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Ram NaraIn and ors. Vs. Director of Consolidation and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Writ No. 5144 of 1963
Judge
Reported inAIR1965All172
ActsTenancy Law; Uttar Pradesh Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1954 - Sections 38(1) and 48; Uttar Pradesh Consolidation of Holdings (Amendment) Act, 1963; Uttar Pradesh Consolidation of Holdings Rules, 1954 - Rule 110; Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908
AppellantRam NaraIn and ors.
RespondentDirector of Consolidation and ors.
Appellant AdvocateBhawani Prasad, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateS.N. Singh and ;K.P. Singh, Advs.
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
.....- includes judicial or quasi judicial administrative subordination - even after amendment deputy director of consolidation continues to be subordinate to director of consolidation - appeal lies from order of deputy director to director of consolidation. - - the director of consolidation may call for and examine the record of any case decided by any subordinate authority as well as the record of stay proceeding taken by the latter. independently of section 44, this provision would eristble a deputy director (consolidation) to decide cases as if he were a consolidation officer or settlement officer (consolidation), for he is superior to both of them (see sections 5, 7 and 8). now, will ac decision of a deputy director (consolidation) when he acts as a consolidation officer or..........of the deputy director (consolidation) camp jaunpur, dated march 27, 1363 and the order of the deputy director (consolidation), jaunpur, dated august 6, 1963. the first order was passed in. second appeal, while the second in revision under section 48 of the consolidation of holdings act as amended in march 1963.2. the petitioners lost in second appeal and then filed a revision which, as already stated, was dismissed by the deputy director (consolidation), jaunpur. they impleaded by oversight the director (consolidation), varanasi instead of the deputy director (consolidation) jaunpur, the mistake was detected today, and they have made an application for substituting the deputy director (consolidation), jaunpur in place of the director of consolidation. by a separate order i have.....
Judgment:

Dwivedi, J.

1. The petitioners question the order of the Deputy Director (Consolidation) Camp Jaunpur, dated March 27, 1363 and the order of the Deputy Director (Consolidation), Jaunpur, dated August 6, 1963. The first order was passed in. second appeal, while the second in revision under Section 48 of the Consolidation of Holdings Act as amended in March 1963.

2. The petitioners lost in second appeal and then filed a revision which, as already stated, was dismissed by the Deputy Director (Consolidation), Jaunpur. They impleaded by oversight the Director (Consolidation), Varanasi instead of the Deputy Director (Consolidation) Jaunpur, The mistake was detected today, and they have made an application for substituting the Deputy Director (Consolidation), Jaunpur in place of the Director of Consolidation. By a separate order I have allowed that application. The technical flaw is now removed.

3. The Dy. Director (Consolidation) Jaunpur dismissed the revision summarily because he thought that the Deputy Director (Consolidation) Camp, Jaunpur, who had decided the second appeal, was hot subordinate to the Director (Consolidation).

4. Section 48 pertinently provides;

'(1) The Director of Consolidation may call for and examine the record of any case decided or proceedings taken by any subordinate authority....

(3) Any authority subordinate to the Director of Consolidation may........refer the record of any case or proceeding to the Director of Consolidation for action under Sub-section (1).' The wording of Section 48 shows that a revision would He to the Director (Consolidation) from an order of any authority who is subordinate to him. In other analogous contexts the word 'subordinate' has been interpreted to mean judicial subordination. It seems to mo that that restricted meaning should not be attached to the word 'subordinate' in Section 48. The language of the section suggests that the word 'subordinate' is used comprehensively; it means judicial or quasi judicial administrative subordination of an authority to the Director of Consolidation. The Director of Consolidation may call for and examine the record of any case decided by any subordinate authority as well as the record of stay proceeding taken by the latter. The word 'proceedings' is wider than the word 'case'. It may also include administrative proceedings.

