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Harchand and ors. Vs. State of Rajasthan - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberD.B. Civil Special Appeal No. 91 of 1970
Judge
Reported in1979WLN88
AppellantHarchand and ors.
RespondentState of Rajasthan
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Cases ReferredHem Singh v. The Collector
Excerpt:
.....laud revenue act 1956 - section 85a and limitation act, 1963--article 124 review--limitation of state government does mot possess all trappings of a court--revenue minister reviewing suo moto order of his predecessor--held, article 124 is not applicable.;the application by jaichand to the chief minister on august 17, 1966 was merely an information about the order passed by the former revenue minister without jurisdiction and the state government acting on this information took further proceedings in the matter. it is, therefore, clear that the state government acted suo moru for reviewing the order, passed by the former revenue minister. since the state government docs cot possess all the trappings of a court and it acted suo moto, article 124 of the limitation act does not apply.;(b)..........30, 1964 being aggrieved by the order of dismissal of the appeal, the petitioner moved the state government under section 83 of the act on january 7, 1966 in revision. shri kumbha ram, revenue minister (hereafter' former revenue minister') allowed the revision application by his order dated may 5, 1966 which was issued on july 6, 1966 and directed that the petitioner be not evicted from the land in hi? possession referred to above, subsequently, the residents of village moved the then chief minister of rajasthan on august 17, 1966 that an illegal order was passed by the former revenue minister on may 5, 1966, issued on july 6, 1966, by which he created khatedari rights in the pasture land. the matter, therefore came before the then revenue minister (successor to the former.....
Judgment:

S.K. Mal Lodha, J.

1. This special appeal under Section 18 of the Rajasthan High Court Ordinance, 1949 is aimed at over setting the judgment dated February 9, 1970, passed by the learned Single Judge of this Court by which he dismissed the petitioner Harchand's petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

2. Facts necessary for the disposal of this appeal may briefly be recounted as under: Petitioner Harchand submitted a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for quashing and setting aside of the order (Ex. A) dated October 5, 1967, passed by Shri Brij Sunder Sharma, Revenue Minister of Rajasthan (hereafter 'the then Revenue Minister'), while exercising his power of review under Section 85A of the Rajasthan Land Revenue Act, 1956 ('the Act' hereafter). Petitioner Harchand died during the pendency of the appeal and as such his legal re preventatives were ordered to be brought on record on April 5, 1971. Before the learned Single Judge, it was a common ground between the parties that the petitioner had unauthorisedly occupied 13 Bighas of land in khasra No. 1909 situate in village Dhaneria Dholia, Tehsil Mavli, District Udaipur and sunk a well. The petitioner applied for the allotment of that land on the ground that he had been in possession thereof for the last eight years. The Tahsildar Mavli, took proceedings under Section 91 of the Act against the petitioner treating him as a trespasser and ordered that he may be evicted therefrom Being dissatisfied with that order, the petitioner filed an appeal. The Additional Collector, Udaipur upheld the eviction order. The petitioner went in second appeal before the Revenue Appellate Authority Udaipur but that appeal was dismissed on November 30, 1964 Being aggrieved by the order of dismissal of the appeal, the petitioner moved the State Government under Section 83 of the Act on January 7, 1966 in revision. Shri Kumbha Ram, Revenue Minister (hereafter' former Revenue Minister') allowed the revision application by his order dated May 5, 1966 which was issued on July 6, 1966 and directed that the petitioner be not evicted from the land in hi? possession referred to above, Subsequently, the residents of village moved the then Chief Minister of Rajasthan on August 17, 1966 that an illegal order was passed by the former Revenue Minister on May 5, 1966, issued on July 6, 1966, by which he created khatedari rights in the pasture land. The matter, therefore came before the then Revenue Minister (successor to the former Revenue Minister), who, by his detailed order dated July 23, 1967 and order dated October 5, 1967 set aside the aforesaid order which was issued on July 5, 1966 and upheld the decision of the Revenue Appellate Authority. Being aggrieved by this order of the then Revenue Minister dated October 5, 1967, the petitioner filed a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for quashing and setting aside that order.

