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T.G. Jagannathan and ors. Vs. the Director of Settlement, Madras and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Appeal Nos. 238 and 295 of 1966 and 133 of 1967
Judge
Reported inAIR1973Mad146
ActsMadras Estates (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act - Sections 19-A, 19-A(1) and 67; ;General Clauses Act - Sections 13
AppellantT.G. Jagannathan and ors.
RespondentThe Director of Settlement, Madras and anr.
Excerpt:
madras estates (abolition and conversion into ryotwari) act (xxvi of 1948).-government exercising power of revision having exercised it cannot review its own orders-no jurisdiction to do so under act.; the government having once taken a view in exercise of its power of revision, had no power of review in exercise of which it could properly set aside its earlier order. section 67 of the madras estates (abolition and convertion into ryotwari) act (xxvi of 1948), empowers the government to make rules to carry out the purposes of the act. by clause (c) of sub-section (2) the government can make rules for delegation of the powers conferred by the act on the government or any other authority, officer or person. in exercise of this power, the government did make rules and the rules provide for a..........provide for a scheme to the notification. the first column mentions the section which confers power on government.column 2 shows the extent of power delegated. column 3 specifies the authority or officers by whom the powers should be exercised and the conditions subject to which it can be exercised. under column 3, it is said that the settlement officer shall exercise the delegated power subject to the restrictions mentioned therein, that is to say, among other things, if the extent of land granted is in excess of two acres in non-town areas, the settlement officer shall have no power to grant patta. clause (d) in column 3 delegates the power to the board of revenue to pass orders either suo motu or on any application under section 19-a. under clause (e), where an order was passed.....
Judgment:
1. These appeals relate to the same subject-matter and arise from an order of Venkatadri, J. The Director of Settlements directed issue of ryotwari patta for a total extent of 16 acres 89 cents comprised in S. Nos. 2/1 to 2/3, but declined such a patta for the land bearing S. No. 2/4 in Iswaravadivelpuram, an inam village. Against the refusal to grant patta, there was a revision to Government which failed. To quash that order, W. P. 606 of 1963 was filed. The writ petition was dismissed by Venkatadri, J., on the view that the land was liable to submersion for not less than three weeks and that it was a tank bed, as found by the Revenue Officers. Against the grant of patta for the rest of the survey numbers, the villagers unsuccessfully moved the Government. The order of the Government is dated 30-10-1962. The villagers not satisfied with that order, would appear to have moved the Government once again, but this time with a different result. That order of Government is dated 25-3-1964. The Government said that, since representations were received from certain villagers of Karisalkulam village, the order dated 30-10-1962 was kept in abeyance and an independent report from Revenue Officers was called for. On a consideration of such report, the Government considered that the earlier order of its own and also that of the Director of Settlements granting patta be cancelled. Venkatadri, J., held in the writ petitions filed by the villages that Government had no power to revise its own order. The writ appeals come before us, one filed by the Government and the others by the villagers.

2. We are of the view that Venkatadri, J., was right in his view that the Government having once taken a view in exercise of its powers of revision, had no power of review in exercise of which it could properly set aside its earlier order, and that S. No. 2/4, as established by facts, is part of tank bed land. Sec 19-A of the Madras Estates (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act, by Sub-section (1), provides that, except where Government otherwise direct, no person admitted by a land-holder into possession of any communal land which is not a ryoti land shall be entitled to any right in or to remain in possession of such land. Sec. 67 empowers the Government to make rules to carry out the purposes of the Act. By clause (c) of sub-sec. (2) the Government can make rules for delegation of the powers conferred by the Act on the Government or any other authority, officer or person. In exercise of this power, the Government did make rules on 16-8-1949. The rules provide for a scheme to the notification. The first column mentions the section which confers power on Government.

Column 2 shows the extent of power delegated. Column 3 specifies the authority or officers by whom the powers should be exercised and the conditions subject to which it can be exercised. Under column 3, it is said that the Settlement Officer shall exercise the delegated power subject to the restrictions mentioned therein, that is to say, among other things, if the extent of land granted is in excess of two acres in non-town areas, the Settlement Officer shall have no power to grant patta. Clause (d) in column 3 delegates the power to the Board of Revenue to pass orders either suo motu or on any application under Section 19-A. Under clause (e), where an order was passed by Director of Settlement under clause (c), the Board of Revenue is given powers to revise. A note to the third column provides for periods of limitation for revision to the Government as also to the Board of Revenue. The power of the Government of revise is provided for in the substantive part of the rule itself. It effect is that the delegation is made to the relative officers subject to the control as specified in column 3 of the schedule and also subject to the revision by the Government. It is apparently this power of revision that was invoked by the villagers as well as the applicant who had failed to get patta in respect of S. No. 2/4.

3. In the said scheme of delegation, we find that there is no power of review in the Government. The power under Section 19-A(1) is not to make a direction contrary to the inhibition in that section. It is that power that was delegated subject to the revisional power of the Government. Whether the nature of the power is quasi-judicial or administrative, inasmuch as it is a statutory power vested in the Government under Section 19-A and the delegation is also by rule-making power of the Government, the Government is strictly bound by the terms of delegation. Apart from the fact that there is no power of review vested in the Government to revise its own orders, where it has exercised the power of revision under the scheme of delegation, it has no further power under those terms of delegation to revise its own orders. The power of revision is a power of control over all subordinates and not one of control over the parent authority itself or its orders. The power of review is quite different from the power of revision and is available to review one's own order; but such a power cannot be availed of, unless it is specifically conferred on the authority concerned which seeks to exercise that power of review. It s true that generally, as provided by Section 13 of the General Clauses Act, a power vested in an administrative authority and which is of administrative character is not exhausted by its exercise once. But that does not apply to the instant case, as the power is limited in its scope and nature, and when it is delegated not only by the terms of Sec. 19-A and the rule making power but also by the terms of the very delegation. We are of opinion, therefore, that Venkatadri, J., came to the correct conclusion.

4. As to S. No. 2/4, the evidence is overwhelming that the land comprised in it is tank bed land. That being the case, ryotwari patta was rightly refused. The appeals are dismissed. No costs.

5. Appeals dismissed.


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