1. This second appeal by a plaintiff has been filed under the following circumstances:--
The parties were allottees of different portions of evacuee house number 35 in Block No. 18 in Hissar City. Exhibit P.W. 8/14 is the plan of that house. The valuation form, Exhibit P.W. 6/1, prepared by the Rehabilitation Authorities in 1957 may suggest that the house had been divided into two portions, almost equal, for the purposes of allotment. Sonu Ram defendant is shown to be the allottee of one of the portions while Bharat Mittar plaintiff-appellant is shown to be in occupation of the other portion. The two covered portions of the house are separated by an uncovered passage and there is a big courtyard at the back.
2. The allottees purchased different portions of this house in the years 1960-61 and conveyance deeds issued in their favour by the Rehabilitation Department were duly registered. In the conveyance deed, Exhibit P-1, dated 30-6-1961 issued in favour of the plaintiff-appellant, the vacant site at the back of the house was not shown to be a part of the portions sold to him. The entire vacant site at the back of the house towards the West was, however, shown as a part of the property purchased by Sonu Ram defendant-respondent in the conveyance deed, Exhibit D-2, dated 22-7-1960, issued in his favour. The appellant was shown to have paid a sum of Rs. 3,603/- as the price of the portion purchased by him while Sonu Ram defendant had paid a sum of Rs. 4,030/- for his portion.
3. Some months after the purchase of these portions, Bharat Mittar appellant raised the dispute regarding the uncovered passage separating the two built portions of the house and the vacant site at the back. He claimed that the passage belonged exclusively to him and that half of the vacant site shown by red colour in the plan, Exhibit P.W. 8./14 had been purchased by him. The Rehabilitation Authorities found the appellants's claim with regard to the common passage to be groundless. The conveyance deed issued in favour of the appellant was, however, amended so as to include the disputed portion of the vacant site in the portion alleged to have been sold in his favour. The District Rent and Managing Officer issued a corrigendum, Exhibit P-2, in this connection. It is, however, the common case of the parties that Sonu Ram defendant-respondent was no party to the proceedings which culminated in the issue of this corrigendum.
4. The transfer or conveyance of any property which is evidenced by a registered deed is a bilateral act which cannot be changed by the unilateral act of one of those parties to the prejudice of the other. An order passed by the Rehabilitation Authorities could be treated as binding on the parties to that particular proceeding but the ruling of a Division Bench of this Court in Bara Singh v. Joginder Singh, (1959) 61 Pun LR 127 = (AIR 1959 Punj 370), does not in any way advance Shri Seth's argument that the transfer would be binding on a third party who had not been granted a fair opportunity of being heard in those proceedings. It is an elementary principle of natural justice that no order can be passed to the prejudice of a person unless he has been heard in the matter. If it was within the powers of the Rehabilitation Authorities to revise the terms and conditions of the transfer in favour of Sonu Ram defendant, it was a sine qua non for the exercise of those powers to the prejudice of Sonu Ram that he should have been heard in the matter. It was on this main ground that the trial Court had dismissed the plaintiff-appellant's suit and the judgment and decree of the trial Court had been affirmed by the learned Court of first appeal. I see no grounds for interference. If it is still legally open to the Rehabilitation Authorities to revise the transfer in favour of Sonu Ram, they cannot possibly do so without giving him a fair opportunity of being heard.
5. The appeal fails and is dismissed with costs.
6. Appeal dismissed.