M L PANDYA Vs. STATE OF GUJARAT
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
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(1.) This is a petition by a one-time Mamlatdar in the States service challenging the order Annexure M dated 25-8-1976 passed by the State of Gujarat removing him from services on the ground that the petitioner was found to be lacking in integrity in so far as he issued a certificate under sec. 32 M of the Bombay Tenancy Act to a tenant for 103 acres and 34 gunthas of land against the permissible limits and against the order passed by the competent authority in the proceedings under sec. 32 G of the Act which were confined to only four survey numbers in all admeasuring 46 acres and 33 gunthas of land.
(2.) A few facts require to be stated. The petitioner was functioning as the Mamlatdar Dhari from 14-7-1959 to 6-7-1962 Proceedings under sec. 32 G of the Bombay Tenancy Act resulted into the fixation of purchase price of the lands S. Nos. 34 47 48 and 62 in all admeasuring 46 acres and 33 gunthas situated at village Mithapur (Nakki) in Dhari taluka of Amreli District. The lands belonged to one landlord Chunilal Kapurchand and the tenant in whose favour the said purchase price was fixed was one Jivraj Pitamber. Said Jivraj Pitamber insisted on the statutory sale of all 103 acres and 34 gunthas (including those 4 survey numbers) and he had therefore preferred an appeal against the rejection of his claim by the Agricultural Lands Tribunal in those 32 G proceedings. He had however withdrawn the appeal subsequently. Said tenant had then made an application to the Mamlatdar Dhari the petitioner to issue him a sale certificate under sec. 32 M of the Act. On that application this petition has made a specific endorsement that the proceedings for fixation of purchase should be kept with the application and a notice also be issued to the parties. Accordingly a notice was issued to the said tenant who is alleged to have appeared and given a statement in respect of those survey numbers. It however then appears that a certificate came to be issued by this petitioner in favour of that tenant not with respect to 46 acres and 33 gunthas of land but for all the 103 acres and 34 gunthas of land. Thereafter the petitioner was transferred from Dhari and the matter came to the notice of the Prant Officer Rajula who moved the Government and the Government issued the notice to the petitioner Annexure A on 7-8-68 as the preliminary step. The petitioner perused the original record in the office of the Collector and elsewhere and submitted his long reply dated 24 which is Annexure B on the record. He stated that the certificate of the nature could not have been issued by him who was a man who knew the tenancy law in fullest details. He therefore alleged that some-body had conspired with the tenant and the blame was then sought to be laid at his doors. The Government then conducted some other preliminary enquiry and the chargesheet Annexure C came to be issued. The allegation against the petitioner in a nutshell is as follows :When he was working as Mamlatdar Dhari District Amreli in 1962 he had shown gross negligence amounting to lack of integrity in the performance of his duties in the matter of grant of certificate dated 16-4-1962 of purchase under the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act 1948 to Shri Jivraj Pitamber. The second charge also is there but we are not concerned with it because he has been exonerated of the same. The statement of the imputation that was part of the chargesheet elaborated the above-mentioned charge. The petitioner then entered into some correspondence with the Government in respect of inspection of documents and supply of copies. That correspondence is to be found at Annexures D E F G and H and then on 20-7-74 the petitioner submitted his written statement to the chargesheet. A full-fledged enquiry was conducted by the Enquiry Officer who was a special officer for the departmental enquiries at Palanpur. The said officer gave his report which is to be found at Annexure K and is dated 20-12-75. With respect to the said charge the Enquiry officer observed as follows :
"This leads to an inference that some persons in the Office were interested in issuing the certificate and at the same time keeping the Mamlatdar in dark. ...These instructions of Shri Pandya were not complied with and after a lapse of 17 months the certificate was put up for his signature along with that of Shri Kana Ratna of Bharad (another tenant aspiring for such certificate) on 16-4-1962 when Shri Pandya was very busy as seen from his diary for that day which reads as under..I am of the opinion that Shri Pandya had no mala fide intention in signing the certificate.
(3.) The report obviously was placed before the Government and its Joint Secretary in the Revenue Department differed from the assessment of the material on record. The Joint Secretary therefore gave the notice to the petitioner which is another part of very Annexure K and is dated 5 The said Joint Secretary inter alia mentions as follows :
"As regards charge no. (1) Government does not fully agree with the findings of the Enquiry officer for the reasons mentioned below: ... This procedure must have been known to Shri Pandya who bad worked as Tenancy Avalkarkun Tenancy Mahalkari as well as A.L.T. It as has been claimed by him he was too busy on 16-4-62 to verify all this there was no reason why he issued the certificate on that day. It could have been issued later when he had time for necessary personal verification. The certificate of purchase is an important document which removes the entry of encumberance from village records. Issue of such certificate without careful verification is gross negligence of his duties. There was no circumstances which would have compelled Shri Pandya to issue the certificate on 16 itself the day on which he was said to have been very busy. In the absence of such compelling circumstances issue of such important certificate without verification does raise the presumption of lack of integrity". The said notice dated 5-12-75 therefore informed the petitioner that Government is unable to agree with the findings of the enquiry officer in respect of Charge no. (1) and Government holds that Shri Pandya issued a false certificate and was guilty of gross negligence of his duties amounting to lack of integrity and thus the charge no. (1) against Shri Pandya is proved.;
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