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Prem Chand and 7 ors. Vs. State of Rajasthan and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.B. Civil Misc. Writ Nos. 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236 and 237 of 1978
Judge
Reported in1978WLN(UC)246
AppellantPrem Chand and 7 ors.
RespondentState of Rajasthan and ors.
DispositionPetition allowed
Cases ReferredNathulal v. Collector Sawai Jaipur
Excerpt:
.....rule 14--held, it cannot exercise same powers again--power of review not provided in rules and the state government cannot exercise it suo moto.;the power of review is a creature of statute and no authority can initiate review proceedings unless such power has been provided for in the statute.;the power of revision contained in rule 14 having already been exercised in the present cases by the state government, the same could not be exercised over and over again.;the rules do not contain any power of review and no such power under any other law has been shown to exist by the learned additional govt. advocate appealing on behalf of the state government. i, therefore, hold that state government had no power of suo moto review in respect of its order dated september 12, 1977 passed on merits..........time in the year 1974.3. one chandmal soni, resident of bhilwara, felt aggrieved and moved the state government under rule 14 of the rules and prayed that the aforesaid orders regarding conversion and regularization, passed by the collector, bhilwara dated june 21, 1974 be set aisde. however, the state government while exercising the provisional powers under rule 14, dismissed the application of chandmal soni and confirmed the order passed by the collector bhilwara by the orders passed by the then revenue minister on september 12, 1977.4. the grievance of the petitioners is that thereafter the collector bhilwara has given notice to the petitioners directing them to appear before the revenue minister for a suo moto review of the earlier order passed on september 12, 1977. learned.....
Judgment:

D.P. Gupta, J.

1. These 7 writ petitions have been taken up today for final hearing with the consent of the learned Counsel for the parties. As common questions of law and fact are raised in these writ petitions, it would be convenient to decide them by a common order.

2. The case of all the petitioners is that each one of them had applied for conversion of agricultural land under his tenancy and possession and situated within district of Bhilwara, into land meant lot residential or commercial purposes in urban area, in accordance with the provision of Rule 5 of the Rajasthan (Allotment & Conversion of Agricultural Land for Residential or Commercial Purposes in Urban Areas) Rules 1971 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Rules'). The Collector, Bhilwara, after consulting the Urban Improvement Trust, Bhilwara, passed an order on 21-6-74 allowing the requisite conversion article regularization for the use of agricultural land for construction of residential houses by granting leases for a period of 99 years on payment of premium urban assessment etc as directed by him in his aforesaid order. In pursuance of the said order of the Collector Bhilwara, leases were duly executed by each one of the petitioners and State of Rajasthan and lease agreements were duly registered some time in the year 1974.

3. One Chandmal Soni, resident of Bhilwara, felt aggrieved and moved the State Government under Rule 14 of the Rules and prayed that the aforesaid orders regarding conversion and regularization, passed by the Collector, Bhilwara dated June 21, 1974 be set aisde. However, the State Government while exercising the provisional powers under Rule 14, dismissed the application of Chandmal Soni and confirmed the order passed by the Collector Bhilwara by the orders passed by the then Revenue Minister on September 12, 1977.

4. The grievance of the petitioners is that thereafter the Collector Bhilwara has given notice to the petitioners directing them to appear before the Revenue Minister for a suo moto review of the earlier order passed on September 12, 1977. Learned Counsel for the petitioners contends that there is no provision for such a review under the Rules and as such the proceedings for suo moto review initiated by the Revenue Minister are without jurisdiction. Leaned Additional Government Advocate placed reliance on the provisions of Rule 14 of the Rules in defending the proceedings for a suo moto review by the State Government and urged that the provisions of Rule 14 have over riding effect and vest the power of review in the State Government and because the earlier order passed by the then Revenue Munster dated September 12, 1977 was an order dismissing the application of Chandmal Soni in default of application, as such it was not a final adjudication of the matter in dispute and on the aforesaid basis the proceedings for suo moto review are sought to be supported on behalf of the State Government.

