MUNIA GOUNDAR Vs. PALANI GOUNDAR AND ORS.
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
Palani Goundar and Ors
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(1.) The Office of the headman of Ariyapadi village, Arni taluk, North Arcot District, fell vacant consequent on the death of the Isum headman of that village. The Revenue Divisional Officer of Cbeyyar invited applications and by order dated 3rd August, 1966, appointed Palani Goundar, the first respondent herein, as the headman of the said village temporarily, but on long term basis. Against that order two of the unsuccessful candidates, Munia Goundar, the petitioner herein, and one Ramaswamy Goundar, preferred appeals to the District Revenue Officer, North Arcot. By order dated 20th September, 1966, the District Revenue Officer set aside the order of the Revenue Divisional Officer and appointed the petitioner herein, as the headman of the said village. Against this order, Palani Goundar, the first respondent, preferred an appeal to the Board of Revenue. After hearing the Counsel for the petitioner herein, and perusing the records,the Board of Revenue came to the conclusion that Palani Goundar was a preferential candidate having better qualifications and in that view set aside the order of the District Revenue Officer and restored that of the Revenue Divisional Officer. Against this order of the Board of Revenue, the present petitioner filed a revision before the Government of Madras, who by order dated 24th February, 1969, declined to interfere. The petitioner filed a review petition to the State Government for re-consideration of the said order. But the State Government by an order dated 3rd April, 1969, declined to reconsider its former decision. The petitioner filed this writ petition on 25th April, 1969, for the issue of writ of certiorari to quash the order of the Board of Revenue and to pass such orders as this Court may seem fit.
(2.) The main contention urged in support of this writ petition is that the Board of Revenue had no jurisdiction to entertain a second appeal under the provisions of Madras Act III of 1895 (The Madras Hereditary Village Offices Act, 1895). It is submitted that the error committed by the Board of Revenue is apparent on the face of the record and that therefore the order of the Board of Revenue should be set aside.
(3.) Among the several contentions raised on behalf of the first respondent, one is that the petitioner not having raised before the Board of Revenue the contention that it had no jurisdiction and the petitioner having acquiesced in the jurisdiction of the Board of Revenue and having preferred a revision to the Government against the order of the Board of Revenue and a further petition for review of the order of the Government is estopped from raising that question in this writ petition. In my view this objection raised on behalf of the first respondent is well-founded. The petitioner did not raise the objection before the Board of Revenue that it had no jurisdiction. He did not make mention of the want of jurisdiction of the Board of Revenue when he preferred a revision to the Government, nor did he do so when he applied for review of the order of the Government. It is only in this writ petition that it is mentioned for the first time that the Board of Revenue had no jurisdiction. It is unnecessary to go into the question whether the Board had jurisdiction or not in the view which I take about the right of the petitioner to invoke the writ jurisdiction of this Court in this proceeding. It is true that consent of a party cannot confer jurisdiction upon a Tribunal. But the question is whether this Court in the exercise of its writ jurisdiction should apply the same principle and grant relief to a party who submitted to the jurisdiction of a Tribunal but who later finding that the order of the Tribunal was against him, turns round and begins to question its jurisdiction. In Lakshmana Chettiar v. Commissioner of Corporation of Madras,1927 ILR(Mad) 130, a Bench of this Court held:
Failure to object to jurisdiction before the lower Court is a bar to obtaining a writ of certiorari, whether the objection to jurisdiction is based on a pure point of law or based on facts which were or should have been within the knowledge of the applicant during the proceedings in the lower Court.
In support of this proposition the learned Judges referred to a number of English decisions. Dealing with a petition under Article 32 of the Constitution the Supreme Court observed in Mjs. Pannalal Binjraj v. Union of India,1957 1 SCR 233 , that if the petitioners before it had acquiesced in the jurisdiction of the Income-tax Officers to whom their cases were transferred they were not entitled to raise the objection before the Supreme Court under that Article. The Court observed at page 412:
It is well settled that such conduct of the petitioners would disentitle them to any relief at the hands of this Court.;
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