HARI HARA SINGH Vs. HARIHAR PATNAIK
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
HARI HARA SINGH
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Panigrahi, C.J. -
(1.) This is a writ application filed by the Ruler of Khandapara praying for the issue of a writ to quash the proceedings taken by the Sub-Deputy Collector, Khandapara, under the Orissa Tenants Protection Act, 1948 (Orissa Act 3 of 1948) in Orissa Tenants Protection Act Cases Nos. 23 to 30, 32 to 34 and 36 to 41. In all these cases the Sub-Deputy Collector held that the petitioner had violated the provisions of Section 3, Orissa Tenants Protection Act and directed him to restore possession of the disputed lands to the opposite parties within a week of the receipt of his order. He further directed the petitioner to show cause why the penalty of fine under Section 10 of the said Act should not be imposed on him. The petitioner did not take part in the proceedings before the Sub-Deputy Collector as, according to him, they were without jurisdiction.
(2.) A contention was raised on behalf of the petitioner that the Orissa Tenants Protection Act constituted a violation of Article 19 of the Constitution. This extreme position was, however, not pressed at the Bar. Learned counsel for the petitioner ultimately rested his case on Arts. 362 and 363 of the Constitution and urged that the Sub-Deputy Collector had no jurisdiction to decide the dispute as it related to the rights of the petitioner arising under the agreement entered into between him, as the ruler of the ex-State of Khandapara, and the Governor-General of India on 14-12-47. On behalf of the opposite parties it is urged that the Orissa State Legislature has the power to regulate the relations between 'landlord' and 'tenant' and that they being 'tenants' under the petitioner, were, entitled to claim protection under the provisions of the Orissa Tenants Protection Act.
(3.) The State of Khandapara was one of the States which acceded to the Indian Dominion after India became independent in August 1947. On 14-12-1947 there was an agreement executed between the Governor-General of India and the petitioner as the Ruler of that State, whereby the latter ceded to the Dominion of India full and exclusive authority, jurisdiction and powers in relation to the governance of the State, and agreed to transfer the administration of the State to the Dominion Government on 1-1-1948. Article 2 of the agreement provides for the payment of an annual privy purse to the Ruler. Article 3, which is relied on by the petitioner is as follows:
"The Raja shall be entitled to full ownership, use and enjoyment of all private properties (as distinct from State properties) belonging to him on the date of this Agreement." Article 4 guarantees to the Raja and the members of his family the enjoyment of all personal privileges. Article 5 guarantees the succession, according to law and custom, to the gadi of the State and to the Raja's personal rights, privileges, dignities and titles.;
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