Decided on November 11,1965

Genda Lal And Others Appellant
Dy. Dir. Of Consolidation Camp At Mathura And Others Respondents


- (1.)We have heard learned counsel for the petitioners on this petition under Art. 226 of the Constitution by which the petitioners challenge the order of the Consolidation Officer, the appellate order of the Assistant Settlement Officer (Consolidation) and the revisional order of the Deputy Director of Consolidation in proceedings arising out of an objection under Sec. 9 of the U.P. Consolidation of Holdings Act. Two points have been urged before us by learned counsel.
(2.)The first point urged was that the Assistant Settlement Officer (Consolidation) and the Deputy Director of Consolidation, who heard the appeal and the revision were not competent to hear them and to give decision in them. The ground is that neither of them was properly appointed or conferred the power which would entitle them to decide the appeal or the revision.
(3.)So far as the Assistant Settlement Officer (Consolidation) Sri V.P. Singh is concerned, there appears to be prima facie some force in the objection raised on behalf of the petitioners. According to the affidavit filed on behalf of the petitioner, Sri V.P. Singh, was appointed as an Assistant Settlement Officer (Consolidation) by a notification issued by Sri I.D.N. Sahi, Commissioner of Consolidation. The notification stated that the Commissioner of Consolidation, Sri I.D.N. Sahi, was appointing Sri V.P.Singh as Assistant Settlement Officer (Consolidation) in exercise of the power conferred by Sub-section (1) of Sec. 42 of the U.P. Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1953. Under sub-section (1) of Sec. 42 of the U.P. Consolidation of Holdings Act the power is to be exercised by the State Government. The notification mentioned that Sri I.D.N. Sahi was exercising those powers as they had been delegated to him by a Government order dated March 12, 1962. This delegation of power to Sri I.D.N. Sahi could only be under Sec. 44 of the Act and it was urged that such delegation could only be valid if it was made by a notification in the official gazette as required by that section, while the G.O. dated March 12, 1962 was not published in the official gazette and was never a part of any notification. If the facts given on behalf of the petitioners are true, Sri I.D.N. Sahi was not competent to exercise the powers of the State Government purported to be delegated to him under Government Order dated March 12, 1962, and notification appointing Sri V.P. Singh as Assistant Settlement Officer (Consolidation) was ineffective. Since we do not have before us the version of the opposite party at this stage, we have to see whether, on the assumption that Sri V.P. Singh was not properly appointed as Assistant Settlement Officer (Consolidation), this writ petition should be entertained. It appears to us that this is a ground which does not require interference by this Court. In this case, the original and main order which is effective was made by Consolidation Officer and there is no suggestion that the Consolidation Officer's order in any way suffers from lack of jurisdiction. The order which is said to be without jurisdiction is that made by the Assistant Settlement Officer (Consolidation) in appeal. But subsequently there was another order passed in revision by the Deputy Director of Consolidation exercising powers of a Director under Sec. 48 of the Act. The validity of that order is also challenged; but, if we hold that order was validly passed by an officer duly authorised, then the validity of the order of the Assistant Settlement Officer (Consolidation) would be quite immaterial. The original order having been made by a valid authority and having been finally upheld by a valid order of another superior authority, the invalidity of an intermediate order would not at all be material. There is the further circumstance that no objection to the jurisdiction of Sri V.P. Singh to function as Assistant Settlement Officer was raised either before him or subsequently before the Deputy Director of Consolidation, in the revision under Sec. 48, with the result that the petitioner sought decision of their disputes on merits from Sri V.P. Singh and have raised this point only because the case on merits has gone against them. In these circumstances, we do not think that the petition need be entertained even if it is held that the appointment of Sri V.P. Singh as Assistant Settlement Officer (Consolidation) was not validly made.

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