not required to give reasons.

32. In the proceedings under Section 7-F of the Act it would be immaterial whether or not the State Government has given any reasons in support of its order. The question whether or not the rules of natural justice have been violated will have to be considered apart from what has been said in the order of the State Government. There may be occasions where landlords may make out, on the grounds of their needs and legal rights, an unanswerable case for the eviction of their tenants, and yet the State Government may, as a policy, not grant them any relief because in its opinion public policy necessitated such on order. Such public policy may differ from time to time and from city to city or from one part of the city to another, as the circumstances may warrant. The matter before the District Magistrate, the Commissioner and also the State Government in these proceedings is so simple that in a vast majority of cases the authority concerned can arrive at a decision without any difficulty and without following any particular and recognised process of reasoning. Rough and ready justice has to be administered in each case. Certain amount of arbitrariness is inherent in most of the orders which may be passed under Section 3 by the District Magistrate or the Commissioner, or under Section 7-F by the Government. In such circumstances the reasons which might reveal the working of the mind of the State Government, though desirable, need not be considered absolutely necessary to constitute the decision legal and valid also for the following reasons:--

(a) The decision given by the State Government is final.

(b) The decision of the State Government can be questioned before the High Court only on the ground that rules of natural justice were violated. However, giving of reasons is not a rule of natural justice and it cannot be contended that rules of natural justice have not been complied with simply because reasons have not been given by the State Government for arriving at its decision under Section 7-F of the Act.

33. It must be in this context that it was observed in the case of 1969 All WR (HC) 281 = (AIR 1970 SC 1919) (supra), which was a case under the Act, that

'Neither the District Magistrate nor the Commissioner nor the State Government is obliged to disclose any reasons which may influence the said authorities in coming to their decision.' In case none of the three authorities mentioned above is required to disclose any reasons, the order passed by the State Government under Section 7-F cannot be said to be illegal or void merely because reasons for arriving at the decision have not been given.

34. In the case of AIR 1969 SC 414 it was reiterated by the Supreme Court that-

'Apart from any requirement imposed by the statute or statutory rules expressly or by necessary implication, we are unable to accept the contention of Mr. Dutta that there is any general principle or any rule of natural justice that a statutory tribunal should always and in every case give reasons in support of its decision.'

35. It is to be noticed that neither the provisions of the Act nor the rules framed thereunder require the District Magistrate or the Commissioner or the State Government to give reasons for their orders under Section 3 or Section 7-F of the Act, as the case may be.

36. It has been contended before us that certain decision of the Supreme Court given after the year 1967 have reiterated the view expressed in Bhagat Raja's case. AIR 1967 SC 1606 (supra), and, therefore, the giving of reasons by an authority exercising quasi-judicial powers is essential and unless it gives the reasons, its decision must be held to be illegal or void.

37. Our attention has been invited to the following four cases decided by the Supreme Court after Bhagat Raja's case, AIR 1967 SC 1606-

(1) Civil Appeal No. 657 of 1967, D/-17-8-1967 (SC).

(2) Civil Appeal No. 681 of 1966, D/-29-4-1969 = (reported in AIR 1969 NSC 115).

(3) Civil Appeal No. 2252 of 1966, D/-28-10-1969 (SC).

(4) AIR 1969 SC 1297.

38. The first two cases mentioned above relate to the exercise by the Supreme Court of its appellate jurisdiction against an order passed by the Central Government acting as a Tribunal under Rule 55 of the Mines and Minerals Concession Rules, 1960. The view taken in Bhagat Raja's case, AIR 1967 SC 1606 (supra) was reiterated. These cases do not require detailed consideration, because as has been mentioned earlier, Bhagat Raja's case, AIR 1967 SC 1606 was decided upon a consideration of special provisions contained in the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, and the rules framed thereunder.

39. The third case of Civil Appeal No. 2252 of 1966, D/- 28-10-1969 (SC) requires detailed consideration. In that case the Assistant Collector of Central Excise had passed an order of assessment (Rupees for lacs and odd) and imposed penalty on the appellant. An appeal to the Collector was dismissed. Thereupon the revisional jurisdiction of the Central Government was invoked. The Central Government rejected the revision application without giving any reason. An appeal was filed against the order of the Central Government under Article 136(1) of the Constitution. The Supreme Court allowed the appeal and set aside the order of the Central Government on the following grounds:--

(1) The order was passed by a Tribunal, and, therefore, an appeal could be filed before the Supreme Court.

