Skip to content


Mahadev Daya Ram Vs. Union of India - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Writ Appeal No. 55D of 1965
Judge
Reported in1973RLR174
ActsDisplaced Persons (Claims) Act, 1950; Supplementary Act, 1954 - Rule 6
AppellantMahadev Daya Ram
RespondentUnion of India
Advocates: M. Wadhwani and; R.K. Mehra, Advs
Excerpt:
.....been given to the petitioner, the learned counsel submits he could easily explain as to how he bad claimed the share in the property through his ancestors and that the revenue records had not been brought up to..........and has been allowed to be argued. the power of sun motu revision u/s 5 of the act vests in the chief settlement commissioner. the relevant provisions of the section read as follows .- '5.special power of revision in respect of cases decided under act 44, of 1950-(1) notwithstanding anything contained in the principal act, the chief settlement commissioner- (b) may, on his own motion, but subject to any rules that may be made in this behalf, revise any verified claim and make such .order in relation there to as he thinks fit'(4) the power of revision can, thereforee, be exercised only by the chief settlement commissioner. mr. mehra learned counsel for the respondents, urges that this power had been delegated to mr. wason, additional settlement commissioner and he has not filed the.....
Judgment:

B.C. Misra, J.

(1) Petitioner and his brothers were displaced persons. They had a dispute about property left in Pakistan which they settled by an award on 159.49 and then got the same made rule of court. The judgment gave the names of their father and forefathers. Petitioner then got his claim verified under the D.P. (Claims) Act 1950 on 4.12.52 which was not disputed for a long time. The authorities desired to review it in 1964 U/S 5(1)(b)-of the D, (Claims) Supplementary Act, 1954. Petitioner was served with notice to show cause on 9.3.64 at Hyderabad asking him to appear in Delhi on 12.3.64. He did not appear and it seems that receipt indicating his service did not reach office and matter was adjourned to 24.364. On latter date ex-parte order was passed against the petitioner by the Additional Settlement Commissioner. The petitioner claiming that he came to know of the order on 6.6.64 filed an appeal after obtaining copy of the order. 'Same was dismissed as barred by time. He then moved High Court by Writ. Para 6 onwards the judgment is:-

(2) Assuming for the sake of argument that the notice had been served on the petitioner on 9th March, 1954. I find that the same is not at all satisfactory or valid. The notice had been issued for the hearing to take place on 12.3.64. This notice could hardly be sufficient for the petitioner to take steps to leave Hy

(3) There is another ground which has specifically not been taken by the petitioner, but which is apparent on the face of the record and has been allowed to be argued. The power of sun motu revision U/S 5 of the Act vests in the Chief Settlement Commissioner. The relevant provisions of the section read as follows .-

'5.Special power of revision in respect of cases decided under Act 44, of 1950-(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the principal Act, the Chief Settlement Commissioner- (b) may, on his own motion, but subject to any rules that may be made in this behalf, revise any verified claim and make such .order in relation there to as he thinks fit'

(4) The power of revision can, thereforee, be exercised only by the Chief Settlement Commissioner. Mr. Mehra learned counsel for the respondents, urges that this power had been delegated to Mr. Wason, Additional Settlement Commissioner and he has not filed the notification, since this point had exprassly not been taken But whether or not this power had been conferred, the order of Mr. Wason (the correctness and validity of which has not been denied by the respondents) does not purport to exercise any powers of the Chief Settlement Commissioner as his delegate. This is issued from the office of the Additional Settlement Commissioner, it is signed by him as Additional Settlement Commissioner and bears the seal of his office as such. Mr. Wason was undoubtedly Additional Settlement Commissioner performing the functions as such under the Act. If he purported to exercise any further powers as a delegate of the Chief Settlement Commissioner, it was incumbent upon him to make it plain on the face of the record. His failure to do so will make his order without jurisdiction.

(5) On the merits of the case also, I find that the impugned order cannot be sustained. It cannot be forgotten that the claim of the petitioner based on the decree of the High Court of Bombay, had been verified and accepted by the Claims Officer in 1952 and had remained undisputed for a period of about 11 years. If the officer wanted to exercise his legal powers to review the order suo motu, it was incumbent upon him to clearly convey to the petitioner the grounds and the information on which he wanted to review the order and it could not be left to the whim and the caprice of the officer to commence the review proceedings without any good reason. If the official revenue record received from Pakistan provided any basis for review, the petitioner was entitled to know what those records were and then explain to the satisfaction of the officer the correctness of his own case and show cause as to why the revision should not be made. As mentioned above the stand of the department is that claim files are not open to inspection and the notice issued to the petitioner has not been filed and apparently does not give any indication as to what was contained in the revenue records on the basis of which the reveiw was sought to made suo motu. Apart from informing the petitioner, the Additional Settlement Commissioner himself is not clear about the grounds on which he was reviewing the claim. He has not stated in the order at all as to what were the entries contained in the official record and for which year they related and whether it contained the names of the ancestors of the petitioner. He has only mentioned that the perusal of the Parcha Chhants shows that neither the claiment, nor his father was entered as owner of the land in dispute and in the absence of the claimant, it could not be established how he was entitled to claim the standing in the name of other person. The learned Additional Settlement Commissioner is not secretive about the information of the name and status of the other person in whose name the land stands. The learned counsel for the petitioner suggests that the name in the revenue record might be of his grandfather Metha Ram and his great grandfather Wadhu Mal as the property was Joint Hindu family coparcenary property and it might as well contain the names of his uncles or grand uncles. If this information bad been given to the petitioner, the learned counsel submits he could easily explain as to how he bad claimed the share in the property through his ancestors and that the revenue records had not been brought up to date. In my opinion the impugned order is extremely vague and is based entirely on insufficient grounds. The order of the Additional Settlement Commissioner will, thereforee, have to be quashed. Nor has the Additional Settlement Commissioner given any reasons as to why the decree between the parties mentioned above does not settle the rights of the claimant and form the basis of the verification of the claim.

(6) With regard to the order of the Deputy Chief Settlement Commissioner the petitioner urges that he did not know of the order of the Additional Settlement Commissioner and its copy had been ordered to be supplied to him, but he had received it only on 27th June, 1964 and had filed the appeal on 30th June, 1964 and it was not barred by time. The learned counsel for the respondents explains that there is no provision for any appeal or revision against the order of the Additional Settlement Commissioner passed U/S 5 of the Act. But be that as it may. the order of 14/17.1.64 does not stand in the way of petitioner and the same is, thereforee, quashed.

(7) As a result, I allow the writ petition and quash the impugned orders dt. 14/17th August, 1964 and 24th March. 1964. The orders passed by the claims officer on 4-12-1952 and acted upon for a long time is scarcely the subject of a suo motu revision in 1973, but if the rehabilitation authorities feel that they want to do so in exercise of any powers conferred upon them by law, and they are free to take such action as they think fit in accordance with law and the principles of natural justice.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //