Decided on July 10,1979

UNION OF INDIA Respondents


M.K.SHAH, N.H.BHATT - (1.) This is an appeal by the original plaintiff whose suit against the Union of India for a declaration that the order dated 18 April 1966 for recovery of an amount of Rs 29 926 paise passed by the Regional Settlement Commissioner in proceedings under sec 21 of the Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act 1954 (1954 Act) was illegal ultra vires and without jurisdiction and for a perpetual injunction restraining the defendant from recovering the same as arrears of land revenue was dismissed by the learned Judge City Civil Court (6th court) Ahmedabad by his judgment and decree dated 13th October 1972
(2.) After 25th April 1962 the suit property considered as an evacuee property by virtue of its having been already declared as an evacuee property under the 1950 Act was acquired under the provisions of chapter 3 of the 1954 Act so as to form part of the compensation pool for rehabilitation of persons displaced from Pakistan and accordingly the suit property came to be managed by a Managing Officer appointed under the 1954 Act. It was the case of the plaintiff that on 8th May 1963 the Managing Officer issued a notice to pay the aforesaid amount of Rs. 42 530 paise. The plaintiff served a statutory notice on 28th June 1963 upon the Regional Settlement Commissioner Bombay functioning under the 1954 Act the Manager and Collector Ahmedabad and the Deputy Custodian General of Evacuee Property Ahmedabad contending that the abovementioned officer was not entitled to recover the said amount for want of jurisdiction as also on the ground of limitation. The Regional Settlement Commissioner by his order dated 23rd September 1963 held that the said recovery was not barred under sec. 48 (amended) of the 1950 Act and the plaintiff was therefore required to submit accounts of the rental income till 17th July 1953. The plaintiff accordingly submitted accounts before the Deputy Custodian.
(3.) Therefore the Assistant Custodian and Managing Officer Bombay wrote a letter dated 23rd December 1963 requiring the plaintiff to attend hearing in respect of the above accounts. It appears the plaintiff objected on the ground that as the suit property was acquired under the 1954 Act by the Central Government the Deputy Custodian had no jurisdiction in the matter; and the matter was thereafter referred to the Regional Settlement Commissioner at the instance of the plaintiff under sec. 21(2) of the 1954 Act for inquiry. The plaintiff appeared before the Regional Settlement Commissioner along with his advocate and the order dated 23rd September 1963 was passed remanding his case to the Managing Officer for taking accounts of the expenses claimed by the plaintiff for the management of the suit property. The plaintiff thereafter filed his statement of accounts before the Managing Officer a nd after a lot of delay the matter was ultimately fixed before the Regional Settlement Commisioner on 9th March 1966 and the impugned order dated 18th April 1966 was then passed by the Regional Settlement Commissioner giving credit to the plaintiff for expenses to the extent of Rs. 15 604.55 paise and deducting the same from the amount as originally claimed viz. Rs. 42 530 paise the plaintiff was ordered to pay the balance of Rs. 26 926 paise. A demand notice was also ordered to be issued by the Regional Settlement Commissioner upon the plaintiff with a further order that the amount should be recovered from the plaintiff as arrears of land revenue if he committed default.;

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