1. These three writ petitions viz. Civil Writ petitions Nos. 703, 1405 and 2511 of 1977 involve common question of law as also of facts such as the factum of occupation over the land in dispute and the period thereof and the disposal of the said property as a result of an open auction sale.
2. The case set up by the petitioners in the respective writ petitions is that the Tahsildar (Sales), who conducted the auction-sale and sold the property in dispute to the auction-purchaser, had no jurisdiction to do so, as his appointment had not been notified, as envisaged by S. 3 of the Punjab Package Deal Properties (Disposal) Act. 1976 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) and that the Sales Commissioner, who decided the objections preferred by the petitioners against the auction-sale, and the Chief Sales Commissioner, who decided the revision preferred against the order of the Sales Commissioner, had no jurisdiction to decide the objections and the revision respectively as the same had been filled under the relevant Punjab Package-Deal Property Rules 1962 (hereinafter referred to as the Rules). under which the Settlement commissioners were the authorities who could decide the objections and hear the revision respectively.
3. In support of the submission that disposal of the disputed property in an auction sale by a Tehsildar (Sales) in the absence of a notification appointing him as the Naib Tehsildar for the given purposes of the Act is illegal and without jurisdiction. reliance is placed on a single Bench decision of this Court reported in Daljit Singh v. The Chief Sales Commissioner, Punjab Jullundur, (1980) 82 Pun LR 256.
4. In my opinion, these petitions are covered squarely by the ratio of a Division Bench Judgment of this Court rendered in Civil Writ petition No. 4465 (Jyoti Ram v. Joint Secretary, Rehabilitation Cum-Settlement Commissioner, Haryana, Chandigarh) decided on 22-4-1983* wherein an identical objection to the sale by auction by the Tahsildar (Sales) was challenged on the very ground of lack of jurisdiction on account of non-issuance of notification appointing him as the Tahsildar (Sales) for the purpose of the Act. The Bench, after referring to the following observations made in the Supreme court decision in Gokaraju Rangaraju v. State of Andhra Pradesh, AIR 1981 SC 1473 repelled the contention and held that the sale could not be set aside for want of proper notification regarding the appointment of Tahsildar (Sales) who conducted the sales and the Additional Settlement Officer (sales) who confirmed the highest bid offered by the respondent:
' A judge do facto therefore is one who is not a mere intruder, or usurper but one who holds office, under colour of lawful authority, though his appointment is defective and may later be found to be defective. Whatever be the defect of his title to the office, Judgments pronounced by him and acts done by him when he was clothed with the powers and functions of the office, albeit unlawfully, have the sale efficacy as judgments pronounced and act done by a judge de jure. Such is the de facto doctrine, born of necessity and public policy to prevent needless confusion and endless mischief.........We are concerned with the office that the Judges purported hold. We are not concerned with the particular incumbents of the office. So long as the office was validly created, it matters not that the incumbent was snot validly appointed.'
Apart from the fact that the view enunciated by the Division Bench of this Court is binding on me. I am otherwise in entire agreement with the view taken by the said Bench.
5. In view of the above, neither the action of the Tahsildar (Sales) nor the orders of the Sales Commissioner and the Chief Sales Commissioner can be termed to be illegal on the ground that they lacked jurisdiction in the case of Tahsildar (Sales) because he had not been so notified and in the case of Sales commissioner and the Chief Sales Commissioner because while acting under the provisions of Act they could not deal with matters which came to be filed under the Rules which the Act allegedly supplanted.
6. The learned counsel for the petitioners. however, canvassed that the authorities under the Act could not dispose of matters filed under the Rules, because there was no provision under the Act, which provided for the repeal of the Rules and, therefore, for the purpose of those cases filed when the Rules were in operation, the authorities competent under the Rules would alone be competent to decide the objections and the revision in question.
7. In my opinion, the learned counsel appears to be harbouring a wrong assumption that the Rules remained operative after the enactment of the Act. The Act completely supplanted the Rules. The Act provided for what the Rules had provided for. Once the Act came to occupy the field which was earlier occupied by the Rules, the Rules automatically stood ousted and could not be considered to be operative despite the enactment of the Act. It was not necessary for that reason at all that there should have been a provision in the Act for repealing the Rules as the Rules automatically stood repealed one the Act became operative. It is only a statute or its provisions that are required to be repealed if the Legislature intends that a new provision or a new statute should take the place of the earlier statute or any of its provision or a new statute should take the place of the earlier statute or any of its provisions. The distinction between the Rules and the Act is obvious. Whereas the Rules are framed by an executive authority of a delegate of the Legislate, the Act is enacted by the Legislature itself and the Legislature in order to enforce the new legislation must a provision in the Legislate on order to enforce the new legislation to do away with the earlier provision or the earlier Act, otherwise both having been enacted by the authority of equal competence would be entitled to operate simultaneously thus generating confusion and disorder.
8. For the reasons aforementioned, there is no merit in these writ Petitions (Civil Writs Nos. 703, 1405 and 2511 of 1977) and the same are dismissed with no order as to costs.
9. Petition dismissed.