Decided on January 05,1955

MOTIRAM Respondents


- (1.) THE point referred to the full bench in this case is as to whether appeals in cases relating to appointment and dismissal of lumberdars against the decisions of the Divisional Commissioners should be entertained by the Board or not.
(2.) THE genesis of the reference lies in the fact that vide notification No. F. 26 (8) S. L. /54 dated 13th May, 1953, the Government delegated the powers of creation and abolition of lumberdars and appointments and dismissals of lumberdars to the Divisional Commissioners in their respective divisions. By a subsequent notification of even number dated 3rd December, 1953, it was decided by the Government that "in partial modification of the 13th May, 1953 notification, the Government have been pleased to order that the powers relating to the appointment and dismissal of lumberdars vested in the S. D. O. 's and Tehsildars shall continue to be exercised by them and the Divisional Commissioners shall be the final appellate authority in these matters. " THE Revenue Secretary while forwarding a copy of this notification to the Secretary, Board of Revenue added that the Board of Revenue shall not entertain appeals against the orders of the Divisional Commissioners in such cases. THE Division Bench which heard the present appeal has accordingly made a reference on the point. The Government notification dated 13th May, 1953, clearly relates only to those cases wherein power to create and abolish lumberdars or the power of appointing or dismissing them vested in the Government. This authority was delegated to the Divisional Commissioner. It appears that subsequently some doubts arose as regards the exact interpretation of this notification and it may have been opined by some officers that the power vested in subordinate officers may be deemed to have been withdrawn by implication. Hence the notification dated 3rd December, 1953 appears to have been issued to clarify the issue. In this notification it has been made amply clear that the powers vested in the S. D. Os. and Tehsildars shall continue to be exercised by them. This is obviously a recog-nition of the fact that in the revenue laws of the various covenanting States the authority to appoint or dismiss lumberdars in some cases vested in the subordinate officers and that it to continue unaffected by the 13th May, 1953 notification. The hierarchy of appeals provided in those laws shall also continue unaffected and in cases where commissioners existed in the covenanting States and were final authority in such matters or in cases where appeals lay to the Government against the decisions of the lower authorities, the Commissioner shall be the final authority for deciding such appeals. This however does not and cannot cover the cases of all covenanting States nor can it prescribe a uniform procedure for final disposal of such cases as the existence of divergent systems makes a uniform procedure impossible unless a uniform revenue law on the subject is enacted. This will mean that in cases in which the appeals or revisions formerly lay according to the law of the covenanting State Board of Revenue they shall continue to lie unaffected by this notification until the law is amended. The reference would therefore, be answered in the affirmative. .;

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