5. No revision would lie under Section 48 from an order of an authority who is not subordinate, either judicially or quasi judicially or administratively, to the Director of Consolidation. In the instant case the Deputy Director (Consolidation), Camp Jaunpur, decided the second appeal against the petitioners on March 27, 1963, under Section 11(2) of the Act as it stood before its amendment in March 1963. The appeal was filed on July 25, 1962. There is no doubt that if the appeal had been decided before the 1963 amendment, the appellate order could have been revised by the Director (Consolidation) under Section 48. It so happened, however, that the appeal was actually decided after the 1963 amendment. The question for consideration, therefore, is whether the Deputy Director (Consolidation) Camp Jaunpur was an authority subordinate (as interpreted by me) to the Director (Consolidation). If he was so subordinate, then mere is little doubt that his order could be revised by the Director (Consolidation) or his delegate; if, on the other hand, he is not so subordinate, no revision would lie against his order to the Director (Consolidation) or his delegate, as held in the present case.

6. In determining whether he is so subordinate I shall refer only to the provisions of the Act as amended in 1963 and the rules made thereunder.

7. Section 3 is the definition clause; Clauses ( 2-B), (3), (3-A), (4), (4-A), (4-B) and (9) enumerate the various authorities comprised in the consolidation staff. Those authorities are Consolidation Lekhpal Consolidator, Consolidation Officer, Settlement Officer, District Deputy Director of Consolidation, Deputy Director of Consolidation (including a District Deputy Director of Consolidation and Assistant Director of Consolidation) and Director of Consolidation (including an Additional Director of Consolidation and a Joint Director of Consolidation), The Collector of a district is the District Deputy Director of Consolidation. The Director of Consolidation means the person appointed as such by the State Government to exercise the powers and perform the duties of the Director of Consolidation under the Act and the rules. He shall also include an Additional Director of Consolidation and a Joint Director of Consolidation. So according to the definition clause a Deputy Director of Consolidation is not the Director of Consolidation. The Deputy Director of Consolidation means a person appointed as such by the State Government to exercise such powers and perform such duties of the Director (Consolidation) as may be delegated to him by the State Government. He shall include a District Deputy Director of Consolidation and an Assistant Director of Consolidation. The definition clause gives an impression that a Deputy Director of Consolidation shall exercise only the powers and duties of the Director (Consolidation) and shall perform no other functions. But the definition clause does not give a complete picture of the powers and functions of a Deputy Director of Consolidation. He exercises some other powers and functions under the Act and the rules made thereunder. An examination of the provisions of the Act and the rules would also show that the Director of Consolidation is at the apex of the consolidation staff. I shall refer to those provisions presently,

8. Sub-section (1) of Section 38 provides that the Director of Consolidation, Deputy Director of Consolidation, the Settlement Officer of Consolidation, Consolidation Officer and the Assistant Consolidation Officer shall have all such powers and rights and privileges as are vested in a civil court on the occasion of by action in the matter of enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath, affirmation or otherwise and of the issue of a commission or request to examine witnesses abroad, in the matter of compelling any one for the production of any documents and of punishing persons guilty of contempt, Sub-section (1) of Section 39 provides that the said officers may by written order require any person to produce such documents, paper or registers or to furnish such information as they may deem necessary for the proper exercise of their powers or proper discharge of their duties under the Act. Section 40 provides that a proceeding before any of the said officers shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of Sections 193 and 228 I. P. C. These three provisions would suggest that a Deputy Director (Consolidation) may in some cases act as a judicial or quasijudicial authority under the Act What are thosecases is yet to be found.

9. Under Clause (ii) of Section 44 the State Government may confer powers of the Director of Consolidation, the Settlement Officer (Consolidation) and the Consolidation Officer on any officer or authority. If any of those powers are conferred on a Deputy Director (Consolidation), he would become a judicial or quasi judicial authority and can avail of the provisions of Sections 38, 39 and 40. Another instance where he may exercise judicial or quasi judicial powers, it seems to me, is furnished by Section 44-A. Section 44-A provides that where powers arc to be exercised or duties to be performed by any authority under the Act or the rules made thereunder, such powers or duties may also he exercised or performed by an authority superior to it. Independently of Section 44, this provision would eristble a Deputy Director (Consolidation) to decide cases as if he were a Consolidation Officer or Settlement Officer (Consolidation), for he is superior to both of them (see Sections 5, 7 and 8). Now, will Ac decision of a Deputy Director (Consolidation) when he acts as a Consolidation Officer or Settlement Officer (Consolidation) under Section 44-A be final and not subject to revision under Section 48?

