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V. Appa Rao and Etc. Vs. Revenue Officer, Chatrapur and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtOrissa High Court
Decided On
Case NumberO.J.Cs. Nos. 108 to 110 of 1981
Judge
Reported inAIR1982Ori206; 53(1982)CLT467
ActsOrissa Land Reforms Act, 1960 - Sections 47
AppellantV. Appa Rao and Etc.
RespondentRevenue Officer, Chatrapur and ors.
Appellant AdvocateY.S.N. Murty, Adv. for ;N.V. Ramdas, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateAddl. Govt. Adv.
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
- motor vehicles act, 1988 [c.a. no. 59/1988]section 173(1) proviso; [d. biswas, amitava roy & i.a.ansari, jj] appeal without statutory deposit but within limitation/or extended period of limitation maintainability - held, if the provision of a statute speaks of entertainment of appeal, it denotes that the appeal cannot be admitted to consideration unless other requirements are complied with. the provision of sub-section (1) of section 173 permits filing of an appeal against an award within 90 days with a rider in the first proviso that such appeal filed cannot be entertained unless the statutory deposit is made. the period of limitation is applicable only to the filing of the appeal and not to the deposit to be made. it, therefore, appears that an appeal filed under section 173 cannot..........in the proceedings under the provisions of the orissa land reforms act. steps were taken by the revenue officer to fix up compensation for the ceiling surplus land as provided under section 47 of the act. in these cases we are concerned with the valuation of standing trees on lands. section 47 (2) (b) has a statutory formula for determining market value of trees standing on the surplus lands and an explanation attached to the section indicates that in determining the market value, the revenue officer shall as far as practicable be guided by the provisions contained in sub-section (1)' of section 23 of the land acquisition act of 1894. keeping the aforesaid provisions of the statute in view, the revenue officer by his order dated 28-11-1978 determined the quantum of compensation.....
Judgment:

R.N. Misra, C.J.

1. Three landholders are petitioners in these applications, each one being by one such landholder. Ceiling areas were carved out in the proceedings under the provisions of the Orissa Land Reforms Act. Steps were taken by the Revenue Officer to fix up compensation for the ceiling surplus land as provided under Section 47 of the Act. In these cases we are concerned with the valuation of standing trees on lands. Section 47 (2) (b) has a statutory formula for determining market value of trees standing on the surplus lands and an Explanation attached to the section indicates that in determining the market value, the Revenue Officer shall as far as practicable be guided by the provisions contained in Sub-section (1)' of Section 23 of the Land Acquisition Act of 1894. Keeping the aforesaid provisions of the statute in view, the Revenue Officer by his order dated 28-11-1978 determined the quantum of compensation admissible under Section 47 (2) (b) of the Act. About a year after the finalisation under Annexure-1 emanated a circular in the form of a letter from the office of the Land Reforms Commissioner in the Board of Revenue dated 23-11-1979 (An-nexure-61 purporting to indicate a guideline for fixation of the compensation. Para 3 of the Circular indicated :--

'The cases pending for want of rates of fruit bearing trees may please be finalised accordingly.'

On the basis of this circular letter, the Revenue Officer called the petitioners again by notice dated 18-1-1980 and . scaled down the compensation which had once been finally determined. Petitioners challenged the order of scaling down in appeals before the Sub-Divisional Officer and having lost have filed these writ applications.

2. Counsel for the petitioner in each of these applications challenges the validity of the circular by saying that once statutory guidelines have been indicated, there can be no straight jacket formula evolved as in Annexure-6 and in each case the matter had to be left to be determined in accordance with law. Alternatively, he contended that in view of what had been stated in para 3 of the letter, it must have been found by the Revenue Officer that cases which had been finalised were not intended to be reopened by way of review and since petitioners' cases had been determined a year before the circular was issued, the Revenue Officer had no foundation for reopening the matters which had become final.

3. No counter affidavit has been filed. In the facts of the case we are inclined to think that no counter affidavit was really necessary.

4. Though there is much to be said in respect of the first contention, in view of the fact that the applications can be disposed of by accepting the second contention canvassed on behalf of the petitioners, we do not propose to examine the tenability of the first contention.

5. When provision has been, made conferring power of appeal and revision against particular orders, it must be assumed that every order which finally adjudicates a matter assumes finality unless there be appeal or revision by the aggrieved party. When the Revenue Officer made his orders on 28-11-1978 such finality must be attached to his order unless the same were challenged in appeal or in revision or otherwise disputed in accordance with law. When the order became final and particularly in the absence of a power of review conferred on the Revenue Officer to reopen such a final order, the subsequent order of scaling down seems to be wholly misconceived and without jurisdiction. No support from the language of Annexure-6, particularly para 3 thereof, is available for the action of the Revenue Officer. We accordingly quash the order of the Revenue Officer dated 1-2-1980 (Annexure-4 in each of the applications) as also the appellate order affirming his action and direct that the order dated 28-11-1978 fixing the quantum of compensation for standing trees under Section 47 (2) (b) of the Act be given effect to.

6. Each of the writ applications in the circumstances is allowed. Both parties will bear their own costs of the proceeding. The records be returned to the Revenue Officer for giving effect to the direction.

Beiiera, J.

7. I agree.


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