3. The writ petition was contested by the State. The detailed order dated July 23, 1967, passed by the then Revenue Minister was filed with the reply wherein it was mentioned that no revision lay to the Government against the judicial order passed by the Revenue Appellate Authority and, therefore, the former Revenue Minister had no jurisdiction to entertain and decide the revisions application against the order of the Revenue Appellate Authority passed in the proceedings against the petitioner under Section 91 of the Act which, undoubtedly, is a judicial proceeding.

4. An objection was taken before the learned Single Judge that the then Revenue Minister had no power under the law to review the order of the former Revenue Minister. Learned Single Judge repelled the contention end held that in view of the specific provisions of Section 85A of the Act, the State Government could review its order. The learned Judge also held that the Tehsildar, the Addl. Collector and the Revenue Appellate Authority had found that the petitioner was rank trespasser and so he is liable to be in ejected from the land under Section 91 of the Act and the then Revenue Minister had no jurisdiction to set aside the order of these three Authorities. In this view of the matter, the learned Single Judge dismissed the writ petition by his order dated February 9, 1970 Against this order, the petitioner-appellant has preferred this special appeal.

5. We have heard Mr. U.R. Tatia, learned Counsel for the appellants. Mr M.D. Purohit, Additional Government Advocate for the State and Mr. M.C. Bhandari for respondent No. 2 and have also carefully gone through the Impugned order and the relevant orders submitted by the parties before the learned Single Judge. At the time of admission of the appeal, learned Counsel for the appellant contended before the Division Bench that the matter relating to the allotment of land for agricultural purposes is a non-judicial proceeding and that the power of review under Section 85A of the Act is subject to the law of limitation under Section 87 of the Act and under Article 124, the period for reviewing a judgment by a court is 30 days The learned Judges, therefore, framed a question: whether there is no limitation for reviewing a non-judicial order to which nor limitation is prescribed under the Indian Limitation Act? Learned Counsel, appearing for the appellants, has raised the following points before us:

(1) that the review petition was barred by time and as such the then Revenue Minister had no jurisdiction to review the order of the former Revenue Minister.

(2) that review was not maintainable as it could be done by the same Minister who passed the order on May 5, 1966 issued on July 6, 1966

(3) that the application for review should have been made to the Revenue Minister whereas the application was made to the Chief Minister of the State and, therefore, order for review could not be passed.

(4) that the Review application could only be preferred by an aggrieved party which is cot the case here and

(5) that the conditions for the grant of review under Order XLVII, Rule 1 CPC are not satisfied and, therefore, the order passed by the then Revenue Minister is vitiated.

Mr. M.C. Bhandari, learned Counsel for the respondent No. 2 and Mr. M.D. Purohit, learned Additional Government Advocate have supported the order under appeal.

6. The first point that arises for our consideration is whether the review application submitted on August 17, 1966 against the order of the former Revenue Minister was barred by lime In order to answer this question we have to see whether there is any period prescribed for review by the State Government. Section 85A of the Act reads as under:

85A Review by the State Government : The State Government may of its own motion or on the application of a party co a proceeding, review and may rescind alter or confirm any order made by it under this Act.

Section 87 provides that the provisions of the Indian Limitation Act, 1308 shall apply to all appeals and applications for review under this Act. A perusal of Sectopm 85A shows that it enables the State Government to review its own orders passed under the Act and these powers may be exercised in two ways : (i) suo moto i.e. of its own motion without any application of the parties when the matter comes to its notice and (ii) on application of a party to such proceedings. In review the original order may be rescinded or altered or confirmed, as the case may be.

7. Article 124 of the Limitation Act, 1963 prescribes a period of thirty days from the date of the decree or order which is sought to be reviewed by a court other than the Supreme Court. This is applicable only where an application is made for review to a court. The period of limitation is not applicable for review suo moto by the State Government under Section 85A of the Act. Section 40A of the Rajasthan Land Reforms & Resumption of Jagirs Act (No. VI of 1952) deals with review and it came up for consideration before this Court in Hem Singh v. The Collector, Banner AIR 1976 Raj. 187. Learned judge observed:

In case of reviewing a certain order suo motu, the authority is not to be governed by any private malice or vengsance & in appropriate circumstances it may act suo motu even after the expiry of there months of the date of the order.

