(1.) THE circumstances under which this revision has been filed against the order of the Collector, Tonk, dated 14. 11. 1963, are that on 13. 5. 1957 the Chairman, District Board, Tonk, issued a requisition to the Sub-Divisional Officer, Malpura, for realisation of an amount of Rs. 10,100/- under the Rajasthan Public Demands Recovery Act, as arrears for cess for village, Rajpura. THE applicant filed objections, and on 2. 7. 1958 another notice was issued to the applicant under Section 6 of the Public Demands Recovery Act, reducing the amount only to Rs. 1,635. 08. An objection was taken on 18. 10. 1958 that proceedings could only be taken by the Collector. On 29. 8. 1959, the Sub-Divisional Officer held that the requisition was not valid. Another requisition was filed by the Administrator District Board (Collector, Tonk) in the court of the Sub-Divisional Officer on 16. 8. 1960, and a notice under sec. 6 ibid was received by the applicant on 14. 9. 1960. An objection was filed denying the liability on 12. 10. 1960 under sec. 8 of the Act. In the meanwhile, Rajasthan Act No. 42 of 1960 came into force, which brought about changes in the recovery of miscellaneous revenues and other moneys and by virtue of sec. 4 of the said Act, all pending proceedings under the Public Demand Recovery Act were to be transferred to the Collector for recovery under the Rajasthan Land Revenue Act. THE sub-Divisional Officer by his letter dated 12. 4. 1961, forwarded this case and other pending cases under the P. D. R. Act, for issuing necessary orders and directions to the concerned Tehsildar for realising the dues.
(2.) A revision was filed in the Board of Revenue against this letter of the Sub-Divisional Officer, which was rejected mainly on the ground that no revision could be maintainable against a mere letter as it was not an order. Various objections were filed before the Collector, Tonk, which were rejected by him vide his order dated 14. 11. 1963. The present revision is directed against the said order of the Collector, Tonk.
The memo of revision attacks this order on a number of grounds, but only one ground was pressed before me, viz. that the Collector, Tonk lacked jurisdiction in this case to effect recovery of the amount as arrears of land revenue. It was not contested that after the judgment of the Rajasthan High Court in D. C. Writ Petition No. J-27 of 1960 (Haji Mohammed vs. The Board of Revenue for Rajasthan, Ajmer), the notification of 28. 2. 1957 authorising the Sub-Divisional Officers to exercise the powers of the Collector under the Public Demands Recovery Act, was invalid. As has also been held in the judgment of the Board of Revenue, Rajasthan, in the revision petition, which was filed by the applicant, all the proceedings before the Sub-Divisional Officer lacked jurisdiction. This fact has even been conceded in the order of the Collector, Tonk. While disposing of this revision, the Board observed as follows - "we have discussed all the provisions of the Act No. 42 of 1960 with the learned counsel for the applicant. The proviso to the amended sec. 257 (A) of the Rajasthan Land Revenue Act only lays down that an application required by this section would not be necessary in cases in which, according to the law under which such of money is due and payable, a certificate or certified statement of account or other document, specifying as nearly as may be, the aforesaid particulars, is required to be sent and has been sent to the Collector. Under the terms of this proviso a certificate or certified statement of account of other document can be treated as an application only when the requirements laid down therein are fulfilled. This is a point which can be canvassed on behalf of the applicant before the competent authority proceeding under sec. 257-A. "
This point was considered by the Collector, Tonk, in his very elaborate judgment, and he concluded as follows: - "i have heard the counsel for the applicant and the Government pleader and have also examined the relevant record. I agree with the contention of the counsel for the applicant that the Sub-Divisional Officer had no jurisdiction to file a certificate of public demand in his office in view of the decision of the High Court of Judicature for Rajasthan at Jodhpur in D. B. C. writ petition No. 427 of 1960 (Haji Mohd. vs. the Board of Revenue), but I did not agree with him that the Collector had no authority to make requisition for realisation of the amount, as vide Notification No. 9856/f. 4 (31) LSC/a/59-II, dated the 10th September, 1959, assets and liabilities of District Board, Tonk were transferred to the Collector, Tonk. Therefore, the Collector was authorised to take any steps for recovery of assets transferred to him and thus the Collector was competent authority to make a requisition for realisation of arrears of District Board cess".
I have carefully examined the argument of the Collector. It appears to me that the learned Collector has fallen into the error of merging his two positions into one. Under the aforesaid notification of the 10th September, 1959, he is an officer to whom the assets and liabilities of the District Board Tonk were transferred. He also combines in his own person the duties and functions under the Land Revenue Act. In order to exercise jurisdiction under Sec. 257-A of the Rajasthan land Revenue Act, two things are necessary - (1) the amount must be covered under Section 256 of the Act; (2) any officer or authority, to whom any sum of money referred to in section 256 or section 257 is due and payable, shall make to the Collector an application in the prescribed form, containing the particulars in this Section, or if according to the law under which such sum of money is due and payable, a certificate or certified statement of account or other document, specifying, as nearly as may be, the aforesaid particulars, as required to be sent and has been sent to the Collector.
I need not discuss the question whether the District Board cess was covered under Section 256 or not, as it was not argued before me in this case, though in another case of Tonk (Rao Bhagwat Singh vs. The State, Revision No. 11/1964 ). I have held that this cess is covered under Section 256 of the Rajasthan Land Revenue Act. So far as the second condition is concerned, it is obvious that no application was filed as given in Section 257-A. The learned Collector, however, depended on the proviso and treated the requisition which was made to the Sub-Divisional Officer under the Public Demands Recovery Act as a requisition. As I have stated above, the foundation for assuming jurisdiction by the Collector in this case was either an application giving particulars mentioned in Section 257a or if the law under which the demand arose, required, a certificate or a certified statement of account or other document, specifying, as early as may be, the aforesaid particulars to be sent to the Collector. In this case, nothing was shown to indicate that such a certificate or certified statement of account was required to be sent to the Collector under the District Board Act. The requisition which was filed in the court of the Sub-Divisional Officer, who lacked jurisdiction, could not be treated under the law as a certificate or a certified statement of account giving jurisdiction to the Collector under the proviso to Section 257-A, when the District Board Act did not require that such a statement should be sent to the Collector. The only way in which the Collector could assume jurisdiction under Section 257-A in this case was for the Collector as officer entrusted with recovery of cess of the District Board to make an application to the Collector in writing giving all the particulars required under Sec. 257-A of the Rajasthan Land Revenue Act. In my opinion, therefore, the foundation for the Collector to exercise jurisdiction in this case did not exist and the order passed by him for recovery of the amount as arrears of land revenue was without jurisdiction.
I, therefore, accept this revision, set aside the orders of the Collector dated 14. 11. 1963, and remand the case to him for taking fresh proceedings in accordance with law. .;