NIMAI BISWAS Vs. KALIDAS MANDAL AND ORS.
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
Kalidas Mandal And Ors.
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K. Lahiri, J. -
(1.)THE application under Article 226/227 the Constitution of India is directed against the judgment and order dated 20.6.1979 passed by the Assam Board of Revenue Case No. 99 RA/78 setting aside the order of the Additional deputy Commissioner, Goalpara dated 12.5.1978 in Misc. Case 18/77 -78.
(2.)A plot of land measuring about 2 K. covered by Khatian (sic) No. 1127 of Kokrajhar Town was put for revenue sale on 30.12.1976 (sic) Tahsildar, Kokrajhar Tahsil, in Land Sale Case No. 67 (K -T)75 -76 for recovery of arrears of land revenue amounting (sic) Rs. 24.32. The land was purchased by the writ Petitioner at Rs. 110,00. It was a town land. The sale price was atrociously low. The land belonged to Raimohan Mandal, father of Kalidas Mandal, Respondent No. 1. The Tahsildar, it appears, sent the records of the sale proceedings to the Sub -divisional Officer, Kokrajhar for confirming the sale Kalidas, Respondent No. 1 appeared before the Sub -divisional Officer, at Kokrajhar, on getting information about the sale, and, inter alia, stated that the land belonged to his father who was dead, he was away to Calcutta at all relevant time and there was no service of notice on the pattadar. He further pointed out the illegalities and irregularities in conducting the sale. Upon hearing the parties and on perusal of the records, the Sub -divisional Officer refused to confirm the sale and sent back the records to the Tahsildar. The writ Petitioner preferred an appeal before the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Goalpara against the order of the Sub -divisional Officer refusing to confirm the sale. In the meantime Kallias appeared before the Tahsildar and filed an application praying for acceptance of the area's of land revenue with interest. On receipt of the application the Tahsildar accepted the arrears of land revenue with interest and dropped the land Sale Case No. 67/75 -76 on 23.21.977. The order dropping the proceeding was not appealed against nor did the writ Petitioner file any revision, and, as such, the said order became final. After the order bad been rendered by the Tahsildar, the Addl. Deputy Commissioner, Goalpara by his order dated 12.5.1978 set aside the order of the Sub -divisional Offices and held that the order was bad there was no order rendered by the sub -divisional officer in the order sheet of the case. He upheld the orders dated 30.12.1976 and 4.4.1977 passed by the Tahsildar, approved and confirmed the sale by his order dated 12.5.1978 in Misc. Appeal No. 18 of 1977 -78 (Land Sale Case) Kalidas, Respondent No. 1 preferred an appeal to the Board of Revenue, questioning the validity of the order of the Additional Deputy Commissioner dated 12.5.1978. Learned Board of Revenue treated the appeal as a revision under Section 151 of the Assam Land and Revenue Regulation, 1886, for short "the Regulation" and set aside the order of the Additional Deputy Commissioner passed on 12.5.1978. The Board of Revenue sustained the order of the Tahsildar dropping the proceedings. The Board of Revenue held that on 23.7.1977, the Tahsildar dropped the proceeding and the order became final and absolute and there being no appeal or revision against the order, the Additional Deputy Commissioner's order dated 12.5.1978 could not have any effect on the order rendered by the Tahasildar on 23.7.1977. The Board of Revenue affirmatively held that market value of similarly situated land at Kokrajhar town would have fetched over Rs. 10,000/ - and the sale of land at Rs. 110/ - was inadequate which caused hardship and injustice to the owner, Learned Board of Revenue further held that there were contravention of law regarding service of notices and the sale proclamations. Against the order of the Board of Revenue setting aside the order of the Additional Deputy Commissioner, the writ Petitioner has come up before this Court in this writ petition.
Mr. B.K. Goswami, learned counsel for the Petitioner submits that the Board of Revenue committed error of law in overlooking the fact that the Sub -divisional Officer, Kokrajhar had no jurisdiction to refuse to confirm the sale. learned Counsel further submits that the sale became final on the expiry of 60 days and the sub -divisional officer acted illegally in not confirming the sale when it had become final. Learned Counsel submits that the order of the Board of Revenue suffers from various infirmities.
(3.)HOWEVER , Mr. B.K. Goswami, learned Counsel for the Petitioner fairly concedes that the price at the land sold at Rs. 110.00 was inadequate and that there is a line of decisions within this Court holding that sale of land at such a low price caused hardship and injustice to the owner of the land and on that ground alone the sale was liable to be annulled under Section 81 of 'the Regulation'. It is not disputed that the Board of Revenue on appreciation of the materials before it held that the price fetched' cased 'hardship and injustice' to the owner of the land. Learned Counsel submits that the Board of Revenue had jurisdiction vested in it by law to annul the sale on the ground of hardship and injustice but it could exercise such power within one year of the confirmation of the sale. Mr. Goswami submits that though the sale of town land at Rs. 110.00 caused hardship and injustice to the owner, yet, the Board of Revenue had no jurisdiction to annul the sale acting under Section 81 of the Regulation as more than a year had elapsed from the date of the confirmation of the sale. The land was sold on 30.12.1976 and the sale became final on or about 1.3.1977 on the expiry of 60 days from the date of the sale, submits learned Counsel for the Petitioner.
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