THE GAON SAMAJ VILLAGE PILKHUA, TAHSIL SORAM, DISTRICT ALLAHABAD THROUGH PALTAN, PRADHAN AND CHAIRMAN LAND MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE Vs. H.L. BHARGAVA, DY. DIRECTOR (CONSOLIDATION), UP LUCKNOW AND ANOTHER
LAWS(ALL)-1965-3-29
HIGH COURT OF ALLAHABAD
Decided on March 05,1965

The Gaon Samaj Village Pilkhua, Tahsil Soram, District Allahabad Through Paltan, Pradhan And Chairman Land Management Committee Appellant
VERSUS
H.L. Bhargava, Dy. Director (Consolidation), Up Lucknow And Another Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

ROOP NARAIN V. THE STATE AND OTHERS [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

K.B. Asthana, J. - (1.)THE GaonSamaj of village Pilkhu a Tahsil Soram, district, Allahabad, has filed this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution seeking the quashing of an order dated 17.11. 1959 passed by Sri H. L. Bhargava, Dy. Director of Consolidation Under Section 48 of the UP Consolidation Act [hereinafter called the Art). The dispute in this petition relates to plot No. 1265/1, 4 bighas 18 biswas in area, lying in village Pilkhua. According to the Petitioner's case this plot was Banjar and was never cultivated and also had a few graves in a portion of it. The Petitioner further alleged that after coming into force of the UP Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act the said plot vested in it. It appears that the opposite party No. 2 Chhotey Lal's name was entered against the said plot in the revenue records. According to the Petitioner it was a fictitious entry. When village Pilkhua came under consolidation operations under the Act a regular Partal was held by the Assistant Consolidation Officer as required by Sections 7 and 8 of the Act. The Assistant Consolidation Officer found that opposite party No. 2 Chhotey Lal was not in possession of any portion of the plot and he had not cultivated it. Accordingly he ordered the expunction of the name of Chhotey Lal from the plot and directed it to be entered in the name of the Petitioner. It may be mentioned here that against the order of the Assistant Consolidation Officer expunging the name of Chhotey Lal, an appeal was filed by Chhotey Lal which was dismissed and the order of the Assistant Consolidation Officer was maintained. A revision against the appellate order to the Deputy Director of Consolidation by Chhotey Lal also remained unsuccessful. It further appears that the Lekhpal or any other officer concerned did not carry out the Amal -daramad of the order of the Assistant Consolidation Officer ordering the expunction of the name of Chhotey Lai and for entering the name of the Petitioner against the plot and when the proposed statement of tenure holders was prepared the said plot continued to be shown in the name of Chhotey Lal. The attention of the Consolidation authorities was drawn to this mistake and it was pointed out that it being a clerical error it ought to be corrected. Accordingly reports were called for from the subordinate officers and from these reports it does appear that all the authorities concerned were agreed that it was a clerical error and omission. Hence, in exercise of powers Under Section 38 of the Act the Settlement Officer ordered that the clerical error be corrected and orders passed Under Section 8 of the Act be carried out properly. This order of the Settlement Officer, Consolidation, dated 13th January 1959 has been reproduced as annexure 'G' to the petition. A perusal of it shows that an argument was raised on behalf of Chhotey Lal before that officer that by correcting the mistake at that stage the rights of Chhotey Lal would be prejudiced as he will have now no opportunity to file objections Under Section 12 of the Act. The Settlement Officer, Consolidation, has observed that firstly on the basis of a mere clerical en or no right accrued to Chhotey Lal and in any case he would have an opportunity to file objections Under Section 20 of the Act. Against this order of the Settlement Officer, Consolidation, no revision was filed by Chhotey Lal but he filed an objection Under Section 20 of the Act. This objection was dismissed by the Consolidation Officer by his order dated 3.3.1959 and an appeal against that order was also dismissed on 23.4. 1959 by the Settlement Officer, Consolidation. Chhotey Lal then went up in revision to the Deputy Director of Consolidation and succeeded. The Deputy Director of Consolidation allowed the revision by his order dated 17.11.1959 which order is the impugned order in this writ, taking the view that after the publication of the name of Chhotey Lal in the statement of tenure holders Under Section 11 of the Act no objection having been raised Under Section 12 of the Act, that entry became final and the Settlement Officer had no jurisdiction to correct the clerical error Under Section 38(2) of the Act.
(2.)SRI Bashir Ahmad, appearing for the Petitioner, submitted that the Deputy Director of Consolidation has fallen into an obvious error in holding that Under Section 3812) of the Act the Settlement Officer, Consolidation, had no jurisdiction to order the correction of the clerical error which crept in the proposed statement of tenure holders Under Section !1 of the Act and that error has led him to hold that orders of the Consolidation Officer and the Settlement Officer in appeal were without jurisdiction. On the other hand Sri V.B.L. Srivastava, appearing for Chhotey Lal, opposite party No. 2, submitted that there is no error in the view of law taken by the Deputy Director of Consolidation in hi? revisional order and even if it be assumed that the view taken by him is erroneous that would only amount to a mistake of law and would not raise any question of jurisdictional error and this Court ought not to interfere with the impugned order. It is well established that a writ of certiorari would issue and the impugned order would be quashed if it appears that there has been an error apparent on the face of the record. No doubt if two views were possible on the interpretation of the scheme under the Act and the rules framed thereunder, then the view preferred by the revisional authority would not raise any question of jurisdiction but if only one view is possible under the scheme of the Act and the rules framed thereunder and the view which has been preferred by the revisional authority is untenable in law, then I think it would give rise to what has been technically described as an error apparent on the face of the record and this Court in exercise of its powers under Article 226 of the Constitution is entitled to quash it.
The main question that falls for determination in this petition is whether the order of the Settlement Officer dated 13.1.1959 passed in exercise of powers Under Section 38(2) of the Act and ordering the correction of the entries in C.H. Form 20 in accordance with the decision Under Section 8 of the Act was without jurisdiction. Section 38 Sub -section (2) of the Act is as follows:

Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force if the Settlement Officer (Consolidation) or the Consolidation Officer is satisfied that a clerical or arithmetical mistake apparent on the face of the record exists in any document prepared under any provisions of this Act he shall, either on his own motion or on the application of any person interested, correct the same." A cursory perusal of the above said provision shows that a power to correct clerical or arithmetical mistake has been conferred upon the Settlement Officer, Consolidation, in the widest possible amplitude. There is nothing in the language of that provision imposing any limitation on the exercise of that power. Then to say that if no objection is filed Under Section 12 of the Act to any statement of tenure holders prepared Under Section 11 of the Act, the power to correct the clerical error in C.H. Form 20 which is a document prepared under the provisions of the Act and the rule framed thereunder is not conferred, would amount to imposing a limitation on that power which is not warranted by the language of the said provision. My attention was drawn to a Division Bench decision of this Court in the case of Roop Narain v. The State and Others (1)(1962 AWR 727) by the learned Counsel for Chhotey Lal, opposite party No. 2, in support of his submission that once no objection was filed to the statement prepared Under Section II of the Act, that is, to G.H. Form No. 20, that statement became final and the matter could not be reagitated or reopened at the stage of Section 20 of the Act. I do not think any assistance can be drawn by the learned Counsel for the opposite party No. 2 from the ratio of the case cited. In Roop Narain v. The State (1) no question at all arose of the exercise of powers under Sub -section (2) of Section 38 of the Act. As it appears to me if the error in any entry in the statement of tenure holders Under Section 11 of the Act or in C.H. Form 20 based thereon, is on account of a wrong determination of the rights of the parties and no objection was raised Under Section 12 of the Act, it may be that in those circumstances that entry would become final. But where the entry made in statement Under Section 11 of the Act or in C. H. Form 20 based thereon, was due to a clerical error or arithmetical mistake I do not think the omission of any party interested to raise objection Under Section 12 of that Act would bar the exercise of power by the Settlement Officer vested in hari Under Sub -section (2) of Section 38 of the Act. It would be noticed that the Consolidation Officer or the Settlement Officer (Consolidation) can be moved for correction of a clerical mistake on the application of any person interested. It follows therefrom that if the Petitioner moved the Consolidation Officer or the Settlement Officer, Consolidation to have the clerical error corrected in the statement of tenure holders, it was within its right to do so and the Settlement Officer, Consolidation, who ordered the correction of the clerical error had jurisdiction to do so. In other words, any person interested if he is able to satisfy the Settlement Officer, Consolidation, that the mistake in C.H. Form 20 or in the statement Under Section 11 was due to a clerical error he need not file any objection Under Section 12 of the Act. It is open, I think to a party interested in the circumstances where an error in any document is clerical or arithmetical to draw the attention of the authority Under Sub -section (2) of Section 38 or he may proceed under any other provision of the Act to have it corrected and even if I agree with the contention of the learned Counsel for the opposite party No. 2 that the same error could have been got corrected by the Petitioner by filing an objection Under Section 12 of the Act, then the fact that it was open to the Petitioner to file an objection under Section 12 of the Act to the statement Under Section 11 of the Act. would not take away his right to apply Under Sub -section (2) of Section 38 or bar the exercise of by the power, Settlement Officer, Consolidation to correct the mistake which was clerical 1 do not find under the scheme of the Act or under the rules framed thereunder that if a statement of tenure holders Under Section 11 of the Act is not objected to by any party interested then the Consolidation authorities lost all their power conferred on them Under Sub -section (2) of Section 38 of the Act. The view of the Deputy Director of Consolidation that the Settlement Officer, Consolidation, had no jurisdiction to order correction of the disputed entry Under Section 38(2) of the Act is untenable Such a view is not sustainable. That being the position, I am inclined to agree with the contention of Sri Bashir Ahmad for the Petitioner, that there has been an apparent error on the lace of the record in the revisional order of the Deputy Director of Consolidation, dated 17.11.1959 and it ought to be quashed.

(3.)IT was argued on behalf of Chhotey Lal, opposite party No. 2, that if the view that the Settlement Officer, Consolidation, had jurisdiction to order correction of the entries Under Section 38(2) of the Act prevails then a great prejudice would be caused to opposite party No. 2 as he would not get any opportunity to file any objection Under Section 12 of the Act which he otherwise would have if the statement Under Section 11 showed the name of the Petitioner on the disputed plot. I do not think there is any substance in this contention in the special circumstances of this case. The Consolidation authorities themselves allowed Chhotey Lal, opposite party No. 2, to file objection Under Section 20 of the Act and the nature of the objections which were raised by Chhotey Lal were exactly the same which he would have raised Under Section 12 of the Act. The objections of Chhotey Lal have been considered on merits by the Consolidation Officer and the Settlement Officer, (Consolidation), and rejected. Thus there has been no prejudice caused to Chhotey Lal by the procedure adopted by the Consolidation authorities.
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