(1.) THESE revision petitions have been filed against the order of the Additional Collector, Sawai Madhopur, dated 20. 6. 66, whereby he rejected the revision filed by the petitioners against the orders of the Land Allotment Advisory Committee, village Lahchoda dated 28. 12. 65. Briefly stated the facts are that 19 persons were recommended for allotment of land by the Advisory Committee on 28. 12. 65 on the ground that they were landless and belonged to scheduled castes in village Lahchoda out of Khasra No. 848/1. The petitioners felt aggrieved against this recommendation and filed a revision petition against all the 19 persons in the court of the Collector, Sawai Madhopur on 5. 3. 66. The Collector dismissed the revision petition as non-maintainable stating that under the Land Allotment Rules, there was a provision for appeal, but the petitioners had not availed of the same. It appeared to him that the revision had been filed because the period of limitation for the appeal had elapsed. The Collector, further, held that a joint revision petition had been filed against all the 19 persons and this too was not in accordance with the law. Under the circumstances he held that this revision petition was not maintainable and rejected the same. Having felt aggrieved by this order, the petitioners have filed revision petitions against 17 of the allottees which came up for hearing before me at the last hearing.
(2.) IT has been urged before me that the petition filed before the Collector was not a revision petition, but was a petition for making a reference under see. 82 of the Rajasthan Land Revenue Act and the Collector has erred in holding that a petition under sec. 82 was not maintainable. IT has further been urged that the land allotted was not unoccupied land and was not, therefore, available for allotment and that the Collector has acted illegally in overlooking the fact that the land was used for grazing of the cattle and the same was recorded as available for grazing. IT has been stated inter alia that the land had been recommended to be declared as pasture land by the S. D. O. and the papers were pending with the Collector and that the Tehsildar was fully aware of the fact as the recommendation had been initated by him. Under the circumstances, it is contended that the Collector has acted illegally in ignoring the fact that the land was of the nature specified in sec. 5 (28) of the Rajasthan Tenancy Act and was liable to be declared as pasture land and as such it was not available for allotment which has been made in the breach of the allotment rules. IT is contended that the impugned order has set at naught the proceedings for the declaration of pasture land and has resulted in abridging the rights of the village community and, therefore, this court could set it aside in its revisional jurisdiction.
On the other hand, a preliminary objection has been raised by the learned counsel for the non-petitioners that these revisions are not maintainable in this court, as they relate to a non-judicial matter viz. the allotment of land. In support of his contention, he has referred to the rule laid down in Govinda vs. Kalyan (1966 RRD 17), wherein it was held that the allotment of land under the Allotment of Land (Agricultural Purposes) Rules is an executive and not a judicial matter and that a revision against an order of allotment of land does not lie to the Board, but to the State Government. In this case, the learned Member examined the scope of sec. 23 of the Rajasthan Land Revenue Act and laid down that the control vests in the Board in respect of all judicial and settlement matters and as allotment of land was not enumerated in the first schedule, the Board has no jurisdiction in such matters. This is good law so far as it goes. The first schedule annexed to the Rajasthan Land Revenue Act contains a list of judicial matters. Of course, there is no entry relating to allotment of land in this schedule. But entry 2 covers the disputes with respect to the right of grazing cattle on pasturage land as a judicial matter. On the strength of this entry, it is contended by the learned counsel for the petitioners that this matter falls within the purview of this court. This plea must be upheld. As a perusal of the memo of revision filed before the Collector would show, the petitioners had approached the Collector in order to seek protection of their grazing rights alleging that the impugned allotments would impinge upon the grazing facilities available to them in the village. It was also argued before the Collector that the petition had been made by way of invoking his powers of reference under sec. 82 as the proceedings taken by the Tehsildar offended against the land allotment rules and would impinge upon their grazing rights.
