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Jagtar Singh 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. 141 of 1978
Judge
Reported in1979WLN(UC)516
AppellantJagtar Singh and anr.
RespondentState of Rajasthan and ors.
DispositionPetition allowed
Cases ReferredIn Mohinder Singh Gill v. Chief Election Commissioner
Excerpt:
.....by additional grounds later brought out. ..as the impugned order hat been passed in clear breach of the principles of audl alteram partiem, i am of definite opinion that it is bad in law and deserves to be..........justice it may be recalled here that non-petitioners nos. 3 and 4 and smt. rajo had instituted a suit for possession of the bad in question against the petitioners and their father which was dismissed. smt. rajo and her minor son instituted revenue suit no. 68 of 1968 on the ground that the agreement was illegal and that suit was also dismissed. after the dismissal of that suit, a sale deed was executed by non-petitioners nos. 3 and 4 on january 30, 1970. a suit under section 175 of the rajasthan tenancy act was instituted. that suit was also dismissed. thereafter, proceedings under section 145 cr. p. c. were instituted. in those proceedings, it was held that the possession of the petitioners' was valid and the parties were directed to seek the relief in respect of their title in a.....
Judgment:

S.K.M. Lodha, J.

1. Non-petitioners Nos. 3 and 4 and Smt. Rajo were allotted agricultural land Sq. No. 37 in chak No. 5B, Tehsil Sriganganagar, by the Managing Officer, Sriganganagar. All the aforesaid three allottees entered into an agreement to sell the land and delivered possession to the petitioners for a sum of Rs. 13,000/. Out of this amount, Rs. 6500/-were paid by way of loans and another sum of Rs. 1500/- was paid later in the year 1961. The allottees instituted a suit against the petitioners and their father for possession of the land. This suit was, however, dismissed by the Assistant Collector, by his judgment dated January 5, 1966. The dismissal of the suit became final as no appeal was preferred against the judgment dated January 5, 1966 The petitioners father had a verified claim in respect of certain property which he left in Pakistan from where he migrated to India in the wake of partition. The petitioners, father got his claim associated with that of respondent No. 3 and this association wag allowed vide memorandum Anx 1 dated March 26, 1966. This is borne out from the copy of the order dated March 9, 1976 of the Managing Officer cum Assistant Custodian of Evacuee Property, Sriganganagar. Smt. Rajo, widow of Kaluram and her minor son Natbu (Nos. petitioner No. 4) filed another revenue suit No. 68 of 1968 in the Court of the Assistant Collector, Sriganganagar which was also dismissed on May 10, 1971 vide judgment Anx 3. After the death of Smt Rajo, the remaining two allottees executed a sale deed Anx 4 dated January 30, 1974 in respect of the land in question in favour of the petitioners. It is said that on behalf of the State, a suit was instituted in the court of the Sub-Divisional Officer, Sriganganagar under Section 175 of the Rajasthan Tenancy Act, 1955 This suit was also dismissed on April 21, 1976 by judgment Anx. 5. It appears that proceedings under Section 145 Cr. PC were initiated in regard to this land and the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Sriganganagar, by his order Anx. 6 dated December 7, 1977 declared the possession of the petitioners on the land in question as valid No order could be pasted in regard to the ownership of the land. It was also incorporated in the order that the parties may get their rights established by a competent civil court. After passing of the order Anx. 6 dated December 7, 1977, respondent No. 2 (Collector, Sriganganagar) passed an order Anx. 7 dated February 12,1978 The petitioners' case is that on the date of the filing of the writ petition, that is, March 20, 1978, their crops of wheat, mustard, gram etc. were standing on 15 bighas of this land and that 10 bighas of the land were lying vacant. The petitioners have challenged the order Anx.7 in this writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution. They have prayed that the order Anx.7 dated February 12, 1978 may be quashed and the Collector may be restrained from giving effect to the same Non-petitioners Nos. 1 and 2 have filed reply to the writ petition contesting it on February 17, 1979. On behalf of non-petitioners Nos. 3 and 4, a separate reply was filed on September 17,1979. Non-petitioners Nos. 1 and 2 have stated that the order Anx. 7 is valid Non petitioners Nos. 3 and 4 have, inter alia, stated that no agreement as alleged by the petitioners could be made as it is contrary to the provisions of Section 42 of the Rajasthan Tenancy Act. It was also stated by non-petitioners Nos. 1 and 2 that the petitioners were dispossessed from the land in dispute on March 2, 1978, that is, before the filing of the writ petition. It was further contended that in the nature of things, no notice was necessary to the petitioners as they had committed an offence under the Penal Code for which proceedings were already pending against them and as the petitioners have concealed this fact, they have not come with clean hands and that in this view the petitioners do not deserve any relief under Article 226.

2. I have heard learned Counsel for the parties,

3. Learned Counsel for the petitioners argued that the order Anx. 7 which could result in deprivation of the possession of land was passed without any enquiry and without affording any opportunity of hearing to the petitioners. The impugned order being in violation of the principles of natural justice, is void and it should be quashed.

4. Learned Deputy Government Advocate as well as Mr. B.R. Arora, learned Counsel for non-petitioners Nos. 3 and 4 urged that it Is true that order Anx. 7 was passed without hearing the petitioners but in view of the fact that when non-petitioner No. 2 was apprised of the correct facts, who was authorised to work on behalf of the Settlement Commissioner, he ordered that the petitioners should be dispossessed. It was also submitted that the petitioners being guilty of suppression and suggestio falsi, cannot invoke the extraordinary jurisdiction of this Court. In this connection, reliance was placed on Radhey Shyam v. Vijay Singh 1972 WLN 772, Brimco Bricks v. State of Rajasthan 1972 RLW 76, Samnathmal v. Jugaldas 1973 WLN 813 and Omprakash v. State of Rajasthan 1977 RLW 470.

