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Jayata Prasad Singh Vs. Dy. Director of Consolidation, Varanasi and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Writ No. 2097 of 1976
Judge
Reported inAIR1977All467
ActsUttar Pradesh Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1954 - Sections 48
AppellantJayata Prasad Singh
RespondentDy. Director of Consolidation, Varanasi and ors.
Appellant AdvocateSankhata Rai, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateK.P. Singh, S.C.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
.....well aware of the nature of dispute and points of dispute between the parties. further i do not find any illegality in the proceedings which has resulted in a substantial failure of justice. he contended that since no evidence bad been recorded the observation made by, the deputy director of consolidation was uncalled for and would prejudice the petitioner. having heard the learned counsel for the parties i am of the opinion that the deputy directorwould have done better by avoiding reference to the pedigree at this stage......to file a written statement after the case had been remanded to the consolidation officer by the deputy director of consolidation. the consolidation officer rejected the prayer on the ground that there was no provision of filing of a written statement and replication under the u. p. consolidation of holdings act. this view was upheld by the deputy director of consolidation in his order. he further stated that the provisions of the civil p. c. have no application to the proceedings under the u. p. consolidation of holdings act and that in the present case the parties would get ample opportunity to lead evidence on all the points. he refused to exercise his discretion in favour of the petitioner and rejected the revision.2. i have heard learned counsel for the parties. i find that the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Amitav Banerji, J.

1. This writ petition is directed against an order of the Deputy Director of Consolidation, Varanasi dated 13-9-1976 rejecting the revision of the petitioner under Section 48 of the U. P. Consolidation of Holdings Act. The petitioner had sought to file a written statement after the case had been remanded to the Consolidation Officer by the Deputy Director of Consolidation. The Consolidation Officer rejected the prayer on the ground that there was no provision of filing of a written statement and replication under the U. P. Consolidation of Holdings Act. This view was upheld by the Deputy Director of Consolidation in his order. He further stated that the provisions of the Civil P. C. have no application to the proceedings under the U. P. Consolidation of Holdings Act and that in the present case the parties would get ample opportunity to lead evidence on all the points. He refused to exercise his discretion in favour of the petitioner and rejected the revision.

2. I have heard learned counsel for the parties. I find that the proceedings are still at the initial stage. Evidence has yet to be recorded. The question is whether it is obligatory for a party to file a written statement in reply to the objections filed by a party and further whether the entire proceedings are vitiated in law in case the written statement is not filed.

3. Learned counsel for the petitioner candidly stated that there is no provision In the U. P. Consolidation of Holdings Act for applying the provisions of the Civil P. C. to the proceedings conducted under the former Act The only rule in this regard is contained in Rule 26 (2) of the U. P. Consolidation of Holdings Rules which requires the Consolidation Officer to hear the parties, to frame issues on the points in dispute, then take evidenceand decide the objections. Learned counsel contended that issues on the points in dispute could only be framed provided there were pleadings. He further contended that in the absence of pleadings it was not possible to frame issues and it was, therefore, necessary for a party opposing the objections filed by the other party, to file a written statement setting out his case.

4. A perusal of the U. P. Consolidation of Holdings Act and Rules shows that it is obligatory for a party filing an objection against the statement of principles to put forward his objections in writing and it has to be duly signed (Vide Rule 24-C). Under Rule 25-A the Assistant Consolidation Officer has to deal with such objections and try for a conciliation in terms of Section 9-A (1) of the Act. If he does not succeed then he has to submit a report to the Consolidation Officer vide Rule 25-A (2) of the Rules clearly bringing out the points in dispute between the parties and efforts made by him to reconcile the disputes. There is nothing in Rule 25-A that the party opposing the objection has to file a written statement. Before he submits the report the Assistant Consolidation Officer has to hear the parties concerned as is provided under Section 9-A of the Act. It is apparent from a perusal of these provisions that there is no provision for filing of a written statement. The provisions of Rule 26 (2) also do not refer to any written statement. The Civil P. C. has not been specifically made applicable. This was intentional. The Legislature in its wisdom thought it proper not to force the parties to a long-drawn procedure like that in any ordinary civil court for the settlement of disputes in proceedings under the U. P. Consolidation of Holdings Act. The legislature intended that the party opposing the objections or affected by the objections was to be heard both by the Assistant Consolidation Officer and by the Consolidation Officer before issues were framed. The average tenure holder in our villages in Uttar Pradesh is not well versed in the provisions of law or pleadings. The moment a provision for a written statement was drafted he would have to take assistance of some one who was acquainted with law and drafting. It appears that in order to make the proceedings simple, inexpensive and speedier the provisions of the Civil P. C. were not made applicable. The intention appears to be that the Assistant Consolidation Officer would, summon the relevant parties, hear them and find out the points of dispute. If a conciliation could be reached at that stage well and good, otherwise the Assistant Consolidation Officer has to make a report to the Consolidation Officer bringing out the points of dispute between the parties. It would thus be evident that by the time the matter came before the Consolidation Officer he would be well aware of the nature of dispute and points of dispute between the parties. In these circumstances it would not be at all difficult for the Consolidation Officer to frame issues on the points in dispute. Rule 26 (2) further provided that before the issues were framed the Consolidation Officer would hear the parties. Thus, we would have a further opportunity of finding out what the disputes were. In this view of the matter I do not see any necessity of filing of a written statement. However, it must be made clear that the filing of a written statement has not been prohibited. A party may, if he so chooses specify its case in writing. The framing of the issues when a written statement has not been filed or the refusal of an opportunity to file the same does not amount to any irregularity in the exercise of jurisdiction by the Consolidation Officer.

5. I am unable to hold that refusal of the Consolidation Officer to allow a party. to file a written statement amounts to an illegality in the proceedings. I do not find any contravention of any provision of law in this case. The Deputy Director of Consolidation has made it clear that the parties would be given full opportunity to lead evidence. That ensures to the petitioner full opportunity to vindicate his stand. There is thus no question of the petitioner suffering any substantial injury. Further I do not find any illegality in the proceedings which has resulted in a substantial failure of justice.

6. Learned counsel for the petitioner took objection to the observation of the Deputy Director of Consolidation that the pedigree of the parties was undisputed. He contended that since no evidence bad been recorded the observation made by, the Deputy Director of Consolidation was uncalled for and would prejudice the petitioner. His further contention was that there was no material on record which would show that the petitioner has ever accepted that the pedigree filed by the respondents was accepted. Having heard the learned counsel for the parties I am of the opinion that the Deputy Directorwould have done better by avoiding reference to the pedigree at this stage. The question before the Deputy Director was whether the Consolidation Officer had acted correctly in rejecting the prayer for accepting the written statement filed by the petitioner. It is trite that a court of law should not make reference to matters which are unnecessary for the decision of the case. The matter was still to be decided on merits and the question of pedigree may be one of the questions which had to be adjudicated upon. I, therefore, make it clear that the Consolidation Officer hearing the case would take no notice of the observation made by the Deputy Director of Consolidation on the question of the pedigree. He would come to its own conclusions on the basis of the materials on record.

7. For the reasons given above, I see no reason to interfere with the orders of the Deputy Director of Consolidation and the Consolidation Officer. This writ petition fails and is accordingly dismissed with costs. The case will be expeditiously decided by the Consolidation Officer.


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