10. Sub-section (1) of Section 56-A provides that the Deputy Director of Consolidation may recognise a consolidation scheme in respect of a village, whether within or without a consolidation area, prepared voluntarily by the tenure-holders of the village, where he is satisfied that it conforms to the broad principles of the consolidation under the Act and has the support of all the tenure-holders concerned. Sub-section (2) provides that the consolidation scheme, recognised under Sub-section (1) shall be deemed to have been prepared and confirmed under the provisions of the Act, and shall be enforced thereunder. Will the scheme prepared by him be final and will not be subject to revision under Section 48? If a tenure-holder complains that his consent to the scheme has been obtained by fraud or misrepresentation, has be got any remedy against the scheme under the Act? Incidentally Section 53-A furnishes a third instance where a Deputy Director of Consolidation may act judicially or quasi judicially and may avail of the provisions of Sections 38, 39 and 40. Sub-section (2) of Section 42 provides that the District Deputy Director of Consolidation may, subject to such directions as the Director of Consolidation may issue from time to time, demarcate the circles to he assigned to the Consolidation Lekhpals, Consolidators and other authorities appointed for the district. It is, I think, quite clear from this provision that the District Deputy Director of Consolidation is subordinate to the Director of Consolidation

11. In short, the foregoing discussion of the provisions yields two conclusions; one, the District Deputy Director of Consolidation is subordinate to the Director of Consolidation; two, the Deputy Director of Consolidation may in some cases exercise judicial or quasi-judicial powers. The definition of the Deputy Director of Consolidation in the definition clause is, therefore, incomplete

12. Section 54 deals with the rule-making power of the State Government. The State Government may make rules, among others, for prescribing the duties of any officer or authority and the procedure to be followed by such officer or authority and for the transfer of proceedings from one officer or authority to another. In general, rules may be made for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of the Act. Acting under Section 54 the State Government has made as many as 112 rules, which are collectively known as U. P. Consolidation of Holdings Rules. Sub-clause (ii) of Clause (a) of Rule 18 deals with a complete professional survey. It is to be made by the District Deputy Director of Consolidation. If he needs the services of the professional surveyors, the rule provides that he may apply to the Director of Consolidation. Under Clause (c) the Director of Consolidation gets a voice in the matter of survey. Rule 111 provides that a revision under Section 48 shall be presented to the Director of Consolidation, Rule 65 (1-A), in so far as it is material, provides that an officer before whom a case or proceeding is instituted or taken under Section 48 may transfer such case or proceeding to any other officer empowered to hear and decide such case or proceeding or recall from his file to his own file any such case or proceeding. By virtue of this rule the Director of Consolidation gets the power to transfer revisions filed before him to such Deputy Directors of Consolidation as have been empowered under Section 44 by the State Government to decide revisions; he is also empowered to recall front their files those revisions to his own files. This rule is rather remarkable. Although a Deputy Director of Consolidation to whom the power of the Director of Consolidation to hear a revision has been delegated under Section 44 is a co-ordinate authority with the Director of Consolidation, nonetheless the rule empowers the Director of Consolidation to recall a revision which he had transferred from the former. So the rule attributes to the Deputy Director of Consolidation a subordinate status.

Sub-rule (1) of Rule 102 provides that the Director of Consolidation shall move the State Government to issue a notification under Section 52 to the effect that the consolidation operations have been closed in a village. Rule 110 has got an important bearing on the question, and it reads:

'The Director of Consolidation shall exercise powers of supervision and superintendence over the staff employed in the consolidation organization of the State and may for that purpose issue such direction as may be necessary.'

