1. This petition presents manifestly peculiar method of working going on in some public offices. The petitioner herein challenges by this petition the order Annexure(A) passed by the Collector,Bhavnagar,being dated 25-12-1975.
2. A few facts which show Phow the matter has arisen are required to be stated. The petioner is an Ex-ruler of the erstwhile Bhavnagar State and was holding several lands in the villages of Bhavnagar area. The petitioner's say was that he had inherited these lands from his father Shri Krisnakumarsinhji, who died somewhere in the year 1965. One of the properties with the petitioner is the land survey No. 258 known as 'Neelam Baug Palace'. The Palace in that survey number was constructed by the father of the petitioner and the surrounding open land was used for sundry purposes like servants' quarters, garage etc. with the coming into force of the Gujarat Agricultural Lands Ceiling Act, 1960 (Gujarat Act No. 27 of 1961) the petitioner was required to furnish a statement under Section 10 of the Act regarding agricultural lands held by him. Accordingly, the petitioner had furnished a statement to the Mamlatdar, Bhavnagar on November 30, 1961. However, the aforesaid survey No. 258 which admeasures about 5 lac sq. yards was not set out by him because according to him it was not an agricultural piece of land.
3. The Tribunal constituted under the Act conducted some inquiry and held that the petitioner was entitled to hold only 10 Acres of land comprising Survey Nos. 244, 459, 471/3, 17114 Paiki and declared 5095 acres lands as Surplus land. He had passed the said Order on 5-10-1970. Against the said order of that authority, the petitioner had preferred. an appeal to the Resident Deputy Collector, Bhavnagar which was taken on his file by the Collector, who by his order dated 26-3-1971 held that no lands situated in Bhavnagar Vadva etc. in possession of the petitioner could be declared as surplus land. He meant Survey No 258.
4. Against the aforesaid order of the Collector the State Government had filed a Revision Application to the Gujarat Revenue Tribunal and the Collector's order dated 26-3-1971 came to be set aside on the ground that before withdrawing the proceedings from the Resident Deputy Co11ector, the Collector had not given any notice to the State Government, The Collector's order, therefore, was set aside and the matter was remanded to the Collector. After remand, the Collector heard the appeal and by his order dated 26-3-1973, he dismissed the appeal preferred by the petitioner and upheld the order of the Mamlatdar with some modifications. The Collector, however, added the abovementioned Survey No. 258 of Vadva-Bhavnagar to the list of the lands and called upon the Mamlatdar who was the authority under the Act to issue a formal notice to the petitioner in that , regard and the Collector directed the said authority to take that land Survey No. 258 also into consideration for the purpose of calling upon the petitioner to have choice of the land to be retained by him. The petitioner's contention was that this Survey No. 258 was at no relevant stage an agricultural land but was land appurtenant to the palace, The petitioner had, therefore, filed the Revision Application No. TEN. B. R. 30 of 1973 before the Gujarat Revenue Tribunal, who had by its order dated 3-1-1974 allowed the revision application and had declared that the land admeasuring in all 910-A-2. G. was to be taken into account for the purpose of Section 6(1) of the Ceiling Act. In respect of the Survey No. 258, the Revenue Tribunal impliedly ultimately held that it was not forming part of the total area 910-A-2G. which were the total lands of the petitioner to be taken into account for the purpose of Section 6(1) of the Ceiling Act. I say that the Tribunal excluded the Survey No. 258 by necessary implication because the various survey Numbers that go to the total 910 As. 2-Gs. do not include this survey number. This is further evident from the fact that the Government understood the order above and, therefore, filed a Review Application to the Tribunal. A preliminary objection was taken before the Tribunal about the maintainability of that review application and the Tribunal held that it was maintainable. Against that order the Special Civil Application No. 204/75 had come to be filed by this petitioner in this High Court and my brother S. H. Sheth J. who by his judgment. Dated 14-7-1975 rejected that, review application, observed that while exercising the review powers under Section 17 of the Bombay Revenue Tribunal Act, 1939, the Tribunal would keep itself confined within the limits of law as elaborated in that judgment. When the review application came to be dealt with on merits by the Gujarat Revenue Tribunal, the latter dismissed it. This is clearly admitted by Mr. Christi for the respondent-State.
5. From what has been stated above, it is clear that with respect to the survey No. 258 in which Neelam Palace is situated there is a Tribunal's adjudication that it is not to be treated as agricultural lands to be taken into account for the purpose of Section 6(1) of the Ceiling Act. The question stood concluded at that stage, and still the Collector issued the impugned notice Annexure-A restraining the petitioner from in any way disposing of that open land forming part of survey Number 258, The petitioner has, therefore, filed the present, petition challenging the said order of injunction so-called.
6. The order Annexure-A cannot be allowed to stand for two reasons. The first reason is that the Public Officer, namely, the Collector has no power under law, exercising his authority under the Ceiling Act, 1961 to issue any such injunction. No other provision of law is brought to my notice on the basis of which it could be said that the Collector has such power to issue such an injunction. However, Mr. Christi, the learned Assistant Public Prosecutor appearing for the State contended that when the matter was under inquiry and when Section 7(1) of the Act prohibited alienation by declaring such alienation void, it was implicit in the said provision of Section 7(1) of the Act that the Collector could issue an Injunction. That Section 7(1) provides for invalidity of the transfer. If the sale and other transaction are entered into by the petitioner despite the alleged prohibition contained in Section 7(1) of the Act the authority acting, under the Act can ignore those Transactions and go ahead with the proceedings as if the said transactions are not there. It, however, does not clothe the authority with the powers to issue an injunction of the type. A public officer has got only those powers, which are specifically permitted by law though a citizen. On the other hand will be entitled to do anything and everything except that which is prohibited by law. This distinction based on the rule of law is to be borne in mind by all concerned.
7. The second reason to set aside the injunction. Order Annexure-A is the judgment of the Revenue Tribunal as elaborated by me above. Though in the Revenue Tribunal's judgment survey No. 258 is not specially referred to gut it is excluded from the purview of Section 6(1) of the Act and so by necessary implication and inevitable inference it is so declared by the Tribunal. I have already elaborated this part of my say above and, therefore, do not reiterate the same here. The Collector, therefore, had no authority to bring this survey No. 258 within the clutches of the Ceiling Act, 1960 and, therefore. He had no power to issue any such injunction even if it were assumed that under this Act he hips by necessary implication power to issue an injunction.-
8. In the above view of the matter, the petition is entitled to succeed. The alleged injunction order Annexure -A is set aside. Rule is accordingly made absolute with no order as to costs. it is not necessary for me to emphasize that the inquiry which is now pending before the competent authority can go on and this judgment shall not be a bar to such further inquiry or any inquiry under any other law.
9. Petition allowed