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Sohan Lal Vs. Custodian General of Evacuee Property - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Writ No. 82 of 1953
Judge
Reported inAIR1954P& H4
ActsAdministration of Evacuee Property Act, 1950 - Sections 27 and 55(3); Constitution of India - Article 266
AppellantSohan Lal
RespondentCustodian General of Evacuee Property
Appellant Advocate H.L. Sibal, Adv.
Respondent Advocate D.K. Mahajan, Adv.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredVeerappa Pillai v. Raman and Raman Ltd.
Excerpt:
.....will lie against a judgment/order/decree passed by a single judge in exercising powers of superintendence under article 227 of the constitution. - , rent tribunal',(1951) 1 all er 195 (a), and submitted that it was open to a party who complained of the decision in regard to a collateral matter to ask the high court to review the matter on an application for certiorari, but this judgment seems to go against the decision of the supreme court in -ebrahim aboobakar v......the main point involved is the same and that is what, if any, are the powers of assistant and deputy custodian-general.2. in -- 'sohan lal v. custodian-general of evacuee property', civil writ no. 82 of 1953, shop no. 226 was in the year 1950 allotted to behari lal sachdev. on 27-3-1952 authorised custodian allotted this shop to sohan lal the present petitioner by an order which is annexure 'a' which shows that behari lal had secured this shop by false representations. against this order behari lal filed an application for revision which was rejected on 6-8-52 by an order which is annexure 'b'. the matter was taken in revision to the custodian-general and it was finally decided by mr. bhawani lal assistant custodian-general on 13-3-1953, who set aside the allotment in favour of.....
Judgment:

Kapur, J.

1. These two rules (Civil Writ Nos. 82 and 90 of 1953) have been consolidated because the main point involved is the same and that is what, if any, are the powers of Assistant and Deputy Custodian-General.

2. In -- 'Sohan Lal v. Custodian-General of Evacuee Property', Civil Writ No. 82 of 1953, shop No. 226 was in the year 1950 allotted to Behari Lal Sachdev. On 27-3-1952 Authorised Custodian allotted this shop to Sohan Lal the present petitioner by an order which is annexure 'A' which shows that Behari Lal had secured this shop by false representations. Against this order Behari Lal filed an application for revision which was rejected on 6-8-52 by an order which is annexure 'B'. The matter was taken in revision to the Custodian-General and it was finally decided by Mr. Bhawani Lal Assistant Custodian-General on 13-3-1953, who set aside the allotment in favour of Sohan Lal and directed that the shop be allotted to some deserving displaced person. It is against this order that Sohan Lal brought a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution and prayed for the record of the case to be brought to this Court and the order quashed.

3. The first question to be decided is whether the Assistant Custodian-General Mr. Bhawani Lal had jurisdiction to decide this matter. In Section 2(b) of the Administration of Evacuee Property Act of 1950 'Custodian-General' has been defined to mean 'the Custodian-General of Evacuee Property in India appointed by the Central Government under Section 57 Section 5 provides:

'The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint a Custodian-General and as many Deputy and Assistant Custodians-General as may be necessary for the purpose of discharging the duties imposed upon the Custodian-General and the Deputy and Assistant Custodian-General by or under this Act.'

4. Revisions are provided for by Section 27 of the Act and in Section 55(3) power is given to the Custodian-General to delegate all or any of his powers under this Act to any Deputy or Assistant Custodian-General. It is thus clear that the Custodian-General could delegate any kind of powers which were vested in him to Mr. Bhawani Lal. No dispute has been raised as to the power having been delegated and that question has never been in controversy.

5. Counsel relied on a passage from Constitutional Law by Willis where at page 150 it is stated that in the case of the judiciary, under the American system, there is very little delegation of powers to other branches of the government. But further on it is stated:

'and the authorization by statute of a justice of the peace to designate another in his steadin case of absence, etc., have been permittedby the Courts'

6. Counsel next referred to judgment of the English King's Bench Division in -- 'R. v. City of London, etc., Rent Tribunal', (1951) 1 All ER 195 (A), and submitted that it was open to a party who complained of the decision in regard to a collateral matter to ask the High Court to review the matter on an application for certiorari, but this judgment seems to go against the decision of the Supreme Court in -- 'Ebrahim Aboobakar v. Custodian-General, Evacuee Property, New Delhi', AIR 1952 SC 319 (B), a judgment by which we are bound.

7. It is thus clear that under the statute, i.e. the Administration of Evacuee Property Act of 1950, the jurisdiction of the Custodian-General to delegate all or any of his powers to the Assistant or Deputy Custodian-General is not in any manner contrary to the constitution and in this particular case Mr. Bhawani Lal had in my opinion jurisdiction to decide the revision.

8. It is then submitted that Mr. Bhawani Lal has wrongly decided a question of fact and has cancelled the allotment in favour of the petitioner on account of this wrong decision. There again the rule laid down in -- 'Aboo-baker's case' (B) would apply and in -- 'Veerappa Pillai v. Raman and Raman Ltd.', AIR 1952 SC 192 at pp. 195, 196 (C) Chandrasekhara Aiyar J. laid down in very clear words the scope of an application under Article 226. His Lordship said-

'Such writs as are referred to in Article 226 are obviously intended to enable the High Court to issue them in grave cases where the subordinate tribunals or bodies or officers act wholly without jurisdiction, or in excess of it, or in violation of the principles of natural justice, or refuse to exercise a jurisdiction vested in them, or there is an error apparent on the face of the record, and such act, omission, error, or excess has resulted in manifest injustice. However extensive the jurisdiction may be, it seems to us that it is not so wide or large as to enable the High Court to convert itself into a Court of appeal and examine for itself the correctness of the decision impugned and decide what is the proper view to be taken or the order to be made.'

Applying the rule laid down in this judgment I am of the opinion that no ease has been made out for interfering by this Court with the order of Mr. Bhawani Lal in our supervisory jurisdiction. I would therefore dismiss this petition.

9. Coming now to Civil Writ No. 90 of 1953, the facts are that Amir Chand the petitioner had some land in Chak No. 415/GB in Samundri tehsil of Lyallpur District and the respondents had lands in Chaks Nos. 409/GB and 415/GB in Samundri tehsil. All three of them were given land in village Massani in tehsil Phillaur of Jullundur district. In September 1950 the present respondents applied for review asking that their serial numbers be changed. This was refused but on revision being taken to the Custodian-General, the Deputy Custodian-General has allowed the original application by reversing the orders of the tribunals under him. The argument raised in this case is exactly the same as in the other that the Deputy Custodian-General had no jurisdiction and that there is an error in the decision of the Deputy Custodian-General in regard to facts. There is no difference in fact between the two cases and I would therefore dismiss this petition also.

10. In the result both the rules are discharged and the opposite parties will have their costs.

Falshaw, J.

11.I agree.


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