SRI IS WAR DURGAMATA THAKURANI Vs. STATE OF WEST BENGAL
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
SRI IS WAR DURGAMATA THAKURANI
STATE OF WEST BENGAL
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(1.) THE petitioner filed this writ application challenging a proceeding purported to be conducted under section 14 (M) (5) read with section 14 (Q) of the west Bengal Land Re-forms Act in respect of certain properties dedicated by an Arpannama executed by Kalipada Sadhukhan, her deceased husband. The Revenue Officer by his order has found that the said dedication amounted to a private debuttar and not a public one. Mr. Dilip Kumar Seth, appearing on behalf of the petitioner, has no longer disputed the said adjudication that the said debuttar created by the Arpannama was a private and not a public one. Mr. Seth however, has submitted that there has been no adjudication in terms of section 14 (Q) (3) of the Act as regards the question whether the petitioner as the shebait of the said private debuttar required any land for due performance of her obligation under the said Arpannama. I find there is considerable substance in the said submission made on behalf of the petitioner. In fact the Revenue Officer has not recorded any finding as to whether or not any of the lands covered by the Arpannama, of the obligations under the endowment created by the said Arpannama and, therefore, whether or not the ceiling area ought to be increased to such extent as may be thought fit.
(2.) I am, however, unable to accept the extreme submission made on behalf of the respondents that sub-section (3) of section 14 (Q) of the West Bengal Land reforms Act is not at all applicable in in the cases of private debuttars and the same is confined in its application to public, religious and charitable endowments.
(3.) SECTION 14 (Q) (3) of the Act has been neither expressly nor impliedly limited in its application only to public' endowments. The State Government under the said provision has been given power to relax the ceiling area in the manner and to the extent prescribed in cases of any land needed for due performance of the obligations in case of the endowment for charitable or religious performances or in case of present holding any trust or in pursuance of any other endowment creating legal obligations. But I may also make it clear that the question, if any, of relaxation under section 14 (Q) (3) of the Act is to be made in respect of such land which is needed for performance of religious and charitable obligations and has no application to any other land whose income may be utilised for discharge of such obligations. Thus, for example, the State Government has the discretion to relax the ceiling area in respect of the land upon which a temple may stand or deity may be installed for worship or is required for discharging in any other manner the obligations for performing charitable or religious rites or duties under the endowment in question. Thus, the Government may by an order allow retention in excess of the ceiling area any piece of land which is required for performing the duties and obligations under the trust or the endowment. Although the State Government has been given a discretion under section 14 (Q) (3), in the matter of such relaxation, such discretionary power ought to be exercised reasonably and upon consideration of all relevant facts.;
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