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Brajabehari Patnaik Vs. Hari Behera and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtOrissa High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 7 of 1979
Judge
Reported in57(1984)CLT442; 1984(I)OLR406
ActsOrissa Land Reforms Act - Sections 4, 4(1), 4(5) to 4(8) and 67
AppellantBrajabehari Patnaik
RespondentHari Behera and ors.
Appellant AdvocateP.K. Misra, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateR.C. Ram, Adv.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
- state financial corporations act, 1951 [63/1951]. section 29; [p.k. tripathy, a.k. parichha & n.prusty, jj] discharge of loan orissa forest act (14 of 1972), section 56 confiscation of vehicle - held, the authorities under section 56 of the orissa forest act, 1972 are not obliged to release the vehicle from the confiscation proceeding or to pay the sale proceeds of the vehicle after the order of confiscation in favour of orissa state financial corporation when such vehicles were purchased on being financed by the orissa state financial corporation and the loan had not been liquidated by the date of the seizure/confiscation of the vehicle. concept of first charge or second charge has no applicability when the vehicle is not otherwise disposed of to determine the liabilities of the..........defendants restraining them from entering upon the suit lands.2. according to the plaintiff, one iswar behera, the recorded sikkimi tenant with respect to the suit lands filed an application, to be declared as a raiyat under sub-section (5) of section 4 of the orissa land reforms act (here in after referred to as the 'act') which was registered as o. l. r. case no. 260 of 1967, the revenue officer in the said proceeding passed an order in favour of the applicant iswar behera on 24. 7. 1969 and the said order was confirmed in appeal by the sub-divisional officer in o. l. r. appeal no. 50 of 1971 by order dated 19. 5. 1971. the revenue officer had directed to pay the compensation amount to the tune of rs. 542.90 paise within one year from the date of the order, but the said amount not.....
Judgment:

G.B. Patnaik, J.

1. Plaintiff is the appellant against a reversing judgment in a suit for declaration that the orders passed by the revenue officers in 'the O.L.R. proceedings are without jurisdiction, null and void and for permanent injunction against the defendants restraining them from entering upon the suit lands.

2. According to the plaintiff, one Iswar Behera, the recorded sikkimi tenant with respect to the suit lands filed an application, to be declared as a raiyat under sub-section (5) of Section 4 of the Orissa Land Reforms Act (here in after referred to as the 'Act') which was registered as O. L. R. Case No. 260 of 1967, The Revenue Officer in the said proceeding passed an order in favour of the applicant Iswar Behera on 24. 7. 1969 and the said order was confirmed in appeal by the Sub-Divisional Officer in O. L. R. Appeal No. 50 of 1971 by order dated 19. 5. 1971. The Revenue Officer had directed to pay the compensation amount to the tune of Rs. 542.90 paise within one year from the date of the order, but the said amount not having been paid within the stipulated period and said Iswar Behera having died, the plaintiff took forcible possession Of the land and continued to be in possession of the same on his own right. Subsequent to filing of the suit, on the application of the legal representatives of deceased Iswar Behera, the Revenue Officer having permitted to deposit the compensation amount by order dated 18. 12. 1973 and the said order having been confirmed in appeal by the Sub-Divisional Officer in O. L. R. Appeal No, 9 of 1974, the plaint was amended with the prayer that the order of the Sub-Divisional Officer in O. L. R. Appeal No. 9 of 1974 as also the order of the Revenue Officer dated 18. 12. 1973 be declared as null and void,

3. The defendants in their written statement challenged the maintainability of the suit and also contended that the amount of compensation had been remitted by late Iswar Behera on 9. 3.1969 by money order which was refused by the plaintiff and on the death of Iswar, his legal representatives, that is to say, the present defendants, were entitled to pay the compensation amount and that the orders of the revenue officers could not, therefore, be said to be null and void.

4. Thus, the admitted facts are that late Iswar Behera was the recorded sikkimi tenant of the suit lands measuring Ac. 1. 500 decs, in village Matiapoda, P. S, Tangi, District-Puri belonging to the plaintiff. The said Iswar Behera filed an application under sub-section (5) of Section 4 of the Act which was numbered as O. L. R. Case No. 260 of 1967 and the Revenue Officer, Banpur, by his order dated 24-7-1969 declared said Iswar Behera to be a raiyat in respect of the lands and determined the compensation in respect of the lands at Rs. 542. 90 paise to be paid to the plaintiff within one year, from the date of the order in accordance with sub-section (6) and (7) of Section 4 of the Act. This order of the Revenue Officer was challenged by the plaintiff before the Sub-Divisional Officer in O. L. R. Appeal No. 50 of 1971 and the learned Sub-Divisional Officer confirmed the order of the Revenue Officer by his order dated 19. 5.1971. Iswar Behera died in August, 1973. After his death, On an application by his legal representatives (present defendants), the Revenue Officer ordered that the amount be deposited, by order dated 18. 12. 1973 and accordingly the amount was so deposited. This order of the Revenue Officer was also confirmed in appeal by the Sub-Divisional Officer in O. L R. Appeal No. 9 of 1974.

5. On these pleadings, the learned Munsif came to hold that the compensation amount not having been paid within the period of one year of the date of the order, the order dated 24. 7. 1969 stood automatically nullified and the lands in question reverted back to the owner, namely the plaintiff, and in that view of the matter, the order of the Revenue Officer directing deposit of the compensation amount on 18. 12. 1973 was illegal, void and without jurisdiction and plaintiff was entitled to the recovery of the suit lands. He also held that the suit was maintainable in law. In coming to his aforesaid conclusion, the learned Munsif relied on a decision of this court in the Case of Hari Jena & Ors., v. Somanath Harichandan, (1974) C. L. T. 394.

