Decided on May 01,1973

Prasana Kumar Patnaik Appellant
State of Orissa and Ors. Respondents


R.N. Misra, J. - (1.) THIS is an application under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India asking for a writ of certiorari or other appropriate writ direction quashing the orders passed by the Collector and the Appellate authority under the Orissa Estates Abolition Act, 1 of 1952 (hereinafter called the Act) as being contrary to law and for a declaration that the Petitioner is an occupancy raiyat in respect of the disputed property.
(2.) ON 21 -2 -1968, a notification was made under Section 3 -A of the Act to the effect that intermediary interests of the classes of intermediaries shown in the schedule to the notification were abolished and they vested in the State of Orissa free from all encumbrances. In the schedule to this notification was shown the Brahmottar Datta Panapika Lakharaj lands to be constituting an estate in which the Petitioner claims right, title and interest. According to the Petitioner, the property in dispute is not an "estate" as defined under the Act and the status of the Petitioner is not that of an "intermediary ' as also defined under that Act. It is, therefore, contended that the notification is without authority of law and proprietary right of the Petitioner in the property which had been gifted by the ex -rulers of the Hindol State in favour of his ancestors has been unduly interfered with. It is also contended that pursuant to the vesting notification, the Petitioner had erroneously applied under Section 8 -A of the Act for settlement of the land with him. Since he is not an intermediary and the property does not constitute an estate, the application made by the Petitioner was not maintainable and, therefore, the order of the Collector and the Appellate order of the Additional District Magistrate lack without jurisdiction. The State of Orissa and the other public officers have filed a counter affidavit. It has been alleged by them that the land in question is actually an estate. The tenure was that of Datta Panapika a jagir. In the Record -of -Rights of 1912 -13. in the remarks column satwa of the property has been indicated as Datta (gift) but the other records on the basis whereof the Patta had been granted bore the entry that it was Datta Panapika Lakhraj. The final Record of the recent Settlement in 1969 also showed the status of the land to be Datta Panapika Lakharaj. On the basis of these records, it is contended, the property constituted an estate and it has been rightly notified to have vested under the Act in exercise of the powers vested in the State Government under Section 3 -A of the Act. Reliance is also placed on the conduct of the Petitioner in applying under Section 8 -A of the Act for settlement of these lands with him. It is only on the footing that the Petitioner is an intermediary qua the estate vested that the application as made by the Petitioner could be maintained. Neither before the Collector nor before the Appellate authority was it ever contended that the notification was without authority of law. Having failed to obtain settlement in terms of Chapter -II of the Act, it is contended, the Petitioner has filed this writ application on completely new allegations.
(3.) AS we find, this is a case where the Petitioner 's title is in dispute. While according to the Petitioner the property was not liable to be notified under the Act, according to the opposite parties, the property constituted an estate and was liable to vest. It is the claim of both parties that there are documents which support their respective claims. Serious disputes of fact have got to be adjudicated with reference to evidence to find out whether the Petitioner is entitled to relief. The Petitioner 's status is in dispute so also the character of the land. These can, in our opinion, be adequately adjudicated by a Court dealing with title to the property and not in our extraordinary jurisdiction.;

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