(2) The Central Government was required to consider a very complicated matter, and the same could not be disposed of without a complicated process of reasoning.

40. In that case the Central Excise Inspector has reported that the appellant Company, which was engaged in the production of cellulose film was producing in its factory Nitrocellulose lacquer -- falling under tariff item No. 22 (iii) (i) No. 14 (iii) (i) of the First Schedule of the Central Excise and Salt Act, 1944, read with the Finance Act, 1955, -- without obtaining a Central Excise Licence as required by the rules and was also removing Nitrocellulose lacquer for 'internal use' without payment of duty. The appellant company denied that the chemical compound utilised by it to render plain film moisture-proof was Nitrocellulose lacquer within the meaning of the Central Excise and Salt Act, 1944. The Deputy Superintendent, Excise, determined that the appellant company was liable to pay excise duty of Rs. 4 lacs and odd for the period 1955 to 1962 and issued a demand notice. The The Assistant Collector, after hearing the Company, rejected all its objections and ordered assessment and also imposed a penalty of Rs. 25/-. In appeal before the Collector the two conflicting reports of the experts had to be considered. It is obvious that the question raised before the Collector of Customs was of a complicated nature and for its proper appreciation required familiarity with the chemical composition and physical properties of Nitrocellulose lacquers and of the substance produced by the appellant Company. The Collector decided the appeal against the Company and the revision filed before the Central Government also failed. The order of the Central Government did not disclose the name or designation of the authority of the Government of India who had considered the points pressed by the applicant. It was in these circumstances that the Supreme Court observed as follows:--

'It is impossible to say whether the officer was familiar with the subject-matter so that he could decide the dispute without elucidation and merely on a perusal of the papers ............... There is no evidence as to who considered the points and what was considered.'

41. The Supreme Court further observed that this was a totally unsatisfactory method of disposal of a case in the exercise of the judicial powers vested in the Central Government. In this view of the matter and upon consideration of the special facts of that case the Supreme Court came to the conclusion that the giving of reasons was necessary in that case.

42. From this decision it cannot be inferred that whenever the Central Government or the State Government acts in a quasi-judicial manner it must give reasons, otherwise its decision will be quashed as illegal.

43. The fourth case which also requires detailed consideration is that of AIR 1969 SC 1297, in which it was held by the Supreme Court that the giving of reasons is necessary. An application under Section 65 of the Bombay Land Revenue Code, 1869, was made to the Collector for permission to convert the land of the appellant to non-agricultural use and for erecting a building. The Collector granted the permission. Under the provisions of the Code he was required to dispose of the application within three months, otherwise it was to be presumed that he had granted the permission. The Municipal Committee of Rajkot approached the Commissioner to exercise powers under Section 211 of the Code and to reject the application. The Commissioner, after describing the topography of the land, set aside the order of the Collector. He observed that the land in question did not belong to Raghav Natha. A writ petition was filed and the order of the Commissioner was quashed by the High Court of Gujarat, inter alia, on the ground that the Commissioner had no jurisdiction. In the Special Appeal filed before the Supreme Court it was contended that the decision of the High Court that the Commissioner had no jurisdiction was wrong. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal without deciding the question of jurisdiction because in its opinion the order of the Commissioner had to be quashed on the following grounds also:--

(1) The Commissioner had passed the order after more than one year and, therefore, the order was unduly delayed.

(2) The Commissioner had not given any reasons. In this connection the Supreme Court observed-

'We are also of the opinion that the order of the Commissioner should be quashed on the ground that he did not give any reasons for his conclusions. We have already extracted the passage above which shows that after reciting the various contentions, he baldly stated his conclusions without disclosing his reasons. In a matter of this kind the Commissioner should indicate his reasons, however briefly, so that the aggrieved party may carry the matter further if so advised.' (3) The Commissioner should not have gone into the question of title as that question had not been raised earlier.

