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Urban Improvement Trust and ors. Vs. Maharana Pratap Smarak Samiti - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberD.B. Civil Special Appeal Nos. 444 of 1971 and 117 of 1972
Judge
Reported in1982WLN(UC)119
AppellantUrban Improvement Trust and ors.
RespondentMaharana Pratap Smarak Samiti
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Cases ReferredRajasthan (see Champalal v. Ramshwar
Excerpt:
.....14-4-1970 is per se illegal.;once having made the grant, it was no longer within the powers of the state government to have resumed the grant unless its terms had been violated or breach there of had been committed by the grantee. thus, the order dated april 14, 1970 is per se not legal.;appeal dismissed - section 2(k), 2(1), 7 & 40 & juvenile justice (care and protection of children) rules, 2007, rule 12 & 98 & juvenile justice act, 1986, section 2(h): [altamas kabir & cyriac joseph, jj] determination as to juvenile - appellant was found to have completed the age of 16 years and 13 days on the date of alleged occurrence - appellant was arrested on 30.11.1998 when the 1986 act was in force and under clause (h) of section 2 a juvenile was described to mean a child who had not..........smarak samiti. it is not disputed that the smarak samiti has developed a sizeable portion of the land granted to it in the year 1955 for the purpose for which it was granted by the state government. the development of land and construction of a befitting memorial to maharana pratap has to be a phased programme. under the terms of the grant, the land could only be resumed if it was not utilised for the purpose for which it was granted. the grant was in accordance with law and thus, under its terms and conditions, in case of breach of its terms it could be resumed but it is not the case of the state government that the smarak samiti has committed breach of the terms and conditions of the grant. admittedly before passing the order dated april 14, 1970, no notice was given either to shri.....
Judgment:

M.B. Sharma, J.

1. The above two special appeals under Section 18 of the Rajasthan High Court Ordinance are directed against the order dated July 30, 1971 of a learned Single Judge of this Court under which, the learned Judge allowed the writ petition filed by Maharana Pratap Smarak Samiti, Udaipur (for short, 'the Smarak' Samiti' here in after). The facts relevant for the disposal of the appeals are as follows:

2. A body known as Shri Pratap Sabha, Udaipur, was constituted in the year 1941 and was registered in Udaipur under Section 5 of the Societies Registration Act (No. VII of 1941) of the then Mewar State and a certificate of registration (Ex. R2) was issued by the Additional Secretary of the State Council. According to the constitution of the aforesaid body, it was to function through five sub-committees: one of them being 'Maharana Pratap Smarak Samiti'. The Smarak Samiti was assigned the functions of raising a befitting memorial for Maharana Pratap by erecting his statue on the back of his famous horse 'Chetak'. The State Government, vide order dated May 19, 1955, granted land bearing Khasra No. 267 measuring 139 bighas 17 biswas, known as 'Moti Magari' in the town of Udaipur. The original order was issued by the State Government on October 31, 1955. The terms of the grant were as follows:

^^ mn;iqj es vkjkth uEcj 267 dks eksrh uxjh ukd tehu e ls 139 ch?kk 17 fcLok tehu izrki lHkk dks egkjk.kk izrki Lekjd cukus ds fy, fu%'kqYd fuEu 'kRkksZ ij nsus dh Lohd`fr jktLFkku ljdkj izkIr djrh gS

1-tks isM+ ml Hkwfe Ikj gS ;s fujFkZd ugh dkVs tk;sxs A

2-Hkwfe ftl gsrq nh tk jgh gS mlh dke es yh tkosxh vU;Fkk ljdkj bl tehu dks iqu% xzg.k dj ldsxh A

3-;g fd lkoZtfud lEifRr le>h tkosxh vkSj izrki lHkk dks bls cspus ,oa fdlh vkSj nq%[k ls gLrkUrj.k djus dk vf/kdkj u gksxs ^^A

There was mutation in the name of Pratap Smarak Samiti in the year 1956. The Smarak Samiti got itself registered under the provisions of the Rajasthan Societies Registration Act, 1955 (No. XXVIII of 1955) in the year 1982 and a certificate of registration was issued by the Registrar in favour of the Smarak Samiti. The State Government also donated a sum of Rs. one lac to Pratap Sabha vide its order dated July 18, 1961 to construct the memorial of Maharana Pratap but certain formalities could not be completed and the donated amount could not be withdrawn for a period of about four years. Then the Smarak Samiti approached the Government to transfer the amount of Rs. one lac in its name and the State Government, by its letter dated August 5, 1965, transferred that amount with interest of Rs. 19, 101.40 p. in favour of the Smarak Samiti. The amount of donation was utilised by the Smarak Samiti in raising a befitting memorial for Maharana Pratap.

