M.L. Joshi, J.
1. The petitioner is ex Jagirdar of Bhensoradgarh in District Chittorgarh. His 'jagir' was resumed under the provisions of the Rajasthan Land Reforms and Resumption of jagir Act, 1962. hereinafter called the Act, on 23rd of Aug at, 1954. Under Section 23 of the Act, the fruit bearing trees excepting the 'keth' tree belonging to the petitioner were declared to be his private property by the Jagir Commissioner by his order dated 27th June, 1959, The order of the Jagir Commissioner is Annexure 1. The exclusion of the 'keth' tree from the list of the persona) property gave a cause of grievance to the petitioner who went in appeal before the Beard of Revenue. The Board by its judgment dated 14th April, 1960, allowed the appeal and held that the 'keth' tree is also a fruit bearing tree and should be included in the private property of the petitioner.
2. In the year 1961, the Sarpancb Gram Pancahyat Barcdia in whose local limits Charcot came to be included wanted to auction fruit bearing trees of 'keth' and 'khajoor' including that of the petitioner. The petitioner, therefore, made a representation to the Collector who by his order dated 10th July, 1961, ordered the Tabsildar not to interfere with the fruit trees belonging to the petitioner. Despite that Sarparch Gram Panchayat Barodia proceeded to auction the 'keth' trees in the village Charnot. The petitioner challenged the action of the Sarpanch before the Collector who by his order dated 14th July, 1970, directed the Sarpanch Gram Panchayat Barodia not to auction the fruit bearing trees in view of the decision of the Board of Revenue in the petitioner's favour. The Collector consequently set aside the auction held by the Sarapanch Gram Panchayat. Thereafter a dispute appears to have been raised on behalf of some persons before the Collector to the effect that the fruit baring trees which had grown after the date of resumption of the Jagir should be deemed to be the property of the State. This representation found favour with the Collector who without hearing the petitioner addressed the communication to the Jagir Commissioner and sought the clarification about the trees which had grown after the date of resumption of the Jagir. The Jagir Commissioner opined that the trees which had grown after the date of the resumption could not be held to be the property of the Jagirdar but the same will be the State property. On receiving the above communication from the Jagir Commissioner the Collector ordered on 29th of November, 1973, to survey all the fruit bearing trees with a view to determine which had grown after the date of the resumption and which were in existence at the time of resumption. The notice for conducting the survey was of course given to the petitioner. The petitioner made submissions before the Collector that the question as to which trees were old and which trees were new is a disputed question of fact which requires to be determined in an objective manner and that too by the Jagir Commissioner and the determination of the matter by mere survey by the Forest Officer will not be in consonance with the provisions of law and also with the principles of natural justice. Inspite of the objection of the petitioner to the above effect the Collector did not pay any heed to it. The Collector ordered that order dated 10th April, 1974, be implemented by a survey to be conducted by the Forest Officer and if the petitioner wanted to associate, it was open to him to assist the Forest Officer and if he did not associate with the Forest Officer in that case it will be deemed that the survey is acceptable to him and he will not be entitled to challenge it. The petitioner challenges this order of the Collector as being wholly illegal, void and inoperative. Various grounds have been raised in the writ petition but the learned counsel for the petitioner has chosen to address only one ground viz.,
The Collector had no jurisdiction to determine the title to the trees of the ex-Jagirdar, as only the Jagir Commissioner has the exclusive jurisdiction to determine the matter.
3. It is contended that the dispute relates to the private property as envisaged under Section 23 of the Act and the Collector of the District has no jurisdiction to determine the nature as to wither a particular property is a property belonging to the Jagirdar or the State. Indeed submits the learned counsel for the petitioner, such question essentially and substantially relates to the determination of the nature of property as to whether it is a property belonging to the Jagirdar or not & such a question could only be decided by the Jagir Commissioner alone. The argument of the learned counsel appears to have force. Whether a particular property belongs to an Ex-Jagirdar or not is a question which is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Jagir Commissioner alone and the Collector has no jurisdiction to determine such matters and much less leave the determination of the question to Forest Officer an the basis of mere survey. When the matter relates to the determination of title to a property the same is to be decided in a quasi judicial manner. It may be that the person competent to determine, the matter may appoint an expert to be a Commissioner & invite his report & then invite the objections of the concerned parties and take evidence on the paint of dispute before the parties. This procedure besides being according to law is also in conformity with the principles of natural justice. The Collector could not get the question determined by merely calling for the report of the Forest Officer based on his survey. The order of the Collector, therefore, is bad in law and cannot be allowed to sustain on his score also.
4. It is next contended that the Collector sought the clarification from the Jagir Commissioner on the point as to whether the trees which grew after the resumption of the Jagir could be taken to be the property belonging to the Jagirdar in the back of the petitioner. The Jagir Commissioner also clarified his order relating to settlement of private properties without hearing the petitioner. The clarification could be made after giving the petitioner opportunity of being heard.
5. In the result, the impugned order of the Collector dated 29th November, 1973, is hereby quashed If the Collector or any other person wants the matter to be get decided, he may move the Jagir Commissioner for giving decision on the matter. In the facts and circumstances of the case, the parties shall beat their own costs.