HIGH COURT OF RAJASTHAN
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(1.)The facts giving rise to this writ application briefly stated are that the petitioner Rakha Singh holds agricultural land in Chak 4X in tehsil Karanpur district Sriganganagar. He filed his return under the Rajasthan Imposition of Ceiling on Agricultural Holdings Act, 1973 (hereinafter called 'the Act') before the Authorised Officer on 21-3-74 declaring that there were three members in his family, namely he himself, his wife and an adopted son Vijay Singh aged 25 years. In support of his claim, he produced some evidence, oral as well as documentary. So far as the documentary evidence was concerned, it was a decision in a suit filed by Anoop Singh, the real brother of Vijay Singh against Vijay Singh on the ground that Vijay Singh had gone in adoption to Rakha Singh and could not claim any share in his original family. That suit was decreed. The Authorised Officer did not accept this evidence and held that there were only two members in the family of Rakha Singh i.e. Rakha Singh himself and his wife and he, accordingly, determined the ceiling limit and refused a separate unit claimed for the alleged adult adopted son u/s.4(2) of the Act. Aggrieved of this, Rakha Singh filed an appeal before the learned Collector, Ganganagar but failed. One of the objections raised in the appeal was that the Authorised Officer did not publish a draft statement as required u/s.12 of the Act and, therefore, the petitioner did not have proper opportunity to lead evidence and establish the adoption of Vijay Singh. This contention was turned down by the learned Collector on the ground that in view of the proviso to S.12 when the return filed by the petitioner had been accepted by the Authorised Officer, there was no necessity of the draft statement being published. The petitioner then went up in second appeal before the Board of Revenue and the question of adoption of Vijay Singh was again agitated. However, the Board also did not agree with the petitioner and was of the view that the evidence produced was insufficient and irrelevant to prove the adoption. The petitioner has, therefore, come up to this Court by way of this writ application. The non-petitioners have filed a return supporting the orders of the authorities concerned.
(2.)I have heard the learned counsel for the petitioner "as well as the learned Deputy Government Advocate and have gone through the record.
(3.)There is no dispute that if the holder of land has an adult son, he is entitled to select land for a separate unit up to the ceiling area of the primary unit for each separate unit u/s. 4(2) of the Act. The contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner is that the petitioner has an adopted son but the courts below had without proper enquiry in accordance with the provisions of the Act refused to accept the adoption of Vijai Singh as an adopted son. In this respect, he contended that in the return filed by the petitioner, he had shown Vijay Singh as his adult adopted son and had claimed a separate unit for him. The Authorised Officer did make an enquiry as required by S.12 but he failed to issue a draft statement as required by that section and this failure has resulted in the petitioner's not producing further evidence to establish the adoption, which was not being accepted by the Authorised Officer. His further contention is that the observations of the learned Collector that the publication of such a draft statement in the circumstances of this case was not necessary in view of the proviso to S.12 are wrong on the face of it because in the first place, this proviso was not in force when the matter was decided by the Authorised Officer on 22-1-76 as this proviso had been introduced on 5-2-76 and in the second place, even if for the sake of argument, it is accepted that the proviso was applicable, although it is not admitted, then also since the Authorised Officer had not accepted the return as correct and complete inasmuch at he was not prepared to accept the number of members of the family and to grant a separate unit, he was bound to publish a draft statement as required by S.12.
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