3 The State Government issued an order on April 14, 1970 under which the earlier grant, under its order dated October 31, 1955 of Khasra No. 267 measuring 139 bighas and 17 biswas was withdrawn and a fresh grant of khasra No. 267/1, measuring 70 bighas 10 biswas was made to the Smarak Samiti for construction of a memorial to Maharana Pratap. Besides the three terms which were in the grant of the year 1955, one more condition was incorporated in the grant to the effect that what ever conditions shall be imposed, the Smarak Samiti shall be bound to comply with them. The rest of the land, that is, land measuring 69 bighas and 7 biswas, out of the total land measuring 139 bighas and 17 biswas which was earlier granted to the Smarak Samiti, was allotted to the Urban Improvement Trust, Udaipur, on certain conditions.

4 The Smarak Samiti filed a writ petition in this court challenging the aforesaid order dated April 14, 1970 of the State Government. The grievance of the Smarak Samiti was that without any rhyme or reason, and without any notice to it, the State Government reduced the area of land allotted to the Pratap Sabha for raising a memorial of Maharana Pratap. The State Government had no authority to curtail the area of land and hand it over to the Urban Improvement Trust, Udaipur and the property in the said land had already passed to the Smarak Samiti as is evident from the mutation proceedings. Possession too, was delivered to the Smarak Samiti.

5. The writ petition was contested by the appellants and in their reply, they challenged the locus standi of tae Smarak Samiti to file the writ petition. A case was set up that the land in dispute was never allotted to the Smarak Samiti and had been allotted to Pratap Sabha, Udaipur. It was further stated that the Smarak Samiti is not a person in the eye of law and was not competent to file the writ petition. An objection was also raised that the writ petition was not maintainable in view of the fact that a suit was pending before a Revenve Court in between the Smarak Samiti and the Urban Improvement Trust, Udaipur concerning the same land. The right of the State Government in revoking the grant because the entire land had not been utilised for the purpose for which it was granted, was also set up.

6. The learned Single Judge allowed the writ petition and held that the Smarak Samiti had a locus standi and that because the Smarak Samiti has not contravened any of the terms of the grant, the State Government was not entitled to revoke the grant to the extent of 69 bighas and 7 biswas of land. It has also been held that the grant has been revoked without any notice to the Smarak Samiti and thus the principles of natural justice have been violated. The learned Judge also held that the revenue litigation was only in between the Smarak Samiti and the Urban Improvement Trust, Udaipur, and that suit only relates to the act of encroachment made by the Urban Improvement Trust on the land belonging to the Smarak Samiti and, therefore, the pendency of the revenue suit cannot create any impediment in the way of the Smarak Samiti to file the writ petition.

7. We have heard the learned Counsel for the parties and have perused the record of the case.

8. The same contentions have been raised before us which had been raised before the learned Single Judge. The first contention of Mr. Shisodia, learned Government Advocate and of Shri N.N. Mathur advocate is that firstly, the land had not been allotted to the Smarak Samiti and it had only been allotted to the Pratap Sabha and secondly, the body registered under the Rajasthan Societies Registration Act, 1955 (No. XXVIII of 1955) was 'Maharana Pratap Smarak Samiti, Jaipur' and not 'Maharana Pratap Smarak Samiti, Udaipur and as such, the Smarak Samiti not being a registered body under the Rajasthan Societies Act, could not have filed the writ petition. The learned single Judge has dealt with this argument of the learned Counsel for the appellants in detail. He has observed that though initially, the Smarak Samiti was registered as Maharana Pratap Smarak Samiti, Jaipur, District Jaipur but later on, its activities shifted to Udaipur where a befitting memorial had to be raised for Maharana Pratap, therefore, mere substitution of 'Udaipur' for 'Jaipur' does not change the character of the body. We are in agreement with the learned Single Judge. Even the State Government recognised the Smarak Samiti as the body for the construction of a memorial to Maharana Pratap and the amount of Rs. one lac donated earlier for construction of the memorial was transferred to the Smarak Samiti along with interest. As already stated earlier, Shri Pratap Sabha, Udaipur, which was a registered society under Section 5 of the Societies Registration Act (No. VII of 1941) of the then Mewar State, under its constitution, was to function through five subcommittees, one of them being 'Maharana Pratap Smarak Samiti'. The said Samiti was assigned the functions of raising a memorial to Maharana Pratap. Thus, we are of the opinion that the view of the learned Single Judge that the Maharana Pratap Smarak Samiti, Udaipur, has locus standi to file the writ petition, does not call for any interference.