In this connection, a reference has been made to R. 4. of the Raj. Land Revenue (Allotment of Land for Agricultural Purposes) Rules, 1957. Under this rule, inter alia the lands mentioned in sec. 16 of the Rajasthan Tenancy Act are not available for allotment. Sec. 16 includes pasture land which has been defined in sub-sec. 28 of sec. 5 of the Rajasthan Tenancy Act as the land used for the grazing of the cattle of a village or recorded in settlement records as such at the commencement of this Act, or thereafter reserved as such in accordance with rules framed by the State Government. It is urged that as the land is recorded as Kabil Charai in the revenue records, it should not be available for allotment. It is further stated that recommendations were made by the Tehsildar on 20. 2. 61 to declare the land as Charagah and, therefore, the dispute is covered by entry 2 and falls within the jurisdiction of this Court. As stated above, this contention must prevail. If it were simply a matter of allotment of Sawai Chak land, this court was barred from exercising jurisdiction in view of sec. 23 of the Rajasthan Land Revenue Act, but since the dispute relates to a matter covered by entry 2 of the First Schedule, the preliminary objection of the learned counsel for the non-petitioners has no force.
The second objection raised by the learned counsel for the non-petitioners is that this revision is incompetent as the second appeal lies to the Revenue Appellate Authority against the order of the Collector. This objection also has no force.
In this connection, a reference may be made to State of Rajasthan vs. M/s Chhaganmal Bastimal (1966 RRD 387) in which I had an occasion to examine the jurisdiction of the Board in respect of revision petitions. Having examined the case law on the subject I came to the conclusion that the Board may exercise its jurisdiction to hear revisions even in cases where the remedy of appeal had not been exhausted to avoid protracted litigation and harassment. Of course the right of revision vests in the court and not in a party and if it appeared to the Board that a subordinate court had exercised a jurisdiction not vested in it by law or had failed to exercise jurisdiction so vested or had acted in the exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity the powers to pass such orders as it thought fit are unhampered, as the failure to exercise these powers may lead to protracted litigation and harassment of the subject. I held that the extraordinary power of revision is vested in a supervisory court to administer speedy justice and to protect an aggrieved litigant from the perpetration of uncalled for and avoidable mischief. Of course, it does not mean that the parties are free to by-pass the appellate authority. Normally the legal remedy of appeal should be exhausted before approaching a supervisory court in its revisional jurisdiction. Nevertheless, it is not an inflexible rule of law and once the matter is brought before the Board in its revisional jurisdiction, the powers of the Board cannot be hampered by such technical considerations.
The third objection raised by the learned counsel for the non-petitioners is equally baseless. The objection is that the Gram Panchayat has no locus standi to bring this petition. The grazing lands of the villages are in the charge of the Gram Panchayats and, therefore, the interest of the Gram Panchayat in the grazing lands is obvious.
The fourth and the last objection raised by the learned counsel for the non-petitioners is that the Collector was right in rejecting the revision petition filed before him on the ground that the orders of the Tehsildar were appealable and the petitioners having failed to file the appeals could not invoke the remedy of revision.
In reply, the learned counsel for the petitioners has urged that the application filed before the Collector was by way of invoking his powers of reference under sec. 82 of the Rajasthan Land Revenue Act. As the application was drafted by mufassil petition writer, he had styled it as a revision (fuxjkuh ). It is urged that the ends of justice should not be allowed to be defeated on account of the ignorance and the poor standard of the mufassil petition-writer.
It is urged that the Tehsildar had not only ignored the rules prescribed for the allotment of land for agricultural purposes, but had also ignored the fact that the disputed land was being used for the grazing of the cattle in the village and, therefore, it was excluded for allotment under R. 4 of the Land Allotment Rules. This contention has sufficient force. It is evident that the Collector has not exercised the jurisdiction vested in him and has manifestly fallen into an error in not addressing himself to the question whether or not the Tehsildar has contravened R. 4 in making the disputed allotments. U/s. 82 of the Rajasthan Land Revenue Act, the Collector is empowered to call for and examine the record of any case decided or proceedings held by any revenue court or officer subordinate to him for the purpose of satisfying himself as to the legality or propriety of the order passed and as to the regularity of proceedings and if he is of the opinion that the proceedings taken or order passed by such subordinate court or officer should be varied, cancelled or reversed he shall refer the case with his opinion thereon for the orders of the Board, if the case is of a judicial nature or connected with settlement, or for the orders of the State Government if the case is of a non-judicial nature, not connected with settlement. It goes without saying that in this matter the petitioners have a prima facie case, and it would be in the fitness of things if the Collector examines the record in terms of sec. 82 of the Rajasthan Land Revenue Act and disposes of the petition according to law after hearing the parties concerned.
In the result, therefore, I accept this revision petition and remit the case to the Collector for necessary action in the light of the observations made above. .