KAN SINGH, J. -
(1.) THIS is a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India by the deity Shri Venkateshji Maharaj of the temple of Shri Laxmanji Maharaj (old) situated at Bharatpur, through its Mahant, and by it the determination of compensation of the maufi lands attached to the temple consequent to resumption under the Rajasthan Land Reforms and Resumption of Jagirs Act, 1952, hereinafter to be referred to as the 'act', is questioned.
(2.) THE facts relevant for the disposal of the writ petition are these - THE lands in maufi attached to the temple were situated in villages Bhara and Barwara. THEre was also a cash grant of Rs. 950/- in respect of village Panhora. THE State of Rajasthan issued notifications for resumption of the various jagir lands in Rajasthan u/sec. 21 of the Act from time to time and, according to the petitioner, the maufi lands attached to the temple were resumed by a notification dated 16-7-60. THE resumption was to take effect from 1-8-60. In pursuance of this notification, the petitioner put in its claim for compensation before the Jagir Commissioner, Jaipur. While doing so, it was stated on behalf of the petitioner that as the Jagir lands of the petitioner were not settled lands within the meaning of the notification dated 16-7 60 they could not be resumed. In the alternative, it was submitted that the compensation be determined on the basis of the rental income from the said maufi lands. It first put in the rental income from the maufi lands at Rs. 6,381. 66p but later on, the claim for compensation was sought to be revised to Rs. 16,281. 66. This included the cash grant of Rs. 950/- in respect of village Pachora. It was submitted by the petitioner that on the earlier occasion the compensation was claimed at a lower figure due to some clerical mistake in the absence of proper data before it. THE petitioner maintains that the Jagir Commissioner did not accept this claim, but on the basis of his own verification made a provisional award on 20-4-61 fixing the rental income of the petitioner at Rs. 3,659. 92 P. A notice of this provisional award was given to the petitioner and consequently, the petitioner preferred its objections against that award on 25-5-61 reiterating therein that as the maufi lands in question were unsettled within the meaning of Sec. 2 (n) of the Act, the compensation had not been properly determined in the provisional award. It was also emphasised that the previous claim at a lower figure was submitted by the petitioner due to a clerical error and it was prayed that the same be treated as withdrawn. THE petitioner proceeds to say that these objections were accepted by the Jagir Commissioner by his order dated 25-5-61 and it was held that the petitioners maufi lands were not settled within the meaning of the Act and Jagir Commissioner further directed that the compensation payable to the petitioner be determined according to the provisions of Sec. 7 of the Act. THE Jagir Commissioner consequently asked the Deputy Collector (Jagir), Bharatpur to re-determine the rental income of the maufi lands belonging to the petitioner in light of the income for the years 1949-50, 1950-51 and 1951-52. According to the petitioner, in pursuance of this order of the Jagir Commissioner, the Assistant Collector (Jagir), Bharatpur, went into the matter and held that the maufi lands in question were not settled. He therefore realised that the assessment of the rental income of these lands was thus necessary according to the provisions of Sec. 7 of the Act. According to the petitioner, after making necessary inquiry the Assistant Collector (Jagir) submitted his recommendations to the Jagir Commissioner and he reported that the rental income of the petitioner's maufi lands in the three years varied between Rs. 16,000/-and Rs. 18,000/- per year. When the matter thus came up again for the consideration of the Jagir Commissioner for the giving of a final award about the compensation payable to the petitioner the Jagir Commissioner 'did not accept the recommendations of the Assistant Collector (Jagir) and he determined the rental income of the petitioner at Rs. 6281. 66 P. by his order dated 204-10-61. THE Jagir Commissioner this time did not accept the position that the maufi lands of petitioner were unsettled. According to him, the land revenue of those lands had been settled and the rent was to be a arrived at a certain multiple of the land revenue which was settled. Aggrieved by the order of the Jagir Commissioner, the petitioner went in appeal to the Board of Revenue,: but was not successful. THE Board agreed with the Jagir Commissioner that as the land revenue of the maufi lands had been settled and as the rent could not be charged by the Jagirdar exceeding three times the assessed land, revenue, the rent also would be taken" to have been settled. It is this order of the Revenue Board passed in appeal which is challenged before us.