6. On appeal the learned Additional Subordinate Judge, reversed the decision of the learned Munsif and held that order of the Revenue Officer dated 18-12-1973 which confirmed in appeal by the Sub-Divisional Officer in O. L. R. Appeal No. 9 of 1974, was legal and justified and the suit was not maintainable since the dispute was within the exclusive jurisdiction of the revenue court. On those findings, the judgment and decree of the learned Munsif were set aside.

7. Mr. P. K. Misra, the learned counsel for the plaintiff-appellant contended that the Revenue Officer had no jurisdiction to allow the legal representatives of the deceased raiyat to make deposit of the compensation amount, the said amount no having been paid within the stipulated period as contemplated under Sub-sections (6) and (7) of Section 4 of the act and consequently, the order was without jurisdiction. He also submitted that the compensation not having been paid as contemplated under Sub-sections (6) and (7) of Section 4 of the Act, the lands in question reverted back to the original land holder, namely, the plaintiff, and therefore, the plaintiff was entitled to remain in possession of the land. In support of his contention Mr. Misra relies upon the decision of this Court in Hari Jena's cases (supra) on which the learned Munsif had relied.

Mr. Ram, the learned Counsel for the respondents, on the other hand, submitted that the said decision had no application in view of the amendments to the Act by Orissa Act 29 of 1976 and under the amended provisions which according to Mr. Ram are retrospective in operation, the legal heirs of the raiyat had a right to deposit the compensation amount and the orders of the revenue officers, therefore, were entirely legal.

8. No doubt, by Orissa Act 29 of 1976, certain provisions of Section 4 of the Act have been amended, but excepting Section 4 (1) (h) and 4 (1) (h) (i), all other amendments are prospective. By retrospective amendment of Section 4 (1) (h), and 4(1) (h) (i); the successors-in-interest of the persons who' were temporary lessees in personal cultivation of the land' are also deemed to bs raiyats for the purposes of the Act. Thus, the succ ssors-in-rnterest of the recorded sikkimi tenant Iswar- Behera shall be deemed to be raiyats. But this amended law declaring the successors-in-interest to be deemed to be raiyats is also subject to the provisions of Sub-sections (5) to (8) of Section 4 and Sub-sections (5) to (8) though amended by Orissa Act. 29 of 1976 are not retrospective in operation. It remains, therefore, to be considered as to whether the order of the Revenue Officer dated 19-5-1971 stood extinguished on account of nonpayment of compensation within a period of one year. Even under the unamended provisions, by virtue of the order of the Revenue: officer dated 24-7-1969, Iswar Behera was deemed to be a raiyat and continued to be so till one year after the order of the appellate court. The decision of this court in Hari Jena's case (supra) relied upon by the learned counsel for the appellant is on the face of it distinguishable since in that case the Revenue Officer had not passed any order under Sub-section (5) of Section 4 of the Act. In tact, in paragraph 6 of the judgment,, the learned judge has noted:-

'The matter will be different if the death had occurred after Revenue Officer's order but before the lapse of one year provided in Section 4 (7) for payment of compensation.'

One other important aspect of the case in hand is that Iswar Behera had remitted the compensation amount by money order on 29. 10. 1969 under Ext. A which was refused by the landlord and further the raiyat had applied for depositing the amount with the Revenue Officer by a petition dated 7. 7. 1970. All these facts would appear from the order of the Sub-Divisional Officer in O.L.R. Appeal No. 9. Of 1974. Since at that point of time, there was no provision in the Act allowing such deposit and once the under-raiyat proves that he had offered the amount by sending the money order and the landlord refused to accept the same, the provision of Sub-section (7) of Section 4 must be held to have been complied with and it must be held that the order of the Revenue Officer under Sub-section (5) took effect. No person can be permitted to take advantage of his own wrong. In this particular case, the amount of compensation having been remitted to the plaintiff by money order and the plaintiff having refused to accept the same, he cannot be permitted to put forth a claim to the property on the ground of non-payment of compensation within the stipulated period and the learned Munsif was, therefore, wholly in error to hold that the right reverted back to the plaintiff on account of non-payment of compensation within the period of one year. That apart, the competent authority under the Act, namely, the Revenue Officer has permitted the amount in question to be deposited and the said order has also been confirmed by the Sub-Divisional Officer in appeal. The order of the Revenue Officer or the Sub-Divisional Officer cannot be said to be one without jurisdiction and consequently, the Additional Subordinate judge was right in his conclusion that the Civil Court had no jurisdiction to entertain the suit. In this context, it is profitable to quote the observations of this court in Hari Jena's case (supra), to the following effect:-

'Assuming that the Revenue Officer had any inherent power to make substitution and continue the proceeding initiated by Khetta, he has not only refused to substitute the defendants but has ultimately dismissed the proceeding initiated by Khetra. That may be right or that may be wrong. So far as Civil Court is Concerned, it is the final order on these matters which counts. Once the Revenue Officer has refused to pass an order declaring either Khetra or the defendants, to be raiyats and dismissed the proceeding under Section 4(5) of the Act for some reason that decision is final for all purposes, It is not the province of the Civil Court to go behind the reasonal for such a decision nor can it sit in judgment over it, unless the Revenue Officer's order is attacked as having been passed without jurisdiction......'

(Underlinings are mine)

I have already held that the order of the Revenue Officer allowing the deposit of compensation in the circumstances of the case cannot be said to be without jurisdiction and the Sub-Divisional Officer has confirmed the same on appeal. In this view of the matter, the present dispute is one essentially between a landlord and a raiyat and, therefore, the Civil Court will have no jurisdiction to entertain the same. In any view of the matter the plaintiff's suit is bound to fail.

9. In the result, therefore, I do not 'find any merits in this appeal which is accordingly dismissed with costs.


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