44. The facts of the case in AIR 1969 SC 1297 are entirely different from the facts of the present case. The order of the Collector could not have been set aside merely on the ground that the applicant had no title to the land in suit. That point had not been raised before the Collector. In case there was any other reason for setting aside the order of the Collector it should have been clearly indicated in the order of the Commissioner, otherwise it could be said that the order of the Commissioner was arbitrary and without any ground whatsoever. The observations made by the Supreme Court in AIR 1969 SC 1297 will not, therefore, apply to the present case; which is governed by the provisions of the Act.

45. In the case of Testeels Ltd. v. N. M. Desai, AIR 1970 Guj 1 a Full Bench of the Gujarat High Court has held that both on principle and on authority every administrative officer exercising quasi-judicial function is bound to give reasons in support of the order he makes. With great respect, I do not find it possible to agree with the view expressed so categorically. We have already seen -- vide the cases of AIR 1969 SC 414 (supra) and 1969 All WR (HC) 281 = (AIR 1970 SC 1919) (supra) -- that the view of the Supreme Court seems to be that it may or may not be necessary for an authority exercising quasi-judicial powers to give reasons in support of its decision, and that everything will depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case.

46. I would accordingly answer the second question in the negative.

G.C. Mathur, J.

47. The following two questions have been referred to this Bench for opinion:--

'(1) Whether the State Government acts as a quasi-judicial authority when deciding the case relating to the grant of permission under Section 3 of the U.P. (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act for filing a suit in the Civil Court against a tenant for his eviction from any accommodation?

(2) Whether the State Government is bound to give reasons for its orders under Section 7-F of the U.P. (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act in proceedings arising out of an application under Section 3 of the U.P. (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act for permission to file a suit in a Civil Court for the eviction of a tenant from an accommodation?'

48. The first question is concluded by decisions of the Supreme Court in 1965 All LJ 353 = (AIR 1965 SC 1767). It was held that the proceedings under Section 7-F of the Act arising out of orders under Section 3 relating to the grant of permission to file a suit were quasi-judicial in nature. In 1968 All LJ 809 = (AIR 1970 All 467), though the majority of the Judges constituting the Full Bench were of opinion that the Supreme Court had expressly held that such proceedings were quasi-judicial, Jagdish Sahai, J. was of opinion that the Supreme Court had not finally decided the question. We have examined the decision in Lala Shri Bhagwan's case, 1965 All LJ 353 = (AIR 1965 SC 1767) and agree with the majority view that the Supreme Court has expressly held that such proceedings are quasi-judicial. The matter has been clarified in the decision of the Supreme Court in 1968 All LJ 1021. This case also arose out of an order of the State Government under Section 7-F arising out of proceedings for the grant of permission to file a suit and the Supreme Court observed:

'In 1965 All LJ 353 = (AIR 1965 SC 1767) this Court held that the proceedings under Section 7-F were quasi-judicial in character and the State Government was bound to follow the principles of natural justice before passing an order under Section 7-F.'

The First question is, therefore, answered in the affirmative.

49. The second question that has to be answered is whether the order of the State Government deciding a case under Section 7-F arising out of proceedings under Section 3 for the grant of permission must state the reasons for the decision. This question was first considered by this Court in 1965 All LJ 740 and was answered in the negative by a Division Bench. The Bench observed :--

'It is not always necessary for a quasi-judicial authority that it must give its full reasons for every order made.'

The question was again raised before another Division Bench in 1965 All LJ 961 and was again answered in the nagative. In the meantime, in certain cases the Supreme Court made observations indicating that the orders of quasi-judicial authorities, which were subject to an appeal to the Supreme Court under Article 136 of the Constitution or were subject to the jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 227 of the Constitution, must state their reasons, so that the Supreme Court and the High Court may be able to exercise their powers and jurisdiction properly. It was further observed in these cases that the requirement to give reasons would obviate and, in any case, minimise arbitrariness in quasi-judicial orders. In view of these decisions of the Supreme Court, to which reference will be made later, the question was referred to a Full Bench of three Judges consisting of Jagdish Sahai, Asthana and Pathak, JJ. in 1968 All LJ 809 = (AIR 1970 All 467) (supra). Jagdish Sahai. J. was of opinion that the State Government, while exercising its powers under Section 7-F of the Act, was not required to act quasi-judicially and that it was not bound to give reasons for its orders. Asthana and Pathak, JJ. held that the State Government was required to act quasi-judicially and that it was bound to give reasons for its orders. The following answers were given by the Full Bench to the questions referred:--

'(1) In all cases where the superior authority interferes with the order of the inferior authority, the order of the superior authority must set out its reasons.

