RAM DUTT (D) THROUGH LRS. & ORS. Vs. DEV DUTT (D) THROUGH LRS. & ORS.
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Ram Dutt (D) Through Lrs. And Ors.
Dev Dutt (D) Through Lrs. And Ors.
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(1.) Leave granted.
(2.) We heard learned counsel for the parties at length. For deciding this appeal, those facts which are essential to understand the nature of controversy are captured hereinafter.
The appellants, who are three in numbers, and the private respondents, who are 27 in numbers (hereinafter referred to as the "private respondents"), are members of one family. Their predecessors owned land in the Revenue Estate of Burari, Delhi since 1948, i.e., much before the Delhi Land Reforms Act, 1954 (hereinafter referred to as the "Act") was enacted. The appellants, therefore, claimed that they are co-sharers with the private respondents in the said land which is described as Khewat Nos. 73 and 85 in Revenue Estate, Burari, Delhi.
According to them, total area of the land comprised by the aforesaid two Khewat numbers is 253.31 Bigha which is now owned by the said family members. After coming into force of the said Act, a part of said land was recorded in the Bhumidari of the appellants only. This gave cause of action to the private respondents/their predecessors to file proceedings under Section 11 of the Act for declaration that they were also Bhoomidars of the said land which could not be exclusively entered in the name of the appellants. The appellants, on the other hand, claimed that the land in respect of which they were declared Bhoomidars vested in them exclusively as a result of oral partition and repartition during consolidation proceedings conducted in the year 1975-76. The Court of Revenue Assistant decided the issue in favour of the appellants and dismissed the proceedings initiated by the private respondents. First appeal of the private respondents preferred against the aforesaid order was also dismissed. However, their second appeal to the Financial Commissioner was accepted vide orders dated February 08, 1979 and these private respondents were declared as Bhoomidars, in accordance with their shares, along with the appellants in respect of those lands contained in Khewat Nos. 73 and 85 in the Revenue Estate of Burari.
(3.) The Consolidation Officer implemented the aforesaid orders vide his orders dated December 31, 1982 thereby modifying the allotment pursuant to the re-partition. The appellants, on the other hand, did not accept this order and preferred a revision petition to the Financial Commissioner against orders dated December 31, 1982. Main plea of the appellants was that the Consolidation Officer could not have ordered modification in the allotment, having become functus officio. The Financial Commissioner, however, rejected the revision petition of the appellants vide his orders dated June 14, 1983. He held that since at the time when the order dated February 8, 1979 was passed holding the private respondents/their predecessors as Bhumidars together with the appellants, consolidation proceedings in the village were in progress, the private respondents/their predecessors were entitled to approach the Consolidation Officer for allotment of land to them in lieu of their share in the Bhumidari rights out of Khewat Nos. 73 and 85. The contentions of the appellants that the Consolidation Officer had become functus officio and could not effect partition was negatived and the Consolidation Officer was held to be entitled to allot land to the private respondents/their predecessors as per their joint Khewats with the appellants.;
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