He further observed that it is difficult to hold that the Jagir Commissioner or the Commissioner for Khudkasht Lands constituted under the Act of 1952 possesses all the trappings of a court, & therefore, he opined tint Article 124 of the Limitation Act has no application The reason given by the Learned Judge under Section 40A of the Raj Land Reforms and Resumption of Jagirs Act is equally applicable to the applications for review by the State suo motu under Section 85 of the Act. It would be useful to refer to Section 83, which provides that the State Govt. may call for record of any non-judicial proceedings not connected with settlement held by any officer subordinate to it & may pass thereon such orders as it thinks fit The State Government has no powers to deal with judicial matters and matters connected with settlement which are vested in the Board of Revenue under Section 81. In Section 23(2) of the Act, the expression 'judicial matter' has been defined. According to it, the expression 'judicial matter means a proceeding in which a revenue court or officer has to deter mine the rights and liabilities of the parties thereto and the proceeding and orders as well as appeals, revision and references in the cases specified in the First Schedule are deemed to be judicial matter for the purpose of the Act. In the First Schedule list of judicial matters has been given. The possession of the petitioner Harchand was unauthorised & he had without any authority cultivated the land which was a grazing land and built a well over it. He was held to be an unauthorised person by the Tehsildar and the Additional Collector and the Revenue Appellate Authority upheld their decisions and ordered that he should vacate the land. Against that, a revision application was submitted by Harchand to the former Revenue Minister on December 11, 1964. The former Revenue Minister vide order dated May 5, 1966, issued on July 6, 1966, accepted the revision application and the ordered that he should not be dispossessed. Jaichand, who was a Sarpanch at the relevant done, submitted an application to the Chief Minister of the State on August, 17, 1966 objecting to the decision of the former Revenue Minister The then Revenue Minister was of the opinion that proceedings under Section 91 are of purely judicial nature and only the Revenue courts are competent to decide such cases In this view of the matter, the then Revenue Minister, was of the opinion that the matter being a judicial one could not be revised by the former Revenue Minister by interfering with the decision of the Revenue Appellate Authority. He therefore, set aside that order and maintained that of the Revenue Appellate Authority. The application by Jaichand to the Chief Minister on August 17, 1966 was merely an information about the order passed by the former Revenue Minister without jurisdiction and the State Government, acting on this information took further proceedings in the matter. It is, therefore, clear that the State Government acted suo motu for reviewing the order, passed by the former Revenue Minister. Since the State Government does not possess all the trappings of a court and it acted suo moto, Article 124 of the Limitation Act does not apply. Section 86 of the Act provides for review by the Board and other Courts Section 86(1) provides for review by the Board and for this purpose, no period of limitation is prescribed. Section 86(2) proviso (iii) lays down that no order affecting any question of right between private persons shall be reviewed except on the application of a party to the proceedings, and no application for the review of such order shall be entertained unless it is nude within ninety days from the passing of the order. This provision has no application to the present case before us as Section 86, as stated above, deals with review by the Board and other Courts. Section 87 is regarding the applicability of the Limitation Act and it provides that the provisions of the Limitation Act shall apply to all appeals and applications for review under the Act. Section 86(1) does not mention any period of limitation, whereas a period of ninety days is prescribed for Courts and officers other than the Board under Sub-section (2) of Section 85 of the Act Section 87 of the Act merely says that the Limitation Act shall apply to all appeals and applications for review under the Act. Article 124 of the Limitation Act applies for review by a court other than the Supreme Court In these circumstances, argument of the learned Counsel for the appellant that the application for review was barred by limitation when it was presented on August 17. 1956 is devoid offence and it is, therefore, rejected.

8. Under Section 85A of the Act, amongst others, the State Government has been given power to act suo moto to review an order. When an application was submitted by Jaichand, Sarpanch, to the Chief Minister of the State, there was nothing irregular when the then Revenue Minister passed the order setting aside the order of the former Revenue minister. Thus the order of the Revenue Appellate Authority that Harchand should vacate the land, was maintained.

9. It may be mentioned here that at the instance of the Gram Panchayat Kharthana, proceedings under Section 91 of the Act were initiated against Harchand on the ground that he was a trespasser on pasture land measuring 13 Bighas of khasra No. 1909 The application for review of the order, passed by the former Revenue Minister in revision came to be disposed of by the then Revenue Minister, who was successor in office. In these circumstances the arguments of the learned Counsel that the review could be made by the same Minister or that the review application should have been made to the Revenue Minister and not to the Chief Minister are futile as Section 85A confers powers on the State Government to review its order. The so called review application, was submitted to the Chief Minister of the State under Section 85A of the Act.

