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Hangami Lal and anr. Vs. State of Rajasthan and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 920 of 1993
Judge
Reported in1993WLN(UC)105
AppellantHangami Lal and anr.
RespondentState of Rajasthan and ors.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
.....from jamabandi--hindu deity is perpetual minor and manages affairs through next friend pujari--no khatedari rights in pujari--deletion of name in jamabandi does not take away any right--held, it is not necessary to give opportunity of hearing and (ii) right to hold office is civil right--it cannot be decided on basis of entries on revenue record.;a hindu deity is a perpetual minor and that its affairs are managed by its pujari or shebait or through a next friend.;since the pujari does not have any khatedari right on the land of the deity, the deletion of his name in the jamabandi does not take away his right for performing the seva-puja or any other vested right. it is needless to mention that the right to hold the office of pujari is a civil right and such right can neither be decided..........were passed and the board of revenue had to exercise its power under section 82 of the rajasthan land revenue act, 1956 to set aside/quashed such mutations pertaining to the khatedari lands of the deities. in order to put an end to such avoidable litigation, the state government, who is the land holders, by its circular letter annex. 4 has directed that in future the khatedari lands of deities should be shown in the khatedari of the deities only and that name of the pujari should not be mentioned into the jamabandi. since the pujari does not have any khatedari right on the land of the deity, the deletion of his name in the jamabandi does not lake away his right for performing the seva-puja or any other vested right. it is needless to mention that the right to hold the office of pujari.....
Judgment:

Rajendra Saxena, J.

1. Heard.

2. By the means of this writ petition the petitioners has prayed that the circular No. 2(4) Raj./4/90/37 dated 13/12/1991. (Annex. 4) issued by the Dy. Secretary to the Government, Revenue (Gr. 6) Department Rajasthan. Jaipur addressed to all the Collectors be quashed and the respondents be directed not to dispossess the petitioners from the disputed land and not to restrain them from performing seva-puja of the deity of temple Rikhebdeo situated in Village Antalia Tehsil Asind, District Bhilwara.

3. It is alleged by the petitioner that they are agriculturists by profession and are also pujaris of he deity of temply Thakurji Rikhebdeo and that agricultural land bearing Khasra No. 603 measuring 19 Bishwas and Khasra no. 1242 measuring 8 Bighas 3 Bishwas situated in Village Antali has been recorded in the Khatedari of the said deity and petitioner Hangamilal has been shown as Pujaris thereof. In Jamabandis Samvat 2036 to 2039 and 2041 to 2044, this land has been shown in the cultivatory possession of the deity through the Pujaris. It is further alleged that the Patwari by his Certificate dated 19.6.1992 has testified that in Kharif Samvat 2049, this said land was cultivated by petitioner No. 2 Prabhu Dayal, who is the son of petitioner Hangami Lal, the Pujari of the deity.

4. The Dy. Secretary to the Government, Revenue (Gr. 6) Department by his circular letter dated 13.12.1991 (Annex. 4) has impressed upon the Collectors and the Settlement Commissioner, Rajasthan that since the deity is a perpetual minor, legally the land recorded in its Khatedari cannot be recorded in the Khatedari of its Pujari or Shebait, and that wrong entries made in favour of Pujaris in respect of the Khudkasht lands of the (SIC) give rise to unnecessary litigation. He has further impressed that the question as to who will be the Pujari of the deity and entitled to hold the office of Pujariship is a civil dispute, which can only be decided by civil Courts and that such matters cannot be decided by the entries made in the revenue record or by the revenue courts. He has also mentioned therein that in the part in innumerable cases, the Pujaris or the Shebaits of the deity by misusing their cultivatory possession have illegally transferred the agricultural lands of the deities which have resulted in litigation and that for setting aside such illegal transfers and entries in the mutation numerous reference have been made to the Board of Revenue. The Dy. Secretary therefore, informed that in such circumstances, the Government has decided that in future the agricultural land of the deity should only be shown in the Khatedari of the Deity concerned in the annual record and that the name of the Pujari of Shebait should not be mentioned therein. He also directed that for administrative convenience a register should be separately opened at the Tehsil level, wherein the name of the Pujari of the Deity having agricultural land in its khatedari be entered and that a reference thereof be also made in the remarks columns of the Jamabandi. This circular has come into force on 31.1.1992.

5. Shri Kalla has vehemently contended that no notice or opportunity of hearing was given to the petitioners prior to the issuance of the circular (Annex. 4) by the State Government and thus the petitioners have been deprived of their lawful rights and that the said circular has been issued in clear contravention of the principle of natural justice, he has further contended that the name of the petitioners cannot be struck off from the Jamabandi, that they have a right to perform seva-puja of the Deity, and that the Government has not authority to direct the Pujari to seek his right of seva-pujary filling suit in the Civil Court for competent jurisdiction. He has further contended that respondents want to dispossess the petitioners from the land in dispute, whereon their crops is standing.

6. Apparently these arguments are patently misconceived and meritless. Firstly, it is the well crystallised principle of law that a Hindu Deity is a perpetual minor and that his affairs are managed by its Pujari or Shebait or through a next friend.lt is also well settled that no Khatedari rights can accrue in favour of the Pujari or any other person in respect of the Khudkasht/Khatedari land of the Deity. In the instance case as per entries of Jamabandi 2036 to 2049 (Annex.ll) the land in dispute has been recorded in the Khatedari of the Deity and petitioner no. 1 Hangami lal has been recorded as the Pujari of the Deity. Therefore, simply by cultivating the land of the Deity, a pujari can not become its Khatedar.

7. Secondly, it is a known fact that after the Land Reforms and Resumption of Jagirs Act, 1952, and The Zamindar Abolition Act came into force, the Khudkaskt lands of the Deities were illegally transferred by many Pujaries in favour of the other persons. In many cases the Khatedari lands of the Deities were recorded in the name of the Pujaris and illegal mutation orders were passed and the Board of Revenue had to exercise its power under Section 82 of the Rajasthan Land Revenue Act, 1956 to set aside/quashed such mutations pertaining to the Khatedari lands of the deities. In order to put an end to such avoidable litigation, the State Government, who is the land holders, by its circular letter Annex. 4 has directed that in future the Khatedari lands of deities should be shown in the Khatedari of the deities only and that name of the Pujari should not be mentioned into the Jamabandi. Since The Pujari does not have any Khatedari right on the land of the deity, the deletion of his name in the Jamabandi does not lake away his right for performing the seva-puja or any other vested right. It is needless to mention that the right to hold the office of Pujari is a civil right and such right can neither be decided on the basis of entries made in the annual record or by the Revenue Court. Therefore, it was not at all necessary for the Government to have given an opportunity of hearing to the petitioners before issuing the impugned circular Annexure 4 and hence there is no contravention of any principle of natural justice. The directions issued by the Government vide Annexure 4 are perfectly legal, proper and justified and those need no interference.

8. Petitioner Hangamilal in his affidavit filed in support of the stay petition has no where deposed that the respondents were interfering in his cultivatory possession on the disputed land in his capacity of Pujari or restraining him from performing the seva-puja. On the other hand he has simply deposed that if he will be restrained by respondents from performing seva-puja and dispossessed from the land in question then irreparable loss shall be caused to him. Hence there is a fringe of evidence to show that the respondents have either threatened to dispossess the petitioners from the land in question or have restrained them from performing the seva-puja. Therefore, this writ petition is misconceived and the same must abort and the petitioners are not entitled to any relief.

9. I, therefore, dismiss this writ petition summarily.


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