(2) In cases where the superior authority merely affirms the order of the inferior authority, and

(a) where the order of the inferior authority does not set out its reasons, the superior authority must disclose its reasons in its order;

(b) where the order of the inferior authority sets out the reasons, and

(i) Where the superior authority finds the reasons of the inferior authority acceptable to it, it need not specify the reasons in its order but may merely refer to the reasons given by the inferior authority or give an outline of the process of reasoning by which it finds itself in agreement with the inferior authority;

(ii) where the superior authority does not find the reasons of the inferior authority acceptable to it, the superior authority must set out its own reasons in its order.'

After the decision of the Full Bench, the Supreme Court gave two decisions, the observations made wherein seem to cast some doubt upon the validity of the view taken by the Full Bench. In AIR 1969 SC 414 the Supreme Court observed:

'Apart from any requirement imposed by the statute or statutory rule expressly or by necessary implication, we are unable to accept the contention of Mr. Dutta that there is any general principle or any rule of natural justice that a statutory tribunal should always and in every case give reasons in support of its decision.'

In 1969 All WR (HC) 281 = (AIR 1970 SC 1919). which was a case under the U.P. (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act, the Supreme Court observed:

'Neither the District Magistrate nor the Commissioner nor the State Government is obliged to disclose any reasons which may influence the said authorities in coming to their decision.' In view of these observations of the Supreme Court, the question has been referred to this Bench to consider whether the view of the Full Bench requires reconsideration.

50. The question, which arises for determination, is whether the Supreme Court has modified or changed its earlier view on which the decision of the Full Bench in 1968 All LJ 809 = (AIR 1970 All 467 (FB)) (supra) was founded. The earlier decisions of the Supreme Court, which were given before the decision of our Full Bench, may first be noticed.

51. In Harinagar Sugar Mills Ltd v. Shyam Sunder, AIR 1961 SC 1669 an appellate order of the Central Government under Section 111(3) of the Companies Act, 1956, was challenged. By this order, the Central Government set aside, without giving any reasons, a resolution of the company refusing to register the transfer of certain shares. The Supreme Court held that, in hearing the appeal, the Central Government acted as a tribunal within the meaning of Article 136 of the Constitution and that it should give reasons for its order. It observed that there had been no proper trial of the appeal as no reasons had been given in support of the order. The order of the Central Government was set aside and it was directed to rehear the appeal.

52. In AIR 1966 SC 671 the appellant's application for a mining lease was dismissed by the State Government and a revision against that order was dismissed by the Central Government. The Central Government gave no reasons but merely observed that there was no ground for interference. The order of the Central Government was challenged before the Supreme Court in an appeal under Art- 136 of the Constitution and it was urged that the order was bad as it gave no reasons. The majority (Mudholkar and Bachawat, JJ.) rejected the plea and observed:

'Mr. Pathak contended that the effect of Article 136 of the Constitution is that every order appealable under that Article must be a speaking order and the omission to give reasons for the decision is of itself a sufficient ground for quashing it. We are unable to accept this broad contention. For the purposes of an appeal under Article 136, orders of Courts and tribunals stand on the same footing. An order of a Court dismissing a revision application often gives no reasons, but this is not a sufficient ground for quashing it. Likewise, an order of an administrative tribunal rejecting a revision application cannot be pronounced to be invalid on the sole ground that it does not give reasons for the rejection.'

Subba Rao. J. (as he then was) took a contrary view and observed:

'In the context of a welfare State, administrative tribunals have come to stay. Indeed, they are the necessary concomitants of a welfare State. But arbitrariness in their functioning destroys the concept of a welfare State itself. Self-discipline and supervision exclude or, at any rate, minimize arbitrariness.

