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Lachhman Dass Ram Kishan Vs. the Punjab State and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSupreme Court Appln. Nos. 223 and 224 of 1970
Judge
Reported inAIR1972P& H112
ActsPunjab Security of Land Tenures Act, 1953; Constitution of India - Article 133
AppellantLachhman Dass Ram Kishan
RespondentThe Punjab State and ors.
Cases ReferredRamesh v. Gendalal Motilal Patni
Excerpt:
.....single judge. it has to be kept in mind that the special statute only provide for an appeal to the high court. it has not made any provision for filing appeal to a division bench against the judgment or decree or order of a single judge. no letters patent appeal shall lie against a judgment/order passed by a single judge in an appeal arising out of a proceeding under a special act. sections 100-a [as inserted by act 22 of 2002] & 104:[dr. b.s. chauhan, cj, l. mohapatra & a.s. naidu, jj] writ appeal held, a writ appeal shall lie against judgment/orders passed by single judge in a writ petition filed under article 226 of the constitution of india. in a writ application filed under articles 226 and 227 of constitution, if any order/judgment/decree is passed in exercise of jurisdiction..........which were dismissed in limine by a bench of this court apparently in view of the aforesaid full bench decision. they have filed these applications for grant of a certificate for filing appeals in the supreme court. 5. a preliminary objection was taken on behalf of the respondents that the judgment of the learned single judge, as confirmed by the order of the letters patent bench, does not amount to a final judgment or order and, consequently, these applications did not lie. in mohammed amin brothers v. dominion of india, air 1950 fc 77, the test of finality of an order was laid down as follows :-- 'the test for determining the finality of an order is, whether the judgment or order finally disposed of the rights of the parties. the fianality must be a finality in relation to the suit......
Judgment:

Harbans Singh, C.J.

1. This order will dispose of two applications ( S. C. As 223 and 224 of 1970) under Art. 133 of the Constitution for the grant of a certificate for filing an appeal in the Supreme Court of India against the judgment of a Bench of this Court dated 26th February, 1970, dismissing in limine L. P. As. 18 and 19 of 1970 filed against the judgment of a learned Single Judge of this Court, disposing of two writ petitions (C. Ws. 2938 and 2939 of 1965).

2. Before the learned Single Judge the two petitioners, namely, Lachhman Dass and Vidhya Bhushan, in their respective writ petitions, C. W.s 2938 and 2939 of 1965, challenged the orders of the Special Collector, the Commissioner and the Financial Commissioner, declaring certain area in their hands as surplus, mainly on two grounds, first that the chahi land had not been properly valued and, secondly, that a proper interpretation was not being put on the provisions of the Punjab Security of Land Tenures Act, 1953 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) and that under the provisions of the Act each of the petitioners was entitled to 100 ordinary acres of land, even if, according to the valuation, this area amounted to more than 50 standard acres.

3. The learned Single Judge accepted the contention of the petitioners, so far as he first point is concerned, and came to the conclusion that the value is to be determined according to the quality of the land as it existed on 15th April, 1953, the date on which the Act was enforced, and not as existed in the year 1944-45 and, consequently, quashed the impugned orders to that extent and sent back the case to the Special Collector for redecision of the question of valuation only after giving an opportunity to the petitioners to lead such evidence as they may desire to do.

4. As regards the second point, the learned Single Judge in view of the decision of a Full Bench of this Court in Khan Chand v. State of Punjab, 68 Pun LR 543=(AIR 1966 Punj 423(FB)) held that in as much as the allotment to the petitioners was made in standard acres, they were entitled to 50 standard acres each as permissible area and not to 100 ordinary acres, as claimed by the petitioners. This point was, therefore, decided against the petitioners. the petitioners filed the two Letters Patent appeals, mentioned above, which were dismissed in limine by a Bench of this Court apparently in view of the aforesaid Full Bench decision. They have filed these applications for grant of a certificate for filing appeals in the Supreme Court.

5. A preliminary objection was taken on behalf of the respondents that the judgment of the learned Single Judge, as confirmed by the order of the Letters Patent Bench, does not amount to a final judgment or order and, consequently, these applications did not lie.

