Decided on March 14,1960



- (1.)THIS is an application under Art. 226 of the Constitution originally filed by one Sanatan Mondal against several respondents including the State of West Bengal, K. M. Certificate Office. 24-Parganas (Sadar), the Revenue Officer, Taki Circle, B. Mukherjee, Tribunal under sec. 44 (3) of the W. B. Estates Acquisition Act, Sankar Das Banerjee, Receiver of the Trust Estate of late Tarapada Ghosh, Purna Chandra Sardar, Kali Charan Majhi, Ram Chandra Sardar, Haripada Sardar, Kalipada Sardar, Behari Sardar, Satish Sardar and a number of other persons, for the issue of a Writ in the nature of Certiorari calling upon the opposite parties to show cause why the orders dated 27. 9. 55 and 1. 7. 57 complained of in the petition should not be quashed and for other ancillary reliefs.
(2.)DURING the pendency of the application Sanatan Mondal, the original petitioner, died and his heirs and legal representatives, six in number, were brought on the record in his place. According to the petition, the petitioner Sanatan Mondal had taken settlement of about 400 bighas of char lands of Touzi No. 2986 under the jurisdiction of Police Station Sandeshkhali. Dist. 24-Parganas, from one Bimal Chandra Ghosh who was then the sole surviving Trustee of the Estate of the late Tarapada Ghosh. The petitioner had paid a total sum of Rs. 12,960/- by way of selami for the settlement and was put duly in possession of the said char lands. He had been asked to pay rent to the State of West Bengal after the corning into force of the West Bengal Estates Acquisition Act. Since the date of the settlement he claims to have been in possession of the char land through various under-rayats and also cultivating a part of the same in khas In the year 1954 during the preparation of the draft record of rights he and his under-raiyats claimed to have satisfied the Revenue Officer as to their respective possessions, and accordingly the lands were recorded in the khas possession of the petitioner as a raiyat under the State of West Bengal. The petitioner states that in May, 1955, the respondent No. 7, one Purna Chandra Sarkar, surreptitiously filed a petition of objection before the Revenue Officer under sec. 44 (1) of the West Bengal Estates Acquisition Act, 1953 and got the same registered as Objection Case No. 5 in respect of several plots of land on the alleged grounds that he along with respondent No. 8 and the petitioner Sanatan Mondal had taken a joint settlement of the demised lands from the Trustee Receiver and that respondents Nos. 7 and 8 were co-sharers of the petitioner. No notice of this objection was served on the petition and the matter was decided ex-parte behind his back. The petitioner preferred objection on his own behalf nor had he participated at the hearing of the objection petition filed by the respondent No. 7. On coming to know of this the petitioner made several representations challenging the validity of the objection but without giving a hearing the Revenue Officer falsely recorded that he had heard the objection on the 27th of September, 1955. In the petition there is an attempt to show that the Revenue Officer had proceeded illegally with regard to other plots and the objections thereto and it is complained that the Assistant Settlement Officer passed ex-parte orders without hearing the petitioner and without having satisfied himself that the notices as required by the law were properly served on the petitioner. The petitioner preferred an appeal before the Appellate Officer praying for revision and publication of the draft record of rights made by the Revenue Officer. This appeal too was dismissed. The substantial complaint of the petitioner in this case is that the order dated 27th of September, 1955 passed by the Settlement Officer and the order dated 1st July, 1957 passed by the Tribunal of Appeal are arbitrary and invalid, that there has been no proper hearing given to the petitioner before the preparation of the final record of rights and as such, these orders should be set aside and quashed and the Settlement Officer and the Tribunal should be directed to re-hear the petitioner in the matter of the objection filed by him.
(3.)IT appears that the petitioner had filed a suit in the Court of the 9th Subordinate Judge of 24-Parganas at Alipur being Title Suit No. 106 of 1957 wherein he was the plaintiff, the defendants being ten persons including Bankim Sardar. Behari Sardar, Purna Chandra Sardar, Haripada Sardar, and Paran Chandra Mandal. It appears from a copy of the plaint filed in this suit that the plaintiff had asserted his title as a raiyat from the Trustee of the Trust Estate of Tarapada Ghosh with regard to a number of plots. He prayed for declaration of his title and for an injunction restraining the defendants, their servants and agents from trespassing upon the lands under his khas cultivation. The plaint also contains a prayer for adjudication of damages to the extent of Rs. 5, 250/- on the allegation that the paddy grown on some of his lands was wrongfully harvested by the defendants. The Settlement operations have also been deterred to in this suit.

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