10. The fourth contention of the learned Counsel that only aggrieved party could file a review application also deserves to be rejected. No such argument was advanced before the learned Single Judge. However, we propose to deal with it also. Proceedings under Section 91 of the Act were instituted against Harchand in the court of Tehsilder, Mavli on the report of Patwari and Sarpanch, Gram Panchayat Kharthana. The main ground in the report was that Harchand has committed trespass on the pasture land.

11. The Revenue Appellate Authority confirmed the finding of the subordinate Revenue Authorities that he (Harchand) was in unauthorised occupation on Bilanam Government, Charnotland. The order for ejectment was maintained. The former Revenue Minister purporting to exercise his revisional powers, set aside the order of the Revenue Authorities. This led to the filing of the so called application for review by the Sarpanch, Gram Panchayat on August 17, 1966 bringing it to the notice of the State Government that the former Revenue Minister had passed the order without jurisdiction & acting on this information, the then Revenue Minister in exercise of the powers under Section 85A of the Act, reviewed the order and set it aside. In these circumstances, the power of the State Government for review were exercised suo moto. In our opinion, learned Counsel for the appellant is not correct in his submission that the aggrieved party should have preferred to view application. Be that as it may, the information about the order of the former Revenue Minister was conveyed by the Sarpanch of the Gram Panchayat, who was certainly aggrieved by the order of the former Revenue Minister, by which he set aside the order of the Revenue Authorities, passed in the proceedings under Section 91 of the Act.

12. Now, we deal with the last contention of the learned Counsel for the appellant, namely, that the conditions for the grant of the review under Order XLVII, Rule 1 CPC did not exist and, therefore, the order passed by the then Revenue Minister is vitiated. This contention was not raised before the learned single Judge but the learned Counsel for the appellant urged that when the validity at the impugned order of the then Revenue Minister was in question, then whether there existed any ground for review or not was requited to be examined. We consider it proper to examine this contention also.

13. Section 85A enables the State Government to review its own orders passed under the Act. Similar powers of review have been conferred on the Beard in relation to the orders passed by it under the Act vide Section 86(1). The other revenue courts and officers have also been vested with the powers of review, but certain restrictions have been imposed by the proviso to Sub-section (2) of Section 86, Sub-section (3) of Section 86 says that provisions of Code of Civil Procedure under Rule 1 of Order XLVII of the First Schedule shall apply to the proceedings for review under Section 86 subject to the provisions contained in Sub-section (1) or Sub-section (2).

14. No such limitations for review have been provided under Section 85A of the Act. It may be, for the reasons, that the State Government is the highest authority in regard to non-judicial matters and matters not connected with the settlement. There are no restrictive provisions under Section 83 also, which provide for revision by the State Government in respect of non-judicial matters and matters not connected with the settlement. There are restrictive provisions under Section 84, dealing with the powers of the Board relating to revision of orders in regard to the judicial matters and matters connected with settlement. In these circumstances, we regret, we cannot accept the contention of the learned Counsel for the appellants that the then Revenue Minister was not justified in reviewing the order of the former Revenue Minister as no ground existed under Order XLVII, Rule 1 CPC. Learned Single Judge has held that the former Revenue Minister had no authority to set aside the order of the Revenue Authorities, that findings were recorded by the Revenue Authorities while exercising their judicial powers under Section 91 of the Act and that Harchand was a rank trespasser and. therefore, he was liable to be ejected from the land under the provisions of Section 91 of the Act. As the former Revenue Minister could not set aside the order under Section 83 of the Act, the order passed by him was clearly without jurisdiction, and, therefore, there was a good ground for the then Revenue Minister for reviewing the order of the former Revenue Minister. For these reasons, no valid exception can be taken to the order, passed by the then Revenue Minister.

15. No other point survives for our consideration in this appeal.

16. The result is that this appeal has no force and it is accordingly dismissed. In circumstance of the case, we leave the parties to bear their own costs of this appeal.


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