The least that a tribunal can do is to disclose its mind. The compulsion or disclosure guarantees consideration. The condition to give reasons introduces clarity and excludes or, at any rate, minimizes arbitrariness; it gives satisfaction to the party against whom the order is made; and it also enables an appellate or supervisory Court to keep the tribunals within bounds. A reasoned order is a desirable condition of judicial disposal.' Subba Rao, J. also drew a distinction between courts and tribunals and observed:

'There is an essential distinction between a court and an administrative tribunal. A Judge is trained to look at things objectively, uninfluenced by consideration of policy or expediency; but an executive officer generally looks at things from the standpoint of policy and expediency. The habit of mind of an executive officer so formed cannot be expected to change from function to function or from act to act. So it is essential that some restrictions shall be imposed on tribunals in the matter of passing orders affecting the rights of parties; and the least they should do is to give reasons for their orders.'

53. In State of Madras v. A R. Srinivasan, AIR 1966 SC 1827 disciplinary-proceedings governed by Article 311 of the Constitution were taken against a public servant and, after an inquiry report and show cause notice, a final order compulsorily retiring the servant was passed. No reasons were given in this order. The order was challenged before the Madras High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution. The High Court quashed the order and the State went up in appeal before the Supreme Court. It was urged (on behalf of the respondent?--Ed.) before the Supreme Court that the impugned order was bad for failure to give reasons. Rejecting this contention, the Supreme Court observed:

'In dealing with the question as to whether it is obligatory on the State Government to give reasons in support of the order imposing a penalty on the delinquent officer, we cannot overlook the fact that the disciplinary proceedings against such a delinquent officer begin within an equiry conducted by an officer appointed in that behalf. That enquiry is followed by a report and the Public Service Commission is consulted where necessary. Having regard to the material which is thus made available to the State Government and which is made available to the delinquent officer also, it seems to us somewhat unreasonable to suggest that the State Government must record its reasons why it accepts the findings of the Tribunal. It is conceivable that if the State Government does not accept the findings of the Tribunal which may be in favour of the delinquent officer and proposes to impose a penalty on the delinquent officer, it should give reasons why it differs from the conclusions of the Tribunal, though even in such a case, it is not necessary that the reasons should be detailed or elaborate. But where the State Govt. agrees with the findings of the Tribunal which are against the delinquent officer, we do not think as a matter of law, it could be said that the State Govt. cannot impose the penalty against the delinquent officer in accordance with the findings of the Tribunal unless it gives reasons to show why the said findings were accepted by it. The proceedings are, no doubt, quasi-judicial; but having regard to the manner in which these enquiries are conducted, we do not think an obligation can be imposed on the State Government to record reasons in every case.'

54. In Nandram Munatram v. Union of India, AIR 1966 SC 1922 the Central Government dismissed revision without giving reasons, against an order of the State Government terminating a mining lease. The order of the Central Government was challenged before the Supreme Court in an appeal under Article 136 and it was urged that the order was bad as it gave no reasons. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, holding that the order of the Central Government was clearly sustainable on the material on the record and that the order of the State Government was not only right but proper and that it was hardly a case in which any action other than rejecting the application for revision was called for.

55. In AIR 1967 SC 1606 the Supreme Court overruled the majority decision in AIR 1966 SC 671 (supra) and followed the decision of Subba Rao, J. in that case. In this case, the applicant's application for a mining lease was rejected by the State Government and the revision against that order was rejected by the Central Government without giving any reasons. On an appeal to the Supreme Court under Article 136. It was held that the Central Government should have passed a speaking order. The appeal was allowed and the order of the Central Government was set aside. It thus appears that the requirement of giving reasons by a quasi-judicial authority for its order is based on two considerations, namely, (1) that it ensures the effective exercise of its power by the Supreme Court under Article 136 of the Constitution and by the High Courts under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution; and (ii) that it prevents or, in any case, minimise arbitrariness on the part of the administrative authority making the order and informs the party concerned why an adverse order has been passed against it. In the light of these decisions and the principles laid down by the Supreme Court, the Full Bench in Haji Manzoor Ahmad's case, 1968 All LJ 809 = (AIR 1970 All 467) held that the State Government must give reasons for its orders under Section 7-F arising out of proceedings for the grant of permission under Section 3.

56. It is now necessary to examine the two cases of the Supreme Court which are said to cast a doubt on the correctness of the view taken by the Full Bench.

