Decided on April 02,1953

Ratan Majhi And 22 Ors. Appellant
Budu Rondhari And 22 Ors. Respondents


Panigrahi, J. - (1.) THIS is a reference made by the Additional Sessions Judge, Jeypore, recommending that an order, passed under Section 145 Code of Criminal Procedure in M.C. 19 of 1950 by the Deputy Magistrate, Jeypore, be set aside. The Deputy Magistrate found that the second party was in possession of the disputed lands and he accordingly directed the first party not to disturb the possession of the second party. Each party consists of 22 persons and both the parties say that each member of the party is individually interested in specific plots and neither parties is jointly interested in any of the items of the disputed property. Each member of the first party claims a bit of the disputed land as his ancestral land so does every member of the second party. It is further pointed out that in the written statement filed by the second party each member claims a specific bit of land and gives the details and description of the lands in his possession. It is clear therefore that there was no joint dispute as such between the members of the first party and those of the second. The Magistrate, however, directed that joint possession of the disputed lands should be delivered to Nos. 1 to 14 of the second party, though, as stated above, there were more than 14 persons arrayed as members of the Second Party. Apart from this, this is a case where there is more than one dispute involved and each one of the disputes should have been made the subject -matter of a separate enquiry. The Magistrate had no jurisdiction to combine a number of disputes between several persons and treat them all as one dispute for the, purpose of a proceeding under Section 145 Code of Criminal Procedure. As the learned Additional Sessions Judge has pointed out this order is bound to lead to multifarious civil suits and there would be as many suits as there are members arrayed. I am therefore of opinion that the order of the learned Magistrate is lacking in definiteness and that the enquiry held by him against the several persons, in respect of several disputes, in one trial is not warranted by Section 145 Code of Criminal Procedure. I would accordingly accept the reference, set aside the order of the Magistrate, and leave it open to the Magistrate to take up the enquiry, if he thinks it necessary at this stage.;

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