Decided on January 30,1900

SHIAM LAL Appellant
CHHAKI LAL Respondents


Blair and Burkitt, JJ - (1.) IT is unnecessary for us to set forth the facts of this case, which will be found in the judgment of the Court below. The Lower Appellate Court is wrong in saying that the patwaris rules in force in 1878 and 1882, issued by the Board of Revenue with the sanction of the Government, had the force of law. In that matter the learned District Judge is clearly mistaken. Under Section 257 of Act XIX of 1873, the only rules which, after publication in the N.W.P. Gazette, acquire the force of law, are the rules mentioned in Clauses (a) and (b) of that section, and they are rules to be made by the Local Government itself. If the rules as to patwaris be assumed to have been made under Clause (c) of that section, they clearly have not the force of law, and practically would be no more than departmental rules made by the Board of Revenue with the sanction of the Local Government. In this matter, therefore, the Court below was wrong.
(2.) BUT though, in our opinion, the Court below was wrong in that matter, it does not follow that its decision must he set aside. The learned Judge has held practically that the contract relating to purchase of land within his circle, made by the patwari for his benefit, is opposed to public policy. In our opinion that finding is correct. The learned Judge very properly puts it that "it is the duty of a patwari to keep impartially the accounts of zamindars and tenants or between zamindars with conflicting interests;" and further that "no patwari can do his duty properly if he has a direct interest in property in his circle." We think that these remarks are well founded. They show how the interest of a patwari, who has acquired a proprietary title to land within his circle, conflicts with his duty as a patwari bound impartially to record matters of most vital importance to both zamindars and tenants. In the present case the plaintiff admits that having contrary to the rules purchased land in his circle, he, with the object of concealing that purchase from his superiors, took the conveyance in the name of another person. The representatives of that other person are the defendants to this suit. Their predecessor in title was, according to the plaintiff, an active party to this transaction, which transaction we regard as being entered into for purposes opposed to public policy. For the above reasons we concur in the decree of the Lower Appellate Court dismissing the plaintiff's suit, and we dismiss this appeal with costs.;

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