57. In AIR 1969 SC 414 (supra), the proceedings of a court martial were sought to be quashed by the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution. It is to be noticed that these proceedings and the orders passed therein could not, by virtue of the provisions of Clause (2), of Article 136 of the Constitution, be challenged before the Supreme Court in an appeal under Article 136(1). One of the grounds raised before the Supreme Court was that the order of the Chief of the Army Staff confirming the proceedings of the Court Martial and the order of the Central Government dismissing the appeal of the petitioner were bad as they gave no reasons at all. This contention was repelled by the Supreme Court and it was observed that there was no general rule, apart from statutory requirement, that a statutory tribunal should give reasons for its decision in every case. None of the earlier decisions of the Supreme Court is referred to in the judgment. It appears that, since no appeal against the impugned orders lay to the Supreme Court under Article 136, the failure to give reasons could not be said to hinder the exercise of the appellate power of the Supreme Court, and, on that ground alone, the orders could not be struck down. The general principle enunciated in this case is unexceptionable but does not affect the applicability of the principles laid down by the Supreme Court in the earlier cases. In subsequent cases to which reference will presently be made, the Supreme Court has reiterated the principles laid down by it in the earlier cases.

58. The case of 1969 All WR (HC) 281 = (AIR 1970 SC 1919) (supra) arose out of a suit filed by a landlord for the eviction of his tenant after he had been granted permission under Section 3 of the Act by the District Magistrate and after the order of the District Magistrate had been confirmed by the Commissioner but before a revision filed by the tenant under Section 7-F had been decided by the State Government. During the pendency of the suit, the State Government allowed the revision and revoked the permission. The question, which arose for determination, was whether the order of the State Government was effective in revoking the permission and thereby nullifying the suit. The Supreme Court affirmed its earlier decision in Bhagwan Das v. Paras Nath, C. A. No. 1617 of 1968 decided on 27-9-1968 = (reported in AIR 1970 SC 971) and held that the order of the State Government could have no effect on a suit filed after the grant of permission by the Commissioner. It was urged before the supreme Court that, on account of the provisions of Section 16 of the Act, the order of the State Government could not be called in question in the Civil Court. The Supreme Court repelled this contention and said that the Civil Court had to examine whether the grounds, on the basis of which the landlord seeks to evict the tenant (in this case the permission under Section 3), existed or not. In this connection, the Supreme Court observed:

'Neither the District Magistrate nor the Commissioner nor the State Government is obliged to disclose any reasons which may influence the said authorities in coming to their decision and the court is not called upon to examine whether the conclusion of any of the said authorities was properly arrived at.'

The observations appear to be only to this effect that the civil court cannot examine the propriety of the orders of the District Magistrate, the Commissioner and the State Government if they are passed with jurisdiction and, therefore, it was not necessary for them to disclose their reasons. The Supreme Court took the view that the State Government had no jurisdiction to pass an order under Section 7-F once a suit had been filed after obtaining permission from the Commissioner and the examination of this question, namely, whether the order of the State Government was or was not with jurisdiction, was not barred by Section 16. These observations cannot be read as laying down that it is not necessary for the the State Government to give reasons for its orders under Section 7-F. The question of giving or not giving reasons for orders under Section 7-F did not arise in this case at all and the Supreme Court was not considering this question. Mohammad Ismail's case, 1969 All WR (HC) 281 = (AIR 1970 SC 1919) does not indicate that the Supreme Court was departing from the view taken in the earlier cases. In fact, no reference is made to the earlier cases or to the view taken therein. In my opinion, this case is no authority on the question whether the State Government is required or not required to give reasons for its orders under Section 7-F.

59. The decisions of the Supreme Court given after these two cases indicate that the Supreme Court has not changed its earlier view and that the observations made in these two cases were not intended to depart from the earlier view.

60. In AIR 1969 SC 1297 the Collector granted permission to the respondent to use agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes. In a revision under Section 211 of the Bombay Land Revenue, Code, 1879, the Commissioner revised the order and revoked the permission. The Commissioner, however, gave no reasons for his order. The respondent challenged the order of the Commissioner before the High Court in a writ petition and the High Court quashed the order. Upholding the order of the High Court, the Supreme Court observed:

'We are also of the opinion that the order of the Commissioner should be quashed on the ground that he did not give any reasons for his conclusions. We have already extracted the passage above which shows that, after reciting the various contentions, he baldly stated his conclusions without disclosing his reasons. In a matter of this kind the commissioner should indicate his reasons, however briefly, so that an aggrieved party may carry the matter further if so advised.'

