Decided on May 16,1979

STATE OF BIHAR Respondents


- (1.)In this application the orders contained in Annexures 5, 6 and 8 are under challenge. These are orders passed by the Additional Collector, Collector and the Additional Member, Board of Revenue, under the provisions of the Bihar Land Reforms (Fixation of Ceiling Area and Acquisition of Surplus Land) Act, 1961, hereinafter referred to as "the Act". The authorities have held that the family has about 161 acres of land as surplus.
(2.)Learned counsel for the petitioner has raised four points during the course of argument. It is contended-
(a) that petitioner No. 2 who was major on the appointed day has been treated to be minor;

(b) that the classification of land is not correct and not based on any cogent materials;

(c) that certain transfers in favour of the transferees which were legal and valid transfers have been annulled or ignored. This could not be done;

(d) Option should have been given to the landlords to choose lands proposed to be retained by them.

(3.)So far as the first contention is concerned, the petitioners relied in support of their case that petitioner No. 2 was major on the medical certificate issued by Dr. R.N. Sinha of M.J.K. Hospital, Bettiah. They also relied upon the village register of the Gram Panchayat. As against there the authorities have relied on an anonymous letter in which it was stated that petitioner No. 2 was a student or had recently been a student of a school. It further appears that some enquiry was made from the teachers concerned. But neither the person making the enquiry nor the teachers have been examined in the proceeding. In view of these circumstances if the authorities did not feel that the medical certificate and the village register were sufficient to prove the case they should have required the petitioners to produce the opinion of expert in forensic medicine. Only on the basis of the enquiry, which was made presumably behind the back of the petitioners, no decision could be arrived at. It would, therefore, appear that it is a fit case where there should be re-examination of the question whether petitioner No. 2 was major on the relevant date.

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