PRABHUNATH RAMDULARE Vs. BOARD OF REVENUE OF M P GWALIOR
LAWS(MPH)-1980-2-19
HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH
Decided on February 22,1980

Prabhunath Ramdulare Appellant
VERSUS
Board Of Revenue Of M P Gwalior Respondents

JUDGEMENT

G.P.SINGH,J. - (1.)BY this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution the petitioner seeks quashing of the order passed by respondents 1 to 4 relating to petitioner's ejectment under section 248 of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code, 1959.
(2.)THE petitioner is running a Pan shop on a small piece of land measuring 15 square feet' which is part of a Nazul plot in Block No. 95 situated in Raipur town, the land in question is entered in the Maintenance, Khasra in the name of Director, Posts and Telegraphs, Nagpur, which shows that at some stage it was acquired for purposes of the Union Government. One of the contentions raised. by the petitioner in proceedings under section 248 was that the said; section was not applicable in respect of the lands belonging to the Central Government. The contention raised by the petitioner was negatived by, the Board of Revenue by its order dated 2nd September 1977 passed in the petitioner's revision. The Board of Revenue did not hold that the land did not belong to the Central Government. It rejected the petitioner's revision, on the view that section 248 applied also for ejectment of unauthorised -occupants' of lands belonging to the Central Government. Learned counsel for the petitioner submits that the view so taken by the Board is not correct in law.
Section 248 (1) of the Code in so far as relevant reads as follows:

"248. Penalty for unauthorisedly taking possession of land - (l). Any person who unauthorisedly takes or remains in possession of any un occupied land. abadi, service land or any land which bas been set apart for any special purpose under. section 237 or upon any land which is the property of Government may be summarily ejected by order of the Tahsildar and any crop which may be standing on the land and any, building or other work which he may have constructed thereon, if not removed by him within such time as the Tahsildar may fix shall be liable to forfeiture. Any property so forfeited shall be disposed of as the Tahsildar may direct and the costs of removal of any crop, building or other work, and of all works necessary to restore the land to its original condition shall be recoverable as an arrear of land revenue from him. Such person shall also be liable at the discretion of the Tahsildar to pay the rent of the land for the period of unauthorised occupation at twice the rate admissible for such land in locality and to a fine which may "extend to five thousand rupees and to a further fine which may extend to twenty rupees for every day on which such, unauthorised occupation or possession continues after the date of first ejectment. The Tahsildar may apply the whole of any part of the fine to compensate persons; who may in his opinion, have suffered loss or injury from the encroachment. 

(3.)A reading of the aforesaid section will show that it can be used for summary ejectment of a person who unauthorisedly takes or remains in possession of "any land which is the property 'of the Government." The section does not in terms say that the Government here means the State Government, but the context in which the section occures clearly shows that the word "Government" here is restricted to the State Government. The first indication in that respect is that the section makes no mention of any officer of the Central Government reporting to the Tahsildar for taking ejectament proceedings against a person in unauthorised occupation of land belonging to the Central Government. The Tahsildar may be expected to know about persons in unauthorised occupation of lands belonging to the State Government, but he will obviously have no complete record with him relating to lands belonging to the Central Government and the nature of occupation of persons of such lands. Had section 228 been intended to provide a machinery for ejectment of a person in unauthorised occupation or any land belonging to the Central Government, some provision would have been made in it for a report or information to be given o the Tahsildar by an officer of the Central Government in charge of such land. The second indication that one gets from this section is that although it authorises the Tahsildar to make the person evicted liable for payment of rent and fine, it makes no provision that in case a person is evicted from a land belonging to the Central Government the rent or fine so recovered shall be paid to the Central Government. The Tahsildar is an officer of the State Government. In taking proceedings under section 248 he acts both as an agent of the State Government and also as a Court. Had the section intended to empower the Tahsildar to take proceedings for ejectment against a person in unauthorised occupation of a land belonging to the Central Government, provision would have been made for payment of rent or fine recoverable from such person to the Central Government. In our opinion, in the context in which section 248 occurs it is not possible to hold that it was intended to empower the Tahsildar to take ejectment proceedings in respect of any land belonging to the Central Government. This conclusion is further strengthened by reference to the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971. "Premises" as defined in section 2 (c) of this Act includes any land. Section 2 (e) defines "public premises" to mean any premises belonging to the Central Government. This Act provides a machinery for ejectment of a person in un -authorised occupation of public premises. The eviction of unauthorised occupants is done under this Act by an order passed by the Estate Officer under section 5 who is also empowered to require the person concerned to pay rent or damages under section 7. There is also a provision for appeal under section 9. This Act thus provides a complete machinery for eviction of a person in unauthorised occupation of any land belonging to the Central Government. Section 15 of the Act bars the jurisdiction of every Court in matters covered by the Art. This section says that "no Court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceeding in respect of the eviction of any person who is in unauthorised occupation of any public premises or the recovery of the arrears of rent payable under sub -section (1) of section 7 of the damages payable under sub -section (2) of that section or the costs awarded to the Central Government." A 1958 Act bearing the same name was repealed and replaced by this Act with retrospective effect from 16th September 1958. In our opinion, this Act covers the entire field relating to ejectment of unauthorised occupants from lands belonging to the Central Government and leaves no room for application of section 248 of the M.P. Land Revenue Code for that purpose The words" no Court" in section 15 of the Central Act in our opinion are wide enough to cover a revenue Court like a Tahsildar functioning under the Code. For these reasons. we are clearly of opinion that the Tahsildar had no jurisdiction to take proceedings against the petitioner under section 248 of the Code.


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