UMED SINGH Vs. COLLECTOR, AJMER
HIGH COURT OF RAJASTHAN
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Sarjoo Prosad, C.J. -
(1.)All these ten appeals have been presented under section 66(3) of the Ajmer Abolition of Intermediaries and Land Reforms Act, 1955 (Act No. III of 1955, hereinafter called "the Land Reforms Act"). They involve more or less common questions for determination about the payment of compensation under the above Act and have, therefore, been heard together.
(2.)Mr. Beri, the learned counsel for the appellants, has mainly raised two points in support of these appeals. The first point relates to the question of rayar or grazing fees. This question does not arise in appeals Nos. 17 and 93 of 1957. The learned counsel contends that the Compensation Commissioner was in error in reducing the amount of grazing fees claimed by the appellants in assessing the amount of compensation. It has not been contested before us, nor was it contested at earlier stages that the amount of rayar claimed by the appellants in these cases in respect of grazing fees had not actually been realised by the appellants; but the Compensation Commissioner has objected to compensation being assessed on the basis of the amounts realised on the ground that in so far as the amounts related to the period cluing which the Ajmer Tenancy and Land Records Act (No. XLII of 1950, hereinafter called "the Ajmer Tenancy Act") was in force, the realisation made was not in accordance with law and, therefore, the claim had to be ignored. The Compensation Commissioner, therefore, purported to assess compensation in respect of the grazing fees on an arbitrary basis; with the result that the proportion has differed widely in different cases for no apparent reason, as shown by the chart of calculation submitted by the learned counsel. For instance the reduction in some cases is ⅓rd of the claim, in others less than ⅓rd whereas in one or two cases even less than 1/4th or ⅕th of the amount claimed. Mr. Beri points out that not only these reductions are arbitrary but also that there was no justification for the Compensation Commissioner to assume that the amount claimed by the appellants was in any way illegal. The other contention of Mr. Beri relates to the claim for compensation for rayar income under another head, viz., income from ground rent, that is rent for building or house sites.
(3.)In order to appreciate the contentions it may be necessary to refer to some of the relevant provisions of the Land Reforms Act and the Ajmer Tenancy Act. Under the Schedule to the Land Reforms Act the gross income of an intermediary has to be calculated on the total income under various heads specified in paragraph 3 of the Schedule. Clause(c) of the paragraph refers inter alia to sayar income. Sayar income has been stated to include "income from ground rent for house sites, waste lands, hats, bazars, quarries, fisheries, zirs, mines, irrigation fee from private tanks and grazing fees, calculated on the basis of an average of twelve agricultural years immediately preceding the date of vesting". Paragraph 4 of the said Schedule provides for calculation of the net income of an intermediary after making certain deductions as mentioned therein from the gross income. The appellants submit that the amounts claimed before the Compensation authorities were rayar income on account of grazing fees and rent for house sites etc. calculated on the basis of an average of 12 agricultural years immediately preceding the date of vesting as realised by them. Therefore, the average income as shown by them during the period should have been adopted by the Compensation authorities in calculating their income as contemplated by paragraphs 3 and 4 of the Schedule. Now what the Compensation Commissioner appears to have done is that he split up the period of 12 years into two periods; one prior to 1955 before the Ajmer Tenancy Act came into force and the other subsequent thereto. During the latter period the Compensation Commissioner observes that the intermediary claimed an average amount which was not authorised by the Tenancy Act and in consequence must be ruled out of consideration. Just to illustrate the point we may refer to the following observations in Civil Miscellaneous Appeal No. 84 of 1957. He observed that "since during this period of five years (Samvat 2007 to 2011) the Ajmer Tenancy and Land Records Act was in force the intermediary should have allowed the cattle of the tenants into the Bir for the purpose of grazing and should have charged a fee per each particular head of cattle as prescribed by the Ajmer Tenancy and Land Records Act." The Commissioner points out that "admittedly for the intermediary this procedure was not followed and his agent Kundanmal admitted that the Bir was auctioned for a lump sum for grazing purposes to the tenants and the charges for grazing were not recovered as per each particular head of cattle". Therefore, the Commissioner thought that the appellant should not be allowed to recover at the rate at which he claimed, the claim being illegal; and since there was no data supplied by the appellant to calculate the income during each of the five years, he adopted the arbitrary figure of Rs. 798.00.
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