1. This Writ Appeal is directed against the order of Mohan, J. passed in Writ Petition No. 395 of 1975, dismissing the Writ Petition filed by the appellant.
2. The circumstances under which the appellant came to this Court with the above writ petition may briefly be stated. Usuvathum Hasana Muslim Sangam at Keelakarai, which has been in the management of the Pudu Pallivasal and its properties, moved the Settlement Officer, Madurai for the issue of a patta in respect of G.R.S. No, 304/5 (61 cents), G.R.S. No. 324/1856 (26 cents) and G.R.S. No. 324/2012 (9 cents) on the ground that the said land has been used for the purposes of the Pallivasal. The matter was remitted by the Settlement Officer to the Assistant Settlement Officer for enquiry and the Assistant Settlement Officer by his order dt. 27-8-1968 held that the said three items of land been in enjoyment of the Pallivasal and the Sangam has become the owner of these properties by virtue of its control and management over the Pallivasal for a long time and that therefore the Sangam is entitled to a Patta u/s. 18(4) of the Tamil Nadu Act 26 of 1948. He therefore directed the grant of patta in respect of the said lands to the Sangam. Thereafter one S.Arokiaswami ,President, Catholic Community Council, Keelakarai (the second respondent herein) filed a revision petition on 9-10-1973 against the said order of the Assistant Settlement Officer dt.27-8-1968 granting patta to the Sangam u/s. 18(4). The said revision petition filed before the Settlement Officer by the said Arokiaswami was rejected as having been filed out of time. According to the Settlement Officer the revision petition has been file more than 5 years after the passing of the order by the Assistant Settlement Officer and there being no provision for condoning the delay either under the provisions of Act 26 of 1948 or the rules framed thereunder, the revision could not be entertained. There was a further revision filed by the said Arokiaswami befor the Director of Survey and Settlements. The Director, agreeing with the view expressed by the Settlement Officer that there is no provision for condonation of the delay in filing the revision petition, upheld the Settlement Officer's order as correct and dismissed the revision petition.
3. Thereafter the said Arokiaswami filed a further revision efore the Commissioner of Estates, Board of Revenue, Madras. Since the settlement Officer or the Director of Survey and Settlements had gone into the merits of the revision petition before them and rejected the same only on the ground that it had been filed belatedly, the only question that could be considered by the Board of Revenue in revision petition filed by Arokiaswami,is whether there is provision for condoning the delay and whether the refusal of revisional authorities to condone the delay is proper. The Board of Revenue however,in its order dt.7-11-1974 went into the merits and after holding that the assistant Settlement Officer granted the patta in favour of the Sangam had not respected the pre-settlement classification of the land as poromboke and its treatment as such at settlement also,felt that an examination of the claim of the revision petitioner was necessary. In this view, the Board condoned the delay in filing the revision petition before the Settlement Officer and directed the Settlement Officer to examine the case afresh and decide the same on merits in the light of the evidence adduced and the documents filed by the parties.