9. The second contention of the learned Counsel for the appellants that because a revenue suit was pending in between the Smarak Samiti and the Urban Improvement Trust, Udaipur, the writ petition should not have been entertained, has no point. Admittedly, to that revenue litigation, the State of Rajasthan, whose order dated April 14, 1974 has been challenged in the writ petition, was not a party. That suit was only for injunction against the Urban Improvement Trust, Udaipur, restraining it from making any encroachment on the land measuring 139 bighas and 17 biswas which had been granted for construction of a memorial to Maharana Pratap. In that suit, the order dated April 14, 1970 could not have been challenged because the revenue court could have no jurisdiction to quash the aforesaid order of the State Government.

10. It can hardly be disputed that the grant of 139 bighas 17 biswas of land for constructing the memorial to Maharana Pratap under the order of the year 1955 was a State grant. The Government Grants Act. 1885 (for short, 'the Grants Act' here in after) was applicable to the State of Rajasthan. By virtue of Rajasthan Central Laws Adaptation Ordinance 1950 and subsequently by the order Adaptation of Laws (No. 2) Order 1956 the Crown Grants Act, 1895 was extended to Rajasthan (see Champalal v. Ramshwar 1967 RLW 243). Under Section 3 of the Grants Act, all State grants are to take effect according to their tenor. The Grants Act was repealed by Section 5 of the Rajasthan Government Grants Act, 1961 (Here in after called 'the Act of 1961' for brevity sake). By virtue of Section 3 of the Rajasthan Act, the Rajasthan Act would be applicable even to any grant or other transfer of land or of any interest therein made before or to be made thereafter. Under Section 4 of the Rajasthan Act, all Government grants have to take effect according to their tenor. We have already reproduced the terms of the grant in our earlier part of the judgment. It is not the case of the State that any of the terms of the original grant had been violated or a breach thereof had been committed by the Smarak Samiti. It is not disputed that the Smarak Samiti has developed a sizeable portion of the land granted to it in the year 1955 for the purpose for which it was granted by the State Government. The development of land and construction of a befitting memorial to Maharana Pratap has to be a phased programme. Under the terms of the grant, the land could only be resumed if it was not utilised for the purpose for which it was granted. The grant was in accordance with law and thus, under its terms and conditions, in case of breach of its terms it could be resumed but it is not the case of the State Government that the Smarak Samiti has committed breach of the terms and conditions of the grant. Admittedly before passing the order dated April 14, 1970, no notice was given either to Shri Pratap Sabha or the Smarak Samiti, and the learned Single Judge has rightly held that the order is liable to be quashed for violation of the principles of natural justice. A look at the order dated April 14, 1970 will show that it is not mentioned there in that the grant is being resumed because of the breach of the conditions of the grant. It appears from the aforesaid order that the State Government simply withdrew the earlier order dated October 31, 1955 and made a fresh grant of only 70 bighas 10 biswas of land. Once having made the grant, it was no longer within the powers of the State Government to have resumed the grant unless its terms had been violated or breach thereof had been committed by the grantee. Thus, the order dated April 14, 1970 is per se not legal. Once there is a grant in force and the possession of the land had been delivered to the grantee, the ownership no longer vests in the State unless the State Government forfeits or resumes the land granted. We are, therefore, in agreement with the learned Single Judge that the order dated April 14, 1970 of the State Government withdrawing the earlier order dated October 31, 1955 is not in accordance with Jaw and is liable to be quashed.

11. In the result, we do not find any force in both the appeals and the appeals are hereby dismissed, with no order as to costs.


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