Decided on August 08,2016

State of U.P. and Ors. Respondents


- (1.) The present case involves the Court going through a dense jungle which consists of the U.P. Imposition of Ceiling on Land Holdings Act, 1960 [hereinafter referred to as "the principal Act"] and three Amendment Acts made thereto. With the help of learned counsel for both the sides, we have waded through the various Sections and sub-sections of these Acts, only for the purpose of having to decide one basic question: as to whether ceiling proceedings in respect of the land in question have lapsed owing to Section 31 of the 1976 Amendment Act.
(2.) The brief facts necessary to decide the present case are as follows. A notice under Section 10(2) of the principal Act, was served upon the tenure-holder, one Kamla Devi, to file objections against a proposal to declare 51.29 acres as surplus land. Pursuant to the said notice, objections were filed by the late Kamla Devi as also by appellants 1 to 3, her legal heirs. According to the appellants, on a correct construction of the Act, there was no surplus land. Meanwhile, the Prescribed Authority under the Act passed an order dated 13.1.1975 by which order the entire land that was the subject matter of the notice, was declared surplus. An appeal filed against the Prescribed Authority's order met with the same fate and was dismissed on 13.12.1987. It is important to note that an argument was raised that the proceedings had abated, which argument was answered by the Appellate Authority by saying that no fresh notice had been issued under Section 9(2) of the Amendment Act and as this was so, the proceedings had not abated. A writ petition that was filed in 1987 was ultimately disposed of on 6.8.2007 where, by the judgment under appeal, the writ petition was dismissed. Several points were argued with which we are not at present concerned. The argument on abatement met the same fate as the judgment by the appellate authority.
(3.) Before adverting to the submissions of learned counsel for both parties, it is first important to put the horse before the cart. A brief survey of the principal Act as well as the three Amendment Acts must now be undertaken.;

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