Decided on October 13,1960

RAMA Appellant


SARJOO PROSAD, C. J. - (1.)THIS application is directed against the order of the Board of Revenue dated 11th April, 1958. The petitioners pray that a writ of cert orari may be issued quashing the order in question on the ground that the Revenue Board had no jurisdiction to pass that order.
(2.)THE relevant facts are brief. It appears that on the 27th of May, 1957, while the Settlement proceedings were going on in that locality, a petition was filed before the Assistant Settlement Officer, Pali, on behalf of certain persons. THE Board remarks that on the face of the petition itself or on the reverse of it there is nothing to show as to when and by whom and before whom the petition had been actually presented. THE order sheet shows, however that on the same day the application was taken up at the site and after examination of a few witnesses the Assistant Settlement Officer ordered that different areas should be taken out from the Khatedari Parchas of different tenants and recorded as Jagir Ghair Munkin Rasta. Strangely enough the persons from whose plots these areas were taken out and treated as Rasta were neither called nor examined nor were they given any opportunity to show that the procedure adopted by the Assistant Settlement Officer was highly irregular and arbitrary. When some of the persons affected came to have knowledge of the order, they preferred an appeal on the nth] of September, 1957, to the Collector. A preliminary question arose before the Collector as tot whether the appeal was in time. It was contended by the petitioners that the appeal was beyond time whereas the respondents who were the appellants there contended that they having no knowledge of the matter they could not prefer an appeal earlier. THE Additional Collector, who decided the matter by order dated 1st February, 1958, held that the appeal should be taken to be within time and condoned the delay in the presentation of the appeal. Against this order the petitioners moved the Board of Revenue in revision, which resulted in the order in question before us.
It may be observed here that even before the presentation of the appeal to the Collector the Settlement proceedings had terminated by a notification dated 20. 6. 57 published in the Rajasthan Rajpatra of 4th July, 1957. The Board pointed out that under sec. 75 (1) (e) of the Rajasthan Land Revenue Act, 1956, (Act No. XV of 1956-hereinafter called "the Act") an appeal against the order of the Assistant Settlement Officer lay to the Settlement Commissioner and not to the Collector. It, however, held that instead of sending back the memorandum of appeal for presentation to the proper court, it should in the interest or justice interfere and set aside the order of the Assistant Settlement Officer. It observed that the said order was in flagrant violation of all principles of natural justice and fair play, an observation with which we are in full agreement. It accordingly set aside not only the order of the Assistant Settlement Officer but also that of the Additional Collector, and the Settlement proceeding having terminated, it referred the matter to the Tehsildar Raipur for taking proceedings under the provisions of sec. 251 of the Rajasthan Tenancy Act.

The whole argument of Mr. Porwal for the petitioners is that the order is without jurisdiction inasmuch as the Board of Revenue had no right to revise an order of this kind. We are unable to entertain this plea, on examination of the relevant provisions of the Rajasthan Land Revenue Act, both old and new. It should be remembered that the Settlement proceedings had in this case terminated. Under sec. 181 of the Act, all applications and proceedings then pending before the Settlement Officer should be deemed to have been transferreds to the Collector who had the powers of a Settlement Officer for the disposal thereof. In this case if it is held that the proceedings were pending, then the Collector had jurisdiction under sec. 181 of the Act to deal with the matter. An appeal against the order of the Collector under sec. 76 of the Act would lie to the Settlement Commissioner but the Board of Revenue could even then exercise its powers under sec. 84 of the Act and call for the record of the case which was of a judicial nature or connected with Settlement proceedings. The Board could exercise this power even if the Collector erroneously assumed jurisdiction which he did not possess. Either way, therefore, the jurisdiction of the Board to set aside the order cannot be challenged. Sec. 84 confers very wide powers on the Board of Revenue to call for the record of any case of a judicial nature or connected with Settlement proceedings and pass any order that it considered appropriate. The only limitation as pointed out by Mr. Porwal is that this power could be exercised only where an appeal lay to the Board. An order by the Additional Collector entertaining the appeal and condoning the delay would fall under sec. 77 (a) of the Act and no appeal lay against any such order. That being so, it was open to the Board to exercise its jurisdiction under sect. 84 of the Act and in revising the order make any order that it thought fit. The Board was not in any manner hampered by the fact that an appeal may in due course lie either to the Settlement Commissioner or to some other authority subordinate to the Board. In this case the matter had been, on the petitioners' own application, brought to the notice of the Board of Revenue and the Board after sending for the record of the case passed the order which it did. Sec. 23 (1) of the Act also provides that the control of all judicial matters and of all matters connected with Settlement is vested in the Board, In all such matters the law confers on the Board of Revenue a supervisory jurisdiction or power of superintendence over the subordinate authorities and it was competent to pass the order in question specially when the ends of justice required it. The Board has directed that the matter should be dealt with under sec. 251 of the Rajasthan Tenancy Act by the Tehsildar of Raipur and under sub-sec. (2) of that section the party aggrieved is not deprived of his remedies in a civil court, if any.

In the circumstances we do not think that any case has been made out for our interference with the order of the Board of Revenue, The application is without any merit and must be rejected with costs, hearing fee Rs. 50/ -. .


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