D.P. Gupta, Actg. C.J.
1. This writ petition has been filed against the order of the Board of Revenue for Rajasthan at Ajmer, dated March 10, 1981.
2. The petitioner was admittedly employed as a class IV servant in the Higher Secondary School, Shri Bijainagar, since November 1, 1958. A temporary allotment of agricultural land in Chak No. 2 B.L.M was made in favour of the petitioner. The petitioner applied for a permanent allotment of the land 'n question and an order of allotment was passed in favour of the petitioner on January 18, 1974 in respect of 25 Bighas of land situated in Chak No. 2 B.L.M. of village Bilochia in Tehsil Anoopgarh District Sri Ganganagar.
3. A complaint was made that the petitioner had obtained allotment of the aforesaid land by furnishing false information. Thereupon the Deputy Commissioner, Colonization, Rajasthan Canal Project, Bijainagar issued a notice to the petitioner as to why the allotment made in his favour be not cancelled and the land be ordered to be resumed because he had furnished false information regarding his eligibility for allotment of land, intending to deceive the officer making the allotment. According to the petitioner the notice was not served on him personally, but was served on his son. The Deputy Commissioner Colonisation sought information from the Head Master of the Higher Secondary School, Shri Bijainagar, as to whether the petitioner was employed in that school and was in Government service. The Head Master furnished the requisite information and slated that the petitioner was employed as a Class IV servant since November 1, 1958. Thereupon, the Deputy Commissioner, by his order dated December 24, 1976, held that the petitioner was not a 'landless person' and was not an agriculturist by profession & consequently the allotment made in favour of the petitioner was set aside and the land was ordered to be resumed. An appeal preferred by the petitioner before the Additional Commissioner, Colonization cum--Revenue Appellate Authority, Bikaner was dismissed on March 30, 1978 and it was held that the petitioner was not eligible for allotment of land under the relevant Rules. The petitioner filed a further appeal before the Board of Revenue but the same was also dismissed by the Board on March 10, 1981. A review petition filed by the petitioner also met the same fate. Consequently, the present writ petition was filed by the petitioner in this Court.
4. The main argument advanced by the learned Counsel for the petitioner before us was that the notice issued by the Deputy Commissioner, Colonization, was not served upon the petitioner and that there was a breach of the principles of natural justice as the petitioner was not given a reasonable opportunity of presenting his defence. The Deputy Commissioner, Colonization and the Appellate Authority as well as the Board of Revenue have held that the notice issued by the Deputy Commissioner was served upon the petitioner's son and that in pursuance of the service thereof, the petitioned himself appeared before the Deputy Commissioner, Colonization, on 30th September, 1976 & was given an opportunity of presenting his defence. There is no reason for us to disturb the finding of fact concurrently arrived at by the concerned authorities in this respect.
5. Moreover, it is admitted by the petitioner that he was employed as a class IV servant in the Government Higher Secondary School, Shri Bijainagar and as such the allegation made against the petitioner is not disputed by him. Learned Counsel for the petitioner was unable to show as to what explanation the petitioner desired to furnish it on further opportunity would have been afforded to him. The principles of natural justice do not envisage an empty formality, when the petitioner had nothing worthwhile to add in his defence it is apparent that he made false statements in order to secure allotment of land in his favour.
6. The eligibility provision contained in Rule 5 of the Rajasthan Colonization (Allotment & Sale of Government Land in Canal Colony Area) Rules, 1975 (hereinafter called 'the Rules') provided that temporary cultivation lease holders, agricultural graduates, landless persons and Bhakhra landless persons were eligible for allotment of Government land for agricultural purpose. 'Landless person' has been defined in Sub-rule (XIII) of Rule 2 as a person who is a resident of Rajasthan and has been by profession a bonafide agriculturist or a bonafide agricultural labourer, having agriculture as a primary source of his income and who either does not hold any land any where in India or holds land less than 25 Bighas, but does not include a temporary cultivation lease holder. The petitioner was admittedly a Government servant and he cannot, therefore, be a bonafide agriculturist by profession. The learned Counsel for the petitioner placed reliance upon a circular letter said to have been issued by the Government of Rajasthan on June 19, 1973, a copy of which has been produced in the writ petition as Annexure 19. Even the aforesaid circular letter relied upon by the learned Counsel for the petitioner, does not support the case of the petitioner in as much as it has been stated in the said circular letter that in the recent legislation heavy emphasis has been laid on personal cultivation and that would disqualify the serving Government servants from satisfying the eligibility requirement. Merely because it has been stated in the aforesaid circular letter that individual cases shall be considered on merits provisions of the Rules, according to which only a bonafide agriculturist by profession or a bonafide agricultural labourer can be considered as a 'landless person', eligible for allotment of land under the Rules. Even a temporary cultivation lease holder, as defined in clause (XVII) of Rule 2 of the Rules, requires that the person should be a bonafide agriculturist by profession. Thus, to come under the category of a 'landless person' or a 'temporary cultivation lease holder', the emphasis of the relevant Rules is that the concerned person should be a bonafide agriculturist or by profession agricultural labourer. The Board has taken the view that a Government servant cannot be considered as a bonafide agricultrist by profession and we are not prepared to take a different view. Even if there may be two views possible in the matter, as suggested by learned Counsel and the Board of Revenue has accepted one of such views, even then we do not think that it would be a proper case for interference by this Court in a writ of certiorari.
7. As a matter of fact, we are inclined to take the same view as has been taken by the Board or Revenue. Since the petitioner was not eligible for allotment of land & he concealed in his application for allotment of land that he was a Government servant, and on the other hand he mentioned that he was a 'landless person', which he was not in accordance with the definition contained in the Rules, the Deputy Commissioner, Colonization, was justified in holding that the allotment was obtained by giving false information.
8. The Board of Revenue has observed that in the form of application for allotment of land there is clumn about the profession of the applicant We also find that in the column relating to profession, in the copy of the application submitted before us, the petitioner has given 'agriculture' as his profession,, which was obviously a false statement, as the petitioner was admittedly a Government employee at the relevant time. As the allotment was obtained by the petitioner by concealing the fact that he was a Government servant from the allotting authority, the allotment was rightly cancelled and we find no reason to interfere with the order passed by the Board of Revenue.
9. The writ petition has no force and is hereby dismissed.