HIGH COURT OF RAJASTHAN
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(1.)This revision has been filed against the appellate order of the Additional Settlement Commissioner, Jodhpur dated 10.1.58 upholding the appellate order of the Record Officer, Jodhpur dated 31.3.56 which reversed the original order of the Assistant Record Officer, Jodhpur dated 9.10.55 in a case regarding entries in the Record of Rights during the Record Operations.
(2.)We have heard the learned counsel for the parties and have examined the record. The validity of the decision of the first appellate court was challenged before us on the ground that the appeal before it was filed beyond the prescribed period of limitation, that no application for condonation of the delay was presented in that court under sec. 5 of the Indian Limitation Act and hence the appellate court had no option but to reject the appeal as being barred by limitation. While going through the record to ascertain the relevant dates for determining the period of limitation available for the appellant it has transpired that no valid judgment exists on the file of the trial court. We may refer to the relevant proceedings in the order sheet of the trial courts file (No. 654 of A R.O. Shergarh). On 27.8.55 the A.R.O. ordered that the evidence of the opposite party had been recorded in full and hence the case should be put up for writing out the judgment. No date was fixed for pronouncing the judgment nor were the parties informed to be present on any particular day for hearing the judgment. The next order is still more surprising. It does not bear any date either in the column meant for the date of the order or even under the signatures of the Presiding Officer. It is to the effect that the judgment has been written and the parties should be informed to be present at Jodhpur for hearing the same. The date on which the case was to be put up is left blank. The next order was passed on 2 -11 55. It appears that Shri Guman Mal, Advocate on behalf of the opposite party put up an application for addressing his arguments to the court and this request was rejected on the ground that as the judgment had already been written by the court and what remained to be done was merely its delivery and hence no useful purpose will be served by allowing an opportunity for arguments. There is absolutely nothing in this order to suggest that the judgment which was written was ever pronounced on that day or on any subsequent date. On 3.11.55 an application for copy of the judgment was presented in that court and the same was delivered on 3.12.55. An appeal was filed before the Record Officer and as can be easily gathered from the office report the certified copy of the judgment of the trial court did not bear any date till then. The office reported that unless the date of the judgment is ascertained nothing could be stated about the period of limitation. Hence the record of the trial court was sent for and it was subsequently discovered that 9.10.55 was written in the original judgment under the signatures of the Presiding Officer of that court.
(3.)On behalf of the opposite party it has been stated that the period of limitation should commence from the date on which he came to know of the decision of the trial court. We need not go into this question at this stage, The primary question is as to whether any valid judgment does or does not exist which could have been challenged in appeal before the first appellate court. As laid down in O. 20, R. 1 C.P.C. corresponding to Rule 52 of the Rubs framed under sec. 8 of the Rajasthan Revenue Courts Procedure and Jurisdiction Act which were in force on that day, it was incumbent upon the trial court to pronounce judgment The phraseology employed in the law is that the court after the case has been heard shall pronounce judgment in open court either at once or soon thereafter as may be practicable on some future date. An order which may have been written by the Presiding Officer cannot be regarded as a judgment in law unless it is so pronounced, It is open to a court to write or re -write any number of judgments for his own use and consideration for he is entitled to consider or re -consider or even rescind such judgment until a judgment is pronounced in open court. It naturally follows therefore that unless a judgment is pronounced legally it remains merely a memorandum for use of the Presiding Officer. The obvious position therefore in the case is that the trial court did not give any judgment which may be held valid in the eye of law. We, therefore, have no other option but to remand the case to the trial court for removing this deficiency. We regret being compelled to adopt this course for it would mean a further protraction of the litigation. But unless there is a valid judgment of the trial court the appellate courts or even the revisional court cannot properly attend to. their respective functions. We, therefore, allow this revision, set aside the orders of all the lower courts and remand the case to the court of the first instance with the direction that after hearing the parties a judgment in accordance with law be pronounced on a date of which the parties should have due notice.
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