5. I propose to examine the argument of the learned Counsel about suppreslo veri and suggestio falsi first. In para 13 of the writ petition, the petitioner has stated that on 15 bighas of land there stood his crops of wheat, mustard, gram etc. and rest 10 bighas of land was lying vacant In the stay application, which was filed along with the writ petition, it was stated by the petitioners that non-petitioners Nos. 1 and 2 may be directed not to dispossess them from square No. 37, chak 5B, Tehsil Sriganganagar until the decision of the writ petition. The writ petition was filed on March 20, 1978. On March 23, 1978, an exparte order was made to the effect that the petitioners shall not be dispossessed for a period of one month. On April 14, 1978, a statement was made by Mr. Arora that the stay application had become infructuous as the petitioners have already been dispossessed As learned Counsel for the petitioners took time for seeking instructions, the case was adjourned and it was ordered that the status quo, as it existed on March 23, 1978, should be maintained for a period of two weeks. A second stay application was filed on May 10, 1978 in which it was prayed that either the first stay application may be taken up for consideration immediately and appropriate orders may be made or a stay cider may be passed staying the dispossession of the petitioners from the land in question. This Court by its order dated May 12, 1978 directed the learned Munsif, Srigangagar, to enquire into the three points framed by it. The learned Munsif, after holding the enquiry in the matter as directed by this Court, recorded the following findings,-

1. that on March 2, 1978, possession of 24 1/2 Bigbas of land of square No. 87 was delivered to non petitioners Nos. 3 and 4 by Patwari Maniram;

2. that respondent Nos. 3 and 4 later on did not cultivate 10, big-has of the land of Murabba No. 37, and

3. that non-petitioners Nos. 3 and 4 continued in possession after the petitioner Jagtarsingh was dispossessed.

It appears from the proceedings of the Ghatna Bahi dated March 2, 1978 (Ex. AI) that on 15 bighas of land, crops of wheat, gram and mustard were standing and It was intimated that these crops were of the petitioners. In these circumstances, it cannot be said that the averment in the writ petition in para 13 of the writ petition that on 15 bighas of land crops of wheat gram and mustard were standing, is it false, In my opinion, in the facts and circumstances of this case, it cannot be said that there was any suppression of true facts in regard to possession. The matter does not rest at that. In order to disentitle a petitioner from seeking relief under Article 226, there should be suppression of material facts. The petitioners have prayed for quashing the impugned order Anx. 7 principally on the ground that it was passed against the principles of natural justice inasmuch as no opportunity of hearing was afforded to them before passing it. The averment relating to possession in the facts and circumstances of the case, cannot be said to be material one and, therefore it is not of much consequence either. Learned Counsel for non-petitioners Nos. 3 and 4 also submitted that as there was wrong averment relating to possession, that he has not approached the Court with clean hands. I an unable to agree with this for the reasons which I have already stated above. It may also be mentioned that during the course of arguments, learned Deputy Government Advocate did not make any submission as to the maintainability of the writ petition on the ground of concealment of the important fact regarding the pendency of the criminal case against the petitioners.

6. I have carefully gone through the authorities cited by the learned Counsel for non-petitioners Nos. 3 and 4. I need not encumber this judgment by making their detailed examination. Suffice it to say that in the facts and circumstances of the case in hand, they are not applicable.

7. Now I take up the question whether the impugned order was passed against the principles of natural justice It may be recalled here that non-petitioners Nos. 3 and 4 and Smt. Rajo had instituted a suit for possession of the bad in question against the petitioners and their father which was dismissed. Smt. Rajo and her minor son instituted revenue suit No. 68 of 1968 on the ground that the agreement was illegal and that suit was also dismissed. After the dismissal of that suit, a sale deed was executed by non-petitioners Nos. 3 and 4 on January 30, 1970. A suit under Section 175 of the Rajasthan Tenancy Act was instituted. That suit was also dismissed. Thereafter, proceedings under Section 145 Cr. P. C. were Instituted. In those proceedings, it was held that the possession of the petitioners' was valid and the parties were directed to seek the relief in respect of their title in a competent court. In view of this, in my opinion, non-petitioner No. 2 was wrong in passing the impugned order Anx, 7 directing removal of possession over the land of the petitioners and delivery of its possession to non-petitioners No. 3 and 4. In Smt. Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India and Anr. : [1978]2SCR621 . it was observed as under.

Although there are no positive words in the statute requiring that the party shall be heard, yet the justice of the common law will supply the omission of the legislature. The principle of audi alteram partem which mandates that no one shall be condemend unheard, is part of the rules of natural justice.

It was further laid down that the law must now be taken to be well settled that even in an administrative proceeding, which involves civil consequences, the doctrine of natural justice must be held to be applicable. In the impugned order Anx. 7. no reasons have been given for passing it. In Mohinder Singh Gill v. Chief Election Commissioner : [1978]2SCR272 , it was observed,-..When a statutory functionary makes an order based on certain grounds, its validity must be judged by the reasons so mentioned and cannot be supplemented by fresh reasons in the shape of affidavit or otherwise. Otherwise, an order bad In the beginning may by the time it comes to court on account of a challenge, get validated by additional grounds later brought out....

As the Impugned order hat been passed in clear breach of the principles of audl alteram partiem, I am of definite opinion that It Is bad in law and deserves to be quashed.

8. In the result. the writ petition it allowed and the impugned order Anx. 7 dated February 12, 1978 passed by the Collector, Sriganganagar, is hereby quashed The Collector, Sriganganagar, is directed to take proceedings, if he so desires. In regard to the disputed land, in accordance with law. after giving the petitioner a reasonable opportunity of being heard. In the circumstances of the case, there will be no order as to costs.


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