Decided on January 24,1972



G.N.VAIDYA, J. - (1.) On September 24, 1964, the Special Deputy Collector Land Ceiling, Shrirampur, verified and return furnished by the Petitioner under section 12 of the Maharashtra Agricultural Lands (Ceiling on Holdings) Act, 1961 ( hereinafter referred to as " the Ceiling Act") and declared that no land was held by the Petitioner in excess of the ceiling area under section 21(2) of the Ceiling Act, finding as follows : " There are 13 members in the undivided Hindu family of the holder, out of whom 3 person viz., Pandharinath, Digamber and Radhabai have separate lands in their names. It is, therefore, declared that the holder is entitled to hold 198 acres of dry crop land as his ceiling area, that no land is held by him in excess of ceiling area, that no land is delimited as surplus land and that no land is forfeited to the State Government." The said declaration was made after making necessary conversion of the different classes of lands into dry crop lands.
(2.) In exercise of his powers under section 45(2), the Additional Commissioner, Poona Division, Poona, after issuing a show cause notice to the petitioner, set aside the order passed by the Deputy Collector and declared that Pandharinath could not be excluded from the family as his lands, situate at Nipani bearing G. No. 153 and at Umbargaon bearing No. 50, were part of the property of the undivided joint Hindu family of the petitioner and the said lands were also " in actual possession of the joint family as per section 2(9) of the Ceiling Act."
(3.) The said order passed by the Commissioner on March 20. 1968, is challenged before us by Mr. More, the learned Counsel, for the Petitioner, firstly on the ground that the order of the Deputy Collector was passed on September 24, 1964, and the Additional Commissioner had no jurisdiction to pass an order on March 20, 1968, in view of the provisions of section 45(2) of the Ceiling Act; and secondly, on the ground that the Commissioner erred in law in applying section 2(9) of the Act and in ignoring the provisions of section 6 of the Ceiling Act. There is no substance in the first ground. The Additional Commissioner has filed an affidavit stating that the Commissioner had called for the case from the lower Court on September 23, 1965. All that section 45(2) requires is that the Commissioner to who the powers of the State Government under the proviso to that section are delegated must call for the record of any inquiry or proceedings under section 21 before the expiry of the period of three years from the date of such declaration or part thereof. As the Commissioner in the instant case had called for the papers in September 23, 1965, it cannot be said that the Commissioner had no jurisdiction to pass an order after perusing the papers. The proviso to section 45(2) does not require the Commissioner to pass an order within three years from the date of the declaration. Once the papers were called within the period of three years there is nothing in the proviso to prevent the Commissioner from passing an order on persual of the papers thereafter.;

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