5. The Rules contained a provision for appeal to the State Govt. against the order passed by the Collector, as contained in Rule 30(1) of the Rules. But the said provision of appeal has been deleted by the notifi cation of the State government dated March 16, 1974 published in the Raj. Gazette of the same date. Thus on the date the order authorising conversions and regularization of agricultural land for residential purposes was passed by the Collector, Bhilwara in these cases on June 21, 1974, no provision of appeal existed. Rule 14 of the Rules, as I have already observed above, is analogous to the power of revision of the State Government.

Rule 14 runs as under:

Rule 14 : Powers of the Government (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in these Rules, the State Government either on its own motion or on the application of any person, shall have the powers to call for record of any case and pass such order as it deems fit, after giving the parties concerned an opportunity of being heard.

(2) Notwithstanding any thing contained in these Rules but subject to the provisions of Section 90-A of the Act, the State Government shall have powers to regularize the use of agricultural land for construction of residential house or for commercial purpose on any terms as it deems fit.

6. There can be no doubt that the power under Rule 14 could be exercised by the State Government either suo moto or on an application of any interested person and it may also be accepted that powers of revision in respect of the orders passed by the Collector as contained in Rule 14, are of wide amplitude, as there are no conditions or letters circumscribing the exercise of the power of revision contained in Rule 14, How ever, in the cases before mr, the State Government has already exercised the power contained in Rule 14, while passing its order dated September 12, 1977. A bare perusal of the order parsed by the Revenue Minister on September 12, 1977 shows that not only the application of Chand Mai Soni has been dismissed for default of appearance, but various reasons advanced in that it also considered the validity of the order of Collector khilwara on merits and held that the Collector has complied with the provisions and instructions issued by the State Government in respect of conversion of agricultural land for residential or commercial use. The State Government, alter consideration of the merits of the case, confirmed the order passed by the Collector, Bhilwara and the stay order issued by the State Government was set aside. Thus, it is not now open for the State Government to say in answer to these writ petitions that no judicial or final adjudication has taken place in these matters and that the order dated September 12, 1977 was merely an order of dismissing the application of Chandmal Soni in default on appearance

7. The State Government having already exercised the powers vested in it under Rule 14 of the Rules, the question which now arises is as to whether the same power could be exercised again by the State Government by a sue motor review of the earlier order dated September 12, 1977. It may be observed here that the power of review is a creature of statute and no authority can initiate review proceedings unless such power has been provided for in the statute. In this connection, reliance can be placed upon the decision of this Court in Harji v. Board of Revenue ILR 1952 (2) Raj 162 wherein it was laid down that the well settled principle of law is that, leaving exceptional cases apart, unless a Court is empowered by statute to review its own judgment, it cannot review it. It was held in the aforesaid case that the Rajasthan Revenue Board was not competent to review its own judgment in a case decided under the Rajasthan Tenants' Protection Ordinance, 1949, arising out of the territories of the erstwhile Tonk State

8. It was held by this Court in Nathulal v. Collector Sawai Jaipur ILR 1951 (I) Raj. 47 that the Jaipur Rent Control Order 1947 did not contain any provision for review and as such the Some was not permissible. Apart from correcting clerical mistakes or errors arising from accidental omissions, no power has been vested in a statutory authority to review a final decision given by it on merits, unless it is empowered by status to review its earlier order, by a provision analogous to that contained in Order 47 Rule 1 CPC.

9. As I have already observed above that the power of revision contained in Rule 14 having already been exercised in the present cases by the State Government, the same could not be exercised over and over again. Once the power under Rule 14 has been exercised by the State Government, either on the applications of some person or even suo moto, the same stands exhausted and could no longer be exercised over again. Learned Additional Government Advocate was undone to show that any power of review is vested in the State Government under the Rules, which is applicable to the matter involved in these proceedings. The Rules do not contain any power of review and no such power under any other law has been shown to exist by the learned Additional Government Advocate appearing on behalf of the State Government. I therefore, hold that Sate Government had no power of suo moto review in respect of its order dated September 12, 1977 passed on merits under Rule 14 of the Rules.

10. In the result, all the aforesaid seven writ petitions are allowed. The notice issued by the Collector, Bhilwara dated April 19, 1978, as well as proceedings in connection with the so called suo moto review of the order passed by the State Government dated September 12, 1977, are quashed.

11. However, the parties are left to bear their own costs.


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