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Ram Bahadur Vs. Deputy Director of Consolidation and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petn. No. 2686 of 1970
Judge
Reported inAIR1973All414
ActsUttar Pradesh Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1954 - Sections 41, 52, 52(1) and 52(2); Land Revenue Act - Sections 200
AppellantRam Bahadur
RespondentDeputy Director of Consolidation and ors.
Appellant AdvocateB.S. Misra, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateR.S. Singh, ;K.B. Garg and ;Standing Counsel
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
..... order - the word 'proceedings' mentioned in section 52 (2) mean proceedings initiated before consolidation officer - includes the one taken in the appeal court - appeal is not a fresh proceeding - notification under section 52 (1) does not have the effect of destroying vested rights of the litigants - no appeal shall lie against the order of dismiss in default and ex - parte hearing under section 200 - rehearing is possible under section 201 on proof of good cause for non appearance - held, petitioner had a statutory right to move an application and such right could not be extinguished by the issuance of notification under section 52 (1) of u.p. consolidation of holdings act, 1954. - - gram samal 1972 all wr (hc) 557 =(air 1973 all 411). the learned single judge felt that there..........was that he was all along present but he was informed that the case would be heard on some other date. the proceedings are thus for the re-hearing of the matter. the petitioner had a statutory right to make such an application. this right accrued to him on 23-12-1968 the date when the consolidation officer disposed of the objection. that right could not be extinguished by the issuance of the notification under section 52 (1). the effect of the exercise of that right was to invoke the revival of the proceedings before the consolidation officer. in our opinion, such proceedings are on the same footing as an appeal because they have the effect of reviving the original proceedings.4. we have seen the decision of the learned single judge in mohd. saddiq v. deputy director, (1967 all wr (hc).....
Judgment:

Satish Chandra, J.

1. The respondents 3 to 5 filed objections before the Consolidation Officer. The petitioner contested them. The objections were fixed for hearing on 11-12-1968. On that day the hearing was adjourned to 23-12-1968. They were allowed by the Consolidation Officer by an order of that date. Subsequently, on 4-1-1969 a notification under Section 52 of the U.P. Consolidation of Holdings Act was published. Thereafter, on January 15, 1969 the petitioner filed an application for setting aside the ex parte order of 23-12-1968. He alleged that he was all along present on that day but he was told that the case would be heard on some other date of which notice will be given to him later. Upon hearing this he went away and subsequently he learnt that the objections had been decided on that day. The restoration application was dismissed by the Consolidation Officer without giving any reasons. The petitioner then filed a revision. The Deputy Director dismissed the revision on the view that by the issuance of the notification under Section 52 prior to the restoration application the application was not competent. He relied on a Single Judge decision ia Mohd. Saddiq v. Deputy Director of Consolidation. (1967 All WR (HC) 228). The revision was dismissed. Aggrieved, the petitioner filed a writ petition. At the hearing of the writ petition the attention of the learned Single Judge was invited to another decision of this Court in Dilawar Singh v. Gram Samal 1972 All WR (HC) 557 = (AIR 1973 All 411). The learned Single Judge felt that there was divergence in the decisions and it was better that the matter be decided by a lamer Bench. That is how this case has been placed before this Bench.

1-A. Section 52 of the Act provides:

'Close of Consolidation Operations--(1) As soon as may be after fresh maps and records have been prepared under Sub-section (1) of Section 27, the State Government shall issue a notification in the official Gazette that the consolidation operations have been closed in the unit and village or villages forming part of the unit shall then cease to be under consolidation operations.

Provided that the issue of the notification under this section shall not affect the powers of the State Government to fix, distribute and recover the cost of operations under this Act.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in Sub-section (1) any order passed by a Court of competent jurisdiction in cases of writs filed under the provisions of the Constitution of India, or in cases or proceedings pending under this Act on the date of issue of the notification under Sub-section (1) shall be given effect to by such authorities as may be prescribed and the consolidation operations shall, for that purpose be deemed to have not been closed.'

2. The issuance of the Notification does not, however affect the orders passed by the High Court or the Supreme Court under the provisions of the Constitution of India or in cases or proceedings pending under this Act ort the date of issue of notification under Sub-section (1) and orders passed will have to be given effect to notwithstanding anything contained in the Notification. In Dilawar Singh's case, 1972 All WR (HC) 557 = (AIR 1973 All 411) the Division Bench observed that the term 'proceedings' in Section 52 (2) has been used in the comprehensive sense of proceedings commencing from the one which is initiated before the Consolidation Officer and including that taken in the appeal Court It was held that an appeal does not initiate a fresh proceeding. On the institution of the appeal the proceedings, which had become dormant on the decision of the trial Court, revive and remain pending, the only difference being that they are now pending in a different Court, namely, the Court of appeal. It was also held that the notification under Section 52 (1) does not have the effect of destroying vested rights of the litigants. For instance, if a litigant has a right of appeal against a particular order he can exercise it notwithstanding the publication of the notification under Section 52 (1) and the moment an appeal is filed the effect in law is that the original proceedings stand revived.

3. In our opinion the principle laid down in this case is applicable to an application for setting aside an ex parte order. Section 41 of the Consolidation of Holdings Act makes the provisions of Chapters IX and X of the U.P. Land Revenue Act applicable to all proceedings under the Consolidation of Holdings Act. Sections 200 and 201 pf the U.P. Land Revenue Act are in Chapter IX. Section 200 provides that, whenever any party to such proceeding neglects to attend on the day specified in the summons, or on any day to which the case may have been postponed, the Court may dismiss the case for default or may hear and determine it ex parte. Section 201 says that no appeal shall lie from an order passed under Section 200 ex parte or by default. That section provides for re-hearing on proof of good cause for non-appearance. The petitioner had made an application under this provision for the rehearing of the case on showing good cause for non-appearance. Actually his case was that he was all along present but he was informed that the case would be heard on some other date. The proceedings are thus for the re-hearing of the matter. The petitioner had a statutory right to make such an application. This right accrued to him on 23-12-1968 the date when the Consolidation Officer disposed of the objection. That right could not be extinguished by the issuance of the notification under Section 52 (1). The effect of the exercise of that right was to invoke the revival of the proceedings before the Consolidation Officer. In our opinion, such proceedings are on the same footing as an appeal because they have the effect of reviving the original proceedings.

4. We have seen the decision of the learned Single Judge in Mohd. Saddiq v. Deputy Director, (1967 All WR (HC) 228). In that decision no reasons have been given for the view that an application for setting aside the ex parte decree does not fall within the purview of Section 52 (2) as a proceeding which involves or affects a revival of the original proceedings and from that point of view making the original proceeding pending within the meaning of Section 52 (2). In our opinion, this decision does not lay down the law correctly.

5. In the result the petition succeeds and is allowed. The orders of the Deputy Director as well as the Consolidation Officer are quashed. The matter is sent back to the Consolidation Officer for the disposal of the restoration application in accordance with law. The parties may, however, bear, their own costs.


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