It may be mentioned here that Section 211 of the Bombay Land Revenue Code. 1879, is similar in language to Section 7-F of the Act.

61. In Civil Appeal No. 681 of 1966, D/- 29-4-1969 = (reported in AIR 1969 NSC 115) the respondent's application for the renewal of his mining lease was rejected by the State Government and his revision application under Rule 54 of the Mines and Minerals Concession Rules, 1960, was rejected by the Central Government. The Central Government gave no reasons for its order. The respondent filed a writ petition before the M. P. High Court and the High Court quashed the order of the Central Government on the ground that the Central Government had not given a personal hearing contrary to the principles of natural justice. On appeal, the Supreme Court disagreed with the High Court that the Central Government was obliged to give a personal hearing but upheld the order of the High Court on the ground that the impugned order was bad as it gave no reasons. The Supreme Court observed:

'But if, in making its order, the Central Government gives no reasons for rejecting the claims of the applicant, the High Court exercising jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution and this Court entertaining an appeal under Article 136 of the Constitution have the power to quash the order of the Central Government.'

This case is important in that it lays down in so many words that the High Court can, in a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution, strike down a quasi-judicial order on the ground that it gives no reasons. Referring to its earlier case of AIR 1967 SC 1606 (supra), the Supreme Court said:

'In that case ............... this Court held that the function exercised under Rule 55 of the Minerals Concession Rules by the Central Government is quasi-judicial and the decision on that account being subject to the supervisory power of the High Court, under Article 227 of the Constitution and of the appellate power of this Court under Article 136 of the Constitution, an order, which gives no reasons for the conclusion, is illegal.' It is to be noticed that the requirement to give reasons was based on the quasi-judicial nature of the function exercised by the Central Government and not on the fact that the Central Government was a 'tribunal'.

62. In Civil Appeal No. 2252 of 1966, D/- 28-10-1969 (SC). the Supreme Court again took the same view. In this case the Assistant Collector of Central Excise passed an order of assessment and imposed a penalty on the appellant. An appeal to the Collector was dismissed. Thereupon the appellant invoked the revisional jurisdiction of the Central Government. The Central Government rejected the revision petition without giving any reasons. The order of the Central Government was taken to the Supreme Court in appeal under Article 136 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court allowed the appeal and set aside the order of the Central Government on the ground that no reasons had been given in the order. The earlier cases of the Supreme Court were considered and it was held that the judgment in AIR 1967 SC 1606 (supra), in effect, overruled the judgment of the majority in AIR 1966 SC 671 (supra). Referring to some later decisions of the Supreme Court, it was observed:

'In later decisions of this Court it was held that, where the Central Government exercising power in revision gives no reasons, the order will be regarded as void; Civil Appeal No. 681 of 1966, D/- 29-4-1969 = (reported in AIR 1969 NSC 115) (supra); AIR 1969 SC 1297 and C A. No. 657 of 1967, D/-17-8 1967 (SC).' The Supreme Court further observed:

'When judicial power is exercised by an authority normally performing executive or administrative functions, this Court would require to be satisfied that the decision has been reached after due consideration of the merits of the dispute, uninfluenced by extraneous considerations of policy or expediency. The Court insists upon disclosure of reasons in support of the order on two grounds: One. that the party aggrieved in a proceeding before the High Court or this Court has the opportunity to demonstrate that the reasons which persuaded the authority to reject his case were erroneous; the other, that the obligation to record reasons operates as a deterrent against a possible arbitrary action by the executive authority invested with the judicial power.'

63. These three decisions make it clear that the Supreme Court has neither modified nor departed from its earlier view and that, in its latest cases, it has affirmed the same view. The decisions of the Supreme Court laying down the requirement of giving reasons for quasi-judicial orders are sought to be distinguished on two grounds, namely-

(i) that they are based on the fact that the authorities in those cases were 'tribunals' as contemplated in Article 136 of the Constitution and their orders were subject to the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and, therefore, those decisions do not apply to administrative authorities which are not 'tribunals', and

(ii) that most of the decisions of the Supreme Court relate to cases where the statute required the subordinate authorities to give reasons for their orders and, on that account, the Supreme Court held that the appellate or revisional authorities were also required to give reasons but. in our case, the Act did not require either the District Magistrate or the Commissioner to give reasons.

