Decided on April 29,1960

ROOP SINGH Appellant


- (1.)THIS appeal under sec. 39 of the Rajasthan Land Reforms and Resumption of Jagirs Act, 1952, has been apparently wrongly conceived, for the order of the Collector dated 1. 7. 58 against which this appeal has been preferred contains a decision neither about the award of compensation nor about the settlement of rights of inheritance of the parties to the amount of compensation payable to the deceased Jagirdar. We have therefore discharged Shri P. D. Kudal the Advocate for the Government and gave notice to Shri B. K. Pareek Govt. Advocate. He, having not appeared despite notice, we have heard the learned counsel for the parties and examined the record ex-parte against the Government. The proceedings in the case started with the report made by the appellant for information that his adoptive father Peersingh, the Jagirdar, had died. The Tehsil Sirohi ordered on 4. 5. 56 that the information be submitted to the Collector and the revenue Inspector, should immediately prepare a list of the property of the deceased on the spot and submit the same for necessary action. In the meanwhile, an objection petition was presented before the Collector by the respondent Baghsingh also that the Jagir, because of the deceased being his Chhutbhai and having died issueless, should be amalgamated with his own Jagir. THIS application was also forwarded by the Collector on 5. 5. 56 to the Tehsildar Sirohi. The Tehsildar started enquiry. The Revenue Inspector not only prepared the list but also took over all the property of the deceased in his own possession from that of the appellant. The Tehsildar recommended on 8. 5. 57 that the property be allowed to remain in his 'tehvil' and the parties be directed to have their rights decided by the competent court. The Collector returned the papers asking the Tehsildar to submit the same through the Sub-Divisional Officer. The Sub-Divisional Officer having heard the parties recommended on 28. 11. 57 that the case was of an escheat of property in which the Revenue Inspector had taken over possession of the property of the deceased notwithstanding the fact that the deceased had left a daughter Mst. Chaganbai and an adopted son the appellant and that therefore it ought to be restored to the party from whose possession it had been taken and anybody feeling aggrieved thereby should be directed to seek relief in the proper court of law. The learned Collector Sirohi influenced probably by the fact that the Jagir had been resumed, passed the order which is under appeal before us, that the houses and movabled property be all continued to be kept in Tehsil custody and other articles were if found to be "destroyable" meaning thereby probably "perishable" be atonce;auctioned and the proceeds be deposited in the treasury and the Tehsildar be asked to submit report about the remaining property. Clearly these orders have been passed only under the provisions of the Rajasthan Escheats Regulation Act. 1956, no other law having been shown by the learned counsel for the parties. Under the provision of this Act the Tehsildar, upon receipt of an information as to the existence of any property to which this Act applies as ultima heres or bona vacantia, shall ascertain whether or not there was any person entitled to the same, prepare an inventory thereof, take over possession of it in the prescribed manner, and make a report to the Collector But there is a proviso that if such property was in the present possession of any person such possession shall not be disturbed. Upon receipt of such a report from the Tehsildar, the Collector is required under sec. 6 (1) of the Act (a) to make proper orders respecting the possession, maintenance, management, safe-custody and taking care of each item of the property specified in the report as well as (b) to issue a proclamation specifying the property numbers and calling upon all persons having any interest therein or right thereto to prefer their claims in respect thereof to the Collector within thirty days from the service thereof. Apparently, the learned Collector has complied with only with the sub-clause (a) of sec. 6 (1) but not with those of sub-clause (b ). Similarly the mandatory provision of the proviso of sec. 4 that the present possession of the property shall not be disturbed has been ignored by the Tehsildar and the learned Collector has also failed to take note of it, and rather on the other hand, notwithstanding the pointed recommendation by the learned Sub-Divisional Officer, has thought fit himself also to ignore it. Thus there has been manifestly a breach of a mandatory provision of law in this case. The learned counsel for the respondent has contended that we cannot interfere in any way with the orders passed by the learned Collector. His argument is that only an appeal has been provided by the Act by sec. (7) against the final orders of the Collector passed under sub-sec. (9) of sec. 6 when the Collector passes orders, after necessary enquiry, either declaring certain person to be entitled to the property and restoring the same to his possession or declaring that the last owner of the property died without leaving any heir and therefore the property vested as ultima heres or as bona vacantia in the State. The learned counsel for the respondent has however not kept in mind the provisions of sec. 3 of the Act laying down the provision for the general superintendence of escheats under this Act to be vesting in the Collector, who is required to act under the directions of the Board and the orders of the State Government. If the Collector acts in violation of the clear provisions of law while dealing with the property to which this Act applies, the Board shall certainly have the power to give necessary directions to the Collector under this provision of sec. 3 of the Act. The learned counsel for the respondent has not very frankly conceded this point, but he has not been able to repel this argument in any way. As has been stated in details above, the orders of the Tehsildar, taking possession of the property and the confirmation of the same by the Collector were quite contrary to the provisions of the proviso to sec. 4 (1) of the Act. The learned Collector has also not as yet taken any step to have the necessary proclamation issued.
(2.)WE, therefore, feel that it is a fit case for our interference in the exercise of our powers of general superintendence.
We, therefore, accept this appeal, set aside the orders of the learned Collector Sirohi dated 1-8-57 and direct that the property should be restored to the appellant and dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the proviso to sec. 4 (1) of the Act and further necessary action should be taken after issuing the required proclamation in accordance with law in this behalf. .


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