Shiv Dayal, C.J.
1. The grievance in this petition is two-fold. Firstly, that the Board of Revenue, after having held that a revision lay before the Commissioner, should have sent back the case to the Commissioner; instead, the Board decided the matter against the petitioner on merits; and, secondly, under Section 35 of the Ceiling on Agricultural Holdings Act, 1960, the allotment order was not legal. Respondent No. 4, the allottee is not an 'agricultural labour' within the definition contained in the Act. It is also contended that the procedure laid down in Rule 8 (ii) and Rule 8 (iii) of the Ceiling on Agricultural Holdings Rules, was not complied with.
2. Shri Rai, learned counsel for the allottee, raises a preliminary objection that this petition should be dismissed on the ground of laches. The Board of Revenue decided the revision before it on November 11, 1970. The petitioner applied for certified copy of the order of the Board of Revenue on March 2, 1971. Shri Kotecha tells us that the certified copy was delivered on April 20, 1971. Even so, this petition was filed on January 9, 1973, Now, it is stated in the return and affidavit that in the meanwhile the allottee (respondent No. 4) invested Rs. 5,000 on improvement of the land allotted to him in order to make it cultivable. He also constructed Bandhans all round the field and also constructed a well and, above all, an agricultural house thereon. According to the petitioner himself, the respondent No. 4 is a blacksmith. If, during the time, which the petitioner allowed to run from the date of the order of the Board of Revenue to the date of filing of this petition, the allottee incurred such heavy expenses and even constructed an agricultural house thereon, the petitioner cannot now be heard to say that there were any procedural errors or that the order of the Board of Revenue was erroneous. He should have approached this Court with due diligence and promptness. In Moon Mills v. M.R. Meher, President, Industrial Court, Bombay, AIR 1967 SC 1450 at page 1454, their Lordships said :
'It is true that the issue of a writ of certiorari is largely a matter of sound discretion. It is also true that the writ will not be granted if there is such negligence or omission on the part of the applicant to assert his right as, taken in conjunction with the lapse of time and other circumstances, causes prejudice to the adverse party.'
The decision in Lindsay Petroleum Co. v. Hurd, (1874) 5 PC 221 at p. 239 was quoted by their Lordships with approval.
3. In our opinion, the preliminery objection is right.
4. The petition is dismissed on the ground of laches. Parties shall bear their own costs. The amount of security deposit shall be refunded to the petitioner.