Decided on March 03,1972



- (1.) 1. The short question that arises in this Writ Petition is whether the Board of Revenue which is an appellate Authority under Rule 61 of the Andhra Pradesh (Andhra Area) Village Offices Service Rules, 1969 is competent Co go into the merles of the appeal preferred by an aggrieved party when the appeal is preferred against an order of remand made by the first appellate Authority viz. the Collector.
(2.) . The petitioner and the 4th respondent were among the five applicants for the post of Village Karnam of Bhanumukkala village of Nandikotur Taluk, Kurnool District. The petitioner had earlier worked as a Village Munsif in the same village. The 4th respondent was working as Branch Postmaster of the village at the time of selection of a suitable candidate to fill up the office of the Village Karnam. The Revenue Divisional Officer, Kurnool selected the petitioner having regard to his past experience as village Officer and appointed him as the Karnam of the Village. Aggrieved by that order, the 4th respondent preferred an appeal to the Collector, Kurnool under Rule 61 of the Rules and the Collector went into the qualifications and the relative merits of the competing candidates and found that the fact that the 4th respondent was acting as a Branch Postmaster was not a disqualification add that therefore he should be preferred to the petitioner. He also adverted to the fact that the Revenue Divisional officer had not taken into account the circumstances under which, the petitioner had to give up the office of toe Village Munsiff. He preferred the 4th respondent on another ground viz. that he acted as Karnam of the same village for a period of one year and eight months. Having assessed the relative merits of each of the candidates, the Collecter, without himself deciding as to who should be appointed, remanded the matter to the Revenue Divisional Officer for disposal in the tight of the observations made by him In his order. Aggrieved by tint order, the petitioner filed a second appeal before the Board of Revenue assailing the findings recorded by the Collector as also the ultimate order passed by him remitting the matter to cne Revenue Divisional officer for disposal afresh. The Board of Revenue after hearing the advocates who represented the petitioner and the 4th respondent assessed the qualifications and the relative merits of the petitioner and the 4th respondent and reversed the order of the Revenue Divisional Officer and appointed the 4th respondent as the Village Karnam. Aggrieved by chat order the petitioner moved the Government in revision under Rule 75 of the Rules and the Government saw no reason to disagree with the Board's judgment in appointing the 4th respondent while setting aside the order of the Revenue Divisional Officer. Hence this writ petition.
(3.) Miss Lakshml Devi, learned counsel appearing for tha petitioner contended that when an appeal was preferred by the petitioner under Rule 61, all that the Board of Revenue was concerned In that appeal was to see whether there was justificatlon for remanding the matter by the Collector and not to go into the merits of the case as to who was the proper or fit person to be appointed and reversing the order of the Revenue Divisional Officer. Rule 61 of the Village Office Service Rules, 1969 is in these terms: "61. In case of permanent appointment of Village Officer in Class I made by the Revenue Divisional Officer an appeal shall He to the Collector within thirty days from the date of receipt of the order of appoinment and a second appeal shall lie to the Board within ninety days from the date of receipt of the order of the Collector".;

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