In Mohammed Amin Brothers v. Dominion of India, AIR 1950 FC 77, the test of finality of an order was laid down as follows :--

'The test for determining the finality of an order is, whether the judgment or order finally disposed of the rights of the parties. The fianality must be a finality in relation to the suit. The fact that the order decides an important and even a vital issue is by itself not material, unless the decision puts an end to the suit.'

6. With regard to the writ petitions, the test has to be modified, because, as observed by their Lordships of the Supreme Court in Ramesh v. Gendalal Motilal Patni, AIR 1966 SC 1445, under Art. 226 of the Constitution the High Court does not hear an appeal or revision against a matter decided by a subordinate tribunal. In this connection their Lordships further observed as under :-

'The High Court is moved to intervene and to bring before itself, the record of a case decided by or pending before a Court or tribunal or any authority within the High Court's jurisdiction. A petition to the High Court invoking this jurisdiction is a proceeding quite independent of the original controversy. The controversy in the High Court in proceedings arising under Art. 226 originally is whether a decision of or a proceeding before, a Court or tribunal or authority, should be allowed to stand or should be quashed for want of jurisdiction or on account of errors of law apparent on the face of the record. A decision in the exercise of this jurisdiction, whether interfering with the proceeding impugned or declining to do so, is a final decision in so far as the High Court is concerned because it terminates finally the special proceedings before it. But it is not to be taken that any order will be a final order. If, for example, the High Court declines to interfere because all the remedies open under the law are not exhausted, the order of the High Court may not possess that finality which the article contemplates. But the order would be final if the jurisdiction of a tribunal is questioned and the High Court either upholds it or does not. In either case, the controversy in this High Court is finally decided. To judge whether the order is final in that sense it is not always necessary o correlate the decision in every case with the facts in controversy especially where the question is one of jurisdiction of the Court or tribunal. The answer to the question whether the order is final or not will not depend on whether the controversy raised before the High Court is finally over or not. If it is, the order will be appealable provided the other conditions are satisfied, otherwise not.'

If, we apply this test to the present case, the controversy raised before he High Court inter alia was, whether according to the proper interpretation of the provisions of the Act, the petitioners were entitled to claim that each of them should be allotted 100 ordinary acres as his permissible area or that they are entitled to only to 50 standard acres each even if, when converted into ordinary acres, this area fell short of 100 ordinary acres, as held by the subordinate tribunals. This controversy has been finally decided by this Court. The mere fact, that the matter has gone back to the subordinate tribunals in order to determine the valuation and therefore, to determine how much land would constitute 50 standard acres, will not affect the finality of the decision given by this Court, that is no case the petitioners are entitled to claim more than 50 standard acres each. We are, therefore, of the view that the order against which the petitioners want to go to the Supreme Court is a final order within the meaning of Art. 133 of the Constitution.

7. This now brings us to the second question, whether the case can be certified under any of the three sub-clauses of Cl (1) of Art. 133 of the Constitution. The Letters Patent appeals having been dismissed in limine, the judgment against which the appeal is sought to be filed is a judgment of affirmance and, in any case, though it is stated in the applications that the value of the property involved is more than Rupees.20,000, no foundation has been laid for the purpose. All that is stated is that the total area to which each of the petitioners is entitled exceeds 100 ordinary acres which is valued at several lacs. The subject-matter in dispute would be only the difference between the area in standard acres which has been left as the permissible area with each of the petitioners and 100 ordinary acres, which is claimed by each of them. There being no material with regard to the valuation, it was prayed that the certificate should be granted under sub-clause (c) of Clause (11) of Art. 133 of the Constitution.

8. The point in controversy is of great general importance and arises in numerous cases in determining the permissible area of a large number of displaced persons who have been allotted land after partition of the country in 1947. The interpretation of the relevant part of the Act was considered to be sufficiently difficult as to require decision by the Full Bench of this Court. The correctness of that Full Bench decision is being challenged by the petitioners. We therefore, feel that, taking all these matters into consideration, these are fit cases for grant of certificates under Article 133(1)(c) of the Constitution and we grant them accordingly.

R.S. Gnarl, J.

9. I agree.

P.C. Jain, J.

10. I also agree.

11. Certificates granted.


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