The main ground of attack against this order is that the Board was in error in thinking that the maufi lands in question were settled lands within the meaning of Sec. 2 (n) of the Act. In the alternative, it is contended that even land revenue was settled only in respect of a portion of the. maufi lands in question. As this. percentage of land which was settled "for land revenue was less than three-fourth of the total area of the maufi lands, the petitioner maintains, the maufi it-'self cannot be said to have been settled within the meaning of Sec. 2 (n) of the Act.
The Writ petition has been opposed on Behalf of the State.
It will be evident from the, above narration that the crux of the matter is whether the maufi lands of the petitioner, which were resumed under the Act, can be said to be settled lands or not within the meaning of the/act, so, that the compensation in respect thereof would be assessable on the basis of they being settled lands or it will be payable on the basis of they being unsettled lands. Sec. 2 (n) of the Act which defines the term 'settled' runs as under:- "sec. 2 (n) - -Settled, when used with reference to a village or any other area, to which the rent rates determined during settlement operations have been made applicable, whether prospectively or retrospectively, arid the Whole, of such village or other area shall-be deemed, for the purposes of this Act and the rules and orders mad thereunder, to be so settled if such rates have been made so applicable to not less than three-fourths of such-village or other area. " We-are of the opinion that this section is helpful for the proper consideration of the matter and sec. '98 of the Rajasthan Tenancy Act, 1955, on which the Revenue Board relies, is hardly applicable. Sec. 98 of the Tenancy Act provides that where 'the land has been settled and the rent is payable by the tenants in cash the maximum rent recoverable by the estate-holder shall be prescribed by the State Government keeping in view the land revenue and other agricultural conditions and shall not be more than, three times the amount of such land revenue. That section runs as follows: - "sec. 98 - Maximum rent where land revenue is settled - In areas where land revenue is or has been settled and rent is payable by tenants in cash, the maximum rent recoverable by an estate-holder shall be prescribed by the State Government keeping in view the amount of land revenue and other agricultural. conditions and shall not be more than three times the amount of such land revenue. "
This sec. 98, Tenancy Act, empowers the State Government to prescribe the maximum rate where the tenants are paying rent in cash and the land revenue is also settled. It only prohibits an estate holder from recovering cash rent above a certain maximum that may be prescribed, but this will not be the same thing as saying that it amounts to determination of rent rates within" the meaning of Sec. 2 (n) of the Act. The rent rates are determined during settlement operations" and till they are so determined and applied to a particular area, it cannot be said that the area is a settled one within the meaning of the Act. It is a question of fact whether this maufi land was settled. In other words, the question is whether any rent-rates were determined for this area during the settlement operations and applied to the same. It is not for this' Court to say, in the absence of adequate material, whether this has been done. As we have already observed, the matter, has. not been properly appreciated in the light of the requirements of sec. 2 (n) of the Act. It will not be out of place to observe that it is the duty of the Jagir Commissioner to determine, under sec. 32 of the Act as to what is the compensation payable to a jagirdar. The mere fact that the petitioner submitted a particular figure of his income on one occasion and then attempted to rectify the same by putting in another claim should not stand; in the way of the Jagir Commissioner determining the proper compensation according t,o the provisions of the Act. It was pointed out by this Court in Thakur Bhanu Pratapsingh vs. The State of Rajasthan (1) that merely because a jagirdar has failed to file a statement of his claim, or that he has put-forward a revised statement of claim including some more items will not mean that the jagirdar is not entitled to compensation for the various incomes of his jagir. It was observed in that case that a duty has been cast by the Act on the Jagir Commissioner to determine the amount of compensation payable to a Jagirdar under sec. 32 of the Act and it is his further duty to make, such enquiry as may be required for the purpose. We are; therefore, satisfied that, the Jagir Commissioner as well as the Board of Revenue have not dealt with the matter according to law and they should now deal with it properly.
Consequenlly, we hereby accept the writ; petition and quash the order of the Board of Revenue dated 10-7-62 and that of the Jagir Commissioned dated 20-10-61 and send the case back to the Jagir Commissioner far determining the compsnsaition payable to the petitioner according to law in the light of the observations, made by us above. The parties are left to bear their own coats'. .;