Baharul Islam, J. -
(1.) THIS is an application in revision under Rule 34 of the Rules for Administration of justice and Police in the Naga Hills District, 1937 (hereinafter called the Rules) and is directed against the order dated 22 -8 -1973 passed by the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mokokchung, in Civil Appeal No. 5 of 1972.
(2.) THE petitioners belong to the Jamir clan of the Ao tribe of Mangmetong village in the district of Mokokchung of the State of Nagaland represented by Shri Meso Jamir and the opposite parries are members of the Lotha tribe of Okotso village in the district of Mokokchung in the State of Nagaland represented by the Gaon Buras of the village. The dispute relates to a piece of land consisting of some Jhum Khetis located between the two villages named above, namely, Okatso and Mangmetong. The dispute is a very long standing one. It was settled in 1896 by Mr. Shuttleworth, who set a boundary between the two villages. The dispute again having arisen, the matter was finally settled by Mr. W. Dundas, the then Sub -Divisional Officer, Mokokchung, in 1907 in Case No. 212 of 1907. The dispute again cropped up in 1960 when some people of the petitioner village claimed right and ownership over some portion of the land in question. The Assistant Commissioner No. 2 Mokokchung, by his order dated 9 -5 -1961 restrained both the parties from cultivating the land. In 1965 Shri N.I. Jamir, the then Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mokokchung, by his order dated 26 -3 -1965 upheld the order of Mr. W. Dundas and directed demarcation of the boundary on the ground. In 1972 the petitioners wanted to till a portion of the disputed land where upon the respondent objected. On 17 -5 -1972 the S.D.O. (Civil), Mokokchang, visited the disputed area. He was accompanied by the Superintendent of Police, Mokokchung, P.A. to Deputy Commissioner, Dobhasis of Mokokchung and Sungro and Gaon Buras of Mangmetong and Okotsu, and in their presence he made a spot verification of the matter with the help of the map prepared by Mr. W. Dundas, aforesaid, which was in Case No. 212 of 1907 and he demarcated the boundary between the two villages by his order dated 17 -5 -1972. This order was appealed against before the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mokokchung who passed this impugned order in Civil Appeal No. 5/72. The learned Additional Deputy Commissioner took evidence on the matter and also made a spot verification on 28 -4 -1973. He found that the disputed land fell in village Okotso (Opposite Party) in terms of the decree made by W. Dundas in 1907, but 8 persons of the petitioner village were in occupation of it in spite of the orders of injunction passed by the Court restraining both the parties from occupying the land. He levied a fine of Rs. 50/ - each on those 8 persons. He found that the disputed land fell to the village of the opposite party, but it was unlawfully occupied by the petitioner -party and passed his order accordingly after setting aside the order of the Sub -Divisional Officer, Mokokchung. passed on 17 -5 -1972. This order has been challenged by the present application.
(3.) SHRI R.B. Singh, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner, first submits that Shri S.B. Chettri, Additional Deputy Commissioner, in his impugned order as gone behind the decree by hearing an appeal against the order dated 17 -5 -1972 passed in an execution case by the Sub -Divisional Officer. It is admitted by both the parties that the correct decree in the long standing dispute with regard to the land in question was the decree made by Mr. W. Dundas in 1907, and that this decree should be respected. It has also been found by all the officers concerned, namely, Shri N.I. Jamir, Additional Deputy Commissioner in his order dated 26 -3 -1965, Shri S. Lima Aier, Sub -Divisional Officer (Civil) in his order dated 17 -5 -1972 and Shri S.B. Chettri, Additional Deputy Commissioner in his impugned order, that the decree passed by Mr. W. Dundas was the correct decree and accepted by both the contending parties. The subsequent disputes, therefore, before the Additional Deputy Commissioner in 1965, the Sub -Divisional Officer (Civil) in 1972 and the Additional Deputy Commissioner in 1973 were all by way of execution or implementation of the decree made by W. Dundas. It is also the contention of the petitioner that the case before the Sub -Divisional Officer was by way of execution of the decree passed by W. Dundas. When this is the accepted position, an order passed in an execution case by the Sub -Divisional Officer is appealable to the Deputy Commissioner under Rule 34 of the Rules, and the appeal may be disposed of by the Additional Deputy Commissioner. It is not the contention of learned counsel that the appeal before the Additional Deputy Commissioner was incompetent, but his contention is that the Additional Deputy Commissioner went behind the decree. Learned counsel is not correct in his submission, for in fact the learned Additional Deputy Commissioner has very categorically stated in his order as follows:
There cannot be any appeal against the order passed by Mr. W. Dundas, SDO, Mokokchung in Case No. 212 of 1907 at this stage as it is barred by limitation and the matter or matters already settled by Mr. W. Dundas in the said case cannot be re -opened at this stage. . . The present appeal is only against the demarcation made by SDO (C), Mokokchung, on 17 -5 -1972 against which an appeal was filed by the present appellants in time as prescribed under Rule 34 of the Rules for the Administration of Justice and Police in the Naga Hills District.
The contention of learned counsel, therefore, that Shri Chettri, the Additional Deputy Commissioner, went behind the decree has no substance.;