1. A see-saw of decision in various Revenue Courts culminated with the final order passed by the Financial Commissioner, Haryana, (Copy Annexure 'E') which has gone against the petitioners who have challenged the same in the present Writ Petition filed under Articles 226/227 of the Constitution of India.
2. It is needless to recapitulate the history of the litigation between the parties, which has been narrated in the earlier part of the Writ Petition. It would, however, suffice to mention that the Assistant Collector First Grade, Palwal decreed the suit of the petitioners under Section 77 of the Punjab Tenancy Act, and ordered the ejectment of respondents 3 to 9 from the land in dispute as per order Copy Annexure 'A'. The respondents preferred an appeal against the said order before the Collector, Gurgaon, who accepted the same and reversed the order of the Assistant Collector. The petitioners followed the matter before the Commissioner, Ambala, who again accepted their appeal and while reversing the decision of the Collector, affirmed that of the Assistant Collector which was in favour of the petitioners. The respondents, however, went up in Revision under Section 84 of the Punjab Tenancy Act read with Section 24 of the Punjab Security of Land Tenures Act, and the Financial Commissioner accepted their Revision Petition, with the result that he set aside the order of the Commissioner and affirmed that of the Collector. The petitioners have now approached before this Court to impugn the aforesaid order of the Financial Commissioner.
3. The sole contention of the learned counsel for the petitioners is that the learned Financial Commissioner had no jurisdiction to reverse the order passed by the Commissioner by virtue of the powers vested in him under Section 84 of the Punjab Tenancy Act, which powers are equivalent to those contained under Section 115, Code of Civil Procedure. The argument is that there was no lack of jurisdiction on the part of the Commissioner to hear the appeal and the findings given by him in the appeal could not be disturbed by the Financial Commissioner. The learned counsel places reliance upon Dhaunkal v. Man Kauri. 1970 Pun LJ 402(FB) in this behalf.
4. After hearing the learned counsel for the parties I find that the argument advanced by the learned counsel for the petitioners is without force. The revisional powers to be exercised by the Financial Commissioner under Section 84 of the Punjab Tenancy Act are the of the Punjab Tenancy Act are the same as are exercised by this Court under Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure. One of the contingencies where this power can be exercised is when the Subordinate Court has acted in the exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity. The present is pre-eminently a case of that nature. A perusal of the order of the Commissioner (Copy Annexure 'C') would show that the learned Commissioner observed that there is no provision in the law which can save any kind of permanent tenant like the petitioners. It was also observed that Sections 39 and 40 of the Punjab Tenancy Act make a mention only of the occupancy tenant and tenants for a fixed term, but these sections do not give protection to any other kind of tenants. The learned Financial Commissioner rightly found this to be a wrong interpretation of law and held that the respondents could not be deprived of their rights just because they were permanent lease-holders when such rights could be defended by tenants holding for a fixed term. Mr. Sarin, learned counsel for the respondents has supported the interpretation placed by the Financial Commissioner on this aspect of the matter by reference to Bishan Sarup v. Multan Singh, 1931 LLT 28. Incidentally in this case the then Financial Commissioner also held that an order by a lower appellate Court refusing relief against forfeiture is open to revision inasmuch as it involves a failure on the part of such Court to exercise a jurisdiction vested in it under the law.
5. No other point has been argued in this Writ Petition which is without merit and is consequently dismissed. There shall be no order as to costs.
6. Petition dismissed.