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State of Rajasthan Vs. Board of Revenue and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLimitation
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberD.B Civil Writ Petition Nos. 318, 319, 320, 321, 322, 223 and 324 of 1973
Judge
Reported in1980WLN(UC)40
AppellantState of Rajasthan
RespondentBoard of Revenue and ors.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredJagat Dhish v. Jawahar Lal
Excerpt:
.....and filed an application for obtaining certified copy either earlier to the preparation of the decree-sheet or at-least, on that date if there were any extraordinary or exceptional reasons for not doing so, then it was the duty of the state to have filed an application giving sufficient cause for not doing so. the board of revenue was, therefore, perfectly justified in holding that even on the assumption of all the legal submissions made by the learned counsel for the appellants, delay of 55 days for applying for certified copy after preparation of the decree-sheet and further delay of seven days after getting the copy of decree-sheet in filing the same, have not at all been explained. we cannot extend our jurisdiction and travel beyond the well-set frontiers and the points convassed..........facts regarding the dispute about the preparation of the decree and filing of certified copy of decree-sheet and the time taken therein as this dispute alone embraces the entire controversy about the point of limitation. the suits were decided by the sub-divisional officer on 23 12 64 when they were decreed in favour of the plaintiffs and against the defendants. the appeals in all these cases were filed on 24-2-65. it is not in dispute that certified copy of the decree-sheet was not filed along with the judgment when the appeals were filed and further that the decree-sheet was not in existence at that time as is obvious from the judgment of the board of revenue, when the appeals were pending before the colonisation commissioner, an application was submitted by the respondents on.....
Judgment:

G.M. Lodha, J.

1. These are seven writ petitions arising from the judgment of the Board of Revenue dated 26-3 70 in cases 34 to 40/Bikaner of the year 1967.

2. There were seven civil suits before the Sub-Divisional Officer. Bikaner Nos. 21. 22, 23, 25, 26, 27 and 28 of 1964 and in all these cases, the plaintiffs Sprayer was that they should be declared khatedar tenants of the agricultural land of various khasra Nos. This agricultural land was in the Jagir of Rao Devisingh and the plaintiffs in the different suits were in cultivatory possession of different parts thereof at the time the Jagir was resumed under the provisions of the Rajasthan. Land Reforms at d Resumption of jagirs Act, 1952. All these suits were decreed by the Sub-Divisional Officer and aggrieved from that the State filed appeals before the Colonisation Commissioner, who had powers to entertain appeals as the Revenue Appellate Authority.

3. These appeals were dismissed by the Colonisation Commissioner by judgment dated 21-1166 which is Ex 6 on the record The principal ground of dismissal of the appeals was that they were time barred.

4. Aggrieved from the above, the State filed appeals in the seven cases before the Board of Revenue. The Board of Revenue has also dismissed these appeals and confirmed the judgment of the Colonisation Commissioner. The Board has held that the appeals were time-barred Against the judgment of the Board of Revenue, these seven writ applications have been filed and as not only the judgment of the Board of Revenue is the same, the point raised in all these seven writ applications relates only to the question of limitation, these seven writ applications are decided by a common judgment.

5. It would be necessary to give some facts regarding the dispute about the preparation of the decree and filing of certified copy of decree-sheet and the time taken therein as this dispute alone embraces the entire controversy about the point of limitation. The suits were decided by the Sub-Divisional Officer on 23 12 64 when they were decreed in favour of the plaintiffs and against the defendants. The appeals in all these cases were filed on 24-2-65. It is not in dispute that certified copy of the decree-sheet was not filed along with the judgment when the appeals were filed and further that the decree-sheet was not in existence at that time As is obvious from the judgment of the Board of Revenue, when the appeals were pending before the Colonisation Commissioner, an application was submitted by the respondents on 5-5-65 stating that no application for obtaining copies of decree from the Sub-Divisional Officer was submitted by the State and that being so, there was neither a proper appeal nor it was presented within time. The Colonisation Commissioner passed an order on 27-1165 on this application and directed that,

1. case files be sent to the trial court with direction to prepare the decree and return the files,

2. that the Government Advocate should present certified copies of the decree, and

3. that the proceedings in the appeals be adjourned.

It is not in dispute that the decrees were prepared in pursuance of the above direction and signed on 24-12-65. The State filed application for obtaining certified copies on 17-2-66. The certified copies of the decree-sheet were filed in the application 5-3-66.

6. On the basis of the above undisputed facts, the Board of Revenue has held that even if the time taken before the date of preparation of the decree sheet and signing of it is excluded and further, the time taken in preparation of the certified copy of the d(sic)reesheet is also excluded, then also the appeals were parred by time by 62 days. In para 14 of the judgment, the Board of Reverme has held that after the decree sheet were drawn & signed, the State took 55 days to apply for copies and another week, after getting the copies to present them in the first agpellate court.