It seems to me that this rule clinches the matter beyond any shadow of doubt. It shows that the Director of Consolidation is at the apex of the consolidation staff which, as already shown, includes the Deputy Director of Consolidation. He is vested with the power of supervising and superintending the acts of the Deputy Director of Consolidation; and he can also issue to him necessary directions in the discharge of his duties.

13. A survey of the provisions of the Act and the rules in my judgment clearly demonstrates that the Deputy Director of Consolidation contiues to be subordinate to the Director of Consolidation even after the amendment of 1963. I am therefore, of opinion that a revision would lie from an order of the Deputy Director of Consolidation pasted in second appeal even after the commencement of the Amending Act of 1968.

14. Sri S. N. Singh learned counsel for the contesting respondents has drawn my attention to a passage in the judgment in Lai Singh v. Commissioner and the Director of Consolidation Meerut Division, 1964 All WR (HC) 68 in support of his argument that a Deputy Director of Consolidation is not subordinate to the Director of Consolidation after the amendment of Section 48 in 1963. That case was referred by me to a larger Bench for opinion on two questions. We are concerned with the first question. The first question was whether a revision under Section 48 as amended in 1963 would lie against an order passed in second appeal by a Deputy Director of Consolidation under the unamended Act. It may be observed that the question is very wide and covers not only a case where an order in second appeal has been made before the amendment of Section 48, but also a case where an order in second appeal has been made after the amendment of Section 48. The Division Bench answered the question in the affirmative. In view of the answer of the Division Bench it would reasonably follow that a revision would lie from an order of the Deputy Director of Consolidation passed in second appeal even after the commencement of amending Act of 1963. And now I shall quote the passage on which Sri Singh relies. The passage is to the effect:

'Barring the provision that his (Deputy Director) order could be revised by a Director there was abwhitely nothing to suggest that he was of a lower status than a Director. Since 8th March 1963 a Deputy Director's order is no longer revisable by a Director and, therefore, the only ground on which he could be held to be a subordinate authority prior to 8th March 1963 has disappeared and now there is no justification for saying that he is subordinate. On the other hand, there are reasons for saying that his status is similar to that of a Director. Under Section 44 the powers of a Director can be conferred upon any officer or authority. They can be conferred upon a Deputy Director and under the notification referred to above a Director's powers to revise an order under the amended Section 48 have actually been conferred upon Deputy Directors. When a Director has the same power as a Deputy Director, Deputy Director's order is not now revisable by a Director and there is nothing else to suggest that he is of a subordinate rank a Deputy Director can no longer be said to be subordinate to a Director'.

As contended for by Sri Singh, this passage seems to indicate that a Deputy Director of Consolidation is not subordinate to the Director of Consolidation after the amendment of the Act in 1963. But I confess I have felt difficulty in reconciling this passage with the affirmative answer given by the Bench to the question referred by me. According to the passage the Deputy Director of Consolidation is not subordinate to the Director of Consolidation, but according to the affirmative answer, which is as comprehensive as the question, a revision would lie from the order of a Deputy Director of Consolidation passed in second appeal after the commencement of the amending Act of 1963. Sri Singh asked me to read the passage and the affirmative answer harmoniously and to confine the answer to the facts of the particular case referred by me. In that case the Deputy Director of Consolidation had pasted the order in second appeal before the commencement of the Amending Act of 1983. But if I read the passage and the affirmative answer in the manner suggested by Sri Singh, the passage would, I think, become an obiter dictum. An obiter dictum of a Division Bench should receive due weight and deference hut it will not be binding on a single Judge.

15. The various provisions of the Act and the rules which have been examined by me earlier were not brought to the notice of the Division Bench. Those provisions it seems to me, leave little room for doubt that the Deputy Director of Consolidation is subordinate to the Director of Consolidation even after the amendment of 1963. I would hold that a revision lay from the order of the Deputy Director of Consolidation passed in second appeal under the unamended Act to the Director of Consolidation under the amended Section 48.

16. The petition is, therefore, allowed. The impugned order is quashed. The Deputy Director of Consolidation, Jaunpur shall now decide the revision on merits. In the circumstances of this case the parties shall bear their own costs.


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