In support of this contention, the decision of the Supreme Court in Bhagat Raja's case, AIR 1967 SC 1606 was referred to. In that case, the State Government had rejected the appellant's application for a mining lease under Rule 22 of the Mines and Minerals Concessions Rules, 1960, and a revision against that order under Rule 54 was dismissed by the Central Government without giving reasons. On appeal, the Supreme Court held that the Central Government was obliged to give reasons and its order was bad for failure to do so. It is true that Rule 26 required the State Government to give reasons for rejecting the application but the rules did not require the Central Government to give reasons for its order. It is also true that the Supreme Court held that the Central Government, when exercising its revisional power under Rule 54. was a 'tribunal'. But the Supreme Court did not base its decision on either of these factors. It adopted the view of Subba Rao, J. in AIR 1966 SC 671 (supra). The other decisions of the Supreme Court also do not support the distinction which is sought to be made. An examination of the decisions shows that the view of the Supreme Court, is that, where the administrative authorities, which have not the habit of mind of acting judicially, are required to act judicially, they must give reasons for their orders as the giving of reasons

(i) gives satisfaction to the party as it comes to know why an adverse order has been passed against it;

(ii) prevents or at least minimises arbitrariness and ensures the application of mind; and

(iii) makes the exercise of the constitutional power of the High Courts under Articles 226 and 227 and of the Supreme Court under Article 136 effective.

64. The considerations, which have impelled the Supreme Court to hold that the appellate and revisional authorities concerned in the cases before it must give reasons for their orders, apply with equal force to the orders passed by the State Government under Section 7-F of the Act and to the exercise of the constitutional power of this Court under Article 226. A Full Bench of the Gujarat High Court has held in AIR 1970 Guj 1 (FB) that, both on principle and on authority, every administrative officer exercising quasi-judicial functions is bound to give reasons in support of the order he makes. It was observed in that case:

'There are two strong and cogent reasons why we must insist that every quasi-judicial order must disclose reasons in support of it. The necessity of giving reasons flows as a necessary corollary from the rule of law which constitutes one of the basic principles of our constitutional set up ...............

The administrative authorities having a duty to act judicially cannot, therefore, decide on considerations of policy or expediency. They must decide the matter 'solely on the facts of the particular case, solely on the material before them and apart from any extraneous considerations' by applying 'pre-existing legal nor is to factual situations'. The duty to act judicially excludes arbitrary exercise of power and it is, therefore, essential to the rule of law that the duty to act judicially is strictly observed by the administrative authorities upon whom it is laid. If any departure from the observance of the duty to act judicially could pass unnoticed, it would open the door to arbitrariness and make a serious inroad on the rule of law.....................

Now the necessity of giving reasons is one of the most important safeguards to ensure observance of the duty to act judicially. If the administrative officers can make orders without giving reasons, such power in the hands of unscrupulous or dishonest officers may turn out to be a potent weapon for abuse of power. But if reasons are required to be given for an order, it will be an effective restraint on such abuse as the order, if it discloses extraneous or irrelevant considerations or is arbitrary, will be subject to judicial scrutiny and correction....... I am in full agreement with these observations. I would accordingly answer the second question in the affirmative and re-affirm the view taken by the majority in the Full Bench case of Haji Manzoor Ahmad.

H.N. Seth, J.

65. I agree.

Hamid Hussain, J.

66. I agree.

67. In accordance with the opinion of the majority, the answers to the questions referred to the Full Bench are

(1) the State Government acts as a quasi-judicial authority when deciding a case relating to the grant of permission under Section 3 of the U.P. (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act to a landlord for filing a suit in the Civil Court against a tenant for his eviction from an accommodation; and

(2) the State Government is bound to give reasons for its orders under Section 7-F of the U.P. (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act in proceedings arising out of an application under Section 3 of the Act for permission to a landlord to file a suit in the Civil Court for the eviction of a tenant from an accommodation.


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