7. When Mr. Calla, learned Counsel for the State, was confronted with this factual position he did not raise any dispute so far as the facts are concerned. However, his submission is that in a case where a decree-sheet is not pre pared by the Court, the parties should not be penalised for that is task of the Court and the appeals should not be dismissed as being barred by time. The proposition of law, as submitted by Mr. Calla. is correct. However, in the instant case, the facts are not as simple as contemplated for applying the above principles of law An objection was raised by the respondents before the Commissioner and on that a diretion was issued and the decree-sheet was prepared in fact. Not only that, a certified copy of the decree sheet was also obtained by the State and was filed in the first appellate court. That being so, the present one is not a case where no decree sheet at all was prepared. In the present ease, obviously, when a direction was given by the Commissioner, it was the duty of the petitioner State to have become vigilent and filed an application for obtaining certified copy either earlier to the preparation of the decree-sheet or at-least, on that date If there were any extraordinary or exceptional reasons for not doing so, then it was the duty of the State to have filed an application giving sufficient cause for not doing so. The present one is a case in which the pensioner State has remained indifferent and negligent towards its duty to apply for a certified copy of the decree-sheet from the very beginning and 'his indifference and negligence was continued even after an order was passed by the Commissioner for Colonisation and the decree-sheet was prepared in pursuance of that The fact that the application for obtaining certified copy of the decree-sheet was made after 55 days of the preparation of the decree-sheet only confirms our observations mentioned above. There appears to be no earthly reason for condoning such a long delay. The Board of Revenue was, therefore, perfectly justified in holding that even on the assumption of all the legal submissions made by the learned Counsel for the appellants, delay of 55 days for applying for certified copy after preparation of the decree-sheet and further delay of seven days after getting the copy of decree-sheet in filing the same, have not at all been explained. We are in agreement with this finding of the Board of Revenue.

8. Mr. Calla relied upon the judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Jagat Dhish v. Jawahar Lal (1) wherein the following observations have been made:.Where a decree is not drawn up immediately or soon after a judgment is pronounced, two types of cases may arise. A litigant feeling aggrieved by the decision may apply for the certified copy of the judgment and decree before the decree is drawn up. or he may apply for the said decree after it is drawn up. In the former case, where the litigant, has done all that he could and has made a proper application for obtaining the necessary copies, the time requisite for obtaining the copies must necessarily include not only the time taken for the actual supply of the certified copy of the decree but also for the drawing up of the decree itself. In other words, the time taken by the office or the Court in drawing up a decree after a litigant has applied for its certified copy on judgment being pronounced, would be treated as a part of the time taken for obtaining the certified copy of the said decree....

He has also relied upon the observations made in para 11,.the litigant deserves to be protected against the default committed or negligence shown by the Court or its officers in the discharge of their duties.

The Board of Revenue has already taken the view that it was prepared to allow all the time taken before the preparation of the decree and further allow the time taken for obtaining a copy of the same after the same was applied for, until the copy was delivered. That being so, the principles cnunciated in the above judgment can only help the petitioner for getting the benefit to the above extent only. Moreover, the directions contemplated in this judgment were actually given in the instant case by the Colonisation Commissioner. In fact, the omission or mistake was on the part of the petitioner in not making an application at all for obtaining certified copy of the decree at the time the application for obtaining cenifild copy of the judgment was given. In para 14 of the Jagat Dish's case, the Hon'ble Supreme Court has observed that in a case where the decree-sheet is not at all prepared, although an application has been filed by the appellant for certified copy of the decree, then the office of the Court should examine the appeal and return the appeal to the appellant for presentation with certified copy of the decree after it is obtained The Court can also direct the subordinate Court to draw up the decree forthwith without any delay.

9. In the instant case, since it is not in dispute that neither any application was moved for obtaining certified copy of the decree initially, nor was it moved till 55 days expired alter the decree sheet was prepared in pursuancce of direction of the Colonisation Commissioner, the benefit contemplated by the above judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court cannot be given to the petitioner. It is further to be noted that more than seven days time was taken even after the certified copy was obtained by the petitioner for filing it in the first appellate court and all this exhibited series of negligent acts of the petitioner.

10. In view of the above, as we have already observed that so far as the finding of the Board of Revenue on the question of limitation is concerned, we are in complete agreement with it and we do not find any reason to take a different view, more so, in the writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution.

11. It was then argued by Mr. Calla that the judgment of the Sub-Divisional Officer was based en a judgment of this Court which was, subsequently, set at at naught by a Corstitutional Amendment. This controversy requires first constitution of the facts of the case and then the application of the law in relation to them. Admittedly, before the Board of Revenue, this point was neither argued, nor pressed. There is no discussion en this point in the judgment of the Board of Revenue and it has not been pointed out to us either by way of and affidavit of the counsel who argued the case before the Board of Revenue or even otherwise that this point was specifically argued and pressed before the Board of Revenue. That having not been done, we are ret inclinedto permit Mr. Cilia to make submissions on this aspect of the case. It should not be forgotten that while hearing a writ of certiorari under Article 226 of the Constitution, our jurisdiction is limited to examining the record of the lower court to and out whether there has been any jurisdictional error or error apparent on the face of record warranting interference. The judgments, both of the Colonisation Commissioner and the Board of Revenue show that the only question argued and considered by them was regarding the maintainability of the appeals as they were barred by time. We cannot extend our jurisdiction and travel beyond the well-set frontiers and the points convassed before the lower courts. Thas being so, the second submission of Mr. Calla is also untenable and cannot be entertained.

12. Mr. Arora appearing for the respondents pointed out that there has been gross, inordinate and unexplained delay of three years in filing these writ applications The judgment of the Board of Revenue is dated 26-3-70 and the writ applications have been filed on 13-2-73 No reason, whatsoever, to explain this inordinate delay has been given either in the writ applications nor it has been verbally explained to us during the bearing. These writ applications could have been dismissed on the ground of inordinate and unexplained delay also as mentioned above.

13. All the seven writ applications, therefore, fail